Explain the term cognitive ambidexterity. How is cognitive ambidexterity important for the entrepreneurial mindset and discovering opportunities? Creative, as opposed to predictive logic allows entrepreneurs to create their own future. Provide examples of people who have used their creative logic to create their future. What are your thoughts and/or feelings including your level of comfort about using the creative rather than predictive logic approach?
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A good academician can make even the simplest concepts seem hopelessly convoluted. In general usage, the word “ambidextrous” means able to use both hands with equal dexterity. In other words, unlike most individuals, for whom one hand, most often the right, is the dominant appendage, individuals who are ambidextrous are able to use both hands with the same level of coordination. In a mental sense, “cognitive dexterity” means the ability to function effectively in a dynamic environment in which multiple, and substantively different perspectives must be maintained. It is also refers to the need among entrepreneurs to be capable of shifting between divergent approaches, mainly between the logical and the creative. “Creative” and “logical” are traditionally considered different sides of the intellectual coin, with the two often in conflict. The phrase “creative logic” was developed to refer to “outside the box” approaches to problem-solving in which effective solutions or ideas are developed that are unconventional or fundamentally different than the established norm.
Cognitive ambidexterity also incorporates the distinction between predictive and creative logic, with the former more traditionally associated with the scientific approach to problem-solving. The realities of assuming financial risk in business endeavors often involve the use of predictive logic to attain the most accurate and scientifically-sound outlook assuming one or more proposed options are analyzed. That outlook should reflect the underlying realities that exist at the time and that are reasonably anticipated in the future. Any successful businessperson will attest to the importance of creativity, and the more competitive the environment, the more important it becomes. Depending upon the type of business, however, those individuals will just as readily explain the importance of sound engineering if a viable approach is to be identified. A website designer or people in advertising are well-situated to rely on creative thinking, but only to the degree that they can demonstrate the value in their approach, for example, by deriving data from consumer surveys or purchasing decisions. A manufacturer or architect, in contrast, must think in terms of what is physically viable; in effect, they are required to think in terms of solutions or ideas that are not in violation of the laws of physics or that do not involve incompatible merging of materials, like chemicals. In the former category, creativity is paramount; in the latter, creativity is important, but can’t supplant science. Cognitive ambidexterity, then, is important to the former, but vital to the latter.
What this means is that creative logic is fine as long as it doesn’t ignore predictive, or scientifically-sound logic. The entrepreneurs who developed Silicon Valley into a center of technological innovation and that ushered in the information age were creative individuals whose predictive logic was superior. The ideas that evolved into today’s gadgets were the product of extremely innovative minds that did not have the luxury of ignoring engineering requirements. Acknowledging those requirements without sacrificing innovation was the beauty of what they accomplished.
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