Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Our Desire to Conclude


La rage de voulouir conclure

“The rage for wanting to conclude is one of the most deadly and most fruitless manias to befall humanity. Each religion and each philosophy has pretended to have God to itself, to measure the infinite, and to know the recipe for happiness. What arrogance and what nonsense! I see, to the contrary, that the greatest geniuses and the greatest works have never concluded.”

~Gustave Flaubert, Correspondance 1929, Vol. V, III.

This desire to end has ruined what would have been a successful product launch (defining the end too soon within internal production stage, when the end should at least include when the customer purchases the product, uses it, and eventually disposes it). This desire could also explain why most consultants hired to fix internal problems do not work: they assess the situation, provide the solution, and then they walk out. The true end point wasn’t to come up with the solution, but to solve the initial problem (which means, the solution must be successfully implemented).

It’s worth being aware of our desire to conclude in any situation and identifying if the motivation behind the need to conclude may be masking a blind spot. To counteract concluding prematurely, build a plan that outlines the end point and what it looks like. It is not something that should have an end, build in a revision loop at the end, where certain metrics are recorded, what goals would be considered acceptable, and ways for improvements are planned.

Photo: Azure Window in Gozo, Malta


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This entry was posted on September 9, 2015 by in Management, Quotes and tagged , , , .
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