One of the many memorable lines from the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is “Youth is wasted on the wrong people.” The line is delivered by an older man watching a young couple struggling to find the next step in their awkward romantic dance. As we get older and our ideas about the right way to do things become firmly entrenched, we sometimes forget how those ideas were formed. It is easy to believe you simply always thought that way. But if you think back carefully to those formative years of university and early adult life, you…Read more.
An important characteristic of wisdom is recognizing wisdom in the thoughts and actions of others. Sometimes we have trouble doing that when the wisdom comes from outside our community and looks different from our “brand” of wisdom. This can create barriers to finding integrative solutions that require us to broaden our horizons and embrace ideas that don’t easily align with our existing perspectives.
Working with people from other cultures can seem a bit bewildering at times. You can often find yourself thinking and sometimes exclaiming a decision seems to make “no sense.” Many times, once we understand the decision making…Read more.
Logic seems like it would be the great bridge to solving every problem. We often think of logic as a transcendent truth that overcomes all emotions, prejudices, and even experiences. “You can’t argue with logic.” The problem turns out to be that logic is much more personal than objective. In fact, because logic is in the eye of the beholder, it is often the barrier rather than the bridge.
This is certainly true in working across cultures. Culture has been defined as “the way we do things around here.” Generally, the approaches that seemed to yield the best results over…Read more.
Great, almost super human, decision making is the universal desire these days with the world in crisis. Leaders are being asked to make decisions that are outside their experience and beyond their skill level. Although the bar for decision making doesn’t get lowered much when we are just trying to compete and survive in our complex and fast moving lives. So, when you spot a book title, Think Like a Rocket Scientist, it is hard not think “this might help.” Rocket scientists are on that short list of most admired occupations for being really really smart. They combine analytical…Read more.
To solve most of our big problems before they happen would seem to require some form of time travel. And it would produce a wonderful world. Chip Heath of Heath Brothers fame has challenged us to do more than dream about that world in his latest book, Upstream. Similar to his previous works on communication, change and decision making, this book provides more a pathway to follow than an exact formula. Most of Heath’s examples come from the social sector trying to solve the big problems of our day like healthcare, climate change, poverty and education. These are the…Read more.