Thursday, 21 July 2011

Building Capacity

If we keep doing what we have always done then it is obvious that we will get what we always got.

When I was a child we had a go-cart. It went rather too slow for our liking so we set about modifying it. First we worked to reduce weight and drag. The improvement was not to our liking. We shifted the focus from throwing things away to adding things on. We added a four stroke motor. We all hated mowing the lawns anyway. The result initially involved a hedge but with a few driver improvements was very much to our liking.

The third options for changing our behaviour in regard to making time is a shift in energy from reducing to a focus on building.

When seeking help for workload and time issues there are more books available than there is time to read them, let alone effectively implement the fabulous ideas they contain. These solutions often look at tasks and focus on; managing, organising, prioritising and eliminating distractions.
Another path to take is to increase capacity by focusing on that which is closest to the heart. Not the mechanics of how to do the job better but why do the job. Ask the big "why" question about your occupation and then go further. The real answer to creating capacity is in the many small tasks that eat up the twenty four hours in each day. Filtering the little tasks through the big “why”, critiquing them before acting or for that matter choosing not acting. Steve Jobs once said, “I am as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”
Although time is constant, knowledge is not. Until seventy years ago it was believed that there was only one galaxy. Plate tectonics became fact in 1968 when the observations that was published four hundred and fifty years earlier was proven scientifically. Knowledge is fluid and subject to change. In the guide Enquiring Minds produced by Microsoft and Future Labs the authors listed three types of knowledge; functional, cultural and critical.1 Critical knowledge is understanding and critiquing the forces that shape us and our world. Defining the “why” requires exploring this type of knowledge.  In developing critical knowledge, common practices and widely held assumptions need to be challenged. There is a requirement to research, to read, to watch, to ask, to discuss and to stay informed. Building critical knowledge allows a deeper understanding of the “why” that underpins each day. It builds cognitive capacity which impacts positively on how time is used.

Although it defies logic, to make time, we need to change our behaviour and spend more time researching and understanding “the why” in what drives us.

(Develop your Critical Knowledge)
Many Galaxies

Plate Tectonics:

Enquiring Minds

1. Three Types of Knowledge
This classification is derived from the work of Lankshear, c (1998) Meanings of ‘literacy’ in education reform discourse. Educational theory 48 (3).