From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Art of thinking. Insights, performance improvement and innovation
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 8:05 am

Say you are in a position and things seem stagnant, not
improving.  No clear path to an exciting future that
motivates you.  What do you do?

Do you do what many recommend and what we learned
in our training?  Reduce our errors.  Or do we seek new
or non-obvious insights?

Gary Klein wrote a book that Amazon Kindle provides
on “Seeing what others don’t:  Remarkable ways we gain
insight.”  It was thoughtful and offers some worthy comment.

Higher                Reducing      Gaining
Performance =  Errors      +  Insights

Some suggestions:
 - go to talks outside of your field of concentration, read
books, view videos, listen to podcasts.

Example:  M. Chafee studied the inner workings of neurons
in worms without sacrificing them by studying worms with
translucent skins and applying external irradiation on yellow
fluorescent proteins YFP.  He had a “eureka moment” listening
to a talk outside his field.

- go with your gut instincts and don’t give up on what you
understand based on your experience

Example:  M. Markopolous reported to the SEC that Madoff
was a fraud in 2000.  He was an expert who understood the
possible and acted as a whistleblower despite lack of
belief in his claims from all corners.  His ponzi scheme was
finally revealed, but the ill effects are still being felt.

 - develop models and hypotheses from limited information
and seek to verify or refute.

This requires modeling the thoughts and data, preparation and
incubation period, leading to illumination and verification.
Example:  Gottlieb who while working at UCLA noticed
a trend that was the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s

 - try “mini-solution habits” to small problems as a way to
prepare for success.
  Take risks where the negative is minor.
Never give up on important tasks or goals.  Be curious and
develop passions and things you like.  Be willing to make
mistakes where you can learn from them.
Example:  club soda

These same suggestions can be applied to career management
and your job search.  For, the way you look for a job is the
way you will perform on the job

One Response to “Art of thinking. Insights, performance improvement and innovation”

  1. site admin Says:

    Gary Klein offers
    “three paths to insights: making connections,
    spotting contradictions, and escaping from
    flawed assumptions.”

    “insights are more likely to arise when we
    adopt an active, rather than a passive mindset,
    and when we give rein to curiosity and
    speculation upon encountering something
    that doesn’t fit our preconceptions.”

    “explore anomalies ;
    explore new perspectives ;
    embrace urgency”

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