7. Thinking Flexibility vs. Thinking Rigid
Those who want to climb
to the top of their careers must understand the power of habit.
He must urgently give up potentially harmful habits,
and quickly practice the things that once become habits
will help him achieve the success he desires.- J.PAUL GETTY
In an age of chaos and rapid change,
the ability to think flexibly,
consider all aspects of a situation
and then respond effectively to change,
can have a huge impact on business and your career.
In 1952, Albert Einstein taught at Princeton University.
One day, he was returning to his office with his teaching assistant,
who was holding a test book
that Einstein had given him
for an advanced physics class.
The teaching assistant,
asked Dr. Einstein,
“Excuse my question,
but isn’t this the same exam you gave this physics class last year?”
Dr. Einstein replied,
“Yes, that was last year’s test.”
The tutor asked again,
even more hesitantly than before,
“But why do you assign those students
to take the same exam two years in a row?”
Einstein simply replied,
“Because the answer has changed.”
At that time,
in the physical world,
people were constantly making new advances,
new discoveries all over the world.
Because of the emergence of new ideas
and breakthroughs in this field,
the answers that are correct this year will not be correct next year.
Your answer has changed
So is your situation.
In so many areas of your life,
your answer has already changed.
What was reasonable and correct 1 year ago,
is now partially obsolete,
or completely no longer applicable.
Ideas that you hatched a year or two ago,
even a month ago,
no longer work
or have nothing to do with the current market turmoil.
they say a product is obsolete
as soon as it hits the shelf.
As soon as it hits the market,
that product is gradually being replaced
by the company that developed it
or its competitors.
The time technology products stay on the shelves
is getting shorter and shorter.
The same goes for information
Their rate of change is breathtaking.
The most important quality
In 1995, the Menninger Institute in New York conducted a study
to identify the most important quality(s)
that are integral to business success in the twenty-first century.
Ultimately, the study concluded that the most important quality
for success was “flexibility.”
It will be the ability to react
and respond quickly
to the rapid pace of change in all areas.
Developing this flexible attitude,
accepting that “the answers have changed,”
gives an individual
or organization a huge advantage over more rigid
and less flexible competitors.
Change is happening faster and faster
We live in the fastest,
and most tumultuous time of change in human history,
not to mention tomorrow,
and next year.
In the mid-twentieth century,
it was common for a person to graduate from school,
join a company,
start a job,
and stick with it for life.
Today, up to 40% of adults are seasonal workers,
doing one job after another during their employment
as freelance contractors.
Many of them will never work for a company,
let alone seasonal.
Two million jobs disappeared
Every year in the US alone,
an average of 2 million jobs disappear.
The products and services
that companies are providing are no longer tailored
to the changing tastes of customers,
and the skills needed to produce those products
and services are no longer being used.
This is a major problem in employment today,
and it will only escalate in the coming years and months.
Fortunately, on average in the US,
more than 2.2 million jobs are created each year.
Up to 80% of new jobs are from new companies,
providing new products
and services to different customers in different markets.
Because of such a rapid pace of change,
and most companies today are operating on the basis
of business models that are no longer effective,
or not as effective as before,
for generating business flows stable revenue and profit.
Your business model
A business model is defined as the complete,
end-to-end system from which a company produces
and sells a product/service
and makes a profit.
There are at least 55 different business models a company can use.
If you try to get results with the wrong business model
for your current market,
sales and profits will likely drop,
or even collapse.
In 2007, when Apple released the iPhone,
BlackBerry’s senior executives laughed at the iPhone as a toy
and thought it only appealed to young people
who wanted to communicate with friends.
Within 5 years, market share
BlackBerry’s share of phone companies fell from 49% to 0.4%,
and the company almost went bankrupt.
With the advent of the iPad,
and readers being able to download e-books quickly
the entire book market has changed.
Within a year,
one of the world’s largest book retailers,
went bankrupt and closed 600 stores.
This phenomenon is happening to companies in almost every industry.
Because they are unable to adapt their business models
to new market conditions
due to the explosion of information,
technology and competition,
established companies quickly
disappear into the pages of business history.
Your personal business model,
the way you organize your life and career,
may also be partially
or completely obsolete.
And if it’s not obsolete today,
it will surely become unusable at some point in the future.
Business gets into trouble
when customer tastes and needs change.
Workers have problems in their careers as employers’ requirements,
in terms of talent,
To survive and thrive in this age,
you must go beyond,
as an individual or an organization,
the changes taking place around you.
80/20 rule and income
Nowadays a lot of the skills that people have are obsolete,
being replaced by people with better
and more relevant skills,
skills that are more popular.
Gary Becker, a Nobel laureate economist,
spoke in the Wall Street Journal about a study
they did on income growth.
Research by Becker at the University of Chicago shows
that the average income of 80% of the population increases about 3% per year,
just at or slightly above inflation.
However, the incomes of the richest 20% increase by an average of 11% per year,
allowing them to double their income every 6 or 7 years
and move into the upper middle class
or even the affluent class over the course of time in their workflow.
What is the key difference between 20% and 80%?
It is a commitment to constantly learning and improving skills.
Those in the richest 20% buy all the books,
attend all the courses,
listen to all the radio programs,
and are constantly looking for ways to work more efficiently,
Outdated surprise skill
Those in the remaining 80% are the complete opposite.
They rarely read a book,
attend a course,
do anything to improve their skills.
They spend their free time on stress-relieving activities,
not on goals.
So they fall further and further behind,
often without realizing it.
It is not until they lose their jobs
that they realize that the skills they have,
which are largely based on experience,
are not valued by current employers.
And because they don’t work hard to learn
and develop skills,
they just go home and watch TV.
As a result,
they are often unemployed for months and even years.
Many people today,
of all incomes and professions,
are unaware of the urgent need to continuously upgrade their skills.
But as Pat Riley,
the basketball coach,
“If you’re not improving,
you’re falling behind.”
The race is on
No one stays in place for too long.
If you don’t work hard to improve your knowledge and skills,
you won’t be able to stand.
In fact, you are falling further and further behind,
while those who are eager
to learn are getting further and further ahead.
Nowadays most people are following the path,
and the only difference
between the path
and the grave is the depth.
As speaker Jim Rohn once said,
“If you’re following a rut,
I hope a wheel will come to push you out.”
We must fight the three enemies of change and flexibility.
The first and worst enemy is the “safe zone”.
People start doing something
and quickly become settled.
They then oppose any change,
even if positive change requires them
to do something new and different.
Instead of learning, growing,
and expanding their potential,
they are stubborn,
justify their own reluctance to change,
and often sabotage other people’s efforts to change.
In the book Leaders by Warren Bennis,
he describes people who excel in his research who resist the attraction
of comfort zones by setting ever larger and larger goals
and for themselves organizations,
goals would not be possible
without major changes and improvements.
In Peter Diamandis’ 2015 book,
Bold (rough translation: Courage),
he urges those who break the mold and those
who move mountains to fill in the mountains,
in the coming years to set tenfold goals,
or 100 times current sales,
earnings, and profits.
Such a grand goal,
which can be overwhelming at first,
will soon spur open-mindedness and new ideas
to “go where no one has been” (from the movie Star Trek).
Fear holds everyone back
The second major obstacle to flexibility,
to challenge and question the status quo,
but especially the fear of failure.
“What if we try new things and it doesn’t work out?”
According to the October 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review,
the major obstacles to business model innovation are fear and uncertainty.
80% of business executives place the importance
of business model innovation ahead
of the development of new products and services.
But they don’t know how,
so they procrastinate
and hope that the next generation of leaders will make the changes necessary
to survive and thrive.
The third reason people fear
and refuse to change is “training despair.”
Responsible people know that change is necessary,
but they feel powerless,
accustomed to the intricacies of the current situation,
and unable to change.
Training-induced despair is expressed in the words “I can’t” or “We can’t.”
What follows is a flurry of excuses like not enough time,
not enough money,
no talent, and explanations
for why change cannot be,
including lots of external pressures and internal limitations.
But in the words of Winston Churchill,
“If you don’t fight when there is a chance to win,
you will soon have to fight
when there is no chance at all.”
The principle is to change when you can,
not when you have to
or have no other choice.
They should have told the management of Blockbuster,
the company that dominated the video rental market.
When Netflix appeared,
Blockbuster people laughed,
saying it was just a small company
that could never challenge Blockbuster’s dominant position
in the national market.
But customer tastes have changed,
and within a few years,
Netflix has become the largest provider of movies,
both by mail and online,
and Blockbuster is bankrupt.
There are many powerful
and practical thinking tools that you can use to unleash your creativity,
expand your thinking,
and get yourself out of your comfort zone.
The all-round champion tool that helps you change your perspective
and increase your level of flexibility is “mind zero (zero)”.
Foundational thinking is not derived from foundational accounting no.
In zero-based accounting,
you weigh every expense
before each accounting cycle.
You are not questioning whether to increase
or decrease spending on a particular item,
but whether to spend on that item.
In fundamental thinking,
do you ask the straightforward question:
“If we knew this was the case,
would we choose to start doing this?”
Do the KWINK analysis
Apply KWINK (Knowing What I Now Know) analysis
to every aspect of your business and personal life.
Is there something you would choose not to get involved with,
if you were to start over?
How do you know if you’re dealing with a fundamental thinking situation?
Simple – the answer is stress!
If there is something in your life that you don’t want to experience again,
you will constantly experience stress,
and dissatisfaction in that area or with someone.
This negative situation often interferes
with your conversations,
distracts you throughout the day,
and makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.
Start with relationships
In the no-fundamental mindset,
start with all of your relationships.
Is there anyone in your business
or personal life that,
if you were to start over,
you wouldn’t associate with?
Is there anyone in the company that you wouldn’t hire,
or even be at the company today,
if you knew what you know?
If there’s someone you won’t get involved with again,
the only question is,
“How do you end this,
and how long?”
Can you guess how many
of your decisions will go wrong when the time comes?
According to the American Management Association,
up to 70% of decisions made at work,
and possibly in personal life,
turn out to be mistakes in the end.
Those decisions can be a little bit wrong,
or completely wrong.
To develop flexibility,
to perform at your best,
you must be prepared to make three statements from senior leaders.
Admit that you’re not perfect
Take a look at yourself where you are,
especially in areas that cause you stress,
and be ready to admit that you were wrong.
When you make a decision
or get into a situation,
it seems to be the right thing to do.
Based on the information you had at the time,
it was quite reasonable.
But “the answer has changed”.
You have discovered things that you did not know,
the situation and the requirements that arise have also changed.
Decisions that once seemed right turn out to be wrong.
As soon as you admit you were wrong
and start working on fixing the situation,
your stress will melt away.
Sometimes people think that admitting a mistake is revealing a flaw.
They think other people won’t respect them if they admit
that the decisions they’ve made
and protect them defending in the past is a mistake.
But it’s the complete opposite.
In an age of chaos and rapid change,
having the courage to admit you’re wrong,
when everyone around you has already seen your mistake,
in fact makes them even more impressed
and ready to listen to you.
On the other hand,
no one is weaker and more foolish than someone
who is clearly wrong but refuses to admit it.
There is an interesting point here.
Once you identify a situation that you won’t be in again,
if you know this,
it’s too late to save the situation,
or a person.
The only question now is,
how much time,
and pain will it take you to go
through before admitting your mistake
and doing anything to fix the situation?
Admit you made a mistake
“I made a mistake.”
Because of their self-esteem,
many people find it difficult to admit they’ve made a mistake,
even though they’ve clearly made it,
and everyone around them knows it.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Because you will be wrong and
make mistakes 70% of the time,
don’t wait for anyone to find out.
Instead, go ahead and immediately admit,
“I was wrong.
I made a mistake.”
Then fix the situation as quickly as possible.
Change your mind
“I think again.”
Again, changing your mind
when new information is available shows courage,
Whether you’ve spent 18 months developing a new business
or product strategy,
if you glean new information
that contradicts your final conclusion,
be prepared to change your mind,
give up the battle outdated strategies to do things that are new,
and more relevant to the current situation.
The more willing you are to say the words,
“I was wrong,
I made a mistake,
I think again,”
the better ideas you will come up with
and the more respect you will gain from the people around you.
Re-evaluate your business and career
The second area where you must apply fundamental thinking
is not every aspect of your business and career,
your business model.
Is there a product/service that if you knew it would be like this,
you wouldn’t have brought it to market?
Is there a process,
or expense in your business that if you knew it was going to be like this,
you wouldn’t have used it?
Is there anything in your current strategy
that if you knew it would be like this,
you wouldn’t have started?
Is there a part of your career,
the work you are doing,
the activities you are doing,
if you knew it would be like this,
would you be involved?
it is common for people to have different jobs,
in different companies and industries,
using different skills,
throughout their lives.
As the economy shifts,
many people decide to start a new field
and learn a whole new skill set.
Does this apply to you?
If the answer is yes, the next question is,
“How did you get out of this situation
or give it up,
and for how long?”
The third area that uses fundamental thinking is not investments,
especially investments in time,
In the accounting industry,
there is an item called “sunk costs”.
This is money one go no return.
This amount cannot be recovered.
Like throwing an anvil
from a ship in the middle of the ocean;
you can never get it back.
This is called a “sunk cost”.
1 A block of iron or steel used
as a permanent forging platform on which metal
is placed and struck with a hammer.
It is surprising how many businesses
and individuals are confused in this area.
They are constantly trying to recover sunk costs.
This is called “water to pour potato leaves”
or “throwing money through the window”.
A one-way investment doesn’t come back
Refusing to accept the truth about sunk costs
is especially true when it comes to time.
Is there an area of your life
where you invest a large amount of time in a project,
or even developing a skill that is no longer useful or necessary?
Be prepared to admit that a past investment
of time has now become a “sunk cost”.
Let’s step forward.
And don’t invest any more time in areas that,
you know aren’t worth the time and effort.
The second area with sunk costs is investments.
Is there a financial investment that you would not have made
if you knew it was going to happen?
If so, the next question is,
“How do I give up this investment,
and for how long?”
It’s sad to see so many people
and companies putting money into areas that,
if given a choice,
they wouldn’t invest in.
Imagine being able to start over today
The third area uses basic thinking that is not emotion.
According to psychologists,
people hate losing their time,
They often have a mental block on their losses,
refusing to acknowledge them
and trying to recover them in some way.
Throughout your life,
you will invest a great deal of affection in other people,
projects and situations
You will put your whole heart into pushing a situation
or a relationship forward.
But in the end,
you’ll have to admit that you didn’t succeed.
Your emotional investment is gone.
It will never come back.
Cannot be retrieved or revoked.
It is a sunk cost.
It takes great courage to face the fact that a situation
or relationship has broken down
and admit that you were wrong,
that you made a mistake,
and that you changed your mind.
But the more often you apply the zero-fundamental thinking,
the more flexible you become.
The good news:
When you finally have the courage
to put an end to a fundamental thinking situation,
you’ll have the same reaction
as people around the world.
At first, you will feel extremely relieved,
even happy and free.
You will feel as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
you’ll ask yourself,
“Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?”
The thinking skills of fundamental thinking aren’t all
that important if you want
to realize your full potential in work and life.
And the more you practice,
the better you do.
you’ll be able to say,
“If I had to choose again,
I still wouldn’t want to change
or get out of any situation in my life.”
Seven Steps of High Thinking
The key is to always be prepared that no matter what you’re doing,
you can be completely wrong.
There can be a completely different
and better way to do most things,
and there has always been one.
Sometimes the simplest ideas can shake your mind
and make you look at a situation in a completely different way.
Here are seven tools you can use
to increase mental flexibility and alertness:
This requires you to stop,
rest your hands,
and stand back to look at the situation objectively.
Ask yourself three questions:
• What am I trying to do?
• How am I trying to do that?
• Could there be a better way?
Whenever you feel frustrated
or don’t want to work on your goals,
step back and ask yourself these three questions.
Often you will realize that what you are doing is not the right thing,
or that it is not as important as it once was.
You may find that the way you’re doing it won’t work.
And when you wonder if there’s a better way,
you’ll burst into endless possibilities,
because there’s almost always a better way.
Apply grounding thinking,
and consider completely different possibilities for doing the job.
Anytime you’re unhappy with the way a situation is going,
“If I weren’t in this situation right now,
knowing what it would be like,
would I be involved?”
If the answer is no,
how do you get rid of it,
and how long does it take?
Look for ways to improve operational efficiency
by shifting people and resources,
and by implementing other ways.
• Right now,
what are your most important goals at work?
Have they changed?
• Who are the most important,
valuable and productive people?
• How can you reorganize your work,
focusing your best and most productive people on your most important goals
and greatest opportunities?
This means putting human
and material resources into 20% of the activities
that determine 80% of your results.
• What is 20% of the results
that determine 80% of your business’s income and profits?
• What are the 20% most important activities
that determine 80% of your final results?
• Who are the most important 20% of the people
that bring about 80% of the final results?
generating revenue should be your primary concern.
Put the best people in the areas
where they have the greatest positive impact
on increasing revenue for your company.
Constantly looking for ways to simplify your work
and life by delegating,
downsizing or eliminating certain activities.
• What activities/processes can you simplify and reorganize
to complete faster,
saving you money and time?
• What activities can you delegate to others
or hire specialized firms?
• What activities can you eliminate completely
without causing significant loss in productivity,
sales or profits?
Each time you ask yourself one of these questions,
you will spark your creativity
and get answers that you can use to reorganize your business
and achieve great results better,
Always imagine what you would do differently
if you were to start over today.
• Imagine starting your business or field again today.
What would you do differently?
• What more would you do?
• What would you do less of?
• What will you start doing that you are not currently doing?
• What will you stop doing?
Each time you ask yourself,
these questions will give you ideas and insight.
What will you do more,
start or stop?
7. Get the Take control:
This requires you to take concrete action
at work based on the answers to the six steps above.
• Regarding personal work,
what would you do immediately?
• In terms of personnel,
what will you do immediately?
• Regarding the business itself,
what would you do immediately?
In each case, imagine that you have no limits at all.
Imagine that you have all the money and time,
all the abilities and gifts,
all the friends and contacts,
and all the resources you need to do anything at work
or at home in private life.
Your main task is to understand clearly what is right,
the best to do,
and to give your full attention to the new course of action.
1. Consider your individual and company’s business model.
Ask yourself if there is a better way to generate revenue,
profit and personal income.
2. Apply KWINK analysis to all areas of your business and personal life.
“Knowing it would be like this,
if I had to start over,
would I choose to give up on anything?”
3. What should you do more,
start or stop doing to get different and better results?