When we think of complex problem solving, we usually think in terms of curing disease, solving climate change, space exploration, fake news, war, and over population. The little things.
But there is one subject that I would argue is as important as any of these. If we can solve this, we have a greater chance of solving the other issues that plague us.
Understanding human behavior and communication could very well be the most important skill we need to learn in this century if we are to survive into the next.
We thought the internet would be this great purveyor of truth that would unite us all through education, communication and connection. It may be too soon to pronounce a final conclusion, but here, in our infancy of the exponential growth of information, instead of bridges we have built silos. With our headphones in, we stare at our phones, read, watch, and see only those who agree with our worldview, refusing to be challenged and refusing to grow. Our cognitive bias rules the day.
But we are still learning and I still have hope. I work and coach weekly with 20 somethings and teenagers. What I see is a mass of people determined to make the planet a better place for everyone. I may sometimes be frustrated at my daughters screen time - while I am staring at my phone as guilty as they (and they call me out on it,thankfully) - I am proud and hopeful that with all of the complex problem solving skills we need to acquire to be individually successful and thrive as a species, they have almost unknowingly placed human understanding, communication, and connection as the glue that enables us to work on the other issues that are upon us. Without this glue, our complex problem solving falls apart like an opened box of an IKEA bunk-bed.
There is hope, and it lies with our ability to destroy the silos and build bridges to one another.
How we do that? Stay tuned…