Problem-Solving and Imagination…the “It” Gene?

Does your job involve problem-solving and imagination, or is your phone the problem-solver for you? Gone are the days when you had to memorize a name, password, or phone number. This dependence on technology may even be detrimental to the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory.

How can we foster imagination and encourage problem-solving in a world where the use of
technology is ever-increasing, and why are some people better at this than others?

On today’s episode of Straight Outta Crumpton, Hosts Greg Crumpton and Tyler Kern meet
with Michael Donahue, Associate Director, Reconnaissance and Targeting Systems Advanced
Development Programs at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, to talk everything from Donahue’s
background to the evolution of problem-solving to current innovations in the world and in the
HVAC industry.

Donahue and Crumpton discussed how problem-solving and imagination are becoming progressively less important in an increasingly app and technology-based world. And why wouldn’t this be the case in a world where there are 3.04 million apps on the Google Store and 2.09 million apps on the Apple Store? It seems that while apps are solving more and more of our problems, our imaginations are working less and less.

Donahue said of imagination: “I think that’s being lost, you know, to create something on your own…in a problem that you find yourself in while you’re troubleshooting a piece of equipment or an application or something and just using simple imagination.”

Crumpton, Kern, and Donahue also discussed…

● The individuals who influenced Donahue’s experience in the U.S. Army and fostered his
gift in problem-solving

● What types of innovative technology are emerging in the world and liquid cooling
industry today and the faces behind these innovations

● How women are entering the HVAC industry and the value they bring

Donahue highlighted the importance of continuing to keep personal relationships and not just limit your interactions to being online. “You get involved and you want to understand the makeup of everybody that works with you, that works under you or around you, and that’s kind of where I’ve always approached it. I’ve tried to understand everybody’s pain points, or what’s going on and today, as far as I know, I’m still in contact with most of the folks I’ve ever worked with,” he explained.

Donahue is Associate Director, Reconnaissance and Targeting Systems Advanced Development
Programs, Senior Manager – F-16 Development and Production Programs, and Senior Manager – Strategic Initiatives and Business Creation at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. He served in the U.S. Army as an Engineer and has extensive experience in the mechanical cooling space. Donahue earned a BS in French and Computer Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and has an MA in International Relations from Boston University.

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