‘There are thoughts’ – we all have them and they are what truly discern ourselves from each other, even more so than our physical being. They are the catalyst of change and at it’s most basic level, the business of marketing seeks to affect – our thoughts, and in so doing change our behaviour to elicit the desired result.
Think about it. Technology has given us tools to connect, but it’s our humanity that has always connected us. But society is changing, fostering a far more complex, informed and demanding consumer. Ironically though, empowered by choice and the economies afforded by technology, in many ways they’re actually disconnecting, from force fed content, from advertisers, politicians and communities.
Increasingly it’s the ability to think in multiple dimensions that is the preeminent quality required of those charged with charting the course.
Until I recently reflected on my work to date, I wasn’t aware there was a name for the way I think, but apparently when it comes to ‘thinking’, my natural inclination in thinking has six distinct but I would say overlapping, categories:
Conceptual Thinking – Identifying connections or patterns between issues that are seemingly unrelated. It improves upon existing processes and procedures by challenging them, using common factors or changing successful approaches in the past to meet unique needs. Conceptual thinking focuses on discovering new relationships while Analytical Thinking focuses on already known relationships.
Critical Thinking – The intellectually disciplined process of skillfully and objectively conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating a situation or information gathered from as multiple sources, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, in order to evaluate them and finally come up with inferences.
This method is used to come up with the most justified conclusion possible for holding opinions, beliefs and making sense of something. It’s an ongoing process, so new information could always change ones mind.
Analytical Thinking – A method of breaking down complex information and comprehensive data to think conceptually, imaginatively, systematically, and opportunistically with regard to the attainment of success in the future. Unlike Critical thinking, it uses a linear step by step process and it’s main purpose involves coming to logical conclusions.
Creative Thinking – AKA Innovative Thinking, is the process we use to generate new ideas or new ways of approaching things to create possibilities and opportunities. I look at it as a way of stimulating curiosity and promoting divergence.
Lateral Thinking – A way of looking at challenges from a different angle, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious or involving ideas that are not decided by common step-by-step methods. It focuses on what could be, rather than just what is possible in order to generate many creative solutions.
Implementation Thinking which frankly I find odd has to be categorised because isn’t that what anyone who has a ‘job’ or ‘task’ to do, has to use? This is the ability to organize ideas and plans in a way that they will be effectively carried out.
For me this is a natural cognitive process. I guess the benefit of longevity (aside from comfortable shoes), is that our education, experience and thoughts consolidate, to pull together seamlessly, without us even really noticing when we’re deploying the benefits of wisdom.