The Cargo We Carry

The Winking Bridge
As I boarded the plane this morning, I notice a small cargo vehicle trailing what looks like two silver metal closed-top skips. What with all the sunshine, my imagination cartwheels away before I can stop myself. What if the cargo was some precious pooch going on a posh holiday? Or perhaps it’s the latest life-saving drug as part of a clinical trial? Or, more amazing still, may be it’s an organ for a loved one being transported under careful climate control?

The sight of the vehicle and its cargo reminds me of the mental baggage we all carry. The habit-forming kind with which we’ve grown comfortable and by which we navigate our daily lives both at work and at home.

What if…

Let’s play a game. What if some of the things you believe in are simply not true?

Postpone decisions until the last responsible moment
Most of us are desperate to decide things early. This may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, such as a desire to please, be helpful towards others and/or the simple need to feel in control, even when we’re not. By embracing the discomfort of not knowing and using Real Options Thinking, you can keep options open for as long as is valuable. After all, why decide now when you don’t have to? The secret to making informed decisions is to wait until the last responsible moment, by which we mean the point in time when the necessary criteria and/or constraints determine when a decision needs to be made.

Think ‘AND’ instead of ‘EITHER OR’
I’ve noticed that the most successful and satisfied people have an open mind and postpone judgment. They recognise breakthrough ideas are those that combine ‘a AND b’ as opposed to forcing both parties to resign to an ‘EITHER a OR b’ solution. Remember, you can always have your cake and eat it AND you’ll need to exercise to work it off. Apply the Logical Thinking Process such as the Intermediate Objectives Map and Conflict Resolution Diagram to create a WIN-WIN solution for everyone involved.

Focus on value first then value/cost and retain that focus
It’s tempting to do everything at once. Especially when there’s a deadline and too much to do. To prevent your endeavours from wheel-spinning to a standstill, prioritise by value/cost, level the workload and minimise the work-in-progress. Pop quiz: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time! Better still, opt for elephant carpaccio, delivering end-to-end solutions that add value as thin slices. This ‘thin slice’ approach also minimises risks and surfaces issues earlier by testing integration points early. (Note: No elephants were harmed in the making of this analogy.)

Think Different

How will you change the way you think and behave today?

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