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Our causes can’t see their effects

Cynefin frameworkI’ve been interested in, and trying to understand, the Cynefin framework for many years. Without much success, I might add. However, I recently saw an Intro to Cynefin video from Dave Snowden at Cognitive Edge that has helped me put the final pieces of my understanding in place.

Actually, looking back at my first attempt to use the framework to look at an issue, back in a November 2008 look at the response to the global economic crisis, it looks like I may have understood it better than I thought I did. But then I started taking it places I don’t think it was ever meant to go. Continue reading

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Pound of Obscure

The rest is just sand

A reminder to not let the little things take up all the space in your life so you can focus on the things that really matter.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

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Pound of Obscure

You are your own, best job creator

Every time I hear someone (by which I mean politicians) use the phrase “job creator” or “we need to create jobs so people can get back to work”, I want to reach through the media and give them a quick slap to the back of the head. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Seth Godin, or Clay Shirky, or Chris Guillebeau, or Hugh MacLeod, or …., but it seems to me it is this very emphasis on telling people that someone else needs to create a job for them that limits the possibilities.

Luckily, I’m not the only one that thinks that.

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Pound of Obscure

Everything in moderation (including moderation)

One of the most common pieces of advice many people hear is something along the lines of, “Everything in moderation.”  Of course, this advice usually comes in response to over indulgence in something that the advice giver thinks is bad for you.

“Beer is fine, but in moderation.”

“It’s OK to watch TV / play video games / whatever, just do it in moderation.”

While this makes some sense at first glance,  moderation in everything is a sure path to mediocrity. Unless, of course, moderation itself is practiced in moderation. Passionate pursuit of anything is, almost by definition, not moderate.

So, instead of “everything” in moderation, pursue in moderation only those things that do not help you achieve your purpose, your passion. We all need to take a break at times, to let off steam or to just veg (or geek) out.

To those things that are your passion, your purpose, devote as much time and energy as you can. Passion is no place for moderation.

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If the government were run like a business…

If the government were run like a business, what kind of business would it be? It’s easy enough to think of the President as CEO, and the Congress as the Board of Directors (kind of), but who would be the shareholders? The customers? How would this effect government employees? What would be the “product”?

Most importantly, where do citizens fit into this model?

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