Dan Heath | The Art of Upstream Thinking and Problem Solving

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It’s no surprise that many of us can be overwhelmed with the day-to-day events of our lives, so how are we supposed to plan for so many unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic, what is upstream thinking and why is it relevant today more than ever?

What to Listen For

  • What is the difference between upstream and downstream thinking and why can one lead you to a life of cyclical misery?
  • What is unique about the American healthcare system that has led to us only focusing downstream?
  • What is quiet competence and why does it make us less attentive to potential catastrophes?
  • How can we get people to think more upstream so we are not impacted so negatively by crises?
  • What is psychological standing and how does it prevent you from doing the right thing in a wide range of situations we find ourselves in regularly?
  • What are the 7 questions leaders need to ask themselves if they don’t want to fail miserably at handling the next upstream problem?
  • What can you do to unite the right people to handle a complicated problem like the COVID-19 pandemic?

Being able to think clearly about the future and contemplate solutions to problems likely to arise is becoming more and more important as society and technology continue evolving faster than we can keep up. This is why upstream thinking is so important – many of us are caught up in the rush of everyday life and we count on our leaders to know what to do when problems arise, but it seems our leaders are also forgetting to think far enough ahead, leading us to find ourselves in the predicam we’re in now with COVID-19.

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Resources from this Episode

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

Dan Heath’s website

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1127 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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