Cognitive Shift in Thinking: 4 Tips to get the Ideas Rolling

thinking

In our previous post we introduced you to our concept of The 3rd Core: Data Technology is Essential Element to Business. In this post we will continue our previous discussion.

New technology will continue to offer new ways to increase productivity, quality and integration. Building it Better, Faster, Cheaper will still be important areas of focus. Don’t get mired down in this too much.

When you hear of something cool but cannot see how it will help how you operate today, stop.

Here are four tips to help you investigate the impact of technology:

1. Reframe The Situation

Rethink how you are framing the challenge. Taxi companies were aware of cell phones and the internet when Travis and Garrett were on the street corner whining about hailing a cab in Paris.

The cab services just could not “justify” the investment over their current business model. They were not framing the challenge or situation effectively.

2. Re-Imagine No Obstacles

When looking at how we do things, we are inherently biased to the limitations of our current environment. But we are only limited by our imagination.

Ask, “what if that problem was not an issue? Where could I apply this idea?”

Consider that 3D printing in plastic is far more expensive in production than traditional injection processes, and quality is not as precise. Is it a technology premature for the market? Maybe, maybe not.

The folks behind Made In Space had a really cool take on 3D printing. The International Space Station is comprised of thousands of plastic parts. Over time, they break, possibly resulting in life threatening situations. The limited space means few spare parts. Their supply chain is literally a rocket ship. Expensive.

What if rather than shipping spares, they merely printed them as needed with a self-contained plastic based 3d printer? Use your imagination to rethink the challenge.

3. Iterate

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

Famously, Thomas Edison claims to have successfully failed 10,000 times to finally invent the light bulb. His belief that a solution existed drove him to success.

Yet, it was the iteration of design that allowed him to succeed. He changed the design and approach to the bulb each time. True, he had the drive, but also the creativity to iterate and evolve as he failed.

You cannot succeed unless you fail. Failure allows us to learn. New ways of doing things rarely comes without failure. So keep iterating until you find the success. Then continue to find even better ways.

4. Time To Think

“I see so many opportunities to pursue, but I have so much to get done.”

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Xerox famously invented the WYSWIG at PARC only to have Apple implement the same idea in the Macintosh. IBM wrote the DOS operating system that Bill Gates bought to launch Microsoft.

The inventors behind the ideas or the business leaders in charge? Whomever is to “blame” for these misguided decisions, I think they were probably victim to the whirlwind of their job.

They didn’t allow themselves time to reflect and reframe their business. They were given the creative time to develop the next great idea?


There is no doubt to me, and I hope now to you, that technology has fundamentally changed every business and organization. I.T. can no longer be relegated to a department like HR or Accounting.

It is core and essential to how we operate. It is a base element like energy and mass for mass productivity. That said, how you evolve with this new 3rd Core Element is defining your future and the future of your business and its employees.

If you missed Part 1 of this discussion, catch up here.

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