Challenging “Accepted Wisdom” Unlocks Creativity and Productivity
Assumptions stand in for the truth when people are in a hurry, or lazy. If the assumption proves true, you have gotten away with taking the short cut and may proceed to your destination. If you err in skipping the step of stress-testing assumptions to confirm or deny their validity, you may cost your team and yourself some combination of time, energy and money. This is a gamble that most leaders must make occasionally, but they should keep it to a minimum by planning ahead: If you are active in embedding the mindset that truth is the best long-term foundation of success throughout your organization, people will seek it, challenging institutional or “accepted” wisdom before it becomes a critical issue.
In a recent article on ezinearticles.com, our own David Tighe explored this concept of “the pursuit of truth” in a bit more detail. His short summary:
“To be effective, a leader must adopt the mindset that accepted truths be challenged to prove their continued relevance for the organization. This “pursuit of truth” is a core leadership success factor. Recent research from Harvard Business School provides an excellent example of how popularly held beliefs can be wrong, and be a drag to productivity.”
Tell us what you think about how committed a leader must be to the pursuit of truth in all aspects of his or her work, and how often a leader must take a risk and assume the facts will support their decisions about which courses of action to take.