Thinking really is hard work. If you don’t believe me, try the “brain damage” of this YouTube video.
It leaves you scratching your head even though the narrator tells you precisely how to think it through!
What we think we know
(Uh. Go back and watch the video. You'll get a lot more out of the rest of this if you do. Thanks.)
No. I'm not saying lazy in the sense of being consciously unwilling to labor at problem-solving.
Rather, our physiology is such that (literally) if we think we know the answer to a challenge we are facing, we will fall back on what we think we know, rather than putting forth the energy to really think through the problem.
You don’t believe me? Did I hear you say that? If so, then you need to go take a look at this video one more time.
How we (typically) spend our energies
I believe Henry Ford got it right when he opined:
Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.
Think about what firefighting is in your enterprise and your supply chain.
Firefighting is a euphemism we use to describe “going around a problem” rather than solving it. We know that, when we take extraordinary means to put out a fire, it is very likely we will be fighting that same fire again (perhaps in a slightly different form, or with a different SKU or different supplier) quite soon.
Problem solving (read: thinking) stops with what we think we know
Eli Schragenheim offers sage advice when he reminds us:
Never say, “I know.” Never say, “I don’t know.” You know something, but not everything.
Most frequently, we know many things about our situation. We understand much about the challenges we face in our supply chains, or in making our enterprises more profitable.
What we don’t know—most commonly—is how all of the things we know are connected and related.
The best consultants
This is why we constantly remind our clients that the best consultants don’t come to bring you the right answers.
We don’t know the right answers.
We come to help you ask the right questions!
Because, the right questions will help you set aside what you think you know long enough to get you really, actively thinking.
You can engage Drew, instead of Gun, and begin making real progress.
By the way, if you don’t understand the “Drew” and “Gun” references in the preceding paragraph, try this link.
Please leave your comments below. We'd like to hear what you have to say.