World Monitor Magazine WM_Energy 2017 - Page 76

additional content How leaders can improve their thinking agility a new generation of leaders with this ability is keeping a majority of the world’s CEOs up at night. Jesse Sostrin director at PwC’s U.S. Leadership Coaching Center of Excellence Leaders operate with near-constant deficits of time, energy, resources, and focus, which keeps them locked in a perpetual state of catch-up. This reality erodes quality contemplation. Although there are strategies to help you react to the urgencies of the day without sacrificing time to reflect, the value and impact of your thoughts are not simply a measure of minutes. Rather, they can be measured by the thinking agility you apply to changing priorities and circumstances. More specifically, your capacity to reflect dynamically amid the constantly shifting work landscape is what counts most. The strongest lever you, as a leader, have over how you manage your people, projects, and priorities is your own thinking. Yet worry about being able to equip 74 world monitor In PwC’s most recent CEO survey, more than three-quarters (77 percent) said that they were either somewhat concerned or extremely concerned about a lack of key skills. When asked to assess the most elusive talents, CEOs identified a raft of thinking skills: adaptability, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. Leaders, you can increase your thinking agility — and develop these related competencies — by leveraging the following three strategies. Know your thinking sweet spot. The first step is to develop greater awareness of your thinking tendencies. The reference point I use is Herrmann International’s Whole Brain model. The framework includes four distinct thinking domains: analytical, practical, relational, and experimental. Analytical thinkers are logical, realistic, and numbers-driven. Practical thinkers are organized, task-driven, and focused on operational plans. Relational thinkers are expressive, engaging, and sensitive to others. And experimental thinkers imagine what’s possible, challenge the status quo, and leverage their curiosity to spur original, divergent ideas. Your capacity to reflect dynamically amid the shifting landscape is what counts most Every individual displays a unique mix of these, expressing some more dominantly than others. And the way an individual navigates his or her daily work — communicating, building relationships, solving problems, and making decisions — reflects the strengths or limitations of his or her thinking in the four dimensions. So, which of these four dimensions dominates your mind-set? When you’re faced with a difficult problem or decision, which domain(s) do you rely on most to resolve it? If you instinctively dive into the numbers, scrutinize the details, and let logical facts influence your decisions, you’re strong in analytical thinking. If you default to your project plan and focus on getting the job done, your sweet spot lies in practical thinking. If you naturally engage in conversation to explore others’ thoughts and ideas and pursue trusted, personal connections to get great work done, you’re relational. Or, if you ask why not, intentionally step back to look at a bigger picture, and seek flexible