James Allen was a 19th Century philosopher who wrote a small book titled, “As a Man Thinketh.” It is one of those little books that has hundreds of references to logical thinking and basic fundamental principles. They came in several sizes but I got the one that is about 2″ by 2″ and is a perfect pocket companion.
One of my favorite quotes is “An idea is first formed in the mind as a thought.” Imagine that?…every thing we see or do was first an idea in someone’s mind. At a very basic level the ball point pen was first an idea. To a more modern relation, I recall when blogging first came out when the phrase “Web Logging” was first introduced. We all have ideas but how often to we stop to “think” where that idea came from?
You might say to yourself, “Self, How does this apply to learning?” I’m glad you asked. My work is in corporate retail training where RESULTS are the measurment of the ages! We are so focused on results (and the lack there of) we lose sight of why results are not where we would expect.
We know Results are driven by Performance, and we know Performance is driven by Behaviors. We also know Behaviors are due to the thoughts of those we want the eventual Results from. So…
Leaders review results with their managers and say, “These results are poor. Your performance is lacking.” The manager then goes to their repsective subordinates and say, “Our perfomance is not up to par. You better change your behavior.” That manager then goes to their subordinates and say, “Your behaviors stink! You better think about how to improve.” In the end we focus on the results and push down with vigor and enthusiasm to change those results in dismal failure. Well, maybe not failure but we sure do put a lot of energy into it.
Ok, back to Mr. Allen. Hmm…so if an idea is first formed in the mind as a thought then why not flip this around. Lets look at a suggestion focusing on the thoughts of the base line workers. Give them the tools, messages, and training focused on thoughts that affect their behavior. Their behavior will then change their performance and Walla! the results will take care of themself.
I need to ‘think’ about this some more…