Your Search is Over
From the beginning, Renshi has focused on lowering company costs. Sustaining these cost reduction improvements is imperative. Experienced entrepreneurial performance management coaches guide your employees to these achievements.
You may be in Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, or any other employee intensive industry. It doesn’t matter. Renshi’s results will impress.
Finally, a simple and natural way to improve employee engagement and idea flow.
Your leaders learn on site, in the moment, when they are most busy with real work. This is when they learn. This is when they change.
What you learn
Pull not Push.
What’s preventing you from …?
Action on Ideas.
What you achieve
Finally, a natural, sustainable way to achieve lower costs, better safety, and ideas.
When your employees get things done it feels good. They want more. All this results in lower costs, better safety, more ideas, and profit.
At Renshi we understand every company is unique, has hidden ideas ready to release and wants to do a good job.
We release ideas and achieve goals. We do this by pulling those ideas from your employees rather than pushing ours. We track your teams’ progression towards goals and provide positive recognition.
We do this by inserting full-time Performance Management Coaches (PMC’s), into your operation.
When the ideas start flowing – great things happen.
Costs reduce and employee involvement increases. It becomes easier to attract and keep those great employees.
Operational Cost Performance Blog
The Socratic Method is named after the famous Greek philosopher Socrates. Socrates lived in the 5th century BC.
So you thought all business ideas where new!
The Socratic Method is also known as Socratic Questioning.
You use Socratic questioning to pursue thought in many directions.
- the exploration of ideas,
- the uncovering of the truth or preconceived assumptions,
- making the distinction between knowns and unknowns,
- analyzing concepts,
- following out logical consequences,
The Socratic approach is based on highly-disciplined, thoughtful dialogue. Socrates used it to help his students examine various ideas. He also used it to determine the validity of ideas. It limited the risk of falling prey to all sorts of logical fallacies. The teacher pretends to have no prior information about the subject. This method allows students to develop the most amount of knowledge for themselves.
It is an effective way to explore all sorts of ideas in-depth. The Socratic method can be used at all levels and different points within a given unit or project.
People can learn vital critical thinking skills, by:
- analyzing, and
- evaluating content,
through their thinking, as well as the thinking of those around them.
Tips for Using the Socratic Method:
- Plan significant questions that will provide direction to the conversation.
- Allow at least 30 seconds for people to respond to your questions.
- Follow up on their responses.
- Do not forget to ask probing questions.
- On occasion, summarize the key points in writing.
- Draw as many participants into the discussion as possible.
- Leave participants to discover the knowledge on their own through the probing questions that you ask.
Examples of Questions used in the Socratic Method
- What do you mean by…?
- Could you explain that a different way?
- hat’s the main issue here, in your opinion?
- Can you provide an example here?
- Could you expand on your point further?
- How can you verify or disprove this hypothesis?
- What could we expect, instead?
- Why is this question so important, in the first place?
- Why do you think that?
- What assumption can we draw from this question?
Reason and Evidence Questions
- Why do you think this is the case here?
- What sort of extra information is required here?
- Could you explain your reasoning?
- Is there a reason to doubt this evidence?
- Is this idea your own, or have you heard it somewhere else?
- Has this always been your point of view?
- Have something or someone influenced your opinion?
- What made you feel this way about the issue?
The significant difference between the Socratic method and regular discussions is that the former seeks ways to draw out first principles actively and systematically. The Socratic method usually follows this process:
- Clarifying your thinking and explaining the origins of your ideas. “Why do I think this?”
- Challenging assumptions about the topic. “How do I know this is true or not? What if I thought the opposite?”
- Searching for proof. “What evidence do I have to back this up?”
- Alternative perspectives. “What may others think about this?”
- Examining the consequences and implications. “What if this is not the case and I am wrong? What would be the consequences if I am wrong?”
- Questioning the original questions. “Why did I think like that before? Was I correct, to begin with? What conclusions can I draw?”
The level of questions asked influences the level of thinking that occurs during this type of process. With this in mind, it could take some trial-and-error before perfecting the process, but it will be worth it in the end.
First principles thinking is a highly-effective strategy. It can help someone break down complicated problems and generate original solutions. By extension, this strategy is also the best approach to learning how to think for yourself.
In short, a first principle is the most fundamental assumption about a given subject, that you cannot deduce any further. Or how Aristotle put it more than two millennia ago “the first basis from which a thing is known.”
Rene Descartes, a well-known French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist from the 17th century, also embraced this approach. Known as the Cartesian Doubt, his method was to, doubt everything he could question until he was left with the most basic, indubitable truths.
In other words, the first principles strategy is a way for people to think like a scientist. You drop all preconceived notions. You don’t assume anything. You strip ideas to their most basic elements.
The further down you go, the more accurate your solution will be. Even so, when put in practice on a day-to-day level, you don’t need to strip an idea down to the atomic level. You only need to go a couple of extra levels beyond what other people are doing. The reason for this is that the further down you go, the more different opportunities you have besides those already established.
The First Principles Thinking Strategy and Entrepreneur Elon Musk
To better put things into perspective, let’s take a look at entrepreneur Elon Musk. He began his journey in 2002 to put people on Mars. As with every other such idea of this size, Musk ran into a significant problem almost as soon as he started.
As he was looking around the world for a rocket to buy, he realized that the average price was around $65 million. $65 million is an astronomical cost. So Musk began to apply the first principles of thinking strategy.
“I tend to approach things from a physics framework,” said Musk. “Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of?”
Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fibre. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”
So, instead of going ahead and buying a $65 million rocket, Musk decided to buy the raw materials. He then built the rocket for himself. It is how SpaceX came into being. After several years of research, SpaceX was able to cut the price of launching a rocket by a factor of 10. Even then, SpaceX still made a profit.
Musk used first principles thinking to bring the entire scenario to its essential elements. Musk avoided the high prices set by the aerospace industry. He came up with a more efficient solution than anything before that existed.
By using this thinking strategy, Elon Musk was not only able to lower the price of a rocket but also revolutionize the entire spacefaring industry. By breaking up the concept into its fundamental parts, he was able to reconstruct the idea in a much more efficient and productive way. This reconstruction made space travel something more achievable than it was before.
Every one of us is at the center of our universe. In other words,
We base every thought, idea, or decision that we take on how we perceive the world around us. It is what led Warren Buffet to say that
“what the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”
It is why most of us believe that we know ourselves better than we do. All the while overrating or underestimating others. Many of us are completely unaware of the impact we have on other people, or what affect others have on us.
It was former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who once talked about
“known unknowns,” and
The first two are somewhat self-explanatory. It’s the last one that keeps us from experiencing real happiness and success. These so-called unknown unknowns are our blind-spots. (our weaknesses that we are not even aware of,). It’s only through self-awareness that we will ever be able to overcome them.
Blind Spots Across the Corporate Ladder
Conventional wisdom will have us believe that
the higher we climb the corporate ladder, the more self-awareness we will encounter.
Still, Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, says that
We find peak emotional intelligence (EQ) in the middle management positions.
Middle managers are the most level-headed.
The titles of director and above, are plagued by “the lowest EQ scores in the workplace,”
Among the most common leadership-position blind spots, are things like
being afraid to ask for help or
being unaware of how you affect others.
Also, having an:
- I know everything attitude,
- conflict avoidance,
- refusing responsibility by blaming your circumstances,
- treating commitments casually,
- conspiring against others,
- not taking a stand on anything,
- low standards on performance,
How to See and Eliminate Your Blind Spots
Being self-aware about your thoughts and actions is an excellent way to rid yourself of any blind spots that you may have. There are several ways to approach the issue.
Surround Yourself with Diverse Thinkers
Every person should strive to learn more. It is a wise choice to surround yourself with a variety of learned people. These people have different perspectives, experiences and approaches on how to solve problems.
Identify Patterns by Examining Your Past
To better understand and identify your blind spots, you will have to examine your past. Look for repeating patterns. Ask yourself what feedback have you received from advisors about your decisions. How have you succeeded as a leader and where have you struggled the most? What situations resulted in desirable or undesirable results?
Identify the Triggers
Each one of these blind spots is “triggered” by a specific situation. These triggers cause us to react without even thinking instinctively. Knowing what these triggers are is a critical step in eliminating these blind spots. They could be events, circumstances, or people.
Have Someone Hold You Accountable
Once you’ve identified your blind spots, have a trusted friend hold you accountable. Have them do this every time you repeat them. It is through practice that we will rid yourself of these habits. They are well ingrained in our consciousness. Thus we will continue to do them even after their identification. That is why practice is essential.
Self-awareness is a journey that will continue for the rest of your life. If you ever reach a point where you believe you know yourself, you are, in fact, blind. The point of self-awareness is to identify your unknown unknowns. If you think that you know everything, point to the exact opposite.
A Few of Our leaders
Martin Mendez, Director - Houston
Sanjana Pillai, Director - Toronto
Joseph Kramer, Director-New York
Tony Nash, Director - Seattle
Ervin May, Director - Chicago
Philip Uglow, Founder
Lower Your Costs
We know you, and your team are smart. We know you are unique.
At Renshi, our focus is to draw out that intelligence. Get people articulating new ideas. Acting on them. Measuring them.
Getting things done.
When that happens, you’ll see employee engagement rise and costs fall. Remember, Renshi never leaves you. We are there to answer questions years after we leave.
It’s all about you.
Founded in Calgary
You can find us in 8 cities across the U.S., and Canada.