Monday, October 17, 2016

"Leadership Master" Book Tuning: Digital Leaders’ three “Unconventional Intelligence”

Great digital leaders often need conventional intelligence to lead solidly, and unconventional intelligence to lead creatively and effortlessly in the nonlinear business dynamic.

Leadership is all about future and change; direction and dedication; influence and innovation, to set the direction for both oneself and others to follow. Today’s digital business ecosystem is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous; today’s digital workforce is cross-functional, cross-cultural and cross-generational, thus, the digital leadership bar is indeed raised, in order to lead effectively and effortlessly. Digital leaders today not only need to show solid conventional intelligence such as “IQ” and “EQ,” but also have to present a set of unconventional intelligence for dealing with over-complexity and hyper-competition of the digital new normal, and handling unprecedented uncertainty & ambiguity seamlessly.

Creativity Intelligence: Creativity is often metaphorized as “Out-of-Box” thinking, sometimes it is misunderstood as less thinking or gut feeling. Creativity is a complex, multidimensional thought process. Creativity has many dimensions, with multifaceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge and incredible imagination. Creativity is a higher level of thinking because it often imposes a higher cognitive as you think “harder” via different thought processes such as association, perspective shifting, divergent thinking, etc; or the conscious-subconscious continuum. Creativity is a flow, an abstract, an imagination and an association -the unusual dots connections. Creativity happens in both unconscious and conscious level. Creativity is not just about "out-of-the-box" thinking, to be creative, you need to re-frame the new box thinking. First, you need to embrace the unknown - think outside the box. Second, you need to challenge the knowing (the old box). Third, you can create a bigger box full of new-known. When you are on a higher plane of thinking, you are not confined by the wall, or limited by the hierarchy. Thinking things differently and making imagination roll into reality is creativity.

Learning Intelligence: Learning intelligence refers to the person’s ability to learn with meta-cognition learning how to learn, it is a vital element of independent learning in the digital era of rapid and relentless change. With shortened knowledge life cycle and commodity knowledge only a click away, today’s digital workforce must have the attitude to keep learning, as well as have learning aptitude and intelligence to learn fast and smart. In the past, many learners, in all disciplines, built a kind of 'dependency' on their teachers/trainers and developed a form of “learned helplessness.” Today, with the abundance of convenient, even overloaded information,with mixed signals and noises, false and truth, learning knowledge is even not enough, capturing insight is the MUST. “Self-direct” learning is the ability to keep building the new and nonlinear skills and shaping multi-layer, recombinant capabilities for problem-solving and innovation. A big part of metacognition and more importantly, why metacognition is important, is to give the learner an opportunity to be aware of and understand their own strengths and weaknesses so that they can learn or adapt their skills and strategies. Today’s digital leaders and professionals with learning intelligence can critically examine their thinking and reflect thoroughly on what behaviors helped them learn, they will become better problem solvers, continuous lifelong learners and adapt more readily to whatever changes life/work throws at them.

Paradoxical Intelligence: Nowadays, we are shifting into a hyper-connected, and hyper-competitive digital paradigm, often there is not just one solution to a problem, but multiple ones. And often the answer for many questions is not just “right,” or “wrong,” but there are many shades in between. And more often than not, you have to see the full spectrum of colors and embrace the seemly paradoxical point of views in order to understand things holistically. At a silo, perhaps you only see or understand one side, believe it is right, and then assume the other side must be wrong. But if you stand at the right angle to see the both sides, you know even they are different, but both hold part of truth in it. It is the two sides of the same coin. Paradoxical Intelligence can help people keep the balanced point of view, without any kind of extreme thinking, and ultimately leading emotional brilliance. Digital leaders with high-paradoxical intelligence can understand problems holistically, thinking creatively and lead fairly and flexibly.  

Leadership is all about change via a clear vision and multidimensional intelligence. Great digital leaders often need unconventional intelligence to lead effortlessly in the nonlinear business dynamic. Great digital leadership has constructively disruptive characteristic, not for its own sake, but to spur creativity, practice real thinking, reveal authenticity, broaden vision, and amplify influence.


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