Paradoxos 2013 is a two-day event meant to showcase the best of the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and creative culture. Presentations from business and creative thought leaders, investor pitches from entrepreneurs and a block party was held June 6-7 at The Carolina Theatre, CCB Plaza and across Durham.
How often do we really think? Thinking really is diametrically opposed to efficient action. If we thought about every step that we took, when we took a shower we would never get to work on time. But thinking is essential for problem solving.
Does any body know who was voted the most important person of the 20th Century? Who was it? Einstein!
Einstein spent his entire life working on a few very important problems, the solutions to which forever changed the way we view the universe and the field of science. Einstein really enabled GPS systems that we use every day.
Here are some quotes from Einstein about great spirits, about making mistakes, about insanity. Einstein believed that imagination is much more important then intelligence, especially logic, for solving problems.
Let’s look at some definitions. Decision making, basically, you have options and you have to pick the best option. In problem solving you want to get from A to B and you don’t have any options, you don’t know how to get there. So problems solving is different. Decision making and problem solving are quite different.
Now, trouble shooting is somewhere in the middle. You have a system; it could be computer software, a production process; it’s not working properly and you have to fix it.
An innovation is bringing something totally new into the world.
A BIP – a Big Important Problem. You want to work on BIPS.
Innovation advances civilization. Innovation drives the rate of growth of the US economy and every other economy around the world. Innovation creates technologies that eliminate jobs also. You’ve seen what has happened in manufacturing. Many, many jobs have been eliminated. Robotics and automation will continue to eliminate more manufacturing jobs, not just in the US but in China and everywhere else. But, this is only the beginning.
Everybody has seen the IPhone. You’ve seen Siri. Siri is artificial intelligence. This is going to get much more improved. You are going to have people calling you up trying to sell you something, that are not real people. You are going to have whole companies with sales forces, but no people. These jobs will be eliminated. Product support will be eliminated. Many many jobs will be gone. The future sales professional might look quite different.
Vehicles, buses, taxi cabs, trucks and trains won’t be needing drivers. Those jobs will be gone. Even the domestic helper jobs will eventually disappear.
But problem solvers will always have work. If you can develop superior problem solving skills, you can create great advances including advancing your own career.
A lot of my technique is how to solve problems in organizations, and how to teach young professionals how to do it when they first come on the job, to advance their careers, to advance your company or organization or your business. Find a BIP, learn how to solve it and then solve it to improve the situation.
What does all this have to do with dragonflies? Well basically I’m a problem solver and the first thing I do when I solve a problem is I look at it from different vantage points and different directions. And one day I’m standing there and I see this dragonfly just standing in space hovering. Dragonflies have been on the planet since before the dinosaurs. They are the very best flyers on the planet earth and they also are incredible observers.
I watched this dragonfly. The dragonfly moved over there, and darted over there, and then swooped down and came back up. I said to myself this dragonfly is looking at the terrain from different vantage points. So what I do is Dragonfly Thinking.
My whole approach to solving problems involves something that is used by the dragonfly, plus other techniques, a methodical approach and harnessing the brain in a particular way. I can’t explain all this in 5 minutes, but I can leave you with some thoughts.
It is okay to become stuck when your solving a problem. It is extremely important to ask questions. It is essential to get ideas and to assemble ideas. Ideas are the fuel that make the impossible, possible. And problem solving is experiential like riding a bike. You have to do it to become good at it.
Let me leave you with these thoughts: Remember to think and remember the dragonfly.
Contact Dr. Bruce Oberhardt for speaking engagements and workshops or order the book today.