How much time do you let your staff think? I mean “think” in all shapes and forms. Such as planning and reviewing, brainstorming and creativity, decision-taking and problem-solving, logical thinking and free-flow thinking.
And, yes, daydreaming, too.
Well, if it’s not up to a quarter of their time, then maybe they’re not doing enough.
There’s a rather good story told about the first Henry Ford, founder of the Ford motor company.
Ford, wanting more and more productivity from his workers, decided to hire a consultant to identify areas of improvement in one of his factories.
The consultant went round the site and returned with a list of names of people who he thought weren’t up to scratch.
Ford took one look at the list and exclaimed in horror when he saw the name at the top. “You can’t fire him!”
“Why not?” said the consultant. “Every time I observed him he was sitting doing nothing.”
“I know,” replied Ford. “But he’s the most productive guy in the plant. I pay him to think.”
For all we know, this was the guy who ensured the phenomenal survivability of the Ford empire.
The fact remains that thought has much greater power than anything else that people do. It’s much more powerful than words or actions. Thoughts inspire. Thoughts motivate. Thoughts lead. Thoughts will take your business much further than any other commodity you possess.
That’s why, when Mike Pedler and Tom Boydell carried out a study of top managers, over half of the top 10 qualities they possessed related to thinking skills, such as mental agility, creativity, learning and analytical skills.
So, if you want your team and your business to shoot ahead, give them some daily thinking time. And don’t worry if you find them daydreaming for some of it. It could be to your advantage!