cognitive laziness

Laziness and First Impressions: Barriers to Integrative Thinking

In this article, author Michael Michalko argues that cognitive laziness is one of the greatest barriers to integrative thinking. He points out that first impressions of problems, just like first impressions of people, are narrow and superficial. If this mentality is never changed, it prevents alternative ways of looking at the problem, meaning that integrative thinking will never surface. To remove any biases or assumptions resulting from a first impression, Michalko recommended taking Leonardo DaVinci’s advice: always look at a problem in at least three different ways in order to get a better understanding; or Sigmund Freud: “reframe” a problem in order to transform it and look at it from a different perspective.

This suggests patience. Unfortunately, laziness is inherently the result of impatience.

Thus, cognitive laziness becomes a barrier to entry, the entry point being integrative thinking. In order to gain a deeper understanding of a problem at hand, particularly in a business context, how does one motivate oneself or others in order to get rid of cognitive laziness? Getting rid of biases/assumptions is easier said than done. How would you go about this to achieve integrative thinking? Any thoughts?


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