I found a profoundly simple excerpt in Taiichi Ohno’s book “JIT for Today and Tomorrow” that was part of an essay called “What are Techniques?” written by Soichiro Honda.
“Life comes from three types of wisdom: seeing, hearing, and trying. I think that among these three, the most important on is trying. Yet most technicians emphasize seeing and hearing and neglect trying. Of course, I, too, see and hear, but try even more. It may seem obvious, but failure and success are opposites. As happiness and sorrow coexist, so do failure and success. We seem to succeed more often than we fail. Everyone detests failure, so there are fewer opportunities to succeed. People seem surprised with Honda’s success, but the only secret is that we know what we are doing. My intention is stronger than that of other technicians because I try harder. There is a big difference between reading a book and giving instructions, and attempting something first and then giving instructions. In the latter case, we feel confident. That is why I think trying is the most important factor.”
How often do we try things? Do we limit our success by avoiding failure? Do we promote and reward failure avoidance over error recovery? How can we influence more trying? When we talk with our fellow associates, do we ask them “What did you try today?”