Topic Templates

Make Every Conversation Complete

Valid confidence you are discussing the right items in the right sequence

SchellingPoint’s research identified previously unseen gaps in group conversation causing incomplete discussion and inaccurate solutions.  To solve this problem, four meta frames common to any collaboration of two or more people are provided in the Advanced Collaboration Software and Methods. 

But how do you accommodate a group’s specific subject? How does a hospital system redesigning their neuroscience practice, or a small family business trying to create their first outsourcing contract, know which agreements, goals, and plans need to come out of the discussions?

What items need to be covered, beyond the obvious? What questions need to be asked? What qualitative and quantitative research should they be doing before their first meeting? 

This is where Topic Templates come in, providing the themes, questions, and other information necessary to ensure groups have the right conversations about a particular topic.

There are four types of topic template:

Pre-Defined Topic Templates
Custom Topic Templates
Private Topic Templates
Proprietary Topic Templates
No More SWOT

Pre-Defined Topic Templates

Access a library of over 110 pre-defined templates for common organizational topics.

SchellingPoint has mapped over 110 common collaborations occuring within, between, and across organizations each day. We have digitized them as rich Topic Templates. A Topic Template, for example, Designing the Acquisition of a Competitor, comprises the range of content necessary to provide the project with the correct and complete framing for such a situation. The SchellingPoint Topic Templates Library is available to Advanced Collaboration Software and Advanced Collaboration Methods customers.

Use the link below to arrange an online meeting and see the library of topic templates enabling you to take on any subject with valid confidence you are talking about the right items, in the right sequence.

Custom Topic Templates

Launch your unique topic Right First Time.

A new business need can be triggered at any moment, requiring you to rapidly pull a group together, form a set of agreements, goals, and plans, then leave acting as ‘We.’ 

But where does the agenda come from? What is the difference between “I think that’s what we need to talk about.” and “That is what we need to talk about.”?

SchellingPoint’s research found that groups will cover only 50% to 75% of a topic in their initial conversations. This means that while groups might have a seemingly good conversation at the outset of a new topic and ‘get the ball rolling’, the gaps will appear later as surprises, problems, course reversals, excuses, and imperfect outcomes.

If one of our over 110 pre-defined topic templates does not fit 100%, or cannot easily be adjusted (this is why they are called templates), our experienced staff can assemble a custom template to suit your unique topic within 24 hours. 

No client ever said “That’s not right.” and no group ever got into their discussions and said, “We missed that at the start!”

Use the link below to learn how to get your next collaborative topic launched with the right content.

Private Topic Templates

Digitalize your subject matter expertise and know-how.

Management consultants addressing the same topic for multiple clients now gather and embed their intellectual property in private templates. In this way, they bring their organization’s full domain expertise to bear on each new project. 

Businesses who conduct the same collaborative activity repeatedly now embed their wisdom, know-how, and knowledge in private templates to rapidly launch new activities with complete and accurate content.

Assemble your own topic template library as part of your asset-based consulting strategy.

Proprietary Topic Templates

Use common business frames to augment Topic Templates.

You may be familiar with common templates used for specific organizational topics, for example: 

  • 3 Disciplines of Market Leadership
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • BCG Growth-Share Matrix
  • Business Model Canvas
  • McKinsey 7s
  • Porter’s 5 Forces
  • RAID Analysis
  • Strategy Canvas
  • SWOT
  • Value Chain Management Analysis
  • Others…

SchellingPoint provides these templates for those who require them, but you should always use such proprietary templates alongside a Pre-Defined, Custom, or Private topic-specific template.


No More SWOT

Simple but Over Used

SWOT was a wonderful invention, just what you might expect out of Stanford. But it is now being grossly overused. Simply put, SWOT is a valuable but significantly incomplete frame for the majority of organizational situations. Yes, it is easy to remember and quick to use, but you pay for that ease and initial speed later. 

Any discussion that will lead to actions which change the state of an existing system requires a conversation frame that covers that system that may be impacted. SWOT does not provide that. 

Two of the four topic meta frames taught in the Advanced Collaboration Methods and embedded in the Advanced Collaboration Software now provide the coverage you need.

(Please email us at if you want to discuss this advice.)

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