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Tag: problem solving

Us and Them-Ism

Us and Them
And after all we’re only ordinary men

The wanna-be congressman appeared with his neat hair and pressed suit, a competent yet compassionate expression on his face.  ”The first thing I am going to do when I get to congress is to work to repeal Obamacare,” he said, expression growing subtly angry.  ”I will do everything I can to give you back the care you need from those who think big government is the solution to every problem.”

My wife grabbed my arm, restraining me from throwing the nearest object at the television.  I cursed under my breath.

No, it’s not my liberal ideology that made me react this way; I’ve had a similar reaction to ads by democrats who demonize republicans as uncaring religious zealots who want corporations to run society.  I am a “flaming moderate,” which means that I get to sneer at the lunacy on both sides of the political aisle. I grew up surrounded by conservative ideas, and probably still lean a bit more that direction than to the left, but my direction has been away from there to a comfortable place in the middle.

It’s not the ideology that bugs me, it’s the use of the “us and them” approach to problem solving.  If only we could get rid of the bad people, we could make everything work.  If only those people weren’t oppressing us.  If only those people weren’t so lazy.  It’s the radical religious people who are the problem.  It’s the liberal atheists.  It’s the corporations.  It’s the government.  All of this makes the problem into something that isn’t the fault of the person making the accusation, conveniently taking the heat off of them for coming up with solutions to the problems.

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Work Induced Attention Deficit Disorder

When you’re in meetings or on phone calls, are you focused in the moment or are you distracted by emails, text messages, or social networking traffic?

When you’re reading a 20 page whitepaper, RFP, or article, can you finish it?

When you’re writing a presentation or article, can you keep your thoughts flowing or are they interrupted by the urge to check your email or mobile device?

Part of the problem is the expectation that we’re all connected 24×7 and should respond in near real time.

Part of the problem is an addiction-like behavior caused by a need to feel connected to other people.

Part of the problem is the pace of change that makes us work two days for every workday – one with scheduled meetings and one with unscheduled electronic messaging.

Do you find that your ability to explore issues in depth has diminished over time because of the need to react to the constant flow of input?

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