You may notice a different tone in this article, a one of hastiness. I was going to publish something different today.
But I can’t.
As I stand in mourning and astonishment, I cannot help my mind to go where years of engineering, solution selling, and consultancy have trained me to: Problem Solving.
When you have a recurring problem, What do you do? Do you just ignore it and keep on going? Do you make up excuses on why you shouldn’t change anything? Do you in the process bullsh*t your friends and family that this time is actually going to be different?
I know your answer. You wouldn’t be where you are today if that is how you would approach your recurring problems.
I’ll tell you what I’d do:
1.- I look for methods and models by people smarter than me. 2.- I look for real world examples for validation. 3.- I construct a model to test, and look for possible negative consequences. 4.- Finally, put a plan in place and execute (plan the work, work the plan…)
BJ Fogg, famously in his book Tiny Habits tells us that there are three main factors that determine behavior: Motivation, Triggers, and Ability. In his book, Fogg argues that we need all three to make a specific behavior happen.
We know that Motivation and Triggers are fickle, changing depending on what happens around us or our mood. They are difficult to control. In contrast, Ability can be “engineered”, That’s why you don’t buy those addictive tortilla chips in the first place. This is also the reason why we have labeled “systemic racism”, because we are trying to free the individual to act on their motivation, and whenever there is a trigger.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that solutions to our problems create new ones, that “we break something”. I will say, that we can also go through the same first three steps: look at what smarter people say, search for real-life examples, and construct a model. I am confident that through this process, we can also fix that something that we may break. But in a nation of innovators, of trailblazers, Isn’t that what we do all the time? The alternative is just paralyzing.
It is not that difficult. We are the ones making it difficult most of the time.