Reflection often sounds like armchair philosophizing in the coulda, woulda, shoulda vein. And if reflection were compared with other ways of getting results at work, it probably will not show up on the list. But speed has become a primary measure of how to solve problems. It’s important, but it can make action wrong, or just plain dumb.
First, reflection is real-time review. It’s looking at what’s happening now to see a bigger picture.
In the bias-for-action world in which we live, we often move to solutions before we have given them the consideration they deserve. They may prove to be the seeds of much bigger problems. The practice of reflection can help us anticipate unintended consequences, unexpected complexity, and the limits of our own perspective.
We believe that a bigger view is a better view. Reflection ensures we take that bigger view now, before we have to undo seemingly good solutions that we landed on today.