We know when we have a problem – Those pounds around the waist need to go before taking to the beach, but they’re not shifting. If only all the staff saw things from the commercial perspective, but they don’t. We want to do something but can’t, we want something to happen but it won’t. There is an official definition, of course.
A problem is considered to exist, “when a living creature has a goal but does
not know how this goal is to be reached. Whenever one cannot go from the
given situation to the desired situation simply by action, then there has to be
recourse to thinking” (Duncker, 1945)
Thinking – thats one of the distinguishing factors between higher order mammals, like humans, gorillas, turns out crows too, and other lower order animal species.
Developing thinking skills is not something we’re not often explicitly taught, but we do pick up throughout our lives, by learning from experience.
Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking skills divides thinking into different types.
Straightforward problems can often be solved remembering what to do, or what we did last time. Sometimes we might need to get a little more context, and see how this problem has occurred before choosing the right solution. Sometimes we can apply other people’s ideas to the problem.
As problems become more complex, we rely more and more on higher order thinking skills, especially problems that are new and do not fit previous experience, whether our own, or the other people’s.
Analysing, evaluating, and creating are skills that are useful in breaking down the problem and recreating new ways of looking at it, to see new links and perspectives.
As a result of thinking about the problem in a more sophisticated way, i.e. not expecting the problem to fit a previous solution, we are undoubtedly thinking harder, better, smarter, but then the solution is going to feel like a magic moment of innovation and spark of originality.
That’s a reward in itself.
For invigorating opportunities to think out of your skin, and develop top of the pyramid skills, contact us