As the New Year approaches, the mental list of New Year’s resolutions starts to form; usually a lengthy list with the aim of dispelling annoying personal habits, or reaching professional goals – and always with a few of the usual suspects making a repeat performance from the year before.
Many New Year’s resolutions emanate from the downfalls, disasters and misjudgements of the previous year, as a last-ditch attempt to avoid repetition in the New Year. We think that by avoiding the same failures, we might somehow pave a path to a more positive outcome at the end of the next year.
CEO of ThinkBuzan and co-author of Mind Maps for Business, Chris Griffiths, argues that this reactive mode of thinking simply doesn’t cut it in the modern world. “What worked in the past no longer fits the bill so we’re being forced to ‘up our game’”.
Rather than simply avoiding making the same mistakes again, we need to be more creative and more innovative. We need to look forwards, for new opportunities and anticipating future bumps in the road. In other words, we need to be proactive.
In his brand new book: GRASP The Solution, CEO of ThinkBuzan Chris Griffiths urges us to adopt a more decisive, proactive and strategic method of thinking. “There’s nothing more important in your life than your thinking”, says Chris.
So whether you’re looking to embark on a new adventure, increase your client base or just reorganise your workload, the greatest resolution you can make this New Year is ‘to think about your thinking’.
GRASP The Solution (GTS) helps you to apply a strategy to your thinking skills; to become proactive and purposeful “so you can create the most fertile climate for innovation and get the most out of your mental efforts”.
The GRASP acronym stands for the five main thinking modes we need to consider when faced with a challenge: Generative, Reactive, Analytical, Selective and finally Proactive. Read on to get an insight into some of the key thinking modes…
Generative Thinking is crucial to getting that creative and innovative idea or solution. Its base purpose is to let your creative juices flow freely and produce as many ideas as you possibly can to tackle your problem.
One of the most common traps people fall into when trying to brainstorm ideas is using the wrong tools. Making a long list of ideas is not generative thinking and will limit your efforts before you even start. You need the space and freedom to think radiantly. Mind Maps encourage us to brainstorm in a radiant way to mimic the brain’s non-linear, natural thought processes. Keywords, colours and images are all employed to stimulate your brain and spark off more ideas.
When generating ideas some may seem outlandish and impractical – it doesn’t matter! For instance; giving all your products away for free – this sounds wacky, but the key here is to simply generate. As soon as you start judging and analysing ideas, the generative stage is at an end. So think radiantly and think without judgement to maximise your creativity and build up a huge bank of ideas to draw from.
As humans, we’re biologically designed to react. It’s a vital part of our survival instinct and draws on past experience and reflex reactions to keep us alive and safe. Reactive Thinking is great for situations that require an fast solution; it’s what makes you hold out your arms to protect your head when you fall, or avoid eating foods that have made you ill in the past. However, when used in the wrong situations, as it so often is, Reactive Thinking can stifle creativity and block innovation.
“If we were to view our situation from a higher perspective beforehand, we could consciously engineer our outcome by setting our goals and implementing a precise strategy to achieve those goals”, explains Chris.
New Year’s resolutions are far too often a result of Reactive Thinking and do not help us move forward. Rather than waiting for an event to happen and reacting when it’s too late next year, why not focus on creating and anticipating new opportunities? For example, rather than creating a complaints procedure at your company, why not explore how you can go that extra mile with your customer service before they find reason to complain?
Proactive Thinking is the most important mode of all; it is your goal. Encompassing and correctly applying all 5 GRASP modes of thinking, Proactive Thinking is fundamentally about strategy, and as a result, nourishes and encourages innovation and productivity. By being proactive rather than simply reactive when faced with a challenge, you can ensure that you’re fully addressing the situation and taking sufficient steps to improvement and success.
For example, when it comes to customer service you might have found an approach that works well with difficult customers and will continue to use it time and time again with great success. However, this approach is completely reactive; you wait for customers to complain, and then deal with such complaints in a reactive manner.
If you were thinking proactively, how would you approach this differently? Perhaps you could build and enforce a positive customer experience from the very first contact through to post-purchase support, rather than a simply the reactive complaint handling process. This is not to imply that you’ll never need a standard complaints procedure (after all, we all know you can’t please everyone), but focus on multiplying your happy customers instead of just placating unhappy customers and imagine how much you could grow…
That was just a brief glance at the GRASP thinking modes that Chris Griffiths explores in GRASP The Solution to get you thinking on the right lines for 2012. To learn all about all 5 modes of thinking and discover the Solution Finder for a clear and structured 4 step system for applying the different thinking modes when approaching any challenge, read GRASP The Solution today.
Learn from the author of GRASP The Solution, Chris Griffiths, and become accredited to teach others the GRASP The Solution System and much more on one of our exclusive ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor Courses, held throughout the year and around the world. Learn More← ‘GRASP The Solution’ Gets Five Stars! Spotlight On: Audio Notes →