Expanding your skill range might be essential.

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Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

Over the last ten years, open innovation has become a recurring issue in the management of large companies. More organizations have dreamed of extensive collaboration across their various departments and with external partners as their innovation ideal.

But fewer people ask about which type of employees can best contribute to these new types of organizations. According to David Epstein in Range, the number one value of these employees is the broad and varied range of their skills.

Creative collaborators are less and fewer lifetime specialists in one area of expertise, and more and more generalists who often change fields and can think about cross-cutting issues. …


High concentration starts with zen-inspired design

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Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash

Have you ever dreamed of working on a project vital to you but never had the time?

Now it’s time to get started, but not just in any way.

Your work habits are usually undermined by distractions and interruptions that prevent you from focusing deeply on an object. So to really get the most out of your skills.

According to Cal Newport in Deep Work, if you seek to create a differentiating skill, you need to boost your ability to get into intense concentration.

Unfortunately, the motivation to work intensely is limited and unnatural. …


Learning to guide your customers to their optimal decisions

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Photo by Victor Lam on Unsplash

Under normal market conditions, consumers make choices that can often be against their best interests.

Choosing their parents’ insurance rather than the best-suited one, consuming their savings now rather than invest later, or not bothering to suspend a subscription to a magazine they don’t read anymore, are behaviors that make them deviate from good decisions.

Far from taking advantage of this situation, many marketers have cleared the way by which they arrive at good choices. They have tried to influence them to make optimal choices by little tricks, and thus eventually to buy their product.

According to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in Nudge, these marketers have understood their role as architects of consumer choice, structuring their journey to benefit from their freedom of choice. …


How you are continuously making up your own life

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Have you ever noticed how inconsistent your mental objects are?

If not, I advise you to try this experiment: imagine in your head a cube and try to measure the size of its different sides.

You will see how quickly you will come to contradictory conclusions. As if every time you rotated your inner image you created another cube instead.

Actually, your mental objects don’t have constant consistency. They represent quite inaccurately the coherence of “real” objects.

Similarly, according to Nick Chater in The Mind Is Flat, all areas of your mind- emotions, memory, perception, and consciousness, are the result of a permanent re-creation of your brain. …


Your customers know intuitively what’s right and wrong for them

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Photo by Naveen Kumar on Unsplash

Contrary to common beliefs, the world of brands is not entirely consensual and apolitical.

Some brands like Patagonia’s, Nike, or Dr.Bronner have dared to take political and moral stances to get the right consumers on their sides. Although this strategy could have backfired on their reputation, they had specific knowledge of how their specific customers forge their moral judgment. So they knew how to handle “right” and “wrong” notions with their audience.

According to Jonathan Haidt in The Righteous Mind, it’s not always so simple. …


Don’t mistake blank beliefs for living values.

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Photo: Michele Van Haegenberg

When Toussaint Louverture, a former slave of Santo Domingo (the island of Haiti), became a war commander and decided to conquer the island, he wanted to give it back to the enslaved black population. But many obstacles stood in his way.

The black population wanted to take revenge by getting rid of the cotton farmers, and not accustomed to freedom lacked much cohesion.

Faced with these uncertainties, Louverture decided to set clear rules for his army. Not only in words, but also by real action. To show strong ethics, he left the farmlands to colonists in return for their cooperation. To save cohesion, he prevented himself and his soldiers to cheat on one another wife. …


Sometimes creativity thrive from contrary ways

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Photo by Katarzyna Urbanek on Unsplash

Like many, I have often promoted a fairly consensual image of creative people: a person who loves ideas, who is visionary, and who seeks to make his ideas come true.

That’s maybe because I have always considered myself as an idealist who opens his mind and looks for new insights in the intersections.

Yet, creativity can emerge from more diverse and even contradictory states of mind. According to Gary Klein in Seeing What Others Don’t, more introverted, skeptical, or highly critical personalities can in some cases be very creative.

Attitudes as different as imaginative, curious and concrete, skeptical and suspicious minds, or even non-apparent creative spirits, are also capable of inventing new ideas. …


And three tactics to bypass these suspicions in the workplace.

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Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

When the CIA tried to reduce analytical errors in its intelligence department in the 1990s, it strengthened its verification and justification processes.

Employees were forced to rigorously document and identify the probabilities of their assumptions. They became used to trusting the process more than their employees’ ideas. As a result, the new policy prevented important warnings from being passed on the authority, such as the attacks of September 2001.

According to Gary Klein in Seeing What Others Don’t, there are forces in organizations that always seek to suspect and reject new ideas brought in by junior employees.

Even though they aim to filter the flow of ideas, they also prevent the consideration of information essential for the company to evolve and innovate. …


4 ways I’m building differentiating skills in my workday

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Photo by Steven Houston on Unsplash

When I’ve started my new job in full remote, I was worried that it didn’t stimulate my mind enough by giving me mindless tasks.

Fortunately, I found my employer to be a supporter of demanding and elaborate work. He understood my need to work long hours without being interrupted by superficial tasks. In this case, to work on the creation of engaging and interactive marketing content.

He had even his opinion about it : “During my days, I always try to manage my time to make the most of my work potential. …


Employees are more creative when left to their intuitive cognition.

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Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

Have you ever attended an improv show? In this kind of scene, the actors are forced to invent a character on the spot, without even having a second to predict what will happen next. It’s as if their decisions and actions come together without the need for previous reflections.

Well, according to Malcolm Gladwell in Blink, these instantaneous cognitive acts are not due to mysterious intuitive abilities but to simple rules that every actor must follow. Refraining from blocking their partner’s suggestions, actors seek to always reinforce the narratives at play on the stage. …

About

Jean-marc Buchert

Changing your mind. Get a checklist to flex your thinking and find genius ideas: https://thinkingups.com/subscribe/

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