There is a Sherlock Holmes story where the famous detective is trying to understand how a race horse disappeared. In it Sherlock is talking to a police officer:
- Policeman “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
- Holmes “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
- Policeman “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
- Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
That conversation has always struck me, both as a great piece of suspenseful writing and as a reminder of what we often miss.
I often listen closely to what people say, but perhaps I should more often wonder what is not being said. What conversations are we not having, that perhaps would be worth having?
Similarly, when I think of a solution or new initiative, I often focus on what it will solve and sometimes what it will involved in implementing it or what issues it might create; but perhaps I should more often wonder what will be left unsolved, what does not have to change or what seeming issues are not actually caused by implementing the idea.
This week I might focus on the questions
- What is not happening here, that I would have expected?
- What are we not talking about, that perhaps we should be?
- What might I be missing here?
If you want to learn more about the quote, then I think the following article makes for an interesting read.