What does linear thinking mean

Caught in linear thinking:
Why the complexity of the future has to be rethought.

Everyone lives in their thinking cage.

People live in their differently drawn perception cages. Upbringing, school, study and work are constantly strengthening the bars through which we perceive the world around us. The linear thought structures of the industrial age shape educational institutions, companies, parties, churches and authorities. Everyone is “locked up” in some way in a corresponding system.

We do not dare to leave our mental cages of thought. The world outside is uncomfortable and stressful. Inside the gate, it's safe and relaxed. Breaking new ground, re-networking, takes strength. Sometimes that is not wanted. Then you'd better leave it.

We stay in our cages. Things that happen outside of our field of vision are strange. Anyone who does or thinks otherwise is suspect.

What lies outside the bubble of perception is ignored.

What disturbs the worldview must go. Warning notices have no response. “Doesn't concern me”, get rid of it! The world changes elsewhere; everything is OK here. Or you come to the conclusion "... I can't change anything after all".

The linear thinking and learning in the "cages" of the last decades is changing the world. Worldviews that we are currently shaping will only have an impact in decades. With our traditional mindset, we get lost in small and small and only act symptom-oriented. The big picture is not discussed. The overall system is decisive here. First of all, there must be agreement about where the “journey” should go in the next few decades. If we don't have a picture of how we want to be mobile in 30 or 50 years, we will make wrong decisions. If we do not have a picture of how we want to live together in cities in 30 or 50 years, we are making decisions in the wrong direction.

The solutions can only be approached in networking and as a complex challenge. The potential must be tapped and used. When we have a guiding star, we can make decisions that will make a world worth living in in the future possible.

The visions, the concerted actions are missing.

We have global knowledge. We have the technology. Global problems can be tackled in no time. We're not doing it because the great future plans are missing. We lack the vision for a fair world in which we live, work and do business. We lack the vision of the future of what a globe should look like on which we will be living in a few decades.

We try to simplify complexity because we don't see the connections. We decide quickly (linearly) and wonder about the growing chaos.

Quick reactions cause our focus to be wrong.

Focusing on what we don't want reinforces what we don't want. We live in the “blind spot of ignorance” and overlook important clues about what needs to be mastered. What is threatening is simply hidden.

We are destroying nature and no longer know the big picture. Humans are part of the natural web and do not see that nature is the key to overcoming global problems. At the moment many people are working on the branch we are sitting on.

The change from linear to networked thinking is our greatest challenge.

Thinking networked and future-oriented means
  • think in terms of great future plans and visions.
  • Resolve complexity with a more complex mindset.
  • focus on what is to be achieved.
  • perceive the signals from the “blind spot of ignorance”.
  • Establishing a relationship with nature because nature shows how complex systems work.

We have to leave our thinking cages, hear other opinions and answer the question of the meaning of what we do. Electromobility, diesel bans and CO2 taxes are pure activism and thus the greatest waste of energy.