Preflection, foresight and prevention

Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and hoping the outcome to be different (let alone better)
Albert Einstein 1879-1955, Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790, it seems Franklin was first

Only if we change our way of working, the result may be different.

  • Hindsight is easy, but reactive
  • Foresight is less easy, but proactive
  • Reflection is for hindsight and learning
  • Preflection is for foresight and prevention
  • Only with prevention we can save precious time

If we keep working the way we always did, we will keep making the same mistakes and our projects will still be late. Because "hindsight is easy", we can often use it to reflect on what we did, in order to learn: Could we have avoided doing something that now, in hindsight, proves to be unnecessary or superfluous or could we've done it more efficiently? Reflection, however, doesn't recover lost time: the time is already spent and can never be regained.

Foresight is less easy, but with foresight we can think that what we're going to do will prove to be unnecessary, superfluous, and decide not to do it, or that it can be done more efficiently, and hence save time.

Reflection is for hindsight is for learning. However, it is useless if we don't actively use what we learned for Preflection. Isn't it strange that we have a word 'reflection' but not a word 'preflection'? Only with preflection we can try to foresee and thus prevent wasting precious time.

This is used in the Plan-Do-Check-Act or Deming cycle and it's one of the basics of Evolutionary Planning