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29.05.23

The Friday Morning 37: The Method of "Drawing Elephants" - The Secret to Learning and Thinking

Mike Nguyen
In today's fast-paced world, the ability to comprehend complex problems and think critically is highly valued. However, our minds are limited in their capacity to process multidimensional issues. In this blog post, from what we learned in The Friday Morning no.37 of Mr. Loc Dang, CEO of AIV Group and founder of the VNALERT information monitoring and alert platform, we explore the "drawing elephants" method—a powerful technique for learning and thinking.

1. What is the "Elephant"?

The "elephant" represents the entire knowledge or problem we are trying to tackle—a multidimensional and complex issue. Unfortunately, our human minds can only handle two dimensions at a time. Failing to see the "elephant" has detrimental effects on both individuals and groups, leading to limited understanding, restricted learning capabilities, and a lack of shared perspectives.

2. How to See the "Elephant"?

To visualize and comprehend the "elephant," we need to create a framework that breaks it down into manageable dimensions. By constructing a two-dimensional grid and identifying the coordinates of the "elephant," we can grasp its multidimensional nature. Drawing "n" dimensions using two-dimensional tables becomes the key to visualizing the problem and knowing exactly what needs to be done.

Steps to draw "elephant":

Step 1: Define the Purpose

Step 2: Determine the Output

Step 3: Identify the Dimensions and their Values using MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive)

Step 4: "Draw the Elephant": Identify the two most important dimensions—additional dimensions can be added, with a maximum of four.

3. Real-Life Applications and Benefits

The "drawing elephants" method is a versatile approach that can be applied to any problem or situation, allowing various types of "elephants" to be transformed into systematic thinking frameworks. By employing this method, individuals can gain a comprehensive and intuitive understanding of complex issues, uncover dimensions and value cells that are often overlooked, and significantly enhance their thinking processes and information organization. Even those unfamiliar with the technique can easily comprehend an "elephant" drawn by others, making it an effective communication tool. Moreover, the method facilitates collaboration, as multiple individuals can collaborate and draw together during online meetings, making it an excellent team collaboration tool. When combined with Google Sheets, it becomes an incredibly efficient tool for organizing and analyzing information.

4. Some practical suggestions for applying the "drawing elephants" method

The "drawing elephants" method offers a versatile approach to various aspects of life and learning. You can begin by drawing an "elephant" that reflects your life's journey and goals, providing a visual representation of your aspirations. Additionally, create an "elephant" to map out your knowledge and expertise, allowing you to organize and visualize your areas of proficiency. Outline your objectives by drawing an "elephant" to gain clarity and prioritize your goals effectively. The method extends beyond personal development, serving as a powerful tool for general problem-solving and critical thinking enhancement. You can even systematize your professional knowledge by transforming it into an "elephant" format. Furthermore, during collaborative meetings, the "drawing elephants" method fosters collective engagement, enabling both individuals to draw "elephants" together on topics of mutual interest. By incorporating these practices, you unlock the potential of the "drawing elephants" method to facilitate self-reflection, knowledge organization, goal-setting, problem-solving, and collaborative endeavors.

5. Conclusion

The "drawing elephants" method offers a revolutionary approach to learning and thinking, enabling us to tackle complex problems with ease. By breaking down multidimensional issues and visualizing them in two-dimensional grids, we can enhance our understanding, unleash our critical thinking abilities, and effectively communicate with others. Embrace the power of "drawing elephants" and unlock your true learning potential.

The Friday Morning 37 with Mr. Loc Dang.jpg

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