Product Management With Different Thinking

Thinking different and different thinking are as distinct as nature and nurture. Each affects the other, but is the result of different forces and effects.

Thinking different is a choice, a trait that can be gleaned or learned, whereas different thinking is like the difference between the minds of Liberals and Conservatives. Each can hear the other, and even understand the words, but seldom does one side understand what the other is saying. This is a perennial battle like that between logic and rhetoric, or philosophy and debate, or argument for the sake of solution and discourse for the sake of argument.

Often the result of varied experiences and upbringing, different thinking shows up as culture, or habit, yet can be studied as neuro-linguistic programming, to name just one modality. There are others, of course, but our focus was the point to be made, not this debate itself.

Multicultural folk have an advantage when it comes to viewing anything from more than one perspective, because they (or we,) have the benefit of being able to shift perspectives from which to view a situation or a circumstance. A simple example of this is cloudy weather:

I was born in Pakistan, raised all over the world, spending 12 of my formative years in Pakistan, and 8 outside, by the time I was 20. I know the experiential meaning of the old British joke:

“Summer and winter in India are merely terms used to distinguish weather that will melt a brass doorknob, with that which will merely chaff it.”

I grew up in heat. And people in hot climates love cloudy weather! We love it to the extent that we come out and dance in the rains. Ever seen a bollywood flick with the herione dancing in the monsoon rain? Did you ever wonder why anyone in their right mind would do such a thing? Does it now compute that these people are in their right minds, it’s just the mind that’s wired differently!

Those who care to create silos for roles that require inherent flexibility would do well to study the fringe, or the bleeding edge, of the human experience. What better to state in support:

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” ~ Nikola Tesla


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