I realized something this weekend.

I’m becoming a freak. I’m not totally there yet, but with some concerted effort, full-blown freakdom is just around the corner.

And it’s awesome.

Any of you familiar with the Freakonomics series by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner will appreciate the reference (if not embrace it.) The latest installment, Think Like a Freak is another powerful reminder of some very simple concepts:

  1. I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer
  2. Powerful questions are critical to providing solutions
  3. Incentives may cause undesirable results
  4. Thinking like a child can actually be a benefit
  5. Think “Small”

Allow me to toot my own horn on a few of these, as I’m rarely accused of thinking too much like an adult and I can whip out “I don’t know” quicker than a hiccup, but….It was this last lesson that struck me as particularly helpful, if not convicting.

When I’m not careful, I’ll find myself thinking of solutions/changes that are immense in scope. The proverbial “big picture” thinker, I don’t necessarily want to be bothered with the minutiae ~ sounds impressive, looks good on a LinkedIn profile, but in practice? Well, in practice it can cause problems.

How many of you can relate? You can “see” the solution and predict the end state, but oftentimes skip right past the smaller (and more obvious) issues that prevent our vision from becoming a reality. As the authors correctly note, “thinking small” has its distinct advantages, among them being the simple truth that small changes are much more likely to be quickly and effectively implemented.

In other words, while it’s all well & good to be a visionary, someone needs to actually do something.

Freaky, isn’t it?