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The Gooroo Blog

The Gooroo Blog

We need to be better at making up our own minds


“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge” — Lao Tzu

This century has seen outstanding developments in neural science. Developments which indicate that the world’s most complex mechanism, our brain, mind and conscious capacity, relies on trillions of changes and choices that simply cannot be predicted. In his recent article on The Conversation, Uri Gal wisely suggests that predictive algorithms are no better than a crystal ball as a source of advice to both hirers and talent. Star signs, I Ching Straws, type and trait tests, all share a false assumption that tomorrow is a groundhog day that will be repeated for the rest of the life of living systems.

Notwithstanding, knowing more about the way that people make up their minds under conditions of rapid change, turbulence and uncertainty, helps people to do more than simply exercise guesses and apply ill-informed intuitive bias. Without an understanding of the experience, expertise and level of engagement we have when coming together with shared goals and objectives, our ability to do more is severely limited.

Predicting perfectly what people will do next, requires that all the influential variables are known and measured accurately. However, people’s environments change more quickly than they themselves do. Everything from the weather to their relationship with their mother can change the way people think and act.

All of those variables are unpredictable. How they will impact a person is even less predictable. If put in the exact same situation tomorrow, they may make a completely different decision. No one knows how these choices are made. Which parts of the brain are used to determine preferences and priorities? How do we become conscious of the consequence of our decisions? How do we guarantee the desired outcomes of any choices about future initiatives and the incentives for action?

Gooroo Ventures has invested in human thinking research to establish a better understanding of the things that we have in common, rather than using computers to create unprovable (and inherently short-sighted) segments based on types, traits, or tribes.

Most recent advances in neuroscience have shown that our brain manages trillions of changes and choices every minute. It achieves this by selecting more and better options that can be reduced to a practical handful of decisions which we associate with when making up our minds.

Our research indicates that hirers and talent can increase their chances of improving productivity, finding solutions, increasing self-organising actions, changing the conditions and context, persuading others to collaborate on shard values and vision, by challenging predictions, fostering innovation, being creative, and encouraging entrepreneurism.

Uri points to “inductive reasoning” as the culprit behind the failures of predictive analytics” without addressing the better question — when are the alternatives to inductive reasoning, lateral and strategic thinking, more appropriate?

Our research shows that people use a combination of deductive, inductive, abductive and transformative thinking. They should no more use one, than using only one hand, one eye, and one leg to move towards an object.

Gary King a professor from Harvard University and the director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, says people are influenced by their environment in innumerable ways. The only way that predicting the future is possible, is with perfect information about everything that is yet to happen, and for nothing to develop or change from prior experience.

Computer analytics and evaluations cannot be an end in itself. They can support through the matching of common experiences, expertise, engagement, and expectations that contribute to more and better decisions that study patterns of thinking, the complications of roles and responsibilities.

The key here is to see human thinking sciences as an effective dialogue about shared values, vision, expectations, and aspirations that constitute an indicator of future performance in business and community contexts.

At Gooroo we’re establishing large data based reviews of practical experiences, expertise, and engagement levels based on advanced neuroscience and decision theory. We look beyond models and statistical analytics, to the application of strategic and creative thinking profiles, that unlock inherently unpredictable innovative, creative and entrepreneurial capacities.

Every trend comes to an end when people find more and better ways to make up their minds. However, points of view, habits of mind, frames of reference, trains of thought and spheres of inference can, however, be analysed for underlying conscious and unconscious patterns that impact on the choices that help us move towards our goals and objectives.

Connect with Dr Colin Benjamin on LinkedIn here. Follow Gooroo on LinkedIn for more updates here.