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Responsive Design Vs Static Design

By Nicholas Evans. © Active NLP Ltd

Responsive design is characterised by its use of higher level patterns, patterns that fluidly adapt and blend depending on circumstance. 'Static' courses on the other hand are filled with lots and lots of predefined techniques (10 steps, 15 steps, 28 steps, perhaps more.) Every step is defined as having a right way to do it and a wrong way; you learn each technique in a set way and you're advised which technique to use and when to use it. It's the most common way of teaching NLP...but it's not the right way.

We've checked out dozens of NLP & Hypnosis courses on the internet and as far as we can tell they are all still using the traditional 'Static' training format.
Diamond Design Vs traditional design
Features Diamond Courses Traditional Courses
Pay for the whole course
at time of booking
No Yes
Commit to training dates
far into the future
No Yes
Risk hefty cancellation
charges due to
unforseen circumstances
No Yes
Adapt your life to
the training schedule
No Yes
Designed for adult learners
and professionals
Yes No
Interconnecting modules to build
accreditation at your pace
Yes No

Why does it matter?

Because static courses strip NLP & hypnosis of their power and limit them to a set of rigid steps that work in theory but rarely in practice.


Using NLP to find out how people 'tick' is called modelling and the traditional way of doing it is to drill down and reveal smaller and smaller units of a persons consciousness. The prevailing wisdom in the 70s still thought that dissecting things into their smallest parts was the best way of finding out how something worked. It is the de-facto approach of what we know as 'scientific determinism'. As you can imagine this process will kill any living thing and suffocates most everything else by putting it into neat little boxes.
It's down to the inspiration and genius of Messrs Bandler & Grinder that NLP forged its own path and emphasised 'systemic' thinking whereby people, family units, societies ect are seen as part of complex systems. This way of thinking has grown into one of the most widely used metaphors around today, which is to liken people to computers. It's worked pretty well up to now.

The results of NLP modelling are often outstanding and sometimes surprising. Surprising because more often than not the thing that makes a certain individual a kind of 'superstar' in their field is not the big stuff like educational opportunities, or having a sky high IQ, it's perhaps just a small difference in the way they think, respond or frame their experience. Modelling is definitely an essential 21st century skill and we used it to design our Diamond training format (with a twist).

Diamond Design still models to levels of detail but isn't looking for the smallest difference between people.

It's looking for the higher level similarities between systems and best practice.

At each level of a particular skill, therapy, coaching method, training method or expert activity we pause and look for patterns that exist elsewhere in the activity itself and in the areas of knowledge and expertise that it is part of.

For example, some of the contextualising NLP patterns are called pre-suppositions. There were around 6 or 7 of them originally but that number has grown over the years as writers, trainers and practitioners have added their own versions. However, applying a little critical thinking reveals that these new pre-suppositions are really just variations and not new at all. And those original presuppositions can themselves be traced back through time, the Victorian age of inventions, the 17th century age of enlightenment, the scholastic middle ages, right back to ancient Greece. It's not that they were just plucked, plagiarised or stolen from the great thinkers of history, it's more like an evolutionary process as each generation added a visionary twist of their own, one that was useful and profound for the times they lived in.

Another example; one of the higher level ideas in NLP is...

It doesn't matter if something is true or not, just act as though it is.

Now this idea seems contrary to common sense, however, it is actually a stage in a very long development of ideas which goes to the core of how we, in the 21st century, receive our world view. The grandfather of psychology, William James no less, postulated it about a hundred and thirty years ago in a lecture called "The will to believe". Although 'proven' to be unsound as a theory in general (Bertrand Russell states it most simply and Karl Popper most comprehensively) the idea is still echoed in a school of thought that shapes all our lives today "Pragmatism".

Er...and that helps me how?

Well be assured your job on the course is not to study the history of ideas or philosophy (although a little general knowledge of both subjects is easily obtained from the internet and will pay huge dividends) BUT it is our job because it strips our courses of all the flotsam and jetsam that NLP & hypnosis have accrued over the years. AND, is why Diamond Design Training is only available at Active NLP. We have the experience, the wider knowledge, and the sheer love of it to be constantly taking, what on the surface seem like complex webs of different facts and theories, and ideas and turning them into something usable, understandable and practical for everyone. How many times have you come across a book, essay, video or whatever and instinctively known that it contained something valuable, something important, something that could make a difference to your life..BUT, it's like the format is designed to keep you out not let you in, either droning on saying not very much or making your head swim with diagrams, calculations, statistics things that look like the longest long division sum ever created, defintely not user friendly and one of the reasons why the 'dummies' books were so popular. What we have done at Active NLP is to forge a path down the middle way, not overly complicated nor overly simplistic because both of those are plain impractical
Our usable, practical and workable multi-model created by Nick is an outstanding piece of work as it gets that balance right, however it has taken him 15 years so we won't be awarding him a gold star just yet!.

Why is it important?

Simple; the world is getting digitised at an accelerated rate. Do you remember having to visit a library to find something out? I do. Do you visit one now? Probably not right? Why would you when you have a whole world of information right at your fingertips.

image of Newton's principia After Sir Isaac Newton published the 'principia' at the end of the 17th century it was thought that within a few years human beings would know and be able to explain everything. Everything would be measured, counted and subjected to observation and experimentation (proof).

It is a comforting fantasy but not to be. image of steven hawking book The 'external physical' universe made largely of matter, which is measurable, is too complex to pin down,(Just ask Stephen Hawking what happened to the Big Bang theory.

If the physical universe, made of stuff and anti-stuff, can't be explained with any certainty then isn't it a bit ego-maniacal to think we can label and define the 'psychological internal' worlds of billions of individuals? One can easily imagine living a 1000 years and still not having enough time to read, digest and learn everything that we humans discover "scientifically" never mind watch, listen to, read or otherwise engage with all the works of art, novels, films, poetry, theatre, music and mystical insight that say as much about what it is to be human as any brain scan printout.

In fact there's probably some equivalent E=MC2 equation, whereby the closer you get to the 1000 year age horizon the rate of new information increases so fast that you'll never catch up,

You'll need infinite years to sort through infinite information.

And..... what that means is?

The only sensible way to proceed under such an avalanche of information and contrasting 'facts' is to 'chunk up' not down and look for higher level patterns that can be used as templates to extract the 20% or 30% of genius that a model, approach or system contains. There is no holy grail catch all design for life system that can supply all the answers and all the fixes, and anyone promising that should be avoided like the plague. I'm afraid it's down to us to fashion the tools we need from what we have available not look to the past like children seeking certainties from their parents. But what exciting times! This is the first time in history that non specialists, non academics have had access to the rich vein of knowledge we humans have been creating and recording for the past 2 and half thousand years. And it's why we are saddened to see so many people still turning to those old certainties that were created for a different age. We need pioneers not blind followers, people who create new models and techniques fit for the world we live in today....the digital multi information age of increasing interdependence and complexity.

That is not to say we don't understand the desire for certainty, we were once students of NLP & hypnosis too and needed to have faith in what we were learning. That's why we can assure you now, Diamond Design works, not only that, it works better, you just need a little self belief and the ability to thrive in a world where there are no hard and fast rules about which technique to use for this or what script to use for that. And guess what, those techniques and scripts were written by someone just like you anyway, some were written maybe even 40 years ago and they haven't been updated since. Or, and this may surprise you, they were written and published by someone with little or no knowledge of the subject matter at all and were created purely to make money...shock!

What's needed now to take us forward

Is the ability to cut through the mass of detail and white-noise and get to the heart of the matter. Forget about trying to know everything just in case you might need it someday, that's very old school, it's called ( just in case learning) and was appropriate for an age of limited access to recorded information (you had to carry it all around in your head). But the plain fact is that now, in our time, there is just too much information to carry around in one head. What we need are skills and abilities that enable us to quickly extract the essence of a thing and make it useful. In metaphorical terms; to "separate the wheat from the chaff"

We have developed a skill set to help you do just that, it is unique to Active NLP and it's the way we do things.

One last thing.
We're often asked 'but what about all those techniques with impressive scientific sounding names that they promise will.....
  • make you thin.
  • make you stop smoking.
  • make you rich.
  • make you confident.
  • make you not afraid.
and so forth. We won't learn those will we?' To which we reply, 'No, and why would you want to. Did you really believe it was that cut and dried or did you just want to believe it and prove old William James right.

What's the difference again?

OK, Perhaps a good analogy is.....

Static courses teach you how to follow a recipe to the letter, BUT, responsive design courses show you how to really cook, so you have the ability & confidence to create something amazing at the drop of a hat and with whatever is at hand.

"Whatever my future holds, I know these techniques will always be applied in some form 'out there' M. Ivybridge

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