Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting On What Matters

This book review from here caught my eye and highlights a better approach to difficulties I've often run across. Haven't read the book...

The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting On What Matters

Block, Peter

Another set of insights from Peter Block. This one is less about specific tips on how to be a better consultant/advisor. Instead it focuses on the impact of our default attitudes and assumptions on how we handle change, particularly in organizational settings. In particular, Block takes aim at the debilitating affects of always and quickly shifting discussions about any kind of proposed change to discussions of how things should be done or how they are impossible to do.

He argues, successfully, that our disposition toward leaping into questions of implementation is a disguised way to block change. The first question should never be "how can we do this?" as pragmatic as that might appear. Instead, we need to begin with questions of value. "Is this something that we want to do or that we need to do?" If the answer to that is truly "yes" then we will find the answers to the "how" questions as they appear.

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