Zoom Thinking: The Basics
Like our muscles, our minds tend to contract and tighten — especially when we’re overwhelmed with information.
Zoom Thinking is about getting the mind moving again. There are three core components:
These are basic thinking skills you can apply in any thinking situation. Examples of the Zoom Skills include:
Being relaxed and non-reactive in the presence of a data mass
Becoming aware of “the feeling of the thought”
Summarizing ideas with the least words possible
Recognizing and observing contexts
Refusing to know what you know
These are techniques that stimulate mental movement. You can use them alone or in any combination, as need arises. A few examples:
The tactic that separates the forest from the trees. You look at the data mass close up, and from 30,000 feet, and all points in between.
This tactic applies a familiar rule: “Begin with the end in mind.” You work backwards from a notional outcome.
The Empathic Jump
You identify others who might be relevant to your project, and see things from their point of view.
There and Back
Imagine the most extreme possible version of your concept, then return to reality with that wild idea in mind.
Sometimes the hardest thing to see is what isn’t there. With this tactic, you look for what’s missing.