- Nobel Prize-winning psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman thinks we can certainly do better just by being more aware of how our minds work.
- In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman describes two systems of thought.
- When we think “fast,” we’re making decisions based on an intuitive reaction.
- This system forms and relies on previous knowledge, and when we jump to conclusions, it’s probably to blame.
- “Slow” thinking is the opposite. It consists of a higher level of concentration, conscious analysis and creative problem-solving.
- This system has a lot in common with the “beginner’s mind,” a concept from Zen Buddhism that refers to an attitude of openness, a lack of preconceptions and attention to the moment.
- Kahneman says, and Zen Buddhist monks can probably confirm, that we spend most of our time using the fast system of thinking, as it is impossible for us to maintain working at the alertness required by slow thinking or the beginner’s mind all the time.
- The companies that arrived on the scene to dominate the 21st century were indeed moving quickly, but they were “thinking” slowly. Success in the digital environment requires a different kind of assumption — an assumption that you don’t know. It requires meticulously augmenting and validating every piece of knowledge about customers and their needs, using hard data and real-world evidence.
- It is impossible to sustain a beginner’s mind all the time. That leads us to the most relevant challenge in life and business: How can we know when it’s the right time to activate the slow mode? To trigger the beginner’s mind so we can learn new things?
- We’ve found that the best way to translate this into the business environment is to introduce disciplined processes — practices that will make us exercise and master slow thinking. Not unlike on a personal level how we practice meditation to master being present in the moment.
- One of our clients, a bank with 60 million customers, realized the value of this method when it was trying to understand why a large number of older customers were not using its mobile app.
- Using a design-thinking approach and interacting directly with customers rather than relying on aggregated research data, the bank learned that these not-so-tech-savvy customers were lost in the multitude of options and functions on the app and afraid of making a mistake and ultimately losing money.
- With the third version of the prototype, we got enough positive responses to green-light the development of the app — and after only a couple of months post-launch, it amassed 4 million customers.
Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age
[genioux fact produced, deduced or extracted from Forbes]
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