Corporations often make the mistake of focusing too heavily on changing a particular action or behavior, rather than the mental model or thinking methodology that led up to the undesirable behavior. In order to shift mindsets and change the brain to adopt a more critical thinking approach, you have to engage System 2 thinking – the deliberate type of thinking involved in focus, deliberation, reasoning or analysis. System 2 thinking is contrasted by System 1 thinking, which is defined as the more intuitive reactions and instantaneous decisions that govern most of our lives.

One effective method to produce System 2 thinking is through the use of custom simulations, the kind that Regis Company builds for its clients to produce long-term changes in habit. In this video, Dr. Grace Chang explains the importance of engaging System 2 thinking.

In their book “Made To Stick,” Chip and Dan Heath highlight how simulations can be as effective as actually doing the desired tasks. For more information on the effectiveness of simulations, check out this article:

Simulation-Based Learning: Just Like The Real Thing

If you would like to read up more on System 2 thinking, please check out some of these links:

Defining System 1 & System 2 Thinking
Regis Company Insights
Of 2 Minds: How Fast and Slow Thinking Shape Perception and Choice

How do you engage System 2 thinking in your organization?