Monday, September 6, 2010

Interesting Problems? First Define Them

Henry Ford
Image via Wikipedia
Seth Godin is EXTREMELY popular. For good reason. 


But in his labor day post today, he discusses the devaluing of labor, with a small L.


He ends with something pithy to encapsulate his idea:
"The future of labor belongs to enlightened, passionate people on both sides of the plant, people who want to do work that matters."



He implies that teachers are only laboring to teach to tests when we say we want innovative teaching. But teaching to a test does not stop innovation does it? 

We hear all the time of anecdotal evidence of some teacher find the way to get the information across in standard curriculum. He suggests that labor took the bosses dictum of "do whatever I say" and ran with it.

However, the revealing part after comparing what is today knowledge and information services/work with assembly line work ala Henry Ford: "Improvisation still matters if you set out to solve interesting problems." 


What are those interesting problems? Comparing the work/labor of today with the situations of the past isn't quite far is it?


Suggesting that passionate people on the boss/labor ends of the equation will solve matters rarely suggests a solution to the problem does it?


If the problem is getting as many cheap TVs/Blu Ray players/etc to the masses, does it matter if the workers and bosses of Walmart are passionate? They've solved that "problem," haven't they?

No, the issue of the problem comes first. Finding it, identifying, and then drafting the solution. Passion and being enlightened is all well and good, but first, know your problem.

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