Monday, December 19, 2016

Year-End: Why Is Reflection So Difficult?

By Pascal Dennis

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

End of year – daylight dwindles, leaves spiral down, creatures big & small prepare for Winter.

Time to hit the PAUSE button and reflect.

What were our goals this year? What was our plan?

What worked? What did not work & why?

What have we learned? How do we apply what we’ve learned?


Difficult questions, all.

Reflection is hard, certainly for me. It’s much easier to pretend, deny, deflect.

It’s much easier to jump to conclusions, and false ‘countermeasures’.

The smarter a management team, the more prone it is to such behavior.

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


The great country music duo, Flatt & Scruggs, put it well:

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

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


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.

Let’s admit, "You know, I'm not very good at reflection, or at looking at things objectively. I see what I want to see. I jump to conclusions & half-baked countermeasures."

Such humility usually blunts the worst of our excesses.

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.

So here’s a challenge to all of us. Pull in your team and reflect on the questions above. Answer them honestly and share what you’ve learned. Then apply them.

Here's to a safe & prosperous 2017.

Best,

Pascal


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