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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Let's begin this Blog entry with a quote that appears appropriate for consideration as we continue to encounter economic uncertainty at the local, state and national levels. The issues raised by fiscal problems have produced more questions than answers.

"A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push." Austrian Philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Change occurs at accelerating rates of speed. What's new today soon becomes old. Technology in particular has been a vehicle of rapid change. However, the impact technology generates has escaped the confines of labs and the domain of the geeks to arrived with great impact in the social arena through networking programs and social media platforms. Someone once opined that "Nothing is certain but change." That has long been true, but it seems that change has proliferated to a level that approaches overwhelming.

We can no longer apply yesterday's solutions to the problems of today. Authoritative declarations (when you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail) in top-down organizations that secure short-term compliance are not only antiquated but provoke near rebellion and fail to promote long-term commitment. It's not enough to merely define objectives and articulate finely tuned strategies, there must be a reason offered stimulating enough to enlist the investment of energy and effort worthy of followers. Cooperation and collaboration, empowerment and shared decision-making are the tools more likely to leverage success at group levels. Wittgenstein suggests as much when he encourages people to pull rather than push. A clear vision of a desired future borne of clarity and meaning, credibility and possibility, can pull people forward. Narrow roles, rules and regulations intended to push people often prove to be counter-productive and inhibit the creativity needed to develop alternative solutions.

Let's pull together instead of pushing apart.

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