Generative Thinking is at the heart of great leadership

I sense that the 21st century will be the century of generative thinking. Internet, search, social media, and mobile communications are opening up conversations that were simply hard to coordinate and imagine just 30 years ago. Now, we are truly operating at the speed of thought.

Though our schools and colleges could be teaching this, our education system is designed to teach classical methods of thinking based on logic. Only liberal arts and art schools produce generative thinkers.

Leaders who embrace it create value and comparative advantage.

Generative thinking

  • embraces possibility
  • creates new permutations and realities where none existed before
  • is creative and non-linear
  • is right-brained
  • springs from curiosity
  • thrives on “and”
  • is playful and inventive

Generative thinking should be a complement to, but is often opposed to:

  • logical thinking
  • process thinking
  • analytic thinking
  • precedent-based thinking
  • left-brained thinking
  • incremental thinking
  • craftmanship
  • either-or thinking