Tag Archives: Thinking

Contrarian Mindset: The Courage to Be Wrong

do you have the courage to be wrong? A couple of months ago I republished a list of all the ways Misfits (innovators) are misunderstood in the workplace and what they want from their boss to be able to get along with them. It got a great deal of attention immediately after I published it, many Misfits empathized with the list; non-misfits probably didn’t.

So for all of you non-misfits, today I’m going to elaborate on a key attitude of a Misfit: being a contrarian.

How to think

We’re one week away from 2015, people will make their resolutions and try to keep them for a whole year; which usually doesn’t work out as planned. One resolution, an ongoing effort actually, that we should all aim for on a daily basis is that of making better decisions.

That means thinking better, which will have a cumulative effect in all else we do; including executing on our New Year resolutions.

A question I get asked often is something along the lines of , “How can I improve my ability to make better decisions?” To this, I respond with a counter question, “why do you think you make bad decisions in the first place?”

The reframing of the question, is good example of “what to do” to make better decisions. Thus, an easy way to make better decisions is to ask yourself questions, but that usually comes after you’ve done some grunt work to define a better question beforehand.

How can we become better thinkers and decision makers?

question to innovate

This the sixteenth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know.

“The better decision maker has at his/her disposal repertoires of possible actions; checklists of things to think about before he acts; and he has mechanisms in his mind to evoke these, and bring these to his conscious attention when the situations for decision arise.” – Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate

There are plenty of ways to make better decisions. But what about when you are dealing with complexity (which we all do)? How can you see the essence of anything quickly?

Innovation posts of the week: Hybrid Thinking

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Innovation posts of the week: Innovation is not creativity

Reimagine how you imagine

Alright it seems to me that the word ‘imagination’ doesn’t fit in a business context, unless you’re an ad agency it’s been completely banned! The mere mention of ‘let’s use our imaginations’ gets people nervous as if saying ‘what’s that?’ Ok Ok I get it, there are alternatives though and to battle that I use the word ‘reconfigure’ to talk to non-imagine people.

Take for example an interior designer, his/her job is to reimagine the interior of your house. They take what you have and reconfigure it in another way to arrive at something different. They tweak, move, shift, turn your living room in all sorts of ways sometimes by moving the objects already in place or by bringing in new objects from the outside or a mix of both.

The in the examples below focuses on ‘using what you already have’ to reimagine your living room. The objects might not be new but the small change in the arrangements makes the living room not just look different but also feel different.

 

before and after

before and after 2

before and after 3
This is what imagination is all about.

You don’t have to drink tequila to loosen up (although it certainly helps), you just have to ask ‘what if’ we take this and move it, remove it, turn it, twist it, shake it, etc and see what happens. So if you’re in the process of reimagining how your business will have to work in the future but lost your imagination on your way to being an adult, just put yourself in the interior designer’s shoes and start reconfiguring.

Remove the associative barriers that hinder new ideas

Model of hydogen bonds in water in English.

Image via Wikipedia

Last week I mentioned that the is the ability to free associate, to make connections between dissimilar things. I just stumbled into post on the where she probes further into the concept to which I left a comment: