Defective Thinking

I find the topic really funny. The topic of defective thinking. LEAN examines things in detail, one such thing is the “waste” of defects. In an automotive plant, where LEAN began, a defect is bad. Seeing a defect in a plant and removing it before it gets onto a car makes good sense. But, I apply all things LEAN to thinking, thinking of owners, and their teams especially.

Is Your Thinking Defective?

What is defective thinking? It’s when your actions are inconsistent with your goals. It’s when you do something you know you shouldn’t. It’s being selfish when you don’t want to be. These are easy examples of defective thinking. These are easy because defective thinking is broken thinking. The worst of defective thinking is ignoring the truth. This is the number one barrier to our own future aspirations.

Then, the question is how do you fix something you can’t see or won’t look at? In the case of human behavior, it’s easy to see a defect in thinking in others, have you ever caught yourself wondering why someone else did something? How are we blind to the realities and truth in our own lives and why do we avoid wanting to see the truth? In the Christian faith, there’s a great phrase that asks this same question.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

Matthew 7

Climate Change, A Proxy for Defective Thinking?

Our thinking filters danger and also news. We should avoid danger. But, what if we filter news and information incorrectly? It might be hard for some to understand how they’ve been duped by the Climate change agenda. I’ll use in this article “climate change” as a proxy for defective thinking when examined using LEAN.

LEAN Requires People To Change Their Mind, But, doing that is Hard To Do.

If you have believed the climate change agenda then you have two things you have to change. 1st, you have to agree you might be wrong. This is the biggest problem for LEAN practitioners because people don’t admit they’re wrong easily. Executives and teams I coach will often engage in a sort of, “dup themselves” mentality.

Second, you have to be willing to see facts for what they are. Some like to say facts can be skewed, that’s really not true. Deep understanding of facts, always reveals the truth. I spent 30 years working in the details of Healthcare and answers were always revealed after digging. Now, working across many industries, in a manufacturing plant, when you take enough observations on a machine those details also reveal answers.

LEAN Root Cause, Stop: “Jumping To Conclusions”

In coaching teams, one of the most important early team learnings is to avoid jumping to conclusions. I’ve written about Mike Rother’s KATA PDCA research and publications. He is focused on teaching our youth and others how to use scientific thinking to make decisions.

When I coach executives and small business teams, it’s not a sometimes fact, it’s every time. Teams and individuals will skip over facts they need to make the best decision. As I observe it, when a few facts don’t line up with what they think an answer or solution should be, Executives or teams will ignore the facts and “jump-to-conclusion.” Mike Rother’s work tells us, the human mind automatically jumps-to-conclusion. But, this is a very real barrier to team and business success.

For most small business owners and teams, ignoring facts or jumping to conclusions can be very costly. This is what I see as “defective thinking.” LEAN problem solving develops the “current state” gathering facts, measurable, quantifiable facts. The goal of that is to allow a team or executive to see clearly the problem.

“Fall in love with the problem not the solution.”

From Gemba Academy, Ron Pereria with Saif Arshad, Podcast 286

Stopping a team long enough to examine details is hard. I’m using “climate change” as a proxy for seeing your thinking and to show how LEAN can problem solve. When I mention “climate change” do you already have an opinion? Did you make a judgment and already have your answer? Are you on one side or other? How did you form your opinion about “climate change,” did you “jump-to-a-conclusion?” If you are in agreement with either side of the climate change argument you’re guilty of “jumping-to-a-conclusion.”

LEAN Facts Not Fiction

If we pause our “jumping-to-conclusion” answer and look at the facts we might have to be honest and say we don’t have all the “climate change” facts. If you’re able to pause your thinking and not defend your thinking then you have a chance at real solutions. This is 100% of the time an early hurdle for LEAN teams and Executives, which is skipping the facts.

Why is that? We have to measure before problem-solving. This allows us to see what’s really true about the problem. This eliminates the Executive or ego centered jump-to-conclusion. Second, we remove any hidden agenda that distracts or overshadows the truth. It builds a teams capability to work and solve tough problems together.

LEAN Current State

LEAN simply calls it, “current state.” Focus on measures, data, facts, or history. Acknowledge how data and measures are gathered and have a rule, no mysteries. There is always a hidden agenda or influence, talk about where that is entering the facts and details. In our proxy, “climate change” there are many agenda’s on both sides of the argument and both sides of the argument distract us from the truth.

How might we fix that using LEAN? Many ways to get better facts on climate change. There’s no shortage of facts and research. Just like the big data world for Smal Businesses, there’s plenty of data but how do we organize it to tell the facts of the current state? We could measure and plot each actor, author, publisher on “climate change” and the dollar funding they receive and where those dollars come from.

LEAN Mapping

We could put down for “climate change” the current state in the context of the past. LEAN does this using a mapping method where we use the customer as the person who writes the check. Before solving for “climate change” we should make it crystal clear in a visual way, maybe a heat map that shows the underlying funding of research and publications. This would be an example of falling in love with the problem. Which is to say, examine the problem or current state enough that it is obvious.

LEAN Asks 5 Why Questions

LEAN uses questions to drill into “root cause” and asking “why” a few times to reveal details of the root cause. This process of root cause analysis is an engineering mindset. Understanding the current state by asking Why a few times would help define “climate change” better than all the emotion of “who is right.” Emotion surfaces often because the ego grabs us. Have a rule that allows everyone to set their ego aside and have an umpire, coach, to point it out.

To continue our “climate change” example, I’ve quoted below Mann Vs Ball. Clearly, there is a lot of arguing over who is right. The court could hardly make sense of it but both sides find emotional arguments.

For me, I’d start with, asking, “why did the scientific community tell us we were going to have the next ice age in the ’70s, they scared us as a youngsters, but now, all of a sudden, the same scientific community stated global warming, but wait, now it’s climate change!” How would you ask “why” to provide a root-cause?

LEAN Has a Process That Focus’ On Facts

Is there

The Court Agreed With The truth?

Did you know a 10-year court battle in Canada has been raging? It’s over the accuracy of data used to inform the “climate change” culture and news. The “hockey stick” data relied upon in the early 2000’s to inform the public may be incorrect (Mann, the author of the hockey stick, won’t release his detail). This video was recorded in 2018, the guest speaker is the person who was sued by Mann, his name is Ball. Ball had facts that are different but not widely available. The court gave up

won because Mann would not give his details or analysis (court verdict, August 2019). Ball is a professor of climate who calls out the climate change agenda and its data as a hoax. After 10 years of court, the Canadian court agreed with him that Mann has delayed providing the facts. The court awarded Ball court costs.

Here’s the link,, it’s worth the 15-minutes to watch him explain why he was skeptical of Mann’s reports on Climate change when he heard the word, “consensus” used as evidence. Ball went on to say, “Consensus has nothing to do with science.” Ball has had 3 lawsuits against him, he has spent $600,000 for speaking out and how he’s been intimidated by the opposition. Why is Mann, and anyone else, afraid of what Ball has to say? In LEAN, we’d let every voice be heard and document that opinion and ask them to show their facts and truth and compare that to the other facts. But, if you look into the story you will see what I see in teams and business. The thinking of one side shows a lack of interest in the truth, and when you dig deeply, you find an agenda to marginalize Ball and his facts. This is defective thinking.

Defective Thinking Ignores The Truth

LEAN loves the truth. It promotes good decision making based on the truth. It endeavors to find measures and data that support the realities of the problems you face, at home, at work, or in life. The exercise to look at the current state and to admit all elements of the truth is to fall in love with the problem. Whether it is executives or shop floor workers, teams of people who are committed to the truth can solve problems. The critical step is to stop jumping-to-conclusions. In our “climate change” Ball verse Mann debate there is room for asking why to get at root-cause. We might start with, why is there such a difference between two experts? We would have to have 3-4 experts in a room to answer this and continue to ask why a few times before even touching the surface on why that difference exists. But, that is how LEAN works. Fall in love with the problem and find an opportunity to get to the truth. Like Jesus said, “the truth will set you free,” John 8:32. And, in LEAN, the truth will set teams free from problems that plague them. I think it’s cool how LEAN and faith go together.

What’s your own theory? Is your theory based on fact or fiction?

Choosing Sides Is Not Problem Solving

Just to show you how humans think, I’ll explain how I’ve come to my own conclusion on Climate Change. This again is a proxy for how people think. The process of thinking is revealed in every team I work with because the individuals in the team influence how teams choose answers to problems. Like Mike Rother teaches in KATA, the series of experiments reveal the truth much better than the jump-to-conclusion answers often found in team dynamics.

So, you can follow my thinking by asking yourself, why do I agree with one side or the other?

My Own Defective Thinking

I’ve had a long disagreement with the science proposed for climate change. I’ve not formed it like I should with LEAN thinking. Instead, my opinion formed as I experienced stories as a youth. I think “climate change” is silly and disagree with it. Here’s why.

If you lived through the ’70s, you know that the science community told me as a youth I would die because the next iceage was upon us. Carl Sagan, who was the bright science talent of the ’70s was on all the national news, his stories scared me when I was a student.

The news told his story like it was fact. They scared us into thinking we were all going to die because the next ice age was upon us. It really was a panic just like global warming was a panic a decade or two ago. If you want to “feel” that emotional impact follow the link I found on Carl Sagan and the science of the ice age.

“During the 1970s the media promoted global cooling alarmism with dire threats of a new ice age.”

Back then, as a youth, I was emotional in my politics and thinking. It wasn’t until years later and as I grew out of my youth that I realized emotional decisions were most often poor decisions. After all, how can the world be threatened by an ice age in the 70’s, and now, 20-30 years later worried about global warming?

That didn’t make sense to me, when I first started to hear about global warming in the ’90s I tried to square that new truth with the scare of the 70’s. Our youth have tried to explain there reality that global warming is real, they say things like science has improved, we know more now.

So, when this news broke between Mann and Ball it became clear that the youth and others have been fed information from Mann that isn’t based in science or fact. At least not for the court who has spent 10 years trying to figure it out. The court simply said Mann can’t provide data therefore there is no case.

LEAN uses the truth as a basis for making decisions. Mann lost in court because he couldn’t produce data and scientific facts.

If this were a problem-solving session that I was running, we would spend all our time on finding the truth. We would stop any more publications on the entire climate change, we would stop the money agendas around carbon credits. We would dig and find the truth, we would ask why and look to find the reasons the truth is hard to find. We would likely upset people because often times digging for the truth reveals people’s egos, pride, emotional attachments.

Care For the Planet Demands The Truth

The result would be the truth and we would explode that onto the national stage for all to see. Then, we would know what problem we were solving. Until then we will only have emotional and personal agendas. The “climate change” issue isn’t going to get resolved sufficiently until we have better answers and that won’t come until we look at the truth more closely.

For those who care about the environment, we should ask more questions before choosing a side. We need a better public discussion that everyone can embrace. I’m saying we should care about the environment solution enough to want the facts not “jumping-to-conclusion” as we see in the press. Dr. Tim Ball says, we need to care for the earth, it’s our “nest.”

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