Every time I hear the word “reflections” used as an agenda topic, I can’t help but to start smiling. There are two reasons it makes me smile, and both are linked to the same story.
A few years back, I was part of a leadership team that put together quarterly presentations for the executives. One of the sections we had to prepare was titled “reflections.” As a team, this was the only time that we would reflect on how we got where we were. Except most of us really didn’t reflect. One person on the team would take responsibility for preparing our “reflections.” When we presented, it was really just that one person’s reflection on the past quarter.
The first reason I smile is because the vision that comes to my mind is one of my dear colleagues would break out in his best Diana Ross impersonation singing “Reflections of, the way life used to be.” Even though he did this a dozen or so times before each quarterly meeting, it never failed to bring laughter about the team.
The second reason I smile is a little more reflective (if you will). As the years moved on and I began to learn about lean, the idea that our team only took the time to reflect four times a year (and in the fashion we did) seems ignorantly arrogant and quite foolish.
It’s also a gentle reminder that I can still be ignorantly arrogant and quite foolish when I forget to reflect as often as I should.