In my previous post, I have discussed two kinds of minds that Howard Garner has mentioned in Five Minds for the Future (Harvard Business School Press, 2007). Here are the additional two:
3. The Creating Mind
Human creativity is at a premium. Businesses want employees who can develop a “new vision” and “extend existing product categories,” on top of completing their daily work.
Creative thinkers are no longer deemed exceptional; they’re the expected new hire. Work by psychologists like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi show that creativity is not a lone endeavor, but three elements that interact to foster lasting breakthroughs:
- An individual must master a discipline or area and constantly work at it.
- Creativity requires a “cultural domain” that provides models, rules and norms to work with or against.
- The creative individual needs opportunities to perform.
The key ingredient is a creative temperament (which need not be innate). Creative people are dissatisfied with their own work and that of others. They go against the grain; it may be painful, but the alternative is even more excruciating. They notice anomalies and try to explain them, rather than explain them away.
Generally, creative people are tough, tenacious and undeterred by hard work or failures. Even when they do succeed, they look over the horizon to find the next mountain to climb.
4. The Respectful Mind
The respectful mind responds sympathetically and constructively to differences among individuals and groups. Those with respectful minds work beyond mere tolerance and political correctness; they develop the capacity for forgiveness.
Human beings naturally band into groups—and as soon as such groups form, members start to dislike one another. This pattern appears repeatedly in humans and other primates, for that matter.
To succeed, you must cultivate respect for others. Teaching respectfulness in school is certainly a promising means of fostering tolerance, and many schools put it into practice by requiring students of various backgrounds to work on joint projects with shared goals. With this kind of foundation, students can continue to cultivate tolerance and respect when they graduate to the workplace and political realm.