There are a lot of things one could be; explorer or expert, optimizer or connector.

Figuring precisely what one is could prove an invaluable help not just to one but to one’s company as noted by two experts in an article for Harvard Business Review.

Organisations generally utilize a set group of  tools to create, manage and motivate teams. Thought processes and patterns though are unfortunately overlooked by these companies, a grave oversight.

Mark Bonchek and Elisa Steele wrote that in today’s market, the companies that win are not necessarily those with the highest level of production but those who most exploit the cerebral factor.

Their research has shown that performance is boosted mostly by effective collective thinking. While actions of colleagues are most times visible, the hidden wheels that turn in their minds remain well, hidden and their thought process is less apparent.

The writers continue, a mastery of the thinking process of the team and its individual members will yield more fruits for an organisation.

How one and the team thinks has been categorised into a three step process:

Thought pattern:

Step one deals with mental focus. Does one’s thoughts zero in on ideas, processes,  actions, or relationships? Rather than being an issue of choice between four, its more a matter of what direction one naturally leans.

Step two deals with the direction one’s thinking orients to between the minute and the immense, does on zoom in on the detail or see the big picture.



Step three combines these, determines ones thinking style by using the chart above.

Each style is determined by the co-authors:

Explorer thinking generates creative ideas.

Planner thinking designs effective systems.

Energizer thinking mobilizes people to action.

Connector thinking creates and strengthens relationships.

Expert thinking achieves objectivity and insight.

Optimizer thinking ups productivity and efficiency.

Producer thinking achieves completion and momentum.

Figuring ones style of thinking will key one in on what gets one up and running, what challenges one and what improves one.

The writers hold that getting one’s team involved in one’s thinking style will prove a useful tool, one that can be a “kind of social currency – for the team.” From here on, one can build better, collaborative teams who can make efficient decisions both for themselves and the companies.

The writers conclude by saying that business needs to embed thinking and make it a part of team forming, motivation and management.

Definitely food for thought!!!



Author: Ekpeki Donald Pen Prince

Ekpeki Chovwe Donald styled the PenPrince is a writer and lawyer in equity. He has an unhealthy interest in wit, pun and poetry. When he’s not writing, he’s reading and when he’s not reading, he’s breathing. He breathes words.