Saturday, October 13, 2012

Study yourself failing

This is a great video posted on "The 99 Percent",, (and it's not the 99 percent your thinking).  Joshua Foer has come up with a neat concept on how to train ourselves to fail...sounds interesting doesn't it?

He starts with a question, who in this room is better at typing today than they where last year?  General answer..."no one".  Its interesting how, even though we do something daily, we are not improving.  Kind of goes against the whole "practice makes perfect".  Other examples are driving, reading, walking.

So why is that? Why do we not get better at something even though we are getting plenty of practice.  What Foer goes on to explain is that our mind sets mental plateaus for success, ie. If I can type 40 words a minute I am fast enough.  But once we have reached that plateaus, our mind no longer tries to overcome obstacles.  We become "satisfied" with our current level.

But how do we overcome this? How do we get better even when we feel our best is good enough?  We have to retrain our minds to not accept where we are today.  If we want to be better at typing, we need to practice typing faster than we are 60 words a minute with every other word misspelled and illegible.  We are studying failure, or watching ourselves fail, and by doing this we force our mind to overcome the failure.

So how does this apply to lean you ask?  Actually, you probably already know.  Whats the enemy of improvements?...complacency, a general "we are doing fine" attitude.  Getting used to the pace we are at right now.  Unless we can come out of that comfort zone and watch ourselves failing it will be very hard, if not impossible, to improve.

I know in my shop, we are trying to overcome our current tact time by 1 hour...and how do we do this?  We fail, twice a  week.  So two times a week we practice the 1 hour less tact time, and when we have "issues" that do not allow that to happen, we make those "issues" projects that need done!  So far, we haven't found a better way....but i'd love suggestions on the art of failing!34ZD3RWKJPXB