Friday, July 2, 2010

Lean Quote, July 2, 2010: Open-Mindedness

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

Feel free to share some of your favorites here as well.

“There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.” - Charles F. Kettering

To have an open mind means to be willing to consider or receive new and different ideas. It means being flexible and adaptive to new experiences and ideas.  Having an open mind doesn’t mean accepting everything as truth, but rather being open to new possibilities.

People who are open-minded are willing to change their views when presented with new facts and evidence.  Those who are not are resistant to change.  When you close your mind and become stubborn you essentially tell yourself and others that you're not willing to go the extra mile - that you're not willing to grow and experience new things. If you are not willing to grow, experience new things and instead choose to be stubborn or closed minded then there can be no change and no progress in life and things will never improve - it's that simple.

An open mind leads to new possibilities. New possibilities lead to new thoughts and experiences. New thoughts and experiences lead to growth. Therefore an open mind is important to our personal growth.

Being open-minded also helps us with problem solving.  First it helps us look at more than one way to approach a problem; then we find more expansive, ways of solving it. When we give ourselves more options, better solutions are undoubtedly more available to us.  Keeping an open mind means that you are open to all possibilities.

In my opinion being open minded is one of the most important traits for individuals to have in a Lean environment.  Without an open mind problem solving and learning will be more difficult and therefore delay your pursuit of excellence.

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