Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Fresh Eyes

The ability to look at things with fresh eyes should be in every job description.

So often we think we are adopting a new approach when all we have done is to take an old one, that was discarded for whatever reason, off the shelf and try it again.

Maintaining a fresh perspective, of course, is hard work. Time and convenience hound our days and conspire to squelch innovative strategies. They are aided by those who regard anything new as profound and by the proverbial 500-pound gorilla, Inertia.

How do we gain fresh eyes? One approach is to pretend that what appear to be successful programs have failed and then ask, "What could have caused this?" Do the same with the reverse and pretend that a failure (or a weak competitor) has succeeded.

I bet the executives at Toyota are wishing they conducted this simple exercise a couple of years ago.

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