The Decision Space

I like to work in the space of decision making.

The “decision space” resides in the minds of people when they are capable of making a choice to change. The decision space exists when people are convinced there is a better way to do things.

The conversation here is really just about features and cost/benefit and personalty (innovator, early adopter, late adopter…)

Another way to work in the space of decision making is to create this space in people’s minds. People who do not yet have this “space” are not listening to a message for change for whatever reason (or perhaps they’ve listened and moved on).

The conversation here…well there isn’t one, yet. There can’t be a conversation about features and utility until people are convinced there is an alternate reality that might be better than their own. In this case, the name of the game is connecting people to others who already live the alternate reality.

Maybe the only one living the new reality is me, for now.

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Some forms of ranting end up sounding like “I can’t.”  I can’t do anything about the problem, but ranting about it (again) feels good.

I Can’t: Public education is broken, [and here’s all the research to prove it] but I can’t or won’t suggest or enlist resources to figure out a solution.

One option for the rant is, “I can if…”  Public education is broken.  I can move the needle if I work within the system to discover if the research rings true for my city. What can I do if it’s true?

Rants serve a purpose for sure…calling attention to something that is broken. It can be helpful to name problems.  But we can’t stop there.  It is worth being aware of which categories our internal monologues fall into…and to be aware of the pattern of our conversations with friends and colleagues.

If ranting is left to it’s own devices, nothing actually gets done.  Rants need to evolve in order to create change.

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Some Reasons for Collaborating

Some reasons for collaborating, from most to least convenient.

Collaborate because we don’t have all the required skill sets or perspectives. Other stakeholders need to weigh in. In order to build a better service or learning space or product, it’s necessary to have input from those with domain expertise and from those who will use the new [creation].

Collaborate because we require feedback to validate or correct ideas. We are qualified to work in this domain and we crave feedback from other qualified professionals in order to get better at getting better.

Collaborate because we don’t know what we don’t know. Better yet, collaborate because we are curious. Let’s identify what the market needs and figure out if we can and should meet those needs.

Collaborating as a byproduct of curiosity is more mindset than mandate for most job descriptions. Rarely will a supervisor provide negative feedback for not going out of our way to vet solutions that don’t exist. And yet, being curious is a choice. So is collaborating. Choosing to envision a new reality is a choice. Choosing to create that reality is the ultimate choice.


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