David Eaves is a proficient blogger and open government activist. He is in demand as a public speaker and consultant on open government, negotiations, strategy and public policy. Here is his provocative answer to the question: What would you like to become more visible in 2011? You can also Download Becoming Visible - the complete collection of 58 essays including David's.
Greater comfort with decline and death
Greater comfort with decline and death.
It sounds shocking – and Iʼm being a little over the top. But I mean it.
We are surrounded by institutions, business models and processes that serve us poorly. To me, the definitive example is the Yellow Pages. Here is an unsolicited "service" that is forced upon millions of Canadians, consumes enormous resources to create and distribute, and that is increasingly obsolete with the rise of 411 and the Internet.
Indeed, the stacks of unwanted yellow pages in residential apartment buildings across the country have become alarmingly large. The Yellow Pages are quickly becoming the definitive metaphor of our times: a business that can continue to exist and consume vast resources long after it serves individual or even a collective good. Inertia, not innovation, is the core value.
We can do better. But it means letting things die.
So what Iʼd like is to be more visible in 2011 is death. For Canadians everywhere to look at their lives, their governments, their business or place of work and ask the metaphorical question: Whatʼs the Yellow Pages of my organization?
This is a hard question. And it challenges us in many ways. Sometimes it may mean we have to stop doing the thing we have become good at, or comfortable with. But we live in such an exciting era where so many new things are possible. But this will only matter if we get comfortable with letting go of the old. As we manage a scarcity of money, resources and time, being able to do this is only going to become more important. It isnʼt easy – but the alternative, poorly allocated and inefficiently used resources – is even worse.
Click here for my recent post on David – Is the Internet Our New Parliament Buildings?
Please share and distribute to your friends and through your various networks, websites etc. I think you will agree – these are too good to keep to ourselves.