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all great things...

Asking is tough business. It's a struggle to ask for something - for help, for support... for love.

In Western culture we grow up embracing the ideal of individuality - it's the practice that one can and SHOULD accomplish great things alone. It's encouraged as a student, as an athlete and an artist. And it's a complete fallacy. There is no individual accomplishment. No lone genius. It's a myth and one that does not serve the individual, the group, the need or the solution very well.

As a teen I was convinced that all great accomplishment was created and driven by the individual. I wanted to do it by myself, my way. As someone a bit older, my view of accomplishment (especially great accomplishment) has changed drastically. As a side note, my attitude and approach is also changing, but that is slow going at times.

No accomplishment is individual in nature, least of which the really incredible ones. Not one thing is saved, exalted, created, raised, bought, sold, crafted, grown or developed by only one pair of hands. It take a group, a village if you will, of like-minded and willing supporters, to breathe life into the things we've grown to hold dear.

This is a reminder to ask for help, support and love (maybe all three), when you need it. It's the world's opportunity to help you craft the great thing we've been waiting for.

Justifying No

Serial creation... The ability to create en mass. Excellent in theory and in practice, but not encouraged within work culture.

It's a lot harder than it looks. I've tried themed days, quarterly deliverables, saying no (and saying yes), but it's really difficult to create an environment where innovation and serial creation occurs when you work for a large organization.

I could do a better job of selling my focus and my reasoning behind a project. And I could do a better job of saying no in order to narrow my focus. But how else does one create something powerful within an organization that is driven in many different (sometimes conflicting) directions? What is a more compelling justification for saying no?

efficiency vs productivity

Efficiency and productivity are not the same thing. One is how much you can put into a day and the other is how well can you make in a day. 

You can have a very efficient day and produce nothing. In my experience, those are the days crammed with meetings that may be about project and products, but not produce.

And you can have a productive day where only one thing gets done and gets done well. In my experience, those are the days that actually make a difference.

But most offices and work environments value efficiency over productivity so much that they are often seen as synonymous. Attending a meeting is not a product. It is an action, a calendar item, an hour you cannot get back... but it is not a product. Meetings do not lead to products. Actions that arrive from meetings only rarely lead directly to productive results.

Meetings do lead to work that needs to be accomplished. Most could likely be accomplished in the hour you set aside for the original meeting, but now must be scheduled into another hour to be accomplished - and we've come full-circle to efficiency.

Modern work culture does not honor creation. It fails to treasure the time it takes to build, craft and find solutions to the heavy problems which plague our world. The sooner we realize that the solution is not more meetings, but more crafting the better off our organizations will be.

Now, please excuse me, while I prepare for another set of Monday meetings.