“I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” — Daniel Boone

I was using a phone app to measure an awkward shape. The app chided me to add a point. It needed new data to be able to better understand the task it was being asked to do.

I realized this was exactly what was missing in an earlier discussion I was having. We were working on developing a new approach to reaching one of the team goals. The team had been successful on the majority of their goals, however on this particular goal the team was stuck and not making progress.

Our discussion had wandered around the familiar. What we needed to do was add a point that was outside our current thinking. Once we did that we were able to draw new lines, create new possibilities, develop a new approach and put new energy into moving forward.

Since then, I have found that “adding a point” has been a useful tool in solving many challenges.

Discussing the current actions a non-profit team needed to take, we took a detour into discussing their organization’s vision and mission. The plan they were looking for quickly became clear.
Examining how to improve the quality of a product, we flipped the question over and did a thought experiment on how we could make the product worse. When we flipped the topic again, quality improvement solutions emerged.

Preparing to run a 1/2 marathon, I was worried about getting enough hours and miles in during the very busy next two months. Focusing on boosting the quality of my workouts and on making my running fun brought new energy and purpose to my strategizing.
What points can you add that help you draw the starting line of 2019 to be a refreshing horizon of possibility?

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett

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