The mindset for change: Don’t trust your judgment

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We live in a whirled world of change: we’re overloaded, stressed out, with limited resources and endless possibilities. We’re already working as hard as we can. We are bombarded with an abundance of options and new ideas. We need nimble thinking, creativity and innovation to break from the routines of the status quo, make the right choices and fuel the engine of growth and success.

Ever since Carol Dweck’s work has become popular we’ve been hearing a deal about mindsets.
Here’s a thought from de Bono – the inventor of the term lateral thinking – about two possible mindsets for reacting to the shock of the new.

So along comes a new idea or way of doing things. First reaction is to hold up to our best judgment and ask, “What does my experience tell me about this?

Everyone knows that instant judgment is the enemy of creativity.- Edward de Bono

When you confronted with a new idea don’t use your judgment to assess whether to adopt it.

Problem is – if the idea is really new then we won’t have experienced it and it will be a break with what we have known. Natural immediate reaction will be – quick as a blink – to reject the idea, shut it down and bounce it back. This will be also be the case if it is similar to something we tried before that did not work out so well. It’s a common sense approach and by applying our best judgment in this way we can make incremental improvements by drawing on our past wisdom and experience.

But – what if we tried another approach and applied a movement mindset? Instead of the hammer of  judgment what if we asked, “Hmm! What are the possibilities in this? What can we make of it? How does it connect? How might we learn or gain from this?”

The advantage of this approach is that it suggests a collective response that is open-minded and receptive to change. It’s a mindset that allows for growth, change, progress and adaptation.

So – when it comes to making a decision to take something new on board – suspend the guillotine of judgment and consider the angles.

Of course – there is a third mindset: Let novelty rule and adopt everything new with neither judgment nor imagination. Not recommended.

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