Thin slicing: "Getting it" in the blink of an eye

12 Jan 2005|Added Value

Thin slicing” is the subject of Malcolm Gladwell’s highly awaited new book – Blink. In it, he says that thin slicing is a new kind of rapid cognition – an intelligent way of filtering through your perceptions and understanding of something. “Getting it” in the blink of an eye. Paying attention to what really matters only, as opposed to waiting for all the data to come in before you act on it.

What a cool concept. Malcolm is so wickedly talented in bringing things that we already know and embrace into our collective consciousness. He’s a master at illuminating what we already know and creating a new importance around it.

I would argue that most of us “thin slice” in some capacity every day. It’s really a means of survival, imho. With all the information we have to digest on a daily basis, it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed by it all (generally speaking, I think sleep allows me to thin-slice better). For the average knowledge worker, thin slicing helps you get through the day, more productively, more efficiently, with a more powerful and provocative end game.

As strategists, thin slicing is a needed skill. The best strategists are expert thin slicers. They’re able to get to the heart of any matter in split seconds, seeing through all the clutter that only complicates our thinking.

I trust that the more we begin to value thin slicing as a skill, the more that others will too.

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