A long time ago I was at a gathering and people started talking about political topics and people I had no clue about. At some point, the seemingly smartest guy in the room looked at me as if to make sure I understood and agreed. I pursed my lips, squinted my eyes and gave him a reassuring nod. I literally had no idea what they were talking about.
In his new book, “Alchemy,” Rory Sutherland states that “the problem that bedevils organizations once they reach a certain size is that narrow, conventional logic is the natural mode of thinking for the risk-averse bureaucrat or executive. There is a simple reason for this: you can never be fired for being logical. If your reasoning is sound and unimaginative, even if you fail, it is unlikely you will attract much blame. It is much easier to be fired for being illogical than it is for being unimaginative. The fatal issue is that logic always gets you to exactly the same place as your competitors.”
We have a choice to make: We can put ourselves in a different perspective or we can stay trapped inside what we understand in our minds. I believe it is time to decide to either transcend our minds and look into things we do not comprehend or narrow our our world down to our own story.
Recently, I was discussing the recession of 2007 with a friend and it stirred up a few emotions for me. It was a pretty painful time for a great many of us. When the underbelly of the banks was exposed we all realized the fraudulent behavior that had existed over time. The scariest thing, at least for me, was the ability of people to turn a deaf ear to potential long-term consequences and continue to focus on their short-term gratification. In fact, the entire recession was based on short-term greed and the unwillingness to commit to the long-term.
I had the great pleasure of watching my daughter’s hockey team win the national championship earlier this month. After an amazing year that saw the team win five tournaments, they capped it all off by coming back from a two goal deficit in the the third period to win in overtime. As you can imagine, I am one proud father.
The theme for our CANVAS magazine this year has been centered around the African Impala, which can jump to a height of more than 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure within any zoo with a 3-foot tall wall. Apparently, the animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.
Why is nobody listening? I have had countless conversations where I know the other party could care less. I have had people look down at their phone or even engage in another conversation as I was speaking. I chalk it up to rude behavior and a general attention span epidemic. But before blaming something else, I may want to look in the mirror.