Thinking Tools LLC

41627 North Bent Creek Court
Anthem, Arizona 85086 USA

Contact Us: Email:, or Phone and Fax: +1 888-439-7237

Our History: We are a family business, founded in Minnesota in 1994 as Vision Works LLC, which then became Thinking Tools LLC in Arizona in 2008. We have been serving customers worldwide for 20 years.

Our Purpose is to develop and offer highly effective team-support methods and tools for innovative thinking, facilitation and training, which are used by team leaders, facilitators, consultants, and trainers everywhere.

Our Shared Vision is of teams, everywhere in the world, using our products and techniques in organizations where the members create, share, and implement ideas and decisions to solve problems and create lasting value for themselves, their customers, and their communities.

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About Ed Ward, the founder:
Ed’s focus as a consultant and as an entrepreneur is to help people in organizations improve the way they think, plan, organize, learn and perform. The outcomes are purpose-driven results that achieve strategic and operational goals. Most of his recent work involves the planning, design, facilitation, delivery, and monitoring of projects that implement Strategic Planning and Management, Performance Goals and Measurements, Team Development, Change Management, and Governmental Policy.

Since 1979, when he initiated his training in System Dynamics at MIT, Ed has been an advocate and practitioner of systems thinking, scenario planning, and computer simulation concepts applied to manufacturing, distribution, R&D, marketing, and professional services management and strategy. As a consultant and facilitator to executives and operating managers, he has led and partnered on projects in the automotive, energy, utilities, health care, financial services, education, textiles, construction, and public transportation industries involving organizational restructuring, competitive strategy, manufacturing strategy, new product planning, policy development and human resources.

Ed enjoyed a long term consulting relationship to a Big Five consultancy, beginning in late 1993, principally in support of the firm’s deployment of Information Age Accounting and its competencies in Facilitation, Systems Thinking and System Dynamics. He worked with its clients and professionals from a number of offices, including Houston, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte, San Francisco, Boston, Boise, Denver and Phoenix. His other consulting clients have included Amoco, the Ford Motor Company, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, SourceNet Solutions, EquaTerra, Inc. as well as non-profit organizations his community.

Prior to launching his formal consulting career in late 1992 and VisionWorks LLC (now Thinking Tools LLC) in 1994, Ed was Director of Corporate Planning for Millipore Corporation, a global, high technology manufacturing company. While there, he advanced from

  • materials and logistics management (He is a Certified Fellow in the American Production and Inventory Control Society) to
  • multi-plant operations planning, including the design and deployment of ERP information systems, then on to
  • manufacturing strategy development,
  • technology planning and evaluation; and, finally, to
  • company-wide strategic business planning, involving close, collaborative relationships with the research, marketing and finance organizations.

He joined Millipore in 1978 after 14 years in manufacturing management positions with Polaroid, Data General, and Joy Manufacturing Co. In 1983, he interrupted his Millipore career to become Director of Operations Administration for Astra Pharmaceutical Products, but returned to Millipore in 1986 to direct the company-wide manufacturing strategy program.

Ed is a past president of the Boston Chapter of the Strategic Management Forum, the International Society for Strategic Management and Planning. He has spoken on The Systems Thinking Approach to Scenario Planning and on the Application of Computer Models for Competitive Dynamics at Strategic Management Forum Workshops, at the Strategic Management Society Conference, and at TQM-related venues. He also conducts training sessions in facilitation methods for Team Productivity and Systems Thinking. Ed is a graduate of St. Louis University, and pursued his MBA work at the University of Chicago and Boston University. Ed contributed a chapter in a popular business book, Learning From the Future: Competitive Foresight Scenarios (1997, John Wiley) titled “Dynamic Scenarios: Systems Thinking Meets Scenario Planning.” Ed has a TS/SI security clearance granted by the National Security Agency.