Sara Bermúdez asked about important mindsets for the future of work

In the Design Thinking group on LinkedIn, Sara Bermúdez asked:

I would love to hear your opinions on which are the most important mindsets for the future of work.

Naturally, I had a take on this:

I find I often have to nudge people out of what I’ve come to call constraint-based thinking. Focusing on and reacting to the apparent constraints in a situation can lead to a poor solution and a feeling of being stuck with that poor solution, a double-whammy of negativity. “We couldn’t do X because of A, we couldn’t do Y because of B, so we’re stuck with Z, like it or not.” Chances are good that there’s a way to meet the goal that manages or makes irrelevant these constraints that you’ll be happier with than where you are seemingly stuck, but it requires exploring ways to meet the goal rather than rattling around in a box of obstacles.

Steven Forth responded:

Are there skills we can cultivate that helps us escape from the self-imposed constraints of constraint based thinking?

So I elaborated a bit:

Sure. Some are implied above.

1) Identify and articulate a goal as a benefit (where a benefit is the happy result NOT expressed in terms of exactly how it is delivered).

2) Consider a person’s needs and a business’s needs together rather than separately.

3) When confronted with a problem or pain point, learn about and offer possible benefits (some folks call them “gain points”) rather than solutions, at first. Later you can design or select a way to deliver that benefit.

4) Think in scenarios: who arrives in what situation, when and where, with which need or goal to address or accomplish, and what can the system (or organization, etc.) offer them?

Note that most of these thoughts require a positive wording of the situation or aim rather than a negative wording. This might be the key skill, broadly useful but not sufficient on its own. You’ll see this in health fields when practitioners take a wellness perspective—rather than cease some harmful behavior like smoking, they’ll talk about replacing the habits associated with smoking with healthier rituals, moving nicotine delivery to a less-harmful medium where it can be managed, etc.

There are many other good comments there.