We are in the midst of a thinking gap on a global scale.
Shivvy Jervis, who worked with Lenovo on its first-ever Think Report, released in conjunction with ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary, came to that conclusion. The comprehensive international research study surveyed adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan to investigate the current state of thinking. According to Jervis, recent events such as COVID-19 and the ensuing social and economic disruptions have made creative thought extremely challenging, if not impossible. To survive the effects of the pandemic, many people have switched into “survival mode.” That would be plenty to keep us busy, she claims. “It seems sense that all of these other things interfere with our ability to think.”
Jervis, who travels much and has her own innovation lab, spends a lot of time considering how the rest of the world’s societies will cope with the future. The psychological and attitude component, she says, “is as essential as the forecasts about technology,” she always tells people. Lenovo’s research supports this. 80% of respondents indicated society needs a new way of thinking, and less than half of those who responded claimed they spent time “thinking about how they think.”
Jervis explores the causes of this thinking gap, suggests methods for enhancing our thought processes, and shows how technology might encourage more effective thinking.
What are some of the present stumbling blocks to our ability to think clearly?
Jervis Shivvy Whether you work digitally or in person, maintaining interpersonal interactions and people dynamics takes up a lot of mental space. It requires both intellectual and emotional involvement. It takes time to adjust to how various people see you and to be able to convince, bargain with, and organize individuals to work together. There isn’t enough uninterrupted time to improve your thoughts.
After a pandemic that affected the entire world, there have been other curveballs. All sectors of the economy and ecosystems have had to quickly adapt to whole new difficulties. The attitudes of consumers are likewise evolving quickly. Rapid response focus can prevent us from doing our finest thinking.
What distinguishes our “best” thinking from less effective thinking habits?
Consider an instance when you were pressured to make a decision right away by someone. You aren’t given the mental room to gather the data you require. We can’t be as informed as we’d like when we think that way, and it can make us go into flight or fight mode. Making difficult decisions about your life, your business, or your core values on the spot may be quite harmful.
What would be a decent road map for folks to use to start thinking more critically and effectively?
They must first be persuaded of the advantages of healthier thinking. Without it, there won’t be any drive since individuals won’t work toward things they don’t think are worthwhile.
The second would be to “show and tell,” or to see more examples of what people can accomplish when they are able to engage in deeper thinking in social and mainstream media. In the past year, individuals have shared uplifting, touching success tales on TikTok and YouTube, such as: “Hey, I was really struggling. My life improved as a result of the schedule shift and the two more hours I gave myself to brainstorm, ideate, and think. It is very powerful to see that.
Making technology more human-centric would come in third. People often believe that in the age of technology, they must spend all of their time sucked into their gadgets. In fact, there are so many incredible examples of how technology has helped us to increase our capacity for thought. I have personally employed it, such as with screen time restrictions and noise-cancelling headphones.
Could you provide more information on how modern technology supports better thinking?
In the Think Report, nearly six out of ten respondents said they would proactively begin looking for technology to improve their thinking. Tools that enhance teamwork and communication, aid in time management, and alleviate the monotony of planning and scheduling could be game-changing innovations. Even the most basic do not disturb settings are great inventions that lessen distractions.
What were some of the most obvious cultural distinctions between nations that you saw in the Think Report?
The U.S. comes out as being significantly more upbeat, both about attempting novel modes of thought and the future. While more gloomy about the future than those in the U.S., people in the U.K. also responded positively to trying new things.
In many categories, Japan was the most extreme outlier. Compared to other markets, Japanese respondents tended to think less highly of the idea of deeper and clearer thinking. This might be as a result of the stronger emphasis on seniority and hierarchy there. However, despite cultural trends to the opposite, Japanese respondents were quite supportive of using technology to promote better independent thought—75% of them reacted positively, which was higher than respondents from every country save the United States.
You mentioned that Americans and Britons were more receptive to innovative thinking techniques. Which of these tactics are some of them?
Our mental state is influenced by our surroundings, including the temperature, sound, and visuals. Numerous studies have shown, for instance, that adding greenery to the workstation offers advantages over more sterile, clinical settings. The presence of vegetation increased tranquility, productivity, and creative thinking. You could watch a ton of footage of people remodeling their little home offices during the pandemic. You noticed an abrupt increase in demand for indoor plants in the UK.
How well-positioned are we worldwide to benefit from better thinking?
The five-year plan appears much more optimistic than we may anticipate. More and more businesses and individuals seem to be considering legacy. What steps could we individually take right now to influence future generations positively? Recessions, pandemics, and political unrest are all outside of your control. However, we can focus on the area in front of us. For instance, I have set aside time on my calendar in October for a two-week break. This is something I’ve never done before, and it feels freeing. There are more people doing it, I’ve learned from talking to folks all across the world. A lot of what they’re saying suggests that we’re on track to take more time to think more clearly as a society.