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My Daughter Taught Me Again

I was having one of those ‘Father Knows Best’ moments with my daughter yesterday. I was trying to explain to her why school is so important. One of my arguments was that the better you do in school, the better job you tend to get.

Of course, she saw at least part of my 5 Whys video when I was producing it, and asked me “Why?”

Instead of answering directly, I just responded with a question, “Well, if you were hiring someone, wouldn’t you want the smarter person?”

Her answer: “I’d hire the person who could do the job best.”


I need to go to her for more advice. It just reminded me that as far as I’ve come over the years in my understanding of Lean principles, it is so easy to fall into thinking traps. I applied, with one small question, at least two assumptions.  (By the way, she also out-photographed me a while ago as well.)

The first is that a person who did better in school is smarter. The second is that I assumed that higher performance in school means higher performance on all jobs.

Both likely have some truth to them, but if a hiring manager took my advice rather than my daughter’s, they’d end up with a bad fit more often than they’d get the right person working for them.

So, when solving problems, work hard to avoid making assumptions, especially those that are based on conventional wisdom.

So, given that it seems like my daughter has a real knack for Lean, does anyone else have any questions you’d like me to ask her?


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