One of the most effective lean techniques we can use is asking “why?” five times.
The wisdom in the technique is that it causes a pause for consideration. It also stops us from leaping to the first conclusion when studying a problem or an opportunity.
I’ve been studying a bit about how people solve problems. Turns out that the brain works toward solutions using one of two paths.
One calls on “gut” decisions made upon instincts, experience and initial impressions.
The second calls on focused consideration. It takes into account as much information as is available. It requires determining alternatives. It believes that what is at first apparent isn’t always so.
We use the first option most often because it is easily accessible. We can muster it in a second, make an instant judgment and be moving along.
We avoid the second, more contemplative option because it takes more effort, requires more concentration and delays decisions. When we are finished, we are tired. It requires more of us.
In balance, we make better decisions when we take a bit more time.
If you’re like me, you get the concept but you don’t do it like you should.
So, today, I’m lecturing myself and sharing it with you:
“Slow down. Ask more questions. Listen more intently. It will lead us to a better place.”
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.