Monday, January 6, 2014

Why Is Reflection So Difficult?

By Pascal Dennis

'Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.'
Flatt & Scruggs

Happy New Year y'all!

Trust 2014 finds you relaxed, happy and full of proverbial beans.

Good time to reflect on last year & plan for tomorrow.

Reflection is hard, certainly for me, and possible for you too.

Talented, energetic people around the world find it difficult to reflect, and to learn from the past.

Instead, we jump to conclusions, and countermeasures, often at great cost.

Pascal's Paradox 143B: The smarter a management team, the more likely it is to jump to countermeasures.

Our attitude seems to be, "I'm so smart & successful, the basics no longer apply..."

(Politicians seems especially prone, Exhibit A being the Obamacare fiasco.)


The great Flatt & Scruggs tune song puts it well:

"Everybody wants the answer, but nobody wants to ask why.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die"

(Tip of the hat to my friend & colleague, Boyd Rice, for this.)

Why are we like this? Hard-wiring, in my view.

What to do?

1) Recognize & accept it, as a color-blind person accepts she can't see certain colors, and adjusts accordingly.

This takes the courage & humility to say to one's self, "You know, I'm not very good at reflection. I tend to jump to half-baked countermeasures."

2) Build reflection into your routines.

After every major project, launch, strategy, cycle -- hit the PAUSE button.

Our old TMMC plant was especially good at this, and over time it became muscle memory.

Here's to a safe & prosperous 2014.

Best,

Pascal



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