Nancy Kline ‘Time to Think’

Often it is the simplest of ideas that can have the most impact.  Nancy Kline’s book ‘Time to Think’ is one such an example. Her premise, on which she has built an amazingly successful business, is that we have all the answers within us, if only we had the time and space to think properly; people to listen to us (truly listen); and the right question posed at the right time.  And so she goes on – providing about a simple formula that allows people, families, teams, organisations to listen, to think, to create, to solve problems.

Conditions for creating a thinking environment

One of the conditions for a Thinking Environment is ‘Ease’. The opposite of which could be urgency. She cites leadership examples of how companies are endeavouring to cultivate an atmosphere of urgency. And this is certainly true of many of the companies I have worked with and for.

And yet, here’s a simple truth. We know, as humans, that a level of pressure can be good, but there’s a point at which the urgency, the pressure, call it what you will simply becomes paralysing.  People work longer, harder, do more and more and more, and yet achieve less. They’re like mice spinning on their little wheels – lots of motion; going nowhere.

The very culture that these leaders are seeking to deliberately cultivate may be the very thing that is blocking sustainable success.  As Nancy says “.. Urgency keeps people from thinking clearly..”

What do you think? Is this just the way of modern organisational (and family) life? or is there another way?


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