Monday, June 14, 2010

3D Juggling 482: Thinking Time

Claire writes: 'Rodin's Thinker sits in a Paris garden and ponders. To me, he is a symbol of analysis paralysis... the kind of prolonged thinking that doesn't necessarily lead to action. With the internet, analysis paralysis can be seen by the search for new information and never having quite enough to make a decision.

People think in different ways. Kolb talks about activists (who like to do), reflectors (who like to review), theorists (who like to learn) and pragmatists (who like to apply what they have learned quickly). All of us need a bit of all those processes in order to learn and develop and grow.

People need time to think. I met someone yesterday who would like to speak to his new line manager and says that he can't becaure the manager's diary is scheduled from Monday early to Friday late. Every week. Where, I wonder, does he think?

Last week I took a week, without appointments, to think. The first thing I did was download my brain and write in a notebook all the unfinished things on my mind, as well as a whole list of new ideas that began to surface. It took a couple of hours. I sat in a coffee shop. No colleagues. No laptop. No phone. If that is all I had done last week, that would have been valuable. In fact, I was then able to organise ideas, discuss them with colleagues and begin to plan a way forward.

Organisations also need time to think. Together. With the cuts needed in the public sector, there is a danger that activist decision makers will make choices without enough reflection. Speed may be of the essence, but the power of corporate thinking is vital. It's the staff and teams who will be able to make the most intelligent cuts. Not external consultants. If they are given the time to think together.

My experience is that the busier we are, the more we need time to think. The power of the human mind is incredible. But it needs space to be effective.

How do you and your organisation take your time to think?'

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation to help people take time to think together, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you. We'll pay!

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