This brilliant short film The Adaptable Mind got me thinking. It explores the skills we need to succeed today.
1. Curiosity___ is the difference between skimming the surface of those links and truly engaging.
Ask questions that create unexpected pathways…
I guess this starts with asking questions. Questions that get deeper than the surface.
Patterns start to emerge, developing that pattern recognition way of thinking. The way of looking at the world that isn’t focused on specific fields or job silos. The correlations are all there too be seen an observed, like Bernard Schlain, Tiffany’s father who wrote about the ways every scientific discovery has been at the same time as a major art movement. A change in consciousness that was expressed through different forms.
One way I’ve discovered about spotting patterns is to talk about them, to friends, family, strangers anyone that would listen really. There is something about speaking that clarifies the mind!
It’s like giving advice and realising that was great advice why dont I take it? as Robert Rodriguez describes.
end it. Related to film- connected.
2. Creativity___ is how you bring your own unique perspective to connect ideas in new ways that’s gonna differentiate you.
Our perspective adds to those connections. A friend of mine has great advice for writing. Write why it is interesting for you and explain those experiences you’ve had that make that topic or thing have meaning. That’s what people connect to when they read.
Scientist Humberto Maturana also points to this: “Everything said has been said by somebody“
3. Initiative___ without taking it your ideas will float into a sea of billions of thoughts.
Initiative needs intuition, judgement and knowing when to reach out to people.
Again this is about taking the time to listen to your gut. You already know the answer if you only take the time to look.
Multi disciplinary thinking and multi disciplinary asking.
Across all ages, gender and disciplines.
To this we need to learn to make ideas accessible. Take something complex and make it simple.
By doing this we break down fear, break down the barriers of people like e dont do X.
One way to encourage empathy is through storytelling. Using it to communicate ideas. I remember the African fables my mum would tell us as kids. I couldnt repeat the story word for word but I could explain the message.
“Walter Benjamin(July 15, 1892–September 26, 1940) explores the role of boredom in the context of his larger meditation on the role of storytelling in setting wisdom apart from information. Arguing that the rise of information has precipitated the decline of storytelling” Brainpickings
Breaking it down allows people to add their own to, people can add their own ideas…. they can collaborate.
4. Collaboration__ is about understanding what you know and don’t know.
I believe we live in a collaborative economy. We have seen that capitalism and amplifying the self above all else doesn’t work.
Schools really need to start giving us the tools to live in this environment. It’s no longer about job silo’s and becoming an expert in one thing.
It’s about learning a creative way of thinking and being that will allow you to move in and out of fields and connect with people in disparate fields seamlessly.
5. Empathy___ is central to collaboration. Having an open mind, heart and will.
Empathy takes practice. Look at the people around you and take time to know their names and story. Look at the world from their perspective.
Think of everyone as a child, you wouldnt get angry at a 5 year old because they were being mean. Maybe they had a bad day, maybe they are hungry… why don’t we start thinking about adults the same way.
Connecting broadly is meaningless unless we connect deeply.
I recently saw an experiment in a BBC documentary “Is Britain Racist”. The scientists tested the presenters reaction to photographs of black people. Her instinct was fear.
Then they had her imagine herself as a black woman, even got her stroking an imaginary black hand.
They redid the test and her fear had gone.
She was no longer afraid because she’d put herself in a black womans place. She’d practiced empathy.
All these skills point towards being human…
…….We are going back to a deeper understanding of this. Returning to what is at the core of most old cultures. Connecting more and more to people, society and nature, after centuries of science, the individual and rational thought.
Today the skills we need most boil down to being human.
_____ The good news is we are approaching the human economy.
What will that bring? 🙂