Anchor System Thinking for Business and Organizations

An anchor means “principal support or something that serves to hold an object firmly.”[1][2] Being anchored may mean “to be related to something,” as in “this study is anchored to a theory” or “this man is anchored by his values.”

A typical setting for the usage of anchors is with vessels in the sea. An anchor is a device generally made of metal with a chain that holds the vessel to the bottom of the sea and prevents it from drifting due to currents or the wind. An “anchor cable” or “anchor chain” is used in larger vessels and is made of chain, cable, rope, or a combination of these. A vessel usually carries one or more anchors on board, which are considered temporary, while permanent anchors are left in a fixed location and are used for mooring.[3]

Can the anchoring metaphor and terminology be used to describe how we as humans are anchored to life? And can it be further extended to cover larger-scale entities?

This is what I call anchor system thinking. It is a holistic approach of thinking based on the sea anchors metaphor. Our anchors are mind imprints that are innate or result from external stimuli, and these anchors are points that hold us in a drifting sea (life). When we receive input from our senses, retrieve a thought from our memory, or try to delete a memory, anchor points affect how the data is processed (function) in our mind. This results in a change in our behaviors, actions, and decision-making.

By identifying our anchor points, we can understand where we stand (anchor maps) and can proactively plan where we are going. Just like we hold to anchor points, we are sometime anchor points for others.

The anchor system is formed of five components:

· The vessel

· The medium

· The anchor

· The bed

· The chain

The vessel is tied with a chain and anchor to the bed of the medium. This is the five-component form of the anchorsystem. Anchor system thinking is not only used on the personal level, but it can also be applied to the organizational and societal levels for situational analysis, problem-solving, and strategic planning. In the following example, we will see part of its application on the organizational level.

The vessel

Organization

The medium

Market

The anchor point

The vessel is connected by a chain that ends with an anchor that hooks to the bed of the medium. The anchor(A), bed (B), and chain (C ) are the ABC, and together they form the anchor point.

There are four types of anchorpoints:

· Time anchor points

· Location anchor points

· Social network anchor points

· Entity anchor points

On the organizational level, anchor mapscan be used to illustrate the current anchor statusof any organization, such as a business company.

Now imagine you own a small online business, and you’d like to have an anchor mapfor it. Grab a pen and paper and start drawing:

Draw your .COM business at the center of the paper.

Define your:

– Time anchor points: Which anchor points hold you to your past, present, and future? What are your company goals? What is your company mission and vision?

– Location anchor points: Your physical business address, hosting DNS and server, mirror servers, etc.

– Social network anchor points: Your sister websites, competitors, suppliers, distributors, content editors and creators, designers, programmers, etc.

– Entity anchor points: What are your objective, subjective, and inter-subjective anchor points? What are your resources, code of conduct, terms and policies, etc.?

Improve: When you have your current anchor status, decide which anchor points are adding value to your start-up and need to be fostered, and which anchor points are holding you back and need to be deleted or fixed.

Anchor system thinking can be applied as a situational analysis tool on the personal, organizational, social, and even national levels. It is used to describe the current status and relationships in a meaningful and creative way.

Anchor system thinking can, therefore, be used to solve personal, business, political, societal, geopolitical, or relational dilemmas.

Start Anchoring Today!

About the Author

Author A. I. Shoukry is an academic, writer, and a podcaster. Author of the bestselling decision-making book In or Out: A Practical Guide to Decision Making. He recently published Anchor System Thinking: The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society.

Twitter: @ashoukry

[1] Anchor | Definition of Anchor by Merriam-Webster n.d. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anchor (accessed March 29, 2018).

[2] anchor | Definition of anchor in English by Oxford Dictionaries n.d. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/anchor (accessed March 30, 2018).

[3] Anchor — Wikipedia n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor (accessed March 30, 2018).

Why I published three books in one year and why I wrote in English?

When I published my first book last year on Amazon, many people asked me, why do you write in English? Anyone who knows me in person or follows me on the online social networks knows that I always express myself in Arabic whether in writing or in speaking. Arabic is my mother tongue, which I should have mastered more than the English language. So, why I did write in English?

By the end of 2016, I decided to take a break from politics and resigned from all partisan positions as I couldn’t handle any more stress. I did not, and still don’t expect any change in the Egyptian political power balance, nor I could help in shifting anything on the political scene.

At that time, I started to run on a regular basis and wanted to document my transformation experience, from being a couch potato to becoming a long-distance runner. I started my blog “A Runner’s Reflections.” I have found the English language, a more appropriate way to express myself, I wanted to address different audience other than the politically interested audience that had been reading to me before.

Since I had more leisure time after taking a break from political activism, I had more time to read, and running gave me more time to listen to the various programs available through Podcasts. Through which I learned about science and issues that I did not care or even know it existed before. With every episode, my vision widened, and I listened and read even more.

I felt that I have found a humanity treasure and needed to share it with the world. I have noticed that the podcast-sphere lacked adequate Arabic content and I thought that it was my duty to introduce at least my circle of influence to the podcast world. I decided to produce Istqlal.Podcast, a cultural program to discuss ideas in Arabic.

On turning 40 years old, I thought a lot about what I achieved and what I did not. I now a Urologist, who produces a podcast and running long distances, things I could never have imagined before.

Since writing is part of my DNA and one of the tools that I express myself in a more in-depth and more organized way, I wrote an article in English entitled “Finding my Voice” in which I tried to search for my voice. I explored all my decisions that I took in the past couple of years. And I came to a conclusion, that I was always searching for possibilities to change my surrounding to the better and for different means to express myself.

I remembered when I was at school, I programmed a simple “software” to help me in decision-making for the simple things that bothered me when I was a child, like going out of the house, spending time with friends, or traveling with my family. Help me choose between, going to the club, practice sports, or watch a movie? I searched on the Internet, and I found the HyperCard stack on archive.org. I was very happy with that surprise and wrote a post about it on Facebook.

As I continued to listen to podcasts and learned about the authors and their books, I asked myself, why shouldn’t I write a book? I already started many books projects before. However, I did not complete any of them.

I thought to write about the idea behind my decision-making program. Backed with my massive podcasts listening hours, book readings, academic background, and personal experience, it took me only three months to write the first book. During which I learned about the whole process of self-publishing, which included, of course, the writing itself, editing, designing the book from the inside, cover design, and later marketing. By new year I have released the In or Out in Kindle and paperback editions.

While the first book was being edited by the editor, I began to prepare the second book on running. My first plan was to collect my blog writings on running and publish them in a book after completing a full marathon. However, I passed through difficult events and extremely stressful experiences, and it was running that helped me pass through all of this. So, I wrote about what I felt while running before running a full marathon. By June, I published my second book titled “It’s Not Just About Running: Reflections on Life and Change in Egypt.”

The third book’s idea came to me while running, a model for analysis, problem-solving, and planning on the personal, organizational, and societal level, titled “Anchor System Thinking: The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society.”

After finishing the third book, I discovered that the three books form a trilogy, the first about decision making, the second on post-decision reflection, and the third on the meaning of pillars on the personal, institutional and societal level. All books express my own experience and what I passed through.

Now, and after two years of ceding any political activism and later the publication of three books in English, I came to a conclusion. Yes, I wanted to try the self-publishing process through Amazon KDP and to have a wider readership exposure, as there are more English speakers than Arabic ones, in addition to the fact that they read more. However, I found that the most important reason for writing in English was to escape my real world. I wanted to create an imaginary bubble to live in, a new world, with a new language and descriptive words. Expanding the bubble with new areas of interest such as publishing, podcasting, running, and English writing.

My transition from writing in Arabic to writing in English was smooth and natural. After I stopped for a moment before writing or even thinking about writing the words “freedom, opinion, and change” the subject became easier when I ran and expressed myself and wrote, “running, freedom and change.” Even the running was my way to express my desire for freedom as noticed by one of my friends.

Last year was full of personal achievements, and yes, I published three books in Kindle and paperback editions, and one of them is audio format too. However such accomplishments were just a pressure outlet for a very stressful year. I pray for a more peaceful year and many books to come.

A. I. Shoukry

Bestselling Author of IN or OUT & It’s Not Just About Running & Anchor System Thinking http://bit.ly/2ThNRqW

Anchor System Thinking Released to the world

Featured

Anchor System Thinking: 
The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society

I am happy to announce the release of my new book Anchor System Thinking: The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society, in ebook format. It’s available for sale on all major ebook seller. Grab your copy here in your preferred ebook format.

Book description:

Searching for calm waters in a turbulent life? In an increasingly complex world, the need to understand where you stand and where you are going is fundamental on the personal, organizational, and societal level.

Searching for calm waters in a turbulent life? In an increasingly complex world, the need to understand where you stand and where you are going is fundamental on the personal, organizational, and societal level.

A. I. Shoukry—author of the bestselling book In or Out—introduces us to his innovative concept; anchor system thinking.

You are a vessel in the sea of life. Whether you like it or not, whether you float or sink, stand still or move forward, you are always anchored or searching for an anchor. And it’s better to know your anchor points than to be anchored without knowing. If you think you are floating freely, think again. Do you know your anchor points?

Anchor system thinking can be applied as a situational analysis tool on the personal, organizational, social, and even national levels. Anchor system thinking can, therefore, be used for problem-solving and strategic planning for personal, business, political, societal, geopolitical, or relational dilemmas.

In this short, insightful book, you will:
–    Discover how to think using the anchor system thinking concept.
–    Master anchor system thinking and its application on the personal, organizational, and societal levels.
–    Understand various anchor points and how are we all anchored to location, time, social networks, and entities.
–    Learn how to draw anchor maps for yourself, your organization, and society to understand your current status.
–    Solve problems on the personal, organizational, and social level using anchor system thinking.
–    Know how to be a reliable anchor point for others and excel at it.
–    Practice the proactive anchoring technique for strategic future planning for yourself, your organization, and society.

Anchor System Thinking is an innovative paradigm that will change how you approach your life, work, and relationships forever.

So, buy Anchor System Thinking and start anchoring today!

ANCHOR SYSTEM THINKING MADE IT TO THE BEST NEW PROBLEM SOLVING BOOKS

BookAuthority Best New Problem Solving Books

I’m happy to announce that my book, “Anchor System Thinking: The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society”, made it to BookAuthority’s Best New Problem Solving Books:
https://bookauthority.org/books/new-problem-solving-books?t=19ag4s&s=award&book=1731199457
BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition. Thank you for all your support!
The book is available for purchase on Amazon and all online booksellers in paperback and ebook format.