To successfully launch a Quest in the chaotic landscape we’re currently operating within, we need flexible mindsets and an agile framework.
Since the industrial revolution, industry has become more and more reliant on left-brain thinking. In fact, creativity is often subtly discouraged since success is typically measured by left-brain achievements.
We need commitment and creativity.
We need confident leadership.
We need right brain thinking.
Are you too dependent on your left brain, looking at obstacles only through the lens of logical and analytical thinking? Is your right brain parked in storage?
It’s time to awaken the right brain. Thankfully, it is possible.
You can reinvigorate and re-build muscle in the right side of our brain. Here’s how:
Ask better questions.
Great questions can unlock new ways of solving problems and activating new thinking.
- What if? What if I’ve got this wrong? What if there is another side to this issue? What if we did it this way?
- Why not? Why not try a different approach?
- Is this the best I can do? Often we know there is something more.
- Why didn’t I think of that? Seriously. When you see something you haven’t seen before, it often feels obvious!
PRO TIP: It’s worth taking some time to ask why you didn’t think of it first. Not to beat yourself up over it, but to uncover and examine the barriers or beliefs that may have kept you from seeing what others see.
Explore different domains.
Our left brains like to stick to the domain we excel in. That’s why we tend to look to our competitors in the same domain and copy what they are doing. It’s also why so many companies look alike in their categories.
But the truth is, creativity and strong right brain thinking is simply making connections across domains. Simple as that.
AN ADAPTABLE MINDSET
You would be amazed by the realization that what looks like a breakthrough is simply adopting a best-in-class idea from a different industry.
For example, Chick-fil-A is world class at their drive-through service. Ask “why is that?” What must be true about their business model? Their employee reward system? Look for what you can reapply to your domain.
What does an Indy Pit Crew know about speed and coordinated movements that let them change four tires and refuel in under two seconds? What must be true about their methods, mindset and motivation?
In the book The Biggest Bluff, the author, a journalist and psychologist, Maria Konnikova, took on the challenge of winning the World Series of Poker in one year — even though she had never played the game in her life. She didn’t even know how many cards were in a deck.
THE SKILL OF OBSERVATION
Konnikova convinced one of the best players on the circuit, the legendary Erik Seidel to teach and mentor her. When she asked Erik the secret to winning at poker, she expected to hear about strategy or data science/mathematics. Instead he said two words: “Pay attention.”
Poker is part skill and part luck because there is a built-in uncertainty. You're playing a high-stakes game without perfect information. It’s a game that is being dominated today by left-brain thinkers. However, Erik plays it differently and excels.
Paying attention means being in the moment and mastering observation, which is a super-power of the right brain.
To pay attention and be in the moment, I try to observe one thing in my daily routine that I hadn’t noticed before. I do this every single day. It is a powerful and simple exercise to strengthen your powers of observation and strengthen your right brain muscle.
The most exciting way to awaken our creative side? When we take on a Quest that puts us in unknown territory, it awakens our right-brained thinking back into action.
There’s no question that we live in a time where successful leaders must utilize right-brain thinking skills. Tides have shifted and it is time to re-ignite that youthful curiosity and courage to discover, explore, and lead toward something new.
If you want to learn more about the methods discussed here, or if you’re ready to awaken your right brain with a Quest of your own, start by downloading my free asset, 5 Big Questions.
I’ve spent more than three decades leading teams to do the impossible, and it all begins with understanding the core problem in every endeavor. These questions will ignite your curiosity and creativity and help you and your team uncover new, standout solutions.