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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 91: Reflective thinking

All the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms.

Blaise Pascal, French philosopher and mathematician

I use the term ‘reflective’ thinking to cover the mental activity required to ask searching (and sometimes embarrassing) questions about the adequacy of the current operation.

This kind of thinking can be disturbing to some managers at the centre of successful action, because they may see it as dealing with remote abstractions, with theories of management that seem impractical, and with visionary speculations about the future.

The success of a business today, largely based on action thinking, gives the opportunity to build vitality but it doesn’t do the building. ...

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