problems and solutions

When I outline a problem and also give you the solution then I take away from the intellectual and emotional worth you are able to bring to the task or conundrum.

‘Define the problem, not the solution.’*

In my reading this morning, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler lay down this as one of their parameters for setting up a challenge and prize.  They want to release the imagination and creativity of the many by not telling them how to succeed.

Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in Blue Ocean Strategy describe how a fair process (engagement, explanation, and clarity of expectation) is blue ocean because it allows people’s intellectual and emotional worth to be recognised and valued.  They warn that if this doesn’t happen then intellectually people ‘will not share their ideas and expertise’ and ‘they will reject others’ intellectual worth,’ and emotionally, they will not ‘invest their energy in their actions.’**

Hours earlier, I’d found myself pondering how there is something so powerful about people finding the freedom to act (autonomy), the possibility of being skilful (mastery), and living out a purpose greater than themselves (meaning), even whilst the opportunity for manifesting these may only come later in life or occasionally, it fills the whole.  I can’t remember why I was thinking about these things but I do know there is something very powerful at play when these are present.  They’re not so much substancel as relational – all the best things in life are.

Autonomy could be said to be about the relationship with ourselves, mastery about our relationship with our world, and meaning about our relationship with others.

Red ocean scenarios witness our copying and competing with what everyone else is doing, whilst blue ocean scenarios are about discovering and developing perople’s uniqueness: one closes down possibilities, the other open possibilities up:

‘Creating blue oceans is not a static achievement but a dynamic process.’**

Hugh Macleod offers a blog that is more of a poem when he writes:

‘When I’m not free, you’re not free.
When I’m in danger, you’re in danger.
When your voice is being drowned out, no one can hear me either.
To guarantee my freedom, I have to guarantee yours too.
Because I only matter when you matter.’^

And this from Seth Godin, underlining relationship over substance further still:

‘Showing up with empathy is difficult hard to outsource and will wear you out.  But it’s precisely what we need from you.’^^

(*From Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler’s Bold.)
(**From Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy.)
(^From Hugh Macleod’s gapingvoid blog If You’re Not Free, What Does That Say About Me?)
(^^From Seth Godin’s blog: Empathy is the Hard Part.)

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