Monday, September 04, 2006
Percieving your problem from different levels of abstraction changes the implications of the problem. To find the appropriate level of abstraction, ask "Why?" four or five times, until you find the level where you're comfortable.
Suppose your challenge is "In what ways might I sell more Ford Trucks?"
Step1 Why do I want to sell more Fords?
Because my truck sales are down.
Step2 Why do want to sell more trucks?
To improve my overall sales.
Step3 Why do you want to improve overall sales?
To improve my business.
Step4 Why do you want to improve your business?
To increase my personal wealth.
Step5 Why do you want to improve your personal wealth?
To lead the good life.
Now you can shape your challenges in a number of ways.
You can ask in what ways you might sell more Ford trucks, more trucks overall,
improve sales, improve business, improve personal wealth and lead the good life.
Work to be comfortable with the level of abstraction you've chosen. You may choose to stick with your original challenge of selling more Ford trucks or you may choose a more global challenge of improving your personal wealth, so you are free to embrace more opportunities. You could negotiate a higher commission rreturn for each vehicle sold, go into another business, make investments, sell other products, and so on.
Some Creative Consultants, and their clients are not comfortable AT ALL with abstraction analysis.
It reminds me of what Yankee catcher Yogi Berra and Yankee slugger Hank Aaron said to each other during the 1957 World Series:
Seeing Aaron hold the bat the wrong way Yogi said: "Turn it around, so you see the
To which the home run king replied while keeping his eye on the pitchers mound: "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit."
"I Just Wanted to Survive My Speech. Instead I Got a Standing Ovation!"
~ W. Mark Thompson, sharing about his experience with Instant Speaking Success
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