Monday, October 17, 2005

Good Thinking: What Is It Exactly?

Do CEOs value the same qualities of mind as leaders from milieux other than Big Business?

Are there similarities among the kinds of deliverables they demand, strategies they employ, and challenges they encounter?

Over the past three years, I've interviewed scores of executives, educators, entrepreneurs, and creative leaders to find out.

A Starting Point

The impulse for this study was a CEO interview about brand-building conducted three years ago.

In response to a question about brand strategy, my subject responded angrily:

Why is it so hard to find people to think out of the box? I've met thousands of people, hired at least a hundred, and it's impossible to find creative problem-solvers in the numbers you need.

In fact, effective thinking was consistently his biggest challenge as CEO of not one but three multinational corporations.

The more we talked, the more similar my subject's experienced echoed the challenges I faced teaching students from nursery school through university.

It seemed worth looking into.

Some Questions

The first step was to identify some common criteria for successful thinking, regardless of field or cultural/business context. I wanted to know:

  • Do those in charge think about how people learn? (They do.)

  • Do they feel it's easy to cultivate effective thinking? (They don't.)


  • Can they articulate what they're keen to find? (It's often a struggle.)

    More about what I found in future posts.
  • No comments: