Sunday, August 4, 2013

3 Simple Tips for the Ultimate Competitive Advantage of the Future

by Fionn Wright

Can you imagine a time when your doctor is a smartphone, your lawyer is an application and your personal assistant's name is Siri?

The world is changing quicker than our brains are able to comprehend. The progress of technology is exponential and our brains think more linearly, meaning that we find it difficult to understand what the future will be like, and how quickly it is coming.(1)

Humans have reached a new level in evolution thanks to technology. According to Moore's law, technology halves in size or doubles in power every two years. The world of manual labor is long gone, replaced by machines.

The world of the knowledge worker is rapidly following, being replaced by the computer. Now begins a new era, the era of the innovation worker.

As of yet computers do not have innovation capabilities, as they can only run on previously written programs. Humans have the ability to innovate, so this is where our natural advantage comes in.

Innovation requires creativity. Creativity is a skill. But because it is the skill of thinking of new ideas, it is not an easy skill to measure.

Everyone has the capability of being creative, and the possibility of improving their creative capacity. What has happened, however, is that the school system has educated people out of being creative.

An experiment was done in which participants had to build a tower made of spaghetti and tape, and then put a marshmallow on top.(2)

The worst scoring individuals were business school graduates as they have been taught that there is one correct answer and they must find that answer before they start.

Other than engineers, the best scoring students were from Kindergarten as they would try anything, take guesses and change their model according to the feedback; they weren't afraid of being wrong.

In the ever-changing real world, the idea that there is one correct answer is preposterous. Being creative, taking guesses and changing the model according to feedback requires creative flexibility.

So here are 3 simple steps to make you more creative:

1 - Accept Stupid Ideas (at least for a while!)

Let new ideas stew in your mind for a while without logically rejecting them; they will often link up with other ideas later on to create brilliant ideas.

2 - Clean Your Brain Cobwebs

Learn to use different parts of your brain to create new neurological pathways, do this by practicing new skills e.g. drawing, listening to different types of music, something that you don't do very often.

3 - Let Your Subconscious Mind Out

When you are asleep your mind flows naturally from one scene to another without being controlled by logical constraints; learn to use your subconscious mind to generate new ideas by allowing ideas to flow.

The human brain is highly plastic(3), meaning that you can change and grow new neurons according to how you use your brain. Each time you do something new or think in a different way, you create a new neurological pathway. What you think about and do everyday mould the person you become.

Take a lesson from the Kindergarten students; in real life there are no perfect answers. Some answers are better than others depending on your parameters, but the best ideas haven't even been thought of yet.

So what is the ultimate competitive advantage of the future? Create a masterpiece out of your mind, become an innovative genius so that you are the only one that thinks exactly like you.

Resources:
(1) http://www.ted.com/talks/ray_kurzweil_on_how_technology_will_transform_us.html
(2) http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower.html
(3) Recent study of the human brain has consistently highlighted its plasticity and capacity for adaptation (Maguire et al., 2000)

Fionn strives to make people smile, passionately chase dreams and live life to the fullest. As Fionn says, "Your future starts NOW! Feel good, smile now and make every second count!

Do you want to become TRULY competitive in the future? Tell me your dream now at fionn@revtc.com, or visit our website: http://www.revinspires.me

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