Summary of the book Disciplined Dreaming by Josh Linkner
A mother is making meatloaf with her teenage daughter, a ritual they’ve been doing together for years. As part of the tradition, the two chefs cut the end off one side of the meatloaf before putting it in the oven. One day, the teen asks, “Mom, why do we cut the end off the meatloaf before we put it in the oven?”
Taken by surprise, the mom began to think. She had no good reason, other than that’s how her own mother made meatloaf.
Together, the two called up Grandma to find the answer. After a brief laugh, the grandmother admitted that she didn’t know the answer, either; she’d learned the technique from her mother.
Their curiosity sparked, the three went to visit Great-Grandma in the nursing home where she lived. Upon hearing the question, the ninety-eight-year-old great grandmother roared with laughter. “I have no idea why you are cutting the end off the meatloaf! I used to do it because I didn’t have a big enough pan!”
As you are working through your tasks next week at work, think long and hard about why you are doing them. If the answer ends up being “that’s just the way we do things around here,” you know you’ve found an area ripe for creativity and innovation.
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