Sunday, August 15, 2021


Keep seeking multidisciplinary knowledge, and have the courage to challenge conventional wisdom in order to spur innovation and build professional competency.

High velocity and frequent disruptions are the new normal. We will be confronting a number of high-complex problems in the hyper-connected world with blurred boundaries, the solutions will require integration of different sets of knowledge and fluency across multiple disciplines. Thus, interdisciplinarity- the ability to work across knowledge domains, will emerge as a key skill for professionals today.

Interdisciplinarity expands the bigger thinking boxes to understand issues holistically: Problem-solving today has a very wide scope, intricate factors, more often than not, lack of knowledge and scarcity of insight leads to poor problem-solving for the long run. It is imperative to explore different views, interdisciplinary knowledge to gain a better understanding of certain topics or problems that may occur and develop a holistic approach to overcome the challenge,

Knowledge is not isolated, to gain an in-depth understanding of a problem, creating a new box across knowledge domains that could be used for thinking inside the new box, but out of the old box for expanding your thoughts about the problem, or examining a situation from multiple angles. Interdisciplinary science can be applied to problem-solving which involves applying both hard science (engineering, math, logic etc.) and soft science (psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc.) with the goal to solve it with fewer side effects.

Interdisciplinarity bridges the multitude of gaps: Nowadays information is only a click away, the knowledge cycle is shortened significantly. The border of knowledge domains is blurred and the scope of knowledge is expanded in the continual base. However, many managers or professionals today still apply silo mindsets to new ways of organizing, creating a multitude of gaps (cognitive gaps, motivational gaps, resource gaps, etc,) blocking the way of problem-solving. Critical thinking, interdisciplinary knowledge and even transdisciplinary insight would help us both gain insight of varying circumstances, identify gaps and bridge differences.

In reality, either cognitively or psychologically, people all have anxiety or biases, awareness of them is important, many of such biases are apparent at the same time, sometimes complementing each other and other times contradicting each other. It requires fundamentally different mindsets, interdisciplinary knowledge and fresh insight to understand each other empathetically, bridge perceptive reality, and handle complex issues thoughtfully.

Interdisciplinarity helps to discover patterns and put the misplaced puzzle pieces in the right place until the premium solutions emerge: For those who are trying to solve problems, they may find the problems evolving as they try different solutions. Many complex problems are interdependent, to deal with it effectively, silo and linear thinking should be replaced by multidimensional thought processes, and interdisciplinary understanding. Interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding is critical to discover patterns and rearrange the puzzle pieces for coming up with premium solutions.

Individually, the individuals that learn both broadly and deeply, shift gears in their day to day work, can often produce more ideas and have more unusual connectivities to spark great ideas. Collectively, people with interdisciplinary expertise or across-industrial experience can stimulate creative energy, deepen their understanding of the issues, enhance knowledge-transferring innovation, and co-solving many complex problems effortlessly.

Abundant knowledge, along with the unprecedented convenience brought by technology opens a new chapter of human progress. Today's business leaders and professionals must have a humble attitude to admit known unknown and unknown unknown, keep seeking multidisciplinary knowledge, and have the courage to challenge conventional wisdom in order to spur innovation and build professional competency.


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