Fire!! I win. Battleship, Chess, Monopoly and a multitude of other games, are activities that require strategic planning and extensive thinking. Most of them are microcosms of the larger sphere in the business-working world and encompass numerous inherent organizational elements of trade, utilitarianism, supply and demand, opportunity cost and more. I often seek to tie and associate elements across different genres, fields and departments to see the undeniable relationship between them. This weeks material and lessons on strategy were insightful and posed a great many questions. For the purpose of keeping track of my reflections and insight in my journals as well as to maximize effectiveness, I strive to utilize Daudelin¿s and Bloom fundamental thought framework.
Problem articulation phase:-
The question I thought of primarily, was:-
What was I getting from the overall message this week its contribution to our team and self-development?
The problem analysis phase:-
Why did I feel like I was learning something? Peter¿s arm wrestling exercise on Monday was highly thought provoking. Before he gave the signal to begin, being the diplomatic person that I was, I told myself that "we will just do it 1-1." So after winning the first time, I signaled my partner in crime to overpower me. However, I was trying the whole time to examine the reason behind the question. I thought critically to myself, "Peter is never what he seems."
Phase three, hypothesis generation:-
Pictures are worth a thousand words. And I believe stories paint pictures that capture the essence of a thousand words or more. Therefore I shall swiftly iterate this analogy as a tentative hypothesis.
"Once there was a village chief who has a daughter and a bad gambling habit. He was struck with bad luck and kept losing while continuously borrowing money from the loan sharks. One day, they came to claim the village chief¿s debt. Due to his incapability to repay, they proclaimed that they would take his daughter. They had this discussion near a stream, so the loan shark said they would play a game. The game functioned where two pebbles would be taken from a stream and placed in an opaque bag. The daughter was to reach in and if she picked a black pebble, she had to go with the loan shark, if she picked a white pebble, she would be free. Now, as the loan shark bent down to pick the pebbles, the quick-eyed daughter saw him gather 2 black pebbles. Her fate seemed to be sealed. What did she do?
Well, she went with it, reached her hand in to grab a pebble. Before she could open her hand for them to see the color, she dropped it into the stream of countless pebbles. And she exclaimed ¿oh dear! Its okay, all we need to do is look inside the bag and we can ascertain the color of the pebble I took."
Edward de Bono, who holds the title of Da Vinci Professor of Thinking at University of Advancing Technology in Arizona, USA and a number of esteemed titles and awards, as well as the author of numerous books such as world renowned ¿Six Thinking Hats,¿ coined the term Lateral thinking. I have read his books a great many times and constantly hope to challenge the ways I think. Lateral thinking is the solving of issues and creating of opportunities through an indirect and creative approach, applying logic that is not immediately obvious involving ideas that may not be obtainable through standard processes of step-by-step logic. In a nutshell, it is the intentional distancing of an individual from standard perceptions of thinking "vertically" into thinking "horizontally."
All of us in this world are operating subconsciously within predefined codes and frameworks, as a result of biases, experiences and more. These elements materialize from existing constructs in all levels of the organization such as family, society and the world. Televisions, Internet, other forms of media and more instill these stereotypes of generic perceptions within us. Creating a sense of "blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn't even know he's locked up," says the late David Foster Wallace. The brilliant example was of Peter¿s arm wrestling exercise. The stereotypical views were to adhere to the 1-on-1 challenges and defeat your opponent. However, the lateral thinking side was to get as many points, which required much less effort and much more benefit, such as the case of Cirque with lower cost in their business models but highly lucrative advancements (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004).
Blue Ocean Strategy, Cirque's business model, Peter¿s wrestling exercise on Monday are all a byproduct of lateral thinking. The active challenging of predefined stereotypes and conventions, and the reconstructing of new ideas such as the merging of boundaries. They challenge the preexisting hardwires of thought processes and bring about needs we were not aware of, like computers, Internet, and even smartphones. It is about finding uncharted waters (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004) and resetting the rules in the games. Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way and is crucial in business and organizations.
With that, as HR Manager of my team, I hope to be able to suggest and advocate this manner of thinking within my team members as it is highly beneficial. I hope to also be aware and open to every idea posed by our team. For in creativity, there are no right and wrong ideas. Being a team of diverse educational backgrounds and culture, we can merge our thought mechanisms through effective thinking and create a strategy that challenges stereotypes in MikesBikes and perhaps create a Blue Ocean for ourselves.
Finally, food for thought,
"Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven." - Edward de Bono
As i said before in my previous journals, this management course continuously strives to convert the qualitative attribute of "thinking" and "learning," which are crucial in all aspects of an individuals life, such as business, organizational and more, into a quantifiable one.
Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004). Blue ocean strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(10), 75--84
Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matter. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92