Scientific Thinking and EOS

Scientific Thinking

Scientific Thinking is a way to find your way in the VUCA world that we are living in. This thinking practice is vital for better problem solving and better decision making.

Scientific Thinking?

In his great article (see link), Mike Rother (Toyota Kata) outlines what Scientific Thinking is and how you can use it to navigate in a VUCA world. Simplified, you could say that Scientic Thinking is all about FINDING YOUR WAY – that is your way towards your target, your aim, your vision. Below is the link to the article in pdf.


When we are practicing scientific thinking, we take the following three basic steps:

1. We must a prediction about a future result

2. Reality happens

3. Learn from the difference

To clarify this last point: after a certain amount of time, we can now evaluate to look at the difference between what we predicted and what actually happened in the real world.

If there is a difference (and obviously, often times there is 😉  then we just look at the facts (using a tool like the debrief directive™) and learn to improve our progress and performance into the future.

Agile & Scientific Thinking

Agile organizations are able to set an aim, make a prediction, look what happened and adjust accordingly – this is exactly the same pattern as we follow with scientific thinking – therefore Mike Rother remarked that you can think of Agile as a practical approach to scientific thinking and that is exactly right.


EOS & Scientific Thinking

Companies that are running on EOS® are continuously setting a new aim, making that very clear and then plan and work towards achieving that aim. The practical way we do that within EOS® is with Rocks. When we set Rocks, we are actually predicting for the long term and defining our most important aims – our most important company priorities and individual priorities for the next 90 days.

Now the priorities are set we can plan and execute towards achieving them. We execute our rocks and after 90 days in the Quarterly Meeting with the team we look at what happened. What is the gap between our prediction and the results that are in. What can we learn from that? How can we improve with these learnings the next time (iteration)? In this process we are actually using Scientific Thinking.


Run on EOS®

Rocks are just one of the five foundational tools to get what you want from your business. Hopefully this post helps you to see the connection between Scientific Thinking, Agility and Rock setting. It is all about getting crystal clear on what you want, then staying focused during the quarter to get there and being agile and learn.  For Rock setting the time frame is the 90-day world, but the same approach applies to aims for a week, day, etc. It is a never ending learning journey of improving and transforming towards your bigger and better future.

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