Think Better

Tim Hurson
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Part 1. Why think better

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“Imagination is the beginning of creation: you imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw In 1969 Peter Druker coined the term knowledge economy in his book The Age of Discontinuity. (9) The ability to think better will soon become the most significant competitive advantage… (10) Caterpillar experiment (14) “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you. It’s what you know that ain’t so.” Will Rogers. Most of the time your brain is involved in just one of three activities: distraction (monkey mind), reaction (gator mind), or following well-worn patterns (The elephant’s Tether)

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Part 1. Why think better
Cerebral cortex, called higher order thinking… but despite its enormous power and potential, it turnout that may have a lot less influence on the way you behave (20) … the other two parts of your brain – the more primitive parts – are the limbic system, sometimes called the mammalian brain, and the stem brain.  The limbic system is concerned primarily with generating emotional responses to sensory input. (21)  The stem brain, an even more primitive structure, processes and reacts to sensory input.

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Part 2. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN PRINCIPLE

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Wetheimer (Gestalt):what we perceived is not simply the sum of the things that stimulate our senses but semthing different…(37) “Good is enemy of great” Jim Collins Reproductive thinking is a way to generate what is known (kaizen); it aims for efficiency. Productive thinking is a way to generate the new; it aims for insight (tenkaizen). Productive thinking consists in two distinct thinking skills: creative thinking and critical…(45) Creative thinking: generative, expansive, nonjudmental. Critical thinking: analytic, judmental and selective.

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Part 2. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN PRINCIPLE

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Staying in the question means being okay with the ambiguos. Being okay with ambiguity means being open to the possible. (55) …we no rush to answers but to hang back, to keep questioning even when answers seem obvious. Necker Cube, discovered in 1832 by Swiss Louis Albert Necker. Walter Mischel has demonstrated that we tend to classify people according to certain fundamental character traits, or cognitive prototypes, rather than seeing them as complex personalities with highly variable behaviors that depend on the situations they are in, their moods, their states of health, and so on.. A kind of “reducing valve” (59)

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Part 2. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN PRINCIPLE

Satisficing: proposed in 1950s by Herbert Simon. It describes the condition of being so uncomfortable with an unresolved or problem state that we jump to the first answer to puts us put of our misery. Once we land on that answer, we tend to stick to it. (63) Alex Osborn, who invented the concept of brainstorming in 1941, developed a list of four essential rules for an effective brainstorming sesssion:
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Freewheeling is welcomed. The wilder the idea, the better; it’s easier to tame down than to think up Quantity is wanted. The greater the number of ideas, the more the likelihood of useful ideas. Combination and improvement are sought. In addition to contributing ideas of their own, participants should suggest how the ideas of others can be turned

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Part 2. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN PRINCIPLE
Bad brainstorming is binary; ideas are either good or bad. God brainstorming is full of maybes. (74)  Kenosis (self-emptying): you must empty yourself before you can fill yourself again.

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3. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN THEORY
1. What’s going on?
A. What’s the itch? B. What’s the impact? C. What’s the information? D. Who’s involved? E. What’s the Vision?

2. 3. 4. 5.

What’s success? What’s the Question? Catalytic Question Generate Answers Forge the solution
A. Evaluate most promising 4. ideas = success criteria B. Once you have chosen the idea, stress-test, improve an refine

6. Align resources

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3. PRODUCTIVE THINKING IN THEORY
A. List the action steps required to completed the solutions B. Identify people who support or obstacles. C. Each action step has someone accountable for its completion D. Put the steps in order E. Identify additional action steps needed to acquire the resources for each step and assign accountabilities F. Identify and record observable outcomes

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