Thought-Roots

Thought-Roots
Photo by Cristina Gottardi / Unsplash

We rely on modes of thinking that have worked in the past. If those stop working (and we're paying attention) then we'll attempt to find new modes of thinking. Those that stick around become more ingrained. I'll refer to these as thought-roots (a made up concept more concrete than values and more flexible than principles).

The author's thought-roots underpin the day-to-day activities of the business and are present in these writings. These can be useful guideposts for the reader to understand the reason certain articles exist on the site.

Some thought-roots in no particular order or specificity:

  • Organizational learning generates outsized returns for the investment and directly effects the long-term viability of the enterprise.
  • Efficient, time-leveraged learning requires failure. Cheap failures shorten the path to value creation.
  • Evaluating higher-order causes and effects is incredibly valuable. A producer-partner (i.e., employee) who intentionally considers the conditions that created a result is generally more effective than one who doesn't.  
  • Manual is not inherently bad and automated is not inherently good. It can be wise to use both at different points of time. A resilient system, though, will tend toward more automation.
  • The value in continually reducing friction in the client experience cannot be understated. This takes a wide variety of forms: reducing the time to value, cost to serve, customer service quality, customer needs anticipation, and many more.
  • "All models are wrong, but some are useful" - Proxies for value are useful (e.g., money), but aren't the unknowable "real" metric for value.
  • Since the truth about "real" value isn't quantifiable (did you gain 10 or 100 value-units for reading this?) it's beneficial to use the proxies interchangeably when evaluating improvements. Can you make the system faster or less difficult to use? That may not reduce direct costs, but could free up resources for other use.
  • Improvements in perceived value may be cheap to implement. Better coffee in the waiting room could make the wait less painful.
  • Strip away waste. The closer you can get to the essence of value production the better. Find the peak of the effort-to-value curve and try to perform there as often as possible.
  • Rarity is valuable while owned ubiquity can also be valuable.
  • Technology can help you dominate or kill you, just like any other tool.
  • Done is better than perfect. Perfect is impossible. Progress can be achieved internally (i.e., thinking about a problem).

As content is added to the site, these thought-roots may be expanded into longer-form posts linked here.