Many of our responses to common work situations are hard wired. We have done them over and over so many times that we could do them in our sleep.

When I was working for IBM in the late 80s and early 90s I came across signs simply saying Think. There was one poster that had Think in many different languages that used to always – well – make me think. I eventually found out that the Think slogan was first introduced into IBM by its founder Thomas J. Watson.

Bent on inspiring the dispirited NCR sales force, Mr. Watson introduced the motto, “THINK,” which later became a widely known symbol of IBM. He told salesmen, ” ‘I didn’t think’ has cost the world millions of dollars.” Overnight, framed placards with the single word, “THINK,” sprouted throughout the offices of the company. Later, at IBM, he reintroduced the same motto.

Over 100 years later this concept is still very relevant. How much do we think about what we do and how much do we do unconsciously on auto pilot? We have so many pre programmed responses to events that happen in our lives that the act of answering this question may actually force us to think.

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