“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Forget for a moment what you think and focus for a bit on how you think. The way you think about things shapes the way you act on those things.
Stinkin Thinkin – Thinking that is corrupted by untruth or that produces counterproductive outcomes. Alcoholics Anonymous has talked about this for years. It involves convincing yourself A will produce B when it has consistently produced C! Einstein said the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results!” Stinking Thinking in business includes, expecting a poor performer to get better with no intervention, seeing your company as better than it really is, and committing to a way of behaving that actually hurts your chances for success.
Stagnant Thinking – Thinking that is static, blind to new information, and that resists creativity and innovation. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. It takes work to pull yourself out. Many people and companies are on thinking autopilot! Examples of stagnant thinking include, assuming the way you did things in the past will get you into the future, not believing you can ever be bested, and getting stuck in redundant processes and not thinking your way out of them.
Strategic Thinking – Thinking that produces a plan based on a purpose. Strategic thinking overcomes barriers, forges new roads, and creates new worlds of opportunity! It is focused and creative thinking about things that make you better. Strategic thinking breeds success! Companies and people that think strategically are perpetually unsatisfied with roadblocks and think to overcome them, intrigued by how to do things better and faster, and are continual improvers.
Action: Listen for a week and make a mark beside each kind of thinking you hear at your company. If it is not heavily strategic, let’s change that!