Winner of the 2019 Axiom Business Book Award Silver Medal in the Leadership Category
OPEN TO THINK
While it may not occur to us on a daily basis, there is a widespread cultural tendency toward quick decisions and quick action. This pattern has resulted in many of society’s greatest successes, but even more of its failures. Though the root cause is by no means malicious, we have begun to reward speed over quality, and the negative effects suffered in both our personal and professional lives are potentially catastrophic.
Society has lost its grip on what matters most: the ability to think.
Best-selling author and leadership strategist Dan Pontefract has witnessed the collapse of “open thinking” and believes should leaders want highly engaged and customer-savvy employees, a better way of thinking must be introduced.
In Dan’s third book, OPEN to THINK: Slow Down, Think Creatively, and Make Better Decisions, he suggests that in order to mitigate calamities such as a relentless pursuit of action mixed with the pressure to “do more with less” individuals and teams must combine creative, critical, and applied thinking.
“Open Thinking” is a cyclical process in which creativity is encouraged, critiquing leads to better decisions, and thoughtful action delivers positive, sustainable results. He proposes a return to balance between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding, and doing.
Based on organizational and societal data, academic research, historical studies, and a wide range of interviews, OPEN to THINK is an appeal for a world of better thinking. Pontefract introduces tangible, actionable strategies to improve the way we think as organizations and individuals.
To become an Open Thinker, one must understand the relationship between reflection and action, and how it can negatively or positively affect an outcome.
OPEN TO THINK gets down to the basics — providing a model for how to optimize your thinking to become more creative, more efficient, and more effective. With this book, you can reshape your thinking to eliminate bad habits and strengthen your mind for the challenges of today’s business world.
– Daniel H. Pink, author of WHEN and DRIVE
We think we know how to think. And you do, kinda. But, as you’ll see, you’re mostly a high performing amateur. Why not up your game and ‘go pro’? Combining solid research and practical tools, OPEN TO THINK will get you thinking better. And that means acting smarter.
– Michael Bungay Stanier, Wall Street Journal best-selling author of THE COACHING HABIT
OPEN TO THINK admirably accomplishes its purpose, jarring us from simply going with the mental flow, our thinking constrained by the grooves of habit, rarely if ever diverted into original or creative channels. Pontefract rightly identifies this as a disaster waiting to happen in our organizations—and perhaps not waiting at all, but disaster happening today. I can’t recall a single organization I’ve been involved in that wouldn’t benefit from more Open Thinkers in its ranks. Of particular interest to me was the relationship between our dysfunctional thought patterns and the degree of our disengagement from our work; the automaticity of our thinking denying us the advantages we should have when we’ve achieved mastery of our domain, and leading us instead to boredom, stagnation and declining performance. Plenty of food for thought here, if one is open to sitting down at the table to dine and digest.
– Whitney Johnson, critically acclaimed author of Build an A-Team and Disrupt Yourself, and a Thinkers50 Leading Management Thinker
Our sound-bite, politicized, shortcut way of coming to solutions is exacerbating many of society’s most significant problems. In the face of our perennial time famine, OPEN TO THINK offers a refreshing perspective on how we can take control of our thinking and ultimately get to a better solution more quickly.
– Rita Gunter McGrath, professor at Columbia Business School and author of The End of Competitive Advantage
Dan Pontefract has a track record of giving the world helpful books on how to think differently about important topics such as organizational design and purpose. Intriguingly in his latest, he coaxes us to think differently about thinking itself. A thought provoking and engaging book, OPEN TO THINK is a practical manual for working productively on your own thinking.
– Roger L. Martin, author of Fixing the Game and The Opposable Mind, and ranked #1 on Thinkers50
It’s the central challenge for any entrepreneur or leader: how can we think better? Dan Pontefract expertly guides us to go beyond facile answers and provides a new framework to help us make better decisions and achieve more successful outcomes in our lives.
– Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You and Stand Out, and adjunct professor at Duke University Fuqua School of Business