Are Your Meetings Baseball Caps or Thinking Machines?

A typical Monday.  You need to make some important decisions so you call a meeting. Why?  Organizational behavior expert Chris Argys writes that “the value of a group is to maximize individual contribution”.  The meeting has an agenda. OK so far. Then it devolves into what is called “rational ritualism” where everyone does a data and interpretation dance. Decisions are made using critical thinking methodologies such as deductive and inductive arguments. Why? “It’s the only way we know how” is the usual answer. Yet your company still has problems but you still meet the same way.  So what is the solution? You need to get beyond critical thinking so that you can create a great thinking machine. How? It’s sometimes referred to as “metacognition”. There are many ways to think, thinking only one way is like a baseball cap – it’s “one size fits all”. Business is not simple so if you don’t explore metacognition you are leaving a valuable strategic resource untapped. Or as one of my professors once said ” there is always a simple solution to a complex problem, and it’s usually wrong”.

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