Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Productive Thinking and Fossil Ideas

Have you ever wondered why we do what we do in life, both professionally and personally? Do you have patterns and habits you are so stuck in that you don't even know they are patterns and habits-- you simply think it is how things are done?

A new book by Tim Hurson titled 'Better Thinking (your company's future depends on it ... and so does yours)' has just been published and the Innovation Network did a sort of review. I was impressed and want to share it with you.

Hurson looks at productive thinking and how we do or do not utilize the concept. So much of how we do things in our organizations is by automatic pilot, that we can be like lemmings going off a cliff. And why? Because we are not questioning why things are done as they are, what new ideas are available, or asking for the real reasons things are done in the way they are done.

We are reactive and passive. Why not take the time to ponder, to wonder, to question?

The following is a short piece from Chapter 3 of Tim's book. This is well worth the read.

Excerpt from Chapter 3

"If you work in a large organization (unless it's Google, Apple, or the like), all your common meeting rooms are probably mini-boardrooms with tables surrounded by chairs. Why? Are you planning to have dinner? Come to think of it, why are all boardrooms modeled after private dining rooms? Why is the top row of your telephone keypad labeled 1 2 3,whereas the top row of your calculator is 7 8 9? Because both the telephone company and the calculator company say, "That's the way we do things around here."

There is plenty more where that came from. When we use lessons learned, reflective learning, and the other KM interventions in our tool kits, we begin to break through some of the 'fossil ideas' that keep us from innovating and challenging the way things are. We haven't the luxury of being stuck any longer. Why would we choose to be?

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