At WhatBox, we often discuss a concept of entering problem-solving and creative collaboration with 'beginner's mind'. As leaders, we may sometimes feel our value is in having the answer. In today's complex fast-evolving world, this now 'false truth' holds us back. What we know can stand in the way of finding new and evolved thinking about the world around us.
Placing your intention on checking what you know at the door allows you to see the world with fresh perspective. It is harder than it sounds, but try to flex this muscle in your next problem-solving approach. There are some tips in the article shared below to help you achieve this. If you struggle with it, we encourage you to involve others in your process that know less or have a different lens on the problem than you do.
At WhatBox, we have a program that pairs high-school and sometimes elementary students with executives to place emphasis on this concept. What the experience emphasizes is that people with no preconceived ideas bring fresh thinking. Fresh thinking alone, however, isn't enough. Once you have fresh ideas, a dose of operational wisdom is also valuable... this is where your 'expert mind' can shine. When applied intentionally these two modes of thinking make a powerful combination.