Are You an Efficient/Analytical or an Effective/Synthetic Executive?

Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 76th episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast. In this episode, Tripp discusses the characteristics of an efficient/analytical vs effective/synthetic executive. Download our FREE Effective Executive Starter Kit.

Show Notes

Mind Your Noodles – Episode 76

Episode 76 – Are You an Efficient/Analytical or Effective/Synthetic Executive?

Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

Effective and Synthetic Thinking Go Together


Step 1: Look at Your Organization as a Whole

Achieving Wisdom

How We Might be able to Help You



Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:00] Ok, this is the 76 episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast and the second episode where I’ve built a broader umbrella around thinking and the way that executives think.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:16] And so this week, I want to talk about a little bit more what I talked about last week, which is the concept of being an efficient versus an effective executive.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:31] And I want to add in there also analytical versus synthetic, because these things to me run together very closely. And so when we think of efficient versus effective, we in essence are thinking in terms of performance. So are we in efficient performer or an effective in what we do? And then the analytical versus the synthetic type of thinking executive, in a sense, we’re talking about thinking and those are two two parts to a whole, if you will, and most of us are analytical thinkers.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:01:12] And I’ll tell you from working with many organizations that ninety nine percent of executives are analytical thinkers and one percent are synthetic thinkers.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:01:28] And the reason I say this is is one, I believe it to be true, I don’t have any survey or scientific study on it. But just my observation over the years and even the one percent that are synthetic are usually in systems where they can’t operate with their brains being in a synthetic mode or a system mode. So let’s talk about, first of all, efficiency versus effectiveness.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:01:59] And I talked last week a little bit about efficiency is doing things right and being effective are is basically doing the right things. And so when we look at. The way organizations are designed and the way that we improve performance, we talk in terms of these individual types of silos that exist in organizations.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:02:31] So those are, you know, for instance, we have a tech department, I.T. department, we’ve got training, we’ve got maybe Lean and Six Sigma. We got project management, we got finance and accounting. We got sales and we got operations.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:02:45] And there may be other types of departments that are in your individual organization, but focusing in most executives are over one of those types of of departments.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:02:59] And because they are, it makes it very difficult for them to look at the whole or in this case, being effective by looking at at the whole and being synthetic in their thinking and looking at the system.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:03:17] So. It’s kind of locked in by virtue of the way that organizations control things in the way that they motivate things, because you’re typically is an executive of a particular department or being an aspiring executive that maybe is in a department. And, you know, you have to tow the line basically for your department, your you are stuck by virtue of the way the system has been made in that type of thinking that I have to do what’s best for my department. Now. This is analytical thinking that we’ve broken these things down and solidified it to such a point with control and motivation, where people are stuck in that mindset or forced into that mindset because the system is rewarded in that way and controlled in that way. And so we look at these independent parts as opposed to the whole of how things operate.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:04:26] So efficiency cannot change doing the wrong thing to doing the right thing, there is no approach from an efficient standpoint, from an analytical standpoint that can get you to an effective or become an effective or synthetic type of thinking executive. So they are completely to two different paths, but they rely on each other at the same time. So. We talk in terms of effective synthetic type thinking we’re doing the right things and we know that in order to do the right things, that we have to understand how the whole performs and that the hole in a system is greater than the sum of its parts.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:20] And so these are the interdependence of things becomes very important if if the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it’s it’s that interdependence of those parts that improve the whole. And we can’t look at the whole until we take make an effort to get out of our independent department that we’re stuck in.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:48] How does the whole work and so this requires something broader and thinking. And the way that this is described by many folks is that we have a future, future focused aim. And to me, when we’re talking in terms of ├íng, we’re talking about the greater good. We’re talking about the customer, we’re talking about innovation, and we’re also talking about something very social. So it’s something that we look at how these interaction of the parts are held together.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:24] And if you look at that, if we look at greater good, we’re looking at something greater than ourselves or the system in which we work and or the department that we work in, we’re looking at that. And that’s kind of the first level, from my standpoint, in getting you to think outside of just that department and looking at the whole organization. Later, you can look into the organization, how it fits into the larger industry, into the larger systems outside of the organization.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:52] But step one is really looking at your organization as a whole, so so that it needs to provide some greater good that has to have some focus on the customer and it has to have some focus on innovation in order to get you to the next level. In other words, everything is progressing. And we’ve seen a lot of disruption in media. We’ve seen disruption in so many different industries that you have to be proactive in innovating in your industry in order to just stay afloat. And then there’s a social aspect, which is then the interaction of the parts. How do we socially interact with each other in an organization? Now I get a lot of my operational definitions for analytical versus synthetic thinking from Dr. Russell Akef, who died a few few years ago, may have been 12. I don’t remember the exact time frame, but and he talks in terms of understanding and getting know how from analysis that how a system works, and that is knowledge. Once we understand how a system works, that is getting knowledge and that can increase your efficiency, but that does not increase your effectiveness. And so in order to increase in effectiveness, it requires understanding. And why a system does what it does and whether it ought to be doing it is wisdom. And what we’re after here is getting you to a point as an executive where you can be wise and utilize that wisdom. But but understanding that all of everybody listening to this is going to be a and efficient analytical thinker. I’ve got to move you away from that by doing things that will help you become an effective synthetic type of an executive.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:09:12] So if if a system is doing the wrong thing. Wisdom is required to correct it. Nothing else is going to correct it. Remember, I can’t get there from efficient analytical. You have to become effective synthetic in your thinking as an executive in an effective in your performance and synthetic in your thinking in order to become an effective executive. So wisdom comes from synthetic, not analytical. Thinking and analysis will not right the wrong thing. And I know I’ve overemphasized that, but some people believe that if I just keep doing the the things that I’m doing, doing the right things and are doing things right, as opposed to doing the right things that they can get there with that type of thinking. We’re talking about two different thoughts in doing that. So how do I approach this? Well, this is the 95 Method Executive Education Program, in essence, and take you through and help you become a synthetic thinker. And I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, and if I haven’t, I will mention it now that customers are synthetic thinkers because they don’t care about your departments. All they care about is getting what they need when they come to your organization. And in order to get that type of knowledge and what you need in order to gain wisdom is the ability to look through this customer lens and then also the thinking lens that you’re looking through. Because if you’re looking through an analytical way as opposed to synthetic way, you’re missing out on a lot of things that could help improve the organization.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:11:17] So we’re, in essence, taking you through step by step and executive education program, through looking through that customer lens and through the thinking lens. And I also utilize neuroscience also to help you understand why you think the way that you do and how you can unpack this in your brain a little bit because you’ll understand your tendencies as that you are an analytical thinker and that synthetic thinking is something very different. And being able to construct what I call a system map from that customer lens and from that thinking lens will give you a view, something to converse about that’s much different than the analytical types of conversations that you have. And organizations having broader synthetic types of conversation organizations changes a lot of the dynamics of things that are happening in the way that you view things. And so this is the first step. Now I have a free download that’s available that’s at the ninety five method dot com forward slash starter kit and that’s basically five videos and take you through some of the thinking associated with this and then the follow on to that, if it makes sense to you and it has some exercises in it to. But if that makes sense to you, then the next logical step is to go on to the 95 method and constructing that system map and moving your mind from efficient to effective and analytical to synthetic types of thinking. So that’s the aim of it. And hopefully this has provided you some format within your brain that you can kind of see, OK. Now, I kind of understand what we’re doing here.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:13:25] We we understand that we want to become more. Effective in our performance and that we have an efficient mindset. That we want to go from analytical to synthetic thinking and that there are certain steps that you need to take in order to do that. Now, there may be other ways, you know, I just don’t know of them. I take people through a process. It’s, you know, the broader executive education program, the ninety five method is to take you through from that from where you sit today and internalize some of the things you see through the customer lens and the thinking lens in order to move yourself. I can’t change your thinking, but I can have you do things that will help improve your ability to see the differences and to understand your organization as a system by constructing the system. So that’s what I wanted to talk about this week. I don’t know how much longer are going to be talking about analytical versus synthetic. It’s such a big part of building a foundation in your thinking that I may do more videos on this and more podcasts associated with it. But because I think it’s so important that you get the concepts of understanding how you think that that most of our brains are efficient, analytical types of brains, we think that in terms of performance, being efficient and our thinking is analytical because it’s the way we’ve always done it, as opposed to becoming understanding that performance comes more from being effective and through that, needing to be a synthetic thinker. So that’s it this week. I’ll talk to you next week.

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