122: Heeding Einstein’s Admonition- Use a different Mind to create new ideas

What does Einstein mean by “using a different mind to create a solution than the mind that created the problem”? This episode gives you a way to assess that— every time. We look at the alternatives to Feedback and why they fall short in this regard.  Why is the fix often little better or even worse?

Podcast #122. Heeding Einstein’s Admonition- Use a different Mind to create new ideas


Sponsored by Numi Tea and REBBL

Carol’s topic for discussion: Examine Heeding Einstein’s Admonition “You can’t use the same mind or thinking to find a better plan, if you use the same mind that got us here.”

There is a common theme in many Harvard Business Review articles and suggested improvement ideas that Carol calls attention to.

  • A thinking person begins to see the flaws in what has been a “best practice” and long held as the gold standard on a subject or situation, but does not offer a better alternative that is well examined.
    • Daniel Pink’s Drive
      • Incentives work only in a very limited way but not for important things we need to manage.
      • There is little analysis for why this is better. But he is likely clear you can’t write a book about how one way of working does not work or its problematic nature and then leaving people hanging out to dry.
      • They have to give something as a substitute, or you leave them with a void. Stop this, but now what!
  • How do you stop this cycle of knocking down, often with some research, a beloved practice- and  substituting another practice. That later is also found to be ineffective or in this case with Buckingham and Goodall’s “Why Feedback Fails,” to be incomplete.
    • The HBR article lets us see the evolution in thinking that can happen when we understand this do rise. Buckingham and Goodall at least in many ways, to a new level of thinking, not just some different ideas. It can give us guidance to be more discerning about what we accept.
  • The question is, what is Einstein’s intentions here? What does he mean to direct us toward?  And, how do we learn to do this? Here is a plausible interpretation and how it relates to our thinking processes, and regenerative thinking specifically.

Harvard Business Review vs Daniel Pink and Buckingham/Goodall

  • It is common to hear the idea that we need a paradigm shift.  This usually means something similar to what Einstein is advocating.
    • So this is a frame of reference used before- Calling the four governing worldviews of modern living: Machine, Behavioral, Human Potential, and Evolve Capacity. Taken together they are a hierarchy of systems, each giving us a more complete level to view things from.
  • What Why Feedback Fails does is focus on humans, individual humans, not living systems and a human in those systems. And not on developing capacity but on working with the current level of capacity that resides in their strengths. Strengths are insufficient to this task because we get strong based on our context.

Do people really do this?  Can we switch worldviews and build organizations that foster and evolve capacity to work this way?

  • Carol is challenging us to consider the mind we put to work when consultants and academics design practices, when they and we test those practices if we do before adopting, and the mind we use to upgrade, improve or offer alternative.
  • There are over 50 case stories of business in Carol’s books. www.carolsanford.com/books.


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