By Dave Kahle

Mind Software?

The recent proliferation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) has surfaced a lingering issue: If we can create software to increase the capabilities of a computer, can we not create software to increase the capabilities of the greatest computer we know of – our minds?

Let’s unpack this idea. First, a definition of software. Here’s what Wikipedia says: “groups of binary values signifying processor instructions ….”

If software gives instructions to a processor, can we not build a set of instructions that will enhance our ability to think more effectively? If so, wouldn’t that be mind software?

To make sure we are all understanding the same thing, here’s a definition:

Mind Software is a set of instructions that drive thinking processes so that we can more effectively accomplish a sophisticated task.

We probably don’t need any special software to accomplish routine daily activities. But, from time to time we encounter a problem or a project that requires sophisticated answers, or that carries with them such important consequences that we ought to use whatever tool we can to ensure a positive outcome.

Our rapidly changing environment challenges us to change the way we work and think and do it better. If we don’t change and improve at least as rapidly as the world is changing around us, we’ll fall behind. It’s time to add some new tools to our repertoire. Mind Software is one of them.

As with any sophisticated work, one of the building blocks to mind software is effectively designed processes.

We understand that a good, well-designed process makes everything work better and easier. This is true for any and every sophisticated task. So, we can think of a server taking and delivering a restaurant customer’s order, for example. The restaurant owner can let every server do it however he/she wants, or he/she can create a process, and then train and equip the staff to implement that process.

Since the process is composed of key steps, those steps can be measured, and those measurements compared to a goal. So, for example, let’s say that the server’s process requires the customer’s order to be entered into a tablet computer at the table, within 15 minutes of the server greeting them. You could easily develop a means of capturing the information and then compare actual measurements to the ideal. When there is a discrepancy, you can take some action to improve that step on the process. In so doing, you continuously improve.

That approach is effective for any and every recurring, sophisticated task. Think of McDonalds without a system or processes. They don’t hire the best people they can find, and then give them this charge: “You guys figure it out.” No — they create a system, made up of processes, activities, tools and measurements, and then train and measure the employees to effectively implement that system.

Whether it is cooking a meal, assembling a Ford, writing a term paper, or making a sales call, any and every sophisticated, reproducible task should be turned into a process and systematized in order to do it better and continually improve it.

The task should be sophisticated. In order words, it should be composed of a number of sub-tasks. So, for example, installing a new video doorbell requires a number of tasks, whereas ringing the doorbell does not.

It should also be recurring. In other words, the same task should present itself over and over again. So, if you are a homeowner, building a house is probably a one-off sophisticated project. You are unlikely to do it over and over again. But, if you are a builder, the project of building a house is a regular, recurring challenge. The homeowner may not need a system to think about it, but the home builder sure better have one to survive.

So, a good process, well-designed and adhered to carefully can be a significant tool for effectiveness and efficiency.

What about Thinking?

But, what about thinking? Are there sophisticated, reproducible tasks that can be accomplished more effectively and more easily by creating and installing ‘mind software’ – instructions about thinking processes to accomplish this task?

Certainly, we all have sophisticated, recurring tasks that we encounter. And a significant number of those require sophisticated responses.

Understanding that, can we ‘think better?”

What if, instead of launching into a sophisticated task like strategic planning, we spent some time creating a thinking process to ensure that we created the most effective outcomes we could? Better yet, instead of writing our own software, suppose we sought out ‘mind process programmers’ who have given deep thought to the process, have lots of experience, and who have created the mental software to help us.

If we did that, then we would have an understanding of what mind software is, why it’s use is more critical today than ever, and a basic process for seeking it out.

Let’s just focus on some common business tasks: Strategic planning, time management, and goal setting to begin with. Could our results be improved if we created a process for thinking about these things, installed that process into our own heads, and that launched into the processes necessary to accomplish the task? We all know the answer is YES. (These are just three of the Menta-Morphosis ® mind software applications.)

A personal story digression

I was just beginning my speaking practice and decided to join the National Speaker’s Association and attend their annual convention. There I met a consultant to speakers – actually Zig Ziegler’s consultant – and hired her to work with me. That meant spending a week in Dallas and working closely with her. About mid-morning of the first day, as I was sharing some of my materials and concepts, she suddenly stopped me.

“Do you know what you do?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied, “I do all this sales stuff I’ve been showing you. “

“No, you don’t. I have the gift of being able to work with a speaker and discern his/her core message, and your core message is not sales.”

“What is it?”

“You teach people how to think.”

“I don’t think so,” I replied.” Clearly, I do this sales material.”

“Trust me,” she said. “This is my business. I want to stop this session right now. Go back to the hotel, have lunch and then sit down with a yellow pad and a pen and think about how you think. Write it down. You’ll find you have a system.”

“I don’t think so,” I replied, “But, I’m paying you the big bucks, so I’ll do it.”

I went back to the hotel, ate lunch, and then settled in with a pad of paper to try to think about how I thought and document it. By 7 PM that evening I had 12 steps and 8 overlays in a matrix. She was right, I had a system for thinking.

I took it back the next day, apologized for not trusting her, and showed her my system.

“That’s way too sophisticated for the vast majority of people” she said. “So, let’s work on simplifying it.”

That was the beginning of what is now Menta-Morphosis ® Mind Software. It has evolved and become more accessible. At the moment, there are 11 modules, all available free to members of our XI online community. Click here to learn more.

Copyright MMXXIII by Dave Kahle. All rights reserved.

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of salespeople and transform hundreds of sales organizations. His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as “one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Good Book on Business.