Monday, December 8, 2014

A Flexible Mind

A flexible mind has better chance to think differently and take a unique path in the life journey.

Though the meaning of the word flexibility, in general, more refers to physical movement capable of being bent, without breaking; from the psychology perspective, it is about the adaptation to the changes, the alternative way to do the things; and the resilience to survive or thrive from the failures. It is a critical mentality to live and work in today’s digital dynamic with the non-linear and accelerating speed of changes, a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity. More specifically, what’re the thinking processes and capabilities in a flexible mind?

A Failing-forward thinking: A flexible mind is more positive to face changes or even failures. People learn more through failure than success - it would be great if people started seeing failures as battle scars and not the mark of a loser. Although the world is still full of the inflexible minds that stimulate the negative mentality consciously or unconsciously to the manipulation of others by use of "power words" like a failure, wrong, mistake, flawed" etc. People use them as labels to put on others to demean or control their behavior. While a flexible mind with failure-forwarding thinking focuses on learning, growth from the past mistake, being humble enough to admit that a different decision could or might result in more favorable outcomes, but if you were doing your best at that particular point, you would learn and move forward. Failure can test the depth of life and expand the new dimension of human intelligence, and life is a wonderful teacher, we need to be humble enough to listen to it.

A collaborative thinking: Collectively, people with a flexible mind can work as a team more seamlessly, but also professionally, such team or work environment encourages collaborative thinking, build adaptability to create mutual interest communities, to identify common, yet flexible process focuses on outcomes without micromanagement and creates a sense of urgency as well. It’s easy to say you are flexible or playful and have a lot of innovative desire, but culturally within the walls of an organization, the overly rigid processes still stifle innovation. The imperative is to build a culture of innovation which has flexibility, agility, and resilience as key characteristics, don’t be afraid to fail until you succeed, develop a closer relationship with customers, open mind upon the feedback and ideas; be creative to thinking outside of the box, etc.

An Alternative thinking: Flexibility means the alternative way to do the things. Digital is the age of options. The option to build business physically; the option to serve customer via both traditional counter and digital channel; the option to work in either large physical office or anywhere, anytime with any devices; the option to be the titan industry leader or the fitting niche player and the options of setting physical group or virtual team for business problem-solving. A good business strategy is about diagnosing the problems, making alternatives, taking selective actions and measure the result. Hence, a flexible thinking is a type of strategic mind.

A flexible mind loves choices, enjoys making differences; feels comfortable to be unique and welcomes the diversity of thoughts as the fountain of creativity. A flexible mind thinks life is a journey full of adventures, not just a flat trip with only one way street; and a flexible mind can sometimes ignore the insignificant details in order to focus on priority; A flexible mind answers their quiz either in business or life with multiple choices of answers, not just single pick yes/no. It is optimal thinking to handle today’s complexity and continuous changes.


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