This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Looking under the streetlamp for the keys

Stop looking in the convenient places, and do the hard work.

There is a funny story that goes something like this:

Coming home late one night, you notice a distraught-looking person who is clearly looking for something. 

When you ask, "What have you lost?" He tells you he's dropped his keys and cannot get into his house without them. 

You then ask where he dropped his keys, and he indicates "over there."  The natural reply is, "So why look here." 

"The light is better" under the streetlight.

I've come across this story in a variety of fashions, but the gist is that it doesn't do much good to look for a solution where the answers are obvious when the problem is really somewhere else.

Leandro Herrero's The Leader with Seven Faces makes reference to the story and uses an anecdote about knowledge management to illuminate it further.  A KM leader admits that the hardest part of knowledge management is making the change happen amongst people.  But, since that is so difficult, they didn't do that.  Instead, they spent millions on a fancy IT system.

The other recent reference was more obscure, but came down to the same thing.  In talking with a colleague about certification for Theory of Constraints, he raised the idea that while training and certification were certainly useful, most of TOC implementation has nothing to do with the technical aspects of TOC.  It's about the people.

Email is the default for everything

Why do I need to know the terminology?