Questioning and clarifying with the intent to understand is critical for success. Without such effort, how can we be certain we’re even asking the right questions?
I’ve learned over the years that holding tightly to one’s own beliefs around best practices, tools, and disciplines has been a fundamental source of failure in business. While it feels easier to simply argue against those with whom we don’t agree, it actually exhausts time limited resources required to be objective.
Many experiences over the course of our lives shape who we become and what we value. This story points out my own bias based on stereotypes of titles and roles with an organization. Ken had a great impact on my life and you’ll not likely guess their title or profession. Wait for it …
In a world that argues for best practices and processes within each profession, what if we considered the actual construct Aristotle proposed nearly 2400 years ago? The whole is not the same as the sum of its parts.
In 2018 the Nobel Prizer winner in Economics was Paul Romer. His “New Growth” theory suggests that we need more ideas as the world’s population continues to decrease. If we consider the quality of ideas that comes from a diverse group of people, we also need to consider getting more ideas on the table. We can only accomplish that by removing generational divides.
There was a point in time when individuals had to learn code, design, and understand the business in order to make things work. While this was more challenging than today, the benefits to me were immense. I learned early on that success wasn’t about how we got to the solution. It was how we always got to a better solution, together.
What if we focus on the ideas being shared instead of simply assuming the thought leader on stage has the irrefutable best answer? This was a question I posed throughout my career and one that I illustrate in this story, as an example. The patterns that emerged over time focused on the irrefutable individual; not on the critical thinking required to validate the value of the ideas themselves.
Working with patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries would prove to be one of the most important experiences early in my career. While I had many influences in the industry, Dr. Oliver Sacks provided perspective and insights that drove my curiosity to dig deeper into the human condition.
When I was younger I learned to play the drums. It was when I focused on jazz that I learned the critical difference between top-down vs bottom-up thinking as described by Daniel Kahneman.
As we’ve built platforms that are tightly-coupled and complex it is more important than ever to focus on solving problems, not simply fixing issues. In this story I share one of many experiences where gaining alignment helped the organization step forward.