Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Be Alert of the Three Opposites of “Digital Mentality”

 Digital mentalities  in a collective setting can sustain a balance of creativity and process; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art, intuition and logic; forward-thinking and lesson learned. 

Many organizations are doing digital - applying some fancy gadgets or taking a few business initiatives. But very few are taking a holistic approach to go digital and be digital. The fundamental difference is the digital mind shift. One of the most important perspectives of Change Management is to understand the psychology behind change and how to keep digital fit from the mindset level. This is related to a function of things such as basic mental framework, cognitive intelligence or emotional brilliance. Be alert of the following three opposites of “digital mentality.”

The opposite of critical thinking: Critical thinking is about applying the objective analysis to either making sound judgments or effective decisions. It’s also called structured thinking which implies to frame and solve problems in a structural way. Thus, the opposite of critical thinking includes reflexive thinking, autonomic response, unstructured thinking or simply mindlessness. Critical Thinking means to dispassionately analyze and make the logical reasoning via both induction and deduction, analysis and synthesis. Therefore, the opposite of critical thinking is emotional thinking. Although they can overlap, when you let emotions such as preferences, like, etc, unduly influence the decision-making, and then your emotions perhaps supersede critical thinking. The real critical thinking involves multiple thought processes even having creativity embedded in it. That’s why it can help to dig into the root cause of the problem from unconventional lens and solve it creatively. The opposite of critical thinking could also mean superficiality which means to focus on just symptoms, not root causes; stick to conventional understanding, or close-mindedness. In fact, non-critical thinking is perhaps one of the the biggest root causes of many types of bias. For example, unconscious bias happens when you only “judge a book by its cover” without thinking deeper. “Conformation bias” is a critical impediments to critical thinking. It's the bias that makes us look for people "like us." Without critical thinking, there is no clarity, accuracy, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, or true fairness.

The opposite of strategic thinking: Strategic Thinking is simply about “keeping the end in mind.” It’s the ability to think on a temporal plane; where you are and where you want to be. Therefore, the opposite of strategic thinking is lack of direction, fear of the unknown, status quo, or poor judgment. Strategic thinking is analytical, decision-oriented, and directional; to ponder where you are, where you want to go, link the future with the past and be opportunistic. Thus, the opposite of strategic thinking is ad hoc, unplanned or reactionary, etc. Strategic thinking is simply openness to finding connections between people, ideas, things, etc. While the opposite of strategic thinking is close mindedness, isolation, or lack of insight. Strategic thinking digs through by exploring the “WHY” factor; lack of strategic thinking often means jumping into “how” without clarifying “why” and “what.” Strategic thinking deals with "discovering novel ideas or rewriting the rules of the competitive game." So, lack of strategic thinking means just following the rules even though they are perhaps outdated long time ago or simply keep doing things repetitively without making essential progress.

The opposite of creativity: Conventional thinking often refers to “in-the-box” thinking, which is opposite to the “out-of-the-box” creative thinking. Creative thinking is often fresh, unique and original, and it’s a type of high level thinking, So the opposites of creativity include the outdated concepts, traditions, mediocrity, old habits, dogmatism, social conformity, etc. Creative thinking can be stimulated by looking at things from different angles or connecting unusual dots across domains. Thus, the opposite of creativity means of stereotypical thinking or preconceived ideas about how things should happen, of conventional wisdom which often has a negative connotation about sticking to the old ways of doing things or confines of old traditions. To stimulate creativity, a certain mental, psychological, and conditional chemistry is needed to break-away from the thoughts that others have thought about and explore the art of new possibilities.

Be alert of the opposites of digital mentalities. Transformation requires mind shift. Digital mentalities in a collective setting can sustain a balance of creativity and process; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art, intuition and logic; forward-thinking and lesson learned. It requires going a step or a few steps further and involves internalization of dynamic thinking and digital conceptual model so that the newly required behaviors don't require the same kind of effort and vigilance, and progressive change can happen seamlessly.


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