Self-Realisation

Making it political

The difference between an actual discussion (where we seek the right answer) and a political one is simple:

In a political discussion, people don’t care about what’s correct or effective or true. Facts aren’t the point.

The honest answer to, “if it could be demonstrated that there’s a more effective or just solution to this problem, would you change your mind?” is, for a political question, “no.”

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the the local water tower, the death penalty, labor unions, euthanasia, fair trade, organic food, the EPA or carbon. In political discussions, we don’t have enrollment in the scientific method. We’re not open to effectiveness or proof. We’re engaged in a tribal conflict.

The problem with the fencing in of one topic after another as political is that it gives us less and less space to learn and grow and understand.

Think tanks in DC call themselves non-partisan. But of course, that’s not true, because they’ve already made up their minds. They’re not thinking at all. Merely arguing.

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Uncategorized

The trick question

Useful modern education is not the work of rote. When you tell someone the answer and then give them a test to see if they remember what you told them, that’s not education, it’s incented memorization.

On the other hand, if you can ask someone a question that causes them to think about something unexamined, that challenges them to explore new ways of seeing the world or making connections, you’ve actually caused a change to happen.

The second time you ask them that question, it won’t work as well. Now it’s just rote. That’s why people call it a trick question. Because they learned something. They learned the trick.

We need more trick questions.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Questions for the underinformed

For the jingoistic sign carrier, the impatient shareholder, the late-night goofball and the nascent entrepreneur in search of cash…

We’ve heard your rants, your threats, your plans. We understand that you are in a hurry for a simple, dramatic, obvious solution to whatever problem you face.

“And then what happens?”

“Has this ever worked before?”

“How is this different (or the same) from those times?”

“What will you do when it doesn’t work the way you hoped?”

Innovation is essential, but innovation isn’t lazy. It takes insight and patience and experience to bring a new solution to an old problem.

Impatience is not a strategy.

Experience isn’t free, but it’s valuable.

And history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

“But what will I tell the others?”

Seven urgent words that are rarely uttered.

The profound question that clueless marketers almost never consider.

The words we imagine we’ll tell the boss, the neighbors, our spouse after we make a change or take an action… this drives the choices that constitute our culture, it’s the secret thread that runs through just about everything we do.

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Self-Realisation

Ten questions for work that matters

What are you doing that’s difficult?

What are you doing that people believe only you can do?

Who are you connecting?

What do people say when they talk about you?

What are you afraid of?

What’s the scarce resource?

Who are you trying to change?

What does the change look like?

Would we miss your work if you stopped making it?

What do you stand for?

What contribution are you making?

Hints: Any question that’s difficult to answer deserves more thought. Any answers that are meandering, nuanced or complex are probably a symptom of something important.

Self-Realisation

Questions checklist for reviewing your new marketing materials…

For that new video, or that new brochure, or anything you create that you’re hoping will change minds (and spread):

What’s it for?
When it works, will we be able to tell? What’s it supposed to do?

Who is it for?
What specific group or tribe or worldview is this designed to resonate with?

What does this remind you of?
Who has used this vernacular before? Is it as well done as the previous one was?

What’s the call to action?
Is there a moment when you are clearly asking people to do something?

Show this to ten strangers. Don’t say anything. What do they ask you?
Now, ask them what the material is asking them to do.

What is the urgency?
Why now?

Your job is not to answer every question, your job is not to close the sale. The purpose of this work is to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your idea to the people who need to hear it, at the same time that you build trust.

You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you’ve earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek.

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