You Can’t Mow the Lawn with a Chainsaw

People often ask me if Productive Thinking is the right approach for every problem. As you can probably guess from the title of this post — NO!

The Productive Thinking Model is great, and can often help you solve problems you’d never be able to solve otherwise. But as with anything else, there can be too much of a good thing.

Productive Thinking is a powerful tool, but it’s not always the right tool. There are lots of issues that productive thinking won’t help you with.

Here’s a useful way to determine if your issue might benefit from productive thinking. It’s called I3:

List all issues you want to work on. Then, for each one, ask yourself the I3 questions:

  • Do I have Influence over it?
  • Is it Important to me?
  • Does it need Imaginative thinking?
If you can answer “yes” to all three I3 questions, then you’ll probably benefit from taking your issue through the Productive Thinking Framework. If not… well, here’s a simple grid that might help.

Remember, you can’t mow the lawn with a chain saw.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything like a nail. ~Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)

or perhaps…

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything like a thumb. ~Anonymous

1 comment to You Can’t Mow the Lawn with a Chainsaw

  • Jim

    My son-in-law, Ken, just came back from your Disney course on a real high. I have ordered your book and am eager to read it.
    Do you have a TED video? If not, why not?
    Looking forward to learning more.

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