Think About It | By Erik Herskind
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THINKING, WHAT DO WE MEAN?
Well, there are kinds of thinking and ways to think. There’s a difference, so let’s dig in and talk about BIG THINKING.
WHY BIG THINKING MATTERS
According to a recent Adobe/Forrester study, 82 percent of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. In fact, companies that actively foster creative thinking outperform their rivals in revenue growth, market share and competitive leadership, according to the report. Critical thinking and creative problem solving are necessary skills in our personal and professional lives.
THINK TO BUILD UNDERSTANDING
- make connections
- look at things from different perspectives
- construct explanations and interpretations
- reason with evidence
- wonder and ask questions
- form conclusions
We all think, but not all of us think deeply, which is defined as thinking beyond what your mind defaults to. This is a problem. Deep thinking is how we increase our number of valuable and useful thoughts. The quantity of your valuable thoughts has a direct effect on quantity of your valuable actions. So why don’t more people think deeply? Because it is hard.
Deep thought compels us to be accountable to our values and propels us toward our dreams. Do not do what the world expects you to do. Do the things that thinking, planning, research, and your own judgment tell you to do. Cut out the distractions for a little while and think about deep thinking to see if it is something worth investing your time into.
THINKING vs. PROBLEM SOLVING
Pretty much everyone on the planet engages in problem solving on a daily basis. You don’t need to be a critical thinker to engage in problem solving, you just need basic knowledge and creativity. In fact, in many ways, creativity is a larger part of problem solving than critical thinking is.
Problem solving requires an understanding of the situation; critical thinking requires an understanding of yourself, how you think, etc. Problem solving requires you to look at an external event, and figure out how to change it; critical thinking requires you to look inward, to challenge your own presuppositions. Problem solving is a periodic event, to be dealt with occasionally as problems arise; critical thinking is a continuous process applied to all areas of your life.
HOW COMPANIES DO IT TODAY
Today, most companies set a goal and then explore ways to achieve it. For example, using this traditional approach a company would decide they want to make a carrot cake and then figure out the most efficient, cost-effective way to do it. The creative approach would be to see a bunch of ingredients and come up with something unique and original.
We need to think and act differently — We need to DISRUPT.
Disruptive thinking would go something like this: “If we hosted a forum called ‘How Our Products & Services Are Failing,’ what topics would be on the main stage?” An equally effective version is “Which two things could our competitors do to render our product/services irrelevant?”
CREATIVITY IS NOT INNOVATION (BUT YOU NEED BOTH)
Innovation is about changing reality—introducing a new product, making it cheaper, adding features. Creativity is about changing the way you look at the world. That’s what enables you to envision new products, new processes, new industries, or even new ways to tackle your midlife crisis.
CHANGE THE WAY YOU HOW. CHANGE THE WAY YOU DO.
You need to challenge your existing ideas before you can come up with new ones. When you come to HOWDO, what are you supposed to do?
• Come up with big ideas
• Challenge the status quo
At HOWDO, we’re passionate about ideas and inspiring how to find them. It’s meant to be a place that inspires curiosity, creativity and deeper thinking (and we will tell you how this happens).
ASK GREAT QUESTIONS
- “Wait, what?”
- “I wonder if…?”
- “Couldn’t we at least…?”
- “How can I help?”
- “What really matters?”
- “What’s going on here?”