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Back to Jim Heskett’s Deep Thinking

by Miki Saxon

Image credit: stringbot

A month ago I wrote about HBS’ James Heskett’s research question on deep thinking—or the lack of it—in business and life.

Now, in Heskett’s typically masterful summing up he tells this story and says that it “captures much of the sense of the responses to this month’s question about why managers don’t think deeply.”

“A since deceased, highly-regarded fellow faculty member, Anthony (Tony) Athos, occasionally sat on a bench on a nice day at the Harvard Business School, apparently staring off into space. When asked what he was doing, ever the iconoclast, he would say, “Nothing.” His colleagues, trained to admire and teach action, would walk away shaking their heads and asking each other, “Is he alright?” It is perhaps no coincidence that Tony often came up with some of the most profound insights at faculty meetings and informal gatherings.”

The summing up is valuable, but of far more value are the 136 comments from people around the world.

Take the time to read Heskett’s query and his audience’s thoughts, then ask yourself—how much deep thinking do you do?

3 Responses to “Back to Jim Heskett’s Deep Thinking”
  1. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] HBS’ Jim Heskett’s research question on deep thinking to my own comments on the value of silence, the need for undistracted time and the resulting […]

  2. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] drive seems to be to avoid thinking in general, let alone any of the less comfortable deep thinking required to mature and develop anything vaguely resembling […]

  3. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] I wrote this, but crowdthinking has increased geometrically, while independent thinking, let alone deep thinking, has decreased in proportion. You have only to consider the questions on Quora and the crowd’s […]

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