What have I Learned?
I have learned how to use my brain better, to organize my thinking process in a way to facilitate my perceptions, creativity and innovative thinking methods in a more effective manner. I learned many ideas and findings on how human brain function. For example, according to Tony Buzan, the brain thinks in two ways: association or explosion method. I learned that to change a person, or a situation, it is often the perceptions of people that should be changed. Besides, I also started to understand what I think may not be accurate, as the way I perceive the world may not be the reality in the outer world. This is the principle of ‘the map is not the territory”. I also learned that a person mindsets, paradigms and perceptions can affect his behaviors, and ultimately his luck or his destiny. It is not necessary the conditions that a person faces that determine his destiny, but rather his decision on how to interpret and tackle the situation that determine his destiny. In another saying, I also learned that where you sit will affect the way you see the world. This is causing people from different background, position or culture to interpret things differently. Besides, I also learned how to employ sense-making process to enhance my creativity. There are many tools to enhance the creativity and innovation process. For example, the mental mind map designed and popularized by Tony Buzan can help organize one mind as well as to enhance creativity process. There are also many way of thinking, and each method has the relative strengths in problem solving and creativity process. For example, the different thinking approaches include: versatile thinking, generative thinking, radiant thinking, and divergent thinking. Not only that, there are also certain elements that can induce creativity in a person, for example: ability to see thing differently (i.e., interpreting thing from another perspective), ability to make association between ideas (i.e., similar to the concept in sense making), existence of creative tension, and a combination of the above. Interestingly, I also learned that difficult situations or problems can force someone to think harder, thereby possibly making him a more creative person. Besides, I also learned several frameworks or models that can be used to solve problem in organizational and even daily issues. For example, some of these include: CATWOE framework, Is – Is Not Framework, Kipling Method (i.e., the 5W and 1H framework), Talk Streaming method and the GROW approach is solving problems. Another interesting idea I had learned is the way to persuade others in a group. Some important principles to adhere to for this include: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. I also learned that creativity and innovation is the key to business performance, growth and profitability in the near future, as it is creativity and innovation that can help to solve problems of people and to stand out from the competitive business landscape. Thus, to enhance creative or innovative culture is managerial imperative in the new economy today.
What have I Changed?
I have been experiencing many changes since the first day taking up the course. Most of the changes happen in my thinking process and how I became aware of, manage, observe and control my thinking process. For example, it is very rare, if never that I will observe my own thinking, to comprehend what I am thinking at a particular time, and why am I thinking about that at that time. After learning the various theory on how human brain functions, I started to observe my brain, and to see how it is functioning. I notice that I can divert the process, or interrupt and influence the way I think by an understanding on how my brain function. Not only that, I also found out that I can train my mind to think in a certain way, for example, to think positively, by putting motivational quotes around my study table. The biggest changes I encounter is perhaps I now building up the habit to think whenever I face a certain problem, to try to judge that problem from various perceptions before I jump to a fast conclusion based on heuristic decision making approach.
Apart from that, I have constant changes on perceptions on how my brain functions, and to a large degree, being confused by the many ideas as I struggling to make sense on all of the ideas, to put them into the big picture, to facilitate my perception, or philosophy towards the world and myself. I found that I urgently need a set of personal philosophy to deal with the daily issues and the world, or else I may be stuck in confusion and never ending thinking process, causing me to take no action. But to build up personal philosophy may require me to think really a lot of new things, to get familiar with the model, framework, and ideas of other great thinkers or philosophers.
I have also started to use mind map to organize my thought and to solve problems. That is never an easy exercise, and that require me to think hard and to think deep. However, once a mind map for a particular problem is completed, I able to gain great and comprehensive insights to an issues or the situations.
Fortunately, now I have no issue in finding ways to solve problems, as I started to utilize some of the framework to outline, clarify the problems and to formulate solutions for that problems. This essentially make me more effective, as I started to involve more in analyzing, collecting the information related to a problem, rather than to get stunned by problems that I have no idea on where to start to solve it.
Implications to my Personal Approach to Creativity and Innovation
I put up a lot of stick-in notes, one each with a model or framework learned from the course, and some others with important phrases that can change my perception or thinking process around my study table. This had enhanced my ability to remember these models, to apply them, and gradually to use these models, ideas or framework on a habitual basis. I believe this will make me an intelligence and highly effective people in the long run.
I also started to use more systematic, effective, and theoretically sound framework and models in solving issues or to be creative in dealing with a task. This enables me to avoid getting stuck in confusion, or suffer from situational influence or stimuli in choosing the way to solve a problem. Rather, I can rely to more systematic and effective way to solve issues, to be creative via models that enable me to think more critically and comprehensively.
I also had been gradually finding myself attracted to the materials on learning about the brain, philosophy and intelligence. There are many unanswered questions after learning the materials, and I have too many doubts to be clarified. Thus, I started to pay more attention to the knowledge in these areas. I believe before I able to learn new things, I should learn how to learn in the first place. Similarly, before I learn to think in an intelligent and empowering manner, I should learn how to think in an effective manner first.
I started to engage in deep thinking process, to see things differently and from multiple dimensions before I accept a solution as that final solution to a problem. I found myself to become more critical in judging or interpreting an events or issues. This in turn cause me longer time in coming out with a decision, to reach a conclusion. The advantages of such impacts to me is that I can be more effective, as I tended to choose better solutions, choices and decisions in facing an issues.
I also tended to question my thinking process and my mind, as now I understand that my mind may not think accurately or perceive the world as if the reality in the territory. I do not hold my perceptions or conviction long, as long as I found new evidences that are reliable or dependable for me to rethink if my previous understanding on an event or the world is correct. I become less stubborn, but sometimes, can act differently (i.e., seemingly, to act as two different people) as my stand on an issue changes or altered.
Last but not least, I also become more creative, as now I understand the ways to be more creative, and to utilize different methods to help me to become more creative. Currently, it is not about how to be creative that is the key problem facing me, but rather on how I choose the best way, to internalize the various approaches in creativity and innovation management that can enhance my skills, experiences and philosophy in this context.