Think Differently

Think Differently! It is a very common advise we keep hearing around us. What does it mean? Just two words, simple meaning but what does that indeed means. Teacher tells the class, "Think differently". Manager tells the team, "Think differently". Mentor tells mentees, "Think differently". Among the audience, most do agree that they need to think differently but still cannot fathom what it means.

As many people, as many brains, as many personalities. We look different, we dress differently, we eat different. Likewise shouldn't thinking differently be but natural? Doesn't appear so, right? So then are we saying most of us think alike?

The answer is - NO. Let's take an example. A class is appearing for logical reasoning test with multiple choice(A, B, C & D) question. On every question, the class gets divided into 4 groups(assuming questions are good) based on what option they chose as answer. And with every question we will have different people in different groups. If we increase options to 6, the get class divided into 6 groups. This demonstrates that we all think differently.

If we are already doing it, then what else do we need to do? Does Think means something different here? Does Differently means something different here? To continue with multiple choice example, people choose different options as they think differently. However, to reach to an option approaches may vary. Some may be short/quick. Some may be long/tedious. Some may lead to dead end. Like these questions, we face tasks in LIFE. Many people solve them but one who takes a different approach makes a difference in outcome. Key factors to different thinking are to:
  1. Break all frames of references
  2. Think unconventionally
  3. Think future
During interviews/WhatsApp posts, you might have come across brain teasers which are solved only with unconventional thinking. However, 1 and 2 are intertwined. To be able to think unconventionally you need strong imagination power but in complement you need to be able to forget the past completely. Imagine yourself as first and last person on earth to address problem. If this doesn't happen, unconsciously you will still try to hold on to thinner threads of references from past. 
3 is possible after we succeed in 1 and 2. Data Science people may not like it, but data is history and to think future you should stay clear from it.

To conclude, we will see what different thinking can do.

In 1997, Apple was struggling in sales. It was not able to convince and connect people with it's product. IBM was giving them run for their money. That's when it happened, Apple's ad campaign Think Different. It turned out very effective because it actually targeted customer's thought process and made them think differently. And Apple successfully sold what it had and not what customer wanted, desired or even imagined.

Although its not a prerequisite, resource scarcity is the key driver for different thinking. That resource maybe time, money, people or anything. So resourcefulness is a byproduct of thinking differently. It doesn't come naturally to everyone, however, conscious practice with keeping suggested points in mind can help develop the skill.

Let's take smartphones as an example. The most valuable resource of a smartphone is screen space. How effectively and efficiently can you make use of it, decides the success of phone(i.e. hardware) and OS/Apps(i.e. software). Few years back who would have imagined that websites will run on a 3 inch X 6 inch piece of glass and that piece of glass will become our world. But whoever had, they disrupted the industry left, right and center.

There are many examples of innovations we we keep coming across which are result of different thinking. Sometimes complex looking issues has ridiculously simple solutions. So, let's make it a point to think differently and contribute towards a better tomorrow!


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