Thinking for Yourself and the Mad Men Finale

Thank you Matthew Weiner. Not only for providing 7 seasons of masterful television, but for ending it in a way that leaves the viewer open to creating their own endings, and molding the storylines the way they see fit.  No tidy box with a ribbon on it, with no assembly required; but here are the pieces, there’s the direction we’re heading, put it together so it makes sense for you.  Brilliant!

We need more of this in our lives.  Producers crafting stories and letting us think and use our brains to write the story the way we see it, given the parameters set before us.  Too often, in our business world (and when it comes to my passion, Lean), we want it all handed to us in a nice tidy box with a bow.  We want to find out what someone else did, write it down, put it in a box, and then put that box on our shelf.  Guess what.  It doesn’t look right, fit, etc.  So we ignore it, or discard it as something else that “didn’t work here.”

Admittedly, sometimes it’s nice not to have to think.  To just have someone give us the answer and we don’t have to do anything.  Much of television has been like that for years – a way to escape and not have to think.  The problem is too much of business is becoming that way.  In our quest and zeal for speed and efficiency, we take the easy way out.  We don’t try to fit the methodology and tools to our circumstance, we just want the answer.  No thinking required.

Weiner did something that has made many people uncomfortable, and not often done on television – he left it open.  They wanted it “buttoned up” nice and tidy with no loose ends, so they can put it away and not have to think about it anymore.  But that’s not what they got.  They got something that’s a little loose around the edges, needs some pieces put together, and with a little creative thinking they have to, no… get to, wrap it all up

We are all writing our story every day.  The story of our personal lives and the story of our work.  Are you just going to take the answer given, or are you going to use what was given and mold it into your own?

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