Most of us were educated in a system that clearly identified our position in life: lower than the teacher!
Work with me quickly: which one question is most often asked by pre-schoolers?
It’s “WHY?” – the hunger for knowledge and understanding doesn’t need to be cultivated. But it is easily quenched. By unwitting parents or teachers who say, “Not now, Jimmy!” or “Enough!” or even, “That’s a stupid question!” It’s not too different in most workplaces, where suggestions are seldom volunteered, and fear of what happened to the previous volunteer drives behaviour. I recall similar thinking in the military – “Never volunteer!” was the message promulgated by my peers. I remember thinking, though, “how much worse can it get?” and thus taking the risk anyway. The end-result? A day off at the local dam, assisting canoeists, while my peers did a 20km route-march – twice!!
And so it is that we have courses to re-instill innovation, and to encourage people to think again.
May i suggest we return to the “Why?”, “Why not?” and “What if…?” questions, and learn to overcome our history with them. They are fundamental to our “humanness”. And they are fundamental to our 21st Century business practices.