Michael Nicholas’s book “The Little Black Book of Decision Making” sets the context for how our approach to decision making must transform in the face of the increasing complexity that is being ushered in by the fourth industrial revolution (a term first used by the World Economic Forum). Whereas at one time decisions could often be made using well-understood, rational approaches, growth in computing power, together with the uncertainty arising from greater complexity, has changed the rules about how human beings can add value.
In this new world, artificial intelligence is levelling the IQ playing field. The result is that “EI versus IQ” balance of power is shifting dramatically away from IQ as machines and computers become ever more able to perform tasks that used to be done by human beings. Today, increasingly, it is creativity and emotional intelligence that will set human beings apart and determine who progresses the furthest.
This shift can be clearly seen from that fact that the fields where jobs numbers are increasing are those requiring a higher level of capabilities like active listening, complex problem solving and the ability to exercise judgement. These are traits—aspects of mindset—that are difficult to develop through the traditional approaches to learning that are still at the heart of most educational programmes.
Fortunately, and contrary to what used to be commonly believed, such human traits, and the underlying capabilities that they depend on like openness, receptivity, adaptability and caring, can be consciously developed. But the starting point for making these kinds of personal changes is completely different to where it would have been for skill development,
Today, to achieve personal growth in capabilities like agility, openness and caring for others, the focus must be on shifting mindset, rather than developing skillsets. Hence, emotional intelligence must be developed from the inside out, and the best starting point is to develop self-awareness such that we can start to make new choices.