Monday, July 2, 2012

Life Lessons - What is a Good Life?

By Pascal Dennis

Plato, Socrates and Aristotle asked this question 2,500 years ago.

Both eastern and western philosophy is largely the search for an answer.

Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator's Dilemma, Harvard professor, and classic hyper-achiever is raising the same question.

A significant conversion -- master of the universe to philosopher.

In a recent Business Week interview, Dr. Christensen remarks that he was struck by how badly the lives of his fellow hyper-achievers had turned out.

Messy divorces, estranged kids, and even, in some cases, fraud and imprisonment.

Can Lean principles help to answer this most important question?

I believe it can.

In my view, Lean thinking is anchored in standards -- images of how things should be.

Values are standards. Integrity entails adherence to one's personal standards.

Those of you kind enough to read my books will notice an emphasis on the Cardinal Virtues.

Prudence, Temperance, Courage and Justice, are, of course, standards of behavior.

Low-down, miserable, tricky, treacherous beings such as us have a hard time living up to them.

But we have to try, and in doing so we partially succeed -- and that makes all difference.

In fact, if I had to hazard an answer to the above question, I'd say living a good life entails having good values, and trying to live up to them.

All for now,

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