Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Culture and "Mindset"

“Global Mindset” is something that we sometimes hear about and sometimes talk about. It seems like the concept might be interesting and relevant for our work and interpersonal connections now that we live in an environment that is becoming more “global” by the minute. “Global” has pretty obvious connotations – but what do we mean by “Mindset”?

The term has come to refer to how people and organizations develop a “filter” which helps them make sense of the world with which they interact. Without a filter, we would be overwhelmed by the amount, the diversity, the complexity and the ambiguity of the vast amount of information which we have to deal with every day. So, a “mindset” is a “cognitive filter”. How is it developed?

Our “cognitive filters” are the result of our experience, our society, our history. These filters help us organize and interpret the information that comes to us. If the information fits nicely into our filter, it reinforces our mindset. If we lived in an isolated environment, with little access to new information we would have a fairly limited mindset which, over time, could become quite “rigid” in order to protect our comfort zone. What would happen if we were to be bombarded with new novel information and experiences which did not fit comfortably into our filter – mindset?

Our mindset influences whether we accept or reject the new information! If we are not aware of our mindset and how it developed in our subconscious we run the risk of having a very rigid mindset - and of not being open to change and growth. So, I believe that our "mindset" is both a product of our culture and, at the same time, it is shaping our openness to new experiences and ways of thinking. A big first step on the road to developing a truly "global mindset" is becoming aware of our current mindset, our "cognitive filtration system"

1 comment:

Scott said...

I like to think of it as "we see with our brains not with our eyes". The filtering of what we see is "managed" by our brain and influenced as you describe. What is interesting is that this is in many ways the principle behind the law of attraction. If you look for something you might just find it!