Exponential thinking as an ever-evolving mindset to adapt to an ever-changing world has proven impactful in shaping not only technology advancements and core components in the digital transformation journey, but which also enhances humanity’s ability to innovate at scale and to go beyond the surface and reveal new and improved methods of engaging with different ways of doing things.
Bill Gates argues that many companies are now using exponential methods of computer-algorithm analysis to drastically cut down costs.
Scott Case has developed a new term in the human resources development field, called “Innovation Management”, which he uses to further explain his own theories on exponential thinking.
Additionally, Antony Davies discusses how exponential thinking can be used as a tool in increasing creativity and innovation in his book “Taming Exuberance”.
Considering the above mentioned, multiple organizations including NASA, Microsoft, and the United Nations have acknowledged and begun implementing the idea of using exponential thinking as a resource in dealing with a rapidly changing world, thereby enabling them to achieve greater success and meet the goals they set in their respective missions.
Incremental thinking is an important aspect of exponential thinking. When it comes to personal development, the initial inclination may be to think in a more incremental manner. Scientific study also shows that people often find that their personal development begins to decline once they reach a specific level of attainment or gratification. This is because the magnitude of the change or the challenge they are facing starts to become progressively smaller.
However, there are two methods of thinking, as mostly argued for, that are essential for true exponential thinking:
The first method is to view challenges as a series of increasing obstacles that will result in greater achievements, whereby the rewards would lie within the journey. Rather than focusing on the difficulty of the situation at hand, the individual will look at the possibilities and impossibilities. From that perspective, there will be opportunities to apply the knowledge they already have to overcome challenges and move closer to achieving their long-term goals. To be able to accomplish this, the individual will have to focus on how he or she wants to look at challenges and obstacles, rather than the situation they currently find themselves in.
This form of thinking is known as cognitive reframing.
The second method can be referred to as cognitive project planning. This method involves writing out a specific goal or specific area of growth that the individual wishes to pursue, working out each part of the project in detail, and outlining a timeline for completion. This process will help the individual develop a realistic and achievable approach to their goal and provide a focus to their attention.
In exponential thinking, the importance of skills, knowledge and abilities in order to reach an objective is fundamentally crucial.
This is often why individuals who fail to take advantage of opportunities or take on more than they can succeed in; lack enough skills, knowledge and/or abilities that will allow them to achieve their desired end goals. In order to better understand the concept of skill, it is important to understand the concept of goal setting; one way to help set clear and concise goals is using goals-specific language. When individuals set their goals, they need to be able to clearly and concisely define them. They need to describe them and think of them in ways that others can relate to. In order to do this, it is important to focus on the longer term.
A longer-term goal is one that is different than the one most commonly understood by individuals. For example, rather than looking for a job, an individual would choose to set a goal of creating a company (or launching a start-up). When individuals choose to create goals in this manner, they can be more specific and organised in their approach to accomplishing their goal. This makes it easier to reach and achieve their goals and increase their likelihood of succeeding. Additionally, in order to be successful, it is believed that people must take an approach to development that is exponential, and I think so too.
This is consequently a new approach to global health research and education that is most notably represented by “Bill and Melinda Gates’ Grand Challenges for Health initiative”.
Rather than merely thinking about the technology available today, this initiative focuses on advancing health globally by investing in the best possible (emerging) technologies for treatment, prevention and relief of disease. The strategy behind this initiative is to help ensure a healthier future by addressing the biggest threats in health around the world. Such a goal will not be reached by approaching health solely through technological interventions, even though these technologies are important, a more holistic approach is always needed, nonetheless.
Subsequently, the development of a greater understanding of how the mind works is an important factor to success too. It is important for individuals to understand that they cannot just be the person who does better at a specific task; they also need to consider how the mind works in order to be successful in anything that they do. If an individual does not take the time to analyse and understand the reasons behind their successes or failures, it is difficult to gain from them.
As such, in order to really know how to succeed, one must have the wisdom to know what to pursue, how to pursue it, and when to give up in order to make progress.
Applying exponential thinking to goal-setting, is one of, if not a major way of achieving success and quantifiable progress.