Reading Project 2016 – Winning the Brain Game #10

I’m steering away from fiction for this month’s reading challenge. I heard the author being interviewed on Radio National one day and immediately put an order in at my local library to purchase it for their lending collection. And since I recommended the title I got to borrow it first. Bonus! It didn’t take that long and within a month (or was it only a few weeks) I was savouring its contents. Actually, I was already thinking about what the author was trying to convey when I heard him on the radio. Really fascinating. Believe you me, I came up with some brilliant ideas on how a lot of things could be improved by using some of the thought processes suggested in the book.

So, this book is about changing the way we think. According to May, there are seven flaws in our way of thinking:

  1. Leaping (jumping to solutions before properly framing the solution) – FIX: Framestorming
  2. Fixation (deeply grooved mindsets that make it hard to think different) – FIX: Inversion
  3. Overthinking (creating problems that weren’t there to begin with) – FIX: Protesting
  4. Satisficing (holding on to mediocre solutions) – FIX: Synthesizing
  5. Downgrading (backing off a goal to declare victory) – FIX: Jumpstarting
  6. Not invented here (dismissing the others’ ideas and reinventing the wheel) – FIX: Proudly-Found-Elsewhere
  7. Self Censoring (killing our own ideas before they are born to avoid rejection) – FIX: Self-distancing

At the time of hearing him on the radio and reading this book, I was trying to solve some behavioural issues that I was experiencing with my seven year old son. He would cry (not sad or hurt cry) on just about anything that he did not like. It was becoming a bad habit. We tried threats of taking away things he likes (ie. tv/ipad/games) and privileges but to no avail. So I thought about it and using the leaping thinking flaw (number 1 above) I framestormed the issue:

  • Why (or why not)?
  • What if?
  • How (might we)?

And would you believe, by doing these exercises I came up with a few creative ideas on how to make him stop crying for minor things.

This is definitely a must to read for everyone on an individual level but most importantly these concepts are best applied in a work environment team setting. I am sure there are a lot of organisations out there that would benefit from innovative and creative thinking.


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