The 6th great idea* I discovered comes from a book called How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen, a book I highly recommend.
It starts with the question:
(1) What to think vs how to think
- If you want someone to always rely on you, teach them what to think. But if you want to build leaders, teach them how to think.
- Telling someone to think of the causes or solutions to a problem is teaching them ‘what to think’. That’s very easy to do and is usually the short cut way to getting things done.
- How to think means teaching someone a framework on how any problems should be approached. The solutions will often come from the other person.
- That’s where a framework or a conceptual guideline or a theory is important – it teaches us how to think. Looking back, this website is all about how to think.
(2) What is a strategy
- “You can talk all you want about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing the resources you have in a way that is consistent with your strategy.”
- A strategy has 3 parts:
- Opportunities and threats
- Allocation of resources
- Priorities means our end goals.
- But how do we really know what we want?
- We could have set our priorities too high (i.e. too much disappointment) or too low (life’s too smooth without occasional failures)
- Opportunities and threats come in 2 ways – i.e. deliberate planning or emergent one. Either one is ok as long as we recalibrate it with our priorities.
- Allocation of resources sounds the simplest, i.e. investing all we have based on our priorities.
- However, we often think investment in life can be sequenced. I used to think like that. Let’s focus on one area in life, achieve it and move on. Life unfortunately doesn’t work that way. Investment in life is not sequential.
- And often, if we defer something till we need it, it’s often too late.
- There is also a natural tendency to invest resources in short term stuff with immediate payoff.
(3) The job to be done
- Always think in term of ‘job to be done’. Not just completing any task for the sake of completing it but rather the real ‘job to be done’ behind it.
- Too often we just do what we think is important vs what is really important for the other person.
(4) The structure of capabilities
- In evaluating our ability to allocate the resources we have to achieve the priorities we set, it is good to breakdown the structure of capabilities into 3 parts, i.e. (a) resources (b) processes and (c) priorities.
- Resources means what, processes means how and priorities means why.
- The interaction between how and why (processes and priorities) will create the culture of getting things done that will either emerge on its own or via deliberate design.
- Understanding this is important so that we don’t leave culture creation to chance but rather via careful deliberation.
(5) Finding your purpose – I have to admit I haven’t really cracked this part but the general idea worth pondering:
- Likeness – who you want to become
- Commitment – to becoming that at every step. Actually spending your time and energy in ways that get you closer to your likeness.
- Metrics – to measure your progress towards becoming the likeness
*The previous 5 ideas are: (i.e. Top 10 List)
(1) A Great Man is One Sentence (2) A Great Man is Also One Question (3) Cracking Life’s Code (4) The Elephant and The Rider (5) Lateral Thinking (click here for the post)