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How you can develop innovative thinking over time

Leadership & Inspiration

Joshua Davidson wrote this article


Access to high-quality, useful, and actionable information is something that some of us are lucky to have.

But for many people that I talk to, finding fresh perspectives just isn’t something that they seek out (or feel like they can do) enough.

I used to read a lot of junk online (and offline)

What you read is the key to becoming better informed, current, and useful. I got into the early days of Twitter (before most of the things you hate about it happened), so that was an easy tool to use once I realized that I needed to seek out fresh perspectives. I met a lot of thought leaders through casual interactions. That would lead me to another referral, and suddenly, I was consuming a lot of great information.

And I started reading more books. I participated in subreddits. In my city, I started going to more community meetings and events.

Learning from someone isn’t about the networking goal, it’s actually about learning

Once I experienced this shift in perspective, I set out to actively educate myself.

There are five needs when it comes to always actively educating yourself:

1. You need to stay current on today’s technology. It’s also a recurring responsibility to be mindful of the history of technology’s consequences (positive and negative).

2. You need to improve your critical thinking

3. You need to polish the crystal ball and understand the technological possibilities – with their wonders and potential implications

4. You need to DO SOMETHING

5. You need to know what you want to do (finding a purpose) AND be compassionate

Elaboration on #4: you don’t learn something completely until you’ve done it yourself. I am the CEO of my company, but I had no idea to be a thoughtful CEO until I educated myself on the job. My one regret was that I read less and talked to far fewer people when I first started out, which set me back a few good years of being a thoughtful CEO. Writing helps. You can do that right now. Being a better writer is an asset.

#5 is obviously the most important. Building and leading with compassion could be one of our greatest economic tools that most of us are leaving in the corner and letting waste away.

#1 and #3 seem easy, but these are skills that require extensive fine-tuning. Keep reading and finding high-quality sources of information? Easier said than done. I’ve spent the last years fine-tuning this skillset in how I find things to read, retain what I’ve learned, and apply it to my continuous thinking. When benchmarked against my potential, I have a way to go. But I’m excited by the progress.

#2 comes with being able to identify great thinkers and get into conversations with them in addition to soaking up their writing. The more people you engage in discussions about complex topics with, the more your critical thinking will evolve. You’ll take on more nuanced positions when it comes to potential industries.

That’s why my team and I are starting the Innovative Doers Weekly Digest

Once every Monday morning, we’ll show you the am we have been reading about, writing about, and who we have been talking to for guidance, discussion, and debate. It’s my hope that you’ll build a more nuanced perspective on the potential innovations that’ll be impacting our planet and its life, AND you’ll come closer to your purpose.

We will provide you with our suggestions of sources that you can a lot about each of the industries (see below), our personal takes, and the link.

Here are some industries that are about to experience some shakeups. You’ll want to get a front-row seat now so that you have start planning your future role:

1. Food
2. Customer Experience
3. Finance
4. Energy
5. Mobility
6. Crime
7. Garbage
8. Education & Training
9. Healthcare
10. Legal

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