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Thomas Huxley once encouraged people to: ”Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.” I really like this quote because, as regular readers of this blog know, I think we can all benefit a great deal from ”thinking like a child.”
A correlary to this is the idea that “inexperience” is not always a negative characteristic. This is especially true if people’s experience precludes them from understanding how the accelerating pace of technological change might change their future in ways which are completely unexpected or maybe even foreign to them. To this end, I highly recommend this article, entitled ”Judgment Trumps Experience,” which appeared a while back in the Wall Street Journal. One sentence in particular stands out for me. It reads: ”And often, especially in today’s dizzying world, we need to understand what Zen Buddists call the ‘beginner’s mind,’ which recognizes the value of fresh insight unfettered by experience.”
It’s a wonderful quote and in today’s “dizzying world” it is more appropriate than ever. Now, if you want to take this message to heart and become what I call an exponential executive, the question you must ask yourself is this: What are you doing to cultivate your own “beginner’s mind”?