There was a slide posted on LinkedIn in the last couple of days (probably one of many and not the first time) asking if you listen to understand or to respond. The former is what we should do, the latter is what we usually do. I am just as guilty as the next guy.
What does this have to do with the fishbone? When going through the cause & effect/fishbone/ishikawa “process” how often do we allow true brainstorming? How often do we write down the idea (possible cause) & move on to the next? Or is it more common that we debate & discuss each as they are raised? Do we exclude ideas before we get a chance to truly consider them?
Sure, this applies to any aspect of life, of business or anything really. Do we truly consider ideas & concepts raised by others? Or are we preconditioned to find fault, flaws or other reasons to disregard what people say.
When trying to determine the most likely causes of the effect we see (the head of our fishbone) are we considering all possibilities, or only the ones we are preconditioned to consider? Does confirmation bias preclude free thinking & full consideration of alternatives?
Regardless of whether you are brainstorming possible causes in your fishbone or just thinking through possible solutions or new strategies, being open to ideas that are not mainstream or otherwise seem unlikely or unreasonable may be the difference between solving the problem, or creating another one.