clever solves.

by smb on October 30, 2008

The generally accepted plan for getting ahead usually entails soaking up all the details about the place you want to work.  Like memorizing baseball statistics, we convince ourselves that knowing the industry is most important part of building leadership.

But while you were doing all that reading about the details of the widget you’d like to make – you are getting passed by people who know far less about what – and more about how.

Getting caught up in the how means that you can get too wedded to the method.  You can get fixated on creating the conditions that perpetuate your solution, instead of being open to the potential of innovation.  You get proficient in producing, and reproducing, the same answers – no matter the problem.

And that’s not clever.

Clever doesn’t just know what to think – clever knows how to think.

Clever knows that solutions are directly related to conditions, and that conditions change.

Clever asks about why ideas work.

Clever looks beyond simple facts to take into account context – there are tons of correct answers that may never rise to the level of true solution.

Clever appreciates context, and the political environment in which all ideas exist.

Clever isn’t invested in one particular method, because it’s all about the goal.

Clever values vision and inspiration.

Clever looks for elegant.

Clever solves.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

middlemgr October 31, 2008 at 11:58 pm

So what do you do when you are already trapped in middle management? I am stuck in a job making widgets and can’t see the way get to clever.

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