Contrary to what I wrote Saturday, it seems we don’t have enough time in today’s hyper business environment to think on much of anything. It is very rare today to find the time to consciously think. I recall a conversation a couple years ago with my pal Norm about how we had lost the time to talk and collaborate on business issues; to connect and learn from each others perspectives. We have much less time today. Norm is one of the smartest guys I know, but it seems I never have the time to have a conversation with him. We’re too busy. John Old, knowledge manager at Texaco, comments on the phenomena, “It’s hard to share knowledge if you don’t have enough time to reflect on what you know or what you need to learn. Most companies have squeezed almost all of the reflection time out of their business processes.”
I do trust my instincts, but some of my best ideas come at time when I’m just, um, thinking. At the gym with blood rushing through the brain. In the car with no music or talk radio. In the shower… Yeah, creepy perhaps, but there’s no distraction in there but the soothing sound of running water. A little research turned up this article from the September 2004 HR Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:
“Managers often come back from development programs energized, not from what they learned in the classes–all those lectures and case studies–but from what they learned from their colleagues at coffee breaks and after hours. What an awful waste of opportunity. Why can’t the class time be as energizing as the time out of class, we asked ourselves, and we found the answer–significantly–in reflection.”
It’s worth the read. Hopefully it’ll make you stop and think.