Options thinking and the fallacious argument of false choices

The future holds possibilities for both you and your organization that you haven’t yet considered. By the very nature of the pace of technological change, the future is inherently unpredictable. Any time you see someone talking like they know what’s going to happen in the next 10 or 20 years in any industry, you can be sure they’re guessing. There are too many factors. Hence, most of our industries need to be focusing on increasing adaptability and to learn how to nimbly respond to changes. The future will no longer be controlled only by entrenched establishments.

Payment technologies are emerging that have the potential to converge big data with international web organizations in ways that could crowd banks out of their bread and butter industry. Not just for the reasons that someone wants in, but that integration is inevitable, and whoever figures it out fastest with the scale to do something about it will win.

In the past 4 months, I have personally crowd-funded 3 exciting products that probably wouldn’t have come to market if not for this clever way of accessing capital. Yeah, whoever came up with that model changed the world a bit. The guys developing the lockitron didn’t have to line up at a bank and beg for mercy. That changed things a bit more.

This is an exciting time to be alive. This is an environment where change presents opportunities and options. And to that point, we need to maintain the ability to be options thinkers.

We often like to simplify our options down to the place where we can easily process it. I can do this or I can do that. It is rarely if ever true that you only have 2 choices. Options thinkers aren’t always black and white, they look for possibilities and alternatives that the average person isn’t prepared to process.

George W. Bush became famous for this when he spoke of the war on terror: “You are either for us or against us.” Was that true in an absolute sense, that there are only two options. This is defined as an argument of false choices. Reject that kind of thinking in your life.

Now sometimes this is used to control perceptions or options in a given situation, but never allow yourself to fall into that same trap when considering the options for your own career or organization. If you can’t see more than a few options, get some fresh minds in the room to help you.

Your potential is incredible. The options are incredible. The challenge is being willing and brave enough to see them and bring them to life.

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