How to Be a Better Thinker, Innovator and Problem Solver


Cogs replaced hands so to speak during the U.S. Industrial Revolution when businesses felt a rush to automate manual tasks. Now the technology rush is removing the cogs as we hurry to replace people running the lines with automated systems. With artificial intelligence not too far away, the trend for less human involvement is set to continue into the future.
So it makes sense that business is evolving, too, moving from a “doing” model to a “thinking” model.
As technology handles more tasks, mental agility has never been more important. If we want to future-proof our businesses, and ourselves, we need to be able to think, re-think and even un-think current processes. Like anything, coming up with solutions and new ways to see things takes practice.
Behavioral strategists Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan, authors of the new book Selfish, Scared & Stupid , teach people in business how to become better thinkers, innovators and problem solvers; here are their best tips to get your mind muscles working:
1. Ideas are a numbers game.
When brainstorming, you want the numbers on your side. This is the secret to the best creative and problem-solving minds on the planet. You have to generate enough options to get the obvious thinking out of the way. Like reps at the gym, you need to push through the easy stuff and get to the difficult things for the best results.
Your first ideas are obvious and thus first-level thinking. You need to go deeper than that to find gold. You must go beyond that first-level thinking to discover unseen ideas that truly solve the problem.
2. Think in questions.
Train your brain to think in questions not statements. The problem with statements is that they presuppose a solution and can stop you from coming up with an innovative solution. Questions in contrast open up the solutions. Asking for a shelf sticker that draws attention to a product is very different from the question of how to increase (read more...)

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