Focus on thought is intense right now. We’re living in a time where websites increasingly seem to ‘know’ how we think, where real artificial intelligence is getting closer and closer – and where the most powerful man on the planet is not expected to speak the truth. More than that, actually – he’s expected to spin falsehoods and churn out contradictions.
An atmosphere has developed – certainly in politics – of double-speak and truth-defiance, which negates the validity of clear thinking and leaves people operating from instinct – and sometimes from their most base, negative instinct.
How are we to deal with that? How are we to communicate if it doesn’t matter whether what we say is true or not? We respond by championing thought. By championing the capacity for one mind, one voice, to be lucid, to make sense, to be creative and to inspire through its clarity of vision and purpose.
In the workplace, championing thought means championing diversity of thought. For too long, conformity and conventionality have been valued above much else. Our ability to assimilate into an organisation’s established culture was paramount.
But we live in a global, incredibly diverse workplace now, and organisations must reflect that or struggle. Thankfully, there’s an inexhaustible, natural source of thought diversity right at hand – the people who surround us.
Remember too that diversity of thought does not automatically mean left-leaning. Every voice should be heard. Trump’s victory should not have been such a surprise to the media – but it was, partly because certain viewpoints feel they must be muted.
Right or left, the more diversity of thought is championed, the more thought itself is championed. Celebrate the individual voice and you celebrate all voices. Moreover, diversity creates debate, and debate is engagement. If we’re to drain that swamp in 2017, alert and conscious engagement is the tool we’re going to need.