How to become an "elastic thinker" and learn how to use the brain in a more creative way

Hombre arrojándose con una cuerda elástica.Are you an elastic thinker?

Reinventing itself in order to survive.

That's what many companies are looking for in an increasingly competitive world.

and to achieve that goal, companies need to hire people willing to experiment and propose innovative ideas.

They are, in many cases, so-called "elastic thinkers."

Unlike analytical thinkers who are guided by logic and sequencing, elastic or flexible thinkers thrive in situations involving breaking borders and trying new things.

The idea of flexible thinking, of course, is not new.

But for American author, physicist and screenwriter Leonard Mlodinow, now is the best time for people to seize the power of "elastic thinking" to navigate in an unstable world.

Stretch Your Mind

El pensamiento elástico puede ser muy útil cuando determinadas circunstanciasElastic thinking can be very useful when certain circumstances change.

The Book of Mlodinow, "elastic: Flexible thinking in a constantly changing world" (Elastic: Flexible thinkingin a constantly changing world) focuses on the tools needed to carry out processes to which it believes that we can all access.

Elastic thinking consists of stretching the mind and using "bottom-up" processing in the brain rather than the top-down executive functions that direct analytical thinking.

It covers a range of processes that include Neofilia (an enthusiasm for novelty), imagination, generation of ideas and Divergent thinking, among others.

According to Mlodinow, elastic thinking is not only for artists and writers, but for everyone. And it can be perfected.

"We all have to be a problem- seeker if we want to survive or thrive in today's changing world," he says.

"Fortunately it is an integrated skill in the human brain."

Mlodinow says that with thought we have to break the rules.

"Logical analytical thinking is very good when you try to solve a problem you've seen before. You can use known methods and techniques to address any problems you're facing. "

Elastic thinking is what you need when circumstances change and you're dealing with something new. It's not about following the rules. "

Connecting it offline

Probar cosas nuevas y no tener miedo al fracaso son características de los peTrying new things and not being afraid of failure are characteristic of elastic thinkers.

Uber and Google are clear examples where elastic thinking underpins its creation and adaptability, says Mlodinow.

And what do Leonardo da Vinci and the inventors of Pokemon Go have in common?

They are considered elastic thinkers. Because it's about connecting the disconnected, trying new things and not being afraid of failure.

To the great chagrin of those who supervised him, Da Vinci deliberately took long breaks to not paint the Last Supper in an attempt to give his creativity time to process.

Mlodinow also highlights in his book that Pokemon Go developers ignored widely accepted beliefs as the only thing that players want is "sit and play."

Instead, "Leveraging existing technologies in a novel way, they changed the way they think about game developers."

"New companies, many of them new technology companies, have sofas for people to rest and look to the roof," adds Mlodinow.

"And workers don't have managers who reprehend them because they know that incubation time is very useful for processing ideas."


¿Eres de soñar despierto?Are you daydreaming?

For those who wish to give a chance to elastic thinking, Mlodinow suggests:

Oliver Cummings, chief operating officer of Nurole, a global Internet recruitment platform for management and executive positions, says there is a high demand for flexible thinkers.

"We are seeing two tendencies. One is about cognitive diversity. People want to bring those who think differently and thus avoid ' group thinking '. The other is the demand for people who are ' digitally intelligent ', he says.

But getting back to the idea of elastic thinking and looking to make connections with almost anything, does it mean that now it will be harder to make decisions?

A los pensadores elásticos les puede resultar más fácil tomar algunas decisioElastic thinkers may find it easier to make some decisions.

For neuroscientist Stacey Bedwell of the University of Birmingham in the UK, it may seem easier for these people to make certain decisions.

"For example, being able to imagine multiple outcomes without previous experience could make certain risky decisions easier to take, as possible consequences can be anticipated."

Bedwell claims that elastic thought helped her in her own career.

"As a scientific researcher, abstract thinking and being able to adapt is vital to success. To generate new ideas and theories and offer explanations for previously inexplicable phenomena, I need the ability to think beyond the present and out of my known environment. "

Leonard Mlodinow warns that elastic thinking cannot be carried out in isolation and that human beings must be aware of the power of analytical and elastic thinking in the circumstances that arise in their lives.

"If you're 100% on the elastic side and you don't have an executive function of your brain ordering your thoughts, you'll end up running out."

"Ideas will come so fast and so disconnected that you can never do anything."

So adapting the brain to flexible thinking can be very positive, but do not forget what you learned.

Cómo convertirse en un

Tools for elastic thinkers

Cómo convertirse en un

* Ability to abandon comfortable ideas.

* Get used to ambiguity and contradiction.

* Rise above conventional mindsets.

* Reformulate questions.

* Renounce ingrained assumptions.

* Trust both imagination and logic.

* Willing to experiment.

* be tolerant to failure.

* Generate and integrate a variety of ideas.

Source: Flexible Thinking in a constantly Changing World

Cómo convertirse en un

Read the original story in English at BBC Capital.

Cómo convertirse en un

Dhruti Shah