How do you solve a problem?

Great speeches don’t solve problems, though bold statements and profound ideas can. As I was watching Andrew’s presentation on TED, I was reminded of my days of contemplating├é┬ápolitical economy and constitutional theory and back to conversations with my Sri Lankan law school professor… ah, the good old days!

Putting more resources into a dysfunctional system makes that system more dysfunctional just as driving faster in the wrong direction just takes you further from where you want to go.

Solutions to the real problems come by lifting our level of thinking and clarifying our desired outcome. Becoming a great problem solver can come by elevating your thinking, getting better at clarifying your outcomes and framing the situation in a manner that so that it fits familiar situations (through models or frameworks).

Andrew spoke about how giving aid to Africa strengthened corrupt governments and undermined the need to build the rules for sustainable wealth creation systems. But I especially loved his simple ending: That great speeches should be like miniskirts – short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the subject.

3 comments on “How do you solve a problem?

  1. Hey Dan,finally,ur message function works well.

    Thanks for ur kind share. In my pionion, the great speeches should be like “people are motivated but u didn’t speak anything to them”!

  2. Thanks Mark!

    Do you want to be the great speaker after whose address the crowd would applaud and feel inspired, or the great speaker after whose address the people woud say “let us march”?

    Inspiration and ‘motivation’ are transient – valuable as potential power, though temporary… they allow us the opportunity to move people rather than actually doing anything.

    To me, great speakers move people.

  3. Hi Daniel!

    Great distinction made between inspiration and motivation. There is a time for inspiration and a time for motivation. The trick is knowing the needs of our audience and delivering on target to be effective. Great speeches are effective – whether they MOVE the Heart or Mind or Body.


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