STREET DOGS: The importance of ability to rethink and unlearn
It’s nearly impossible to maintain success without frequently rethinking one’s assumptions
In his book Think Again, author Adam Grant says, “Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.” It’s nearly impossible to maintain success in either business or investing without frequently rethinking one’s assumptions.
Grant, quoting work by his colleague Philip Tetlock, says we often get so caught up preaching, prosecuting or politicking that we don’t take time to rethink our own views. Investment professionals spend a lot of time preaching about the merits of their favourite investments, prosecuting those who disagree and politicking to broaden support for their beliefs. In contrast, Grant says, if you think like a scientist, you simply search for the truth. “If you are truly a scientist, you are expected to doubt what you know, be curious about what you don’t know, and update your views based on new data.”..