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.

Never say "I know"

Reading Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, the opening to the article The Real Fear Is When We All Fear Alike caught my eye.

It isn’t what you worry about that hurts.... It is what you know for sure.

There is a set of principles in Theory of Constraints that come from Eli Goldratt's last writings on the idea of having a "full and meaningful life".  These are the Four Pillars of TOC: core beliefs embedded within much of the way Eli Goldratt - and anyone involved in TOC - approach the world.

  1. Inherent simplicity: Reality is simple and harmonious.
  2. Every conflict can be removed: Don't accept conflicts as given.
  3. People are good: Avoid blaming. There is always a Win-Win.
  4. Never say, "I know": Every situation can be substantially improved

And that last element is what caught my eye in the WSJ. The author was talking about financial markets and the assumptions that investors make about the way markets are behaving.  If everyone believes one thing but discovers a different reality, it often causes major disruptions in markets.  

But the same thing happens in business, families, or just about anywhere else.  If "I know" something, I am not inclined to check for holes in my logic.  I'm not inclined to think a situation could change.  I'm inclined to think past performance WILL be an indicator of future performance.  I block myself - we block ourselves collectively - to thinking and seeing different ways of doing things.

End of the year syndrome

Clarity over Coffee, what?