Human cognition seeks efficiency and shortcuts which works brilliantly when conditions are similar to what we have encountered before. This is how we become expert at the things we repeatedly do. However, navigating uncertainty benefits from an awareness that there are things we do not and cannot know yet. Instead of jumping to conclusions and doing what we’ve done before, cognitive flexibility encourages us to look at our blind spots and be willing to approach things differently.
We may need to “drop our tools” even if they have always worked before which ability leads to an “attitude of wisdom”—acting with knowledge while doubting what you know. Individuals and teams who can recognize and implement new ways of thinking and acting when out of their comfort zone, are more likely to thrive and survive.