Charles Stone’s book Brain-Savvy Leaders is chockfull of helpful information! When you understand more how your brain works, you can leverage its power more efficiently. Here are some quotes he shared about problem solving.
“Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.” —Pope Paul VI
“As a part of the C-system, the prefrontal cortex processes bits of information one after the other (serial) instead of several at the same time (parallel). … When we try to process too much information at once, the prefrontal cortex’s serial processing nature can result in mental processing bottlenecks that in turn can lead to unfinished thoughts and tasks. … When we attempt many mental tasks at once, our thinking degrades, accuracy drops, we focus on the urgent instead of the important, we forget things, and the quality of future decisions gets muddied.”
“Coffee, caffeinated drinks (but not too many), exercise, and novelty can increase the amount of these neurotransmitters and get us into a more productive and focused state.”
“Charlan Nemeth, a psychology professor at the University of California-Berkeley, performed a creativity study in 2003. She divided 265 female students into groups of five and asked them to generate as many ideas as possible on how to decrease traffic congestion in the San Francisco Bay area. Each team received one of three conditions and was given twenty minutes to complete the task. Either they used the traditional ‘no criticism’ brainstorming technique, or they generated as many ideas as possible but could debate and criticize each one, or they received no instructions. The ‘debate and criticize’ teams generated 20 percent more ideas than the other two groups. … Debate…adds the element of surprise that engages the brain.”
“When trying to solve problems, encourage your team to imagine themselves a year from now instead of imagining themselves tomorrow. Studies show that this time perspective fosters more creativity.”
You can read my book review of Brain-Savvy Leaders by clicking here.