Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wondering...Activity vs. Productivity

It's interesting how people can think along the same lines and the same time without ever discussing it with each other....

I was at an evening workshop last night for people in my board who are interested in leadership and the "promotion process". Now, I am not sure about becoming admin and all, but I do like learning and I consider myself a leader so I applied to go and was accepted. Lat night was the first session and it was a "safari" theme. I hate dressing up...so I didn't! It was an interesting evening and I am looking forward to our next session to see what happens. Why? Well because we played a game for 4 hours, oh, excuse me...a simulation, that's what you call games played by adults at work functions I suppose! LOL

Anyway, we were all put into groups and were told we would be travelling through the desert for 25 days. Our goal was to reach the mountains where we could mine for gold which would be converted back into money and the team with the most money would win. We were given $1000 to start and the capacity to carry 1000 lbs. We had to buy food and water and could choose to buy a shelter or a compass. Now there would be villages we could stop in on the way to buy more food and water but everything would be double the price of our home base. There was also the possibility of sandstorms and superheat in the desert which would quickly deplete our water and food supply. So after all these instructions we dove into the game. Now each "day" in the game only lasted for 3 minutes so we had to make our choices about buying things and moving through the desert rather quickly and we did have the possibility to speak to the "old man" before we left in order to gain more knowledge....4 hours later, my group was one day away from returning to home base with 6 days worth of gold mined in the mountains when a sandstorm hit that killed us and took us out of the game.

So where is all this going you ask? Well, thanks for asking!!

We debriefed the simulation (game) after we had finished and some interesting things came to light. My group stayed back for 2 days at home base to talk to the old man and gain some the knowledge. The winning team stayed back 4 days and got all the knowledge possible. As a group we discussed the value of prior knowledge- knowing where you are going and what you want to accomplish before you set out on your journey. Had my group stayed and received a bit more knowledge, we may have been the winners. However, like with many things in life we felt the pressure to get started, to win the race, to compete with others and let that pressure make our decision for us.

The facilitator asked some very interesting questions after the game was over that really resonated with me...  What is the cost of information in the real world? Is all information guaranteed to be useful? How can we know if it is useful or not?


He then talked about goal clarity vs goal territory (which I like the rhyming of) and was a really interesting idea. Not just having an idea about your goals, but to have specific goals in mind and taking the time before you start to get the right information to know where you are going. It's a funny thing, life. Everyone wants to get somewhere, do something because, well, so-and-so has but life is not a race and I think taking a moment to step back and gather the necessary facts before making a decision that is right for us is an important allowance to grant ourselves. Too often we get caught up in "keeping up" that we don't even know anymore what up is. We let our activity define our productivity. Interesting, right?

This is a common thought in teach, backwards design and all, but I really think it should also be a common thought in life. So I want to think with the end in mind so I will produce greater results in my personal life, relationships, at work and myself.

1 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

SB said...

great thoughts Beth...Makes me think of the Steve Jobs interview when he discusses the importance of connecting the dots...now if only I could see what dots to connect...

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe