I have been thinking a lot about the state of the economy and society; the confluence of economic, political and geo-political. In looking at, reading, and listening – it seems that much of the talk and commentary is about the symptoms (debt, war, credit, risk, etc). But, like all symptoms – diagnosis of the root cause is needed.
The more time I spend working with senior management in large corporations, the more I am convinced that one of the root causes is the disconnected nature of quality decision making and thinking.
We have two minds, the subconscious and the conscious; both performing different roles and interacting with each other in different ways. The conscious is the captain much of the time, defining actions and responses, logic and structure. The subconscious is unstructured, responding to direction, stimulus and input. One can make only logical and managed jumps in decision making and thinking – the other capable of huge amounts of lateral, intuitive, and creative connections and generation. The subconscious mind is also where our beliefs, principles and values reside.
Now, with all the input and non-stop stimulus that we receive today, at the pace, pressure and expectations for speed of response – I wonder if decision making quality has been impacted?
Men and women in powerful and influential roles (politicians, traders, investment bankers, business leaders); all working in a continuous and never ending environment of conscious stimulus and response. Email, meetings, marketing, twitter, Internet, iPad, blackberry, TV — the list is endless; all keeping our conscious mind working, forcing thinking into the cognisant and logical; unrestrained by values, principles and creativity.
I find myself in this situation, one of ‘always on’; sitting down to just think becomes challenging – the subconscious needs time and space to work, and for that to surface next to our conscious mind so it can be used.
Perhaps if we had some more ‘black out’ time – the quality of thinking, decision making, and connection with our values would be greater. Maybe this would help us move away from greed, consumption, and short-termism – all drivers for the risky and damaging behaviours exhibited in so many areas?.