Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fundamental disconnect: our needs vs our institutions

Yesterday, I watched a TED presentation by Rory Sutherland. He is an ad man from Great Britain, but more to the point of this presentation, he is an innovative thinker who doesn't allow the obvious to escape him even when it is hidden behind the assumptions of all the large institutional entities in the world.

What I love about hearing him, other than his great sense of humor, is how cleanly he presents these obvious facts. When he does so, it becomes almost impossible to imagine how the government or the national charitable group could possibly have been blind to it.

Of course, they are blind to such things for the same reason we are sometimes blind to aspects of our own lives which our friends can see clearly. Yet, when they try to help us, we deflect and deny. There is no resistance stronger than the resistance to changes in our own story, the one we have lovingly crafted of our own lives. Stress and tension are the signs which warn us that the story doesn't fit with the facts. If you are feeling stressed out, consider how you may need to allow your story's arc to gradually bend toward the one which everyone else has communally agreed to.

In the case of the institution, it sees every problem as, first, being large enough to require their action. Then it chooses, always, the 30lb sledge hammer as the tool for the job. As you will hear from Rory, small changes made for little or no cost can be hugely effective where the large, expensive answer failed. But institutions don't exist for that reason! Their raison d'ĂȘtre is to spend all the resources at their disposal. Inexpensive, innovative answers are not on their radar.

Please watch and listen to Rory. You will have a great time!


Melanie Kissell said...

Magnificent topic, Rick!

No exaggeration, this is a post I wish every government-run "institution" would set their eyes on.

"Inexpensive, innovative answers are not on their radar" would also be true in many respects in the internet marketing world. Have you noticed all the ridiculously-priced products, programs, and workshops that some marketers are offering?

The platform that I'm building my business on is that you can get the job done (and done well!) with low-cost and NO-COST marketing strategies. You just need to be a little more innovative in your approach to branding your expertise and look beyond the "institutionalized" norm.

Write On!

P.S. Would you please consider adding the "Name/URL" option for profile sign-out choices here? In order to post my comment, I'm going to have to choose an identity that's going to direct you to very old blogs of mine that are inactive. Thanks!!

Rick Hamrick said...

Melanie, I have done as you asked and added the "Name/URL" choice for declaring your identity.

Please note that Blogger isn't hugely flexible. In order to allow Name/URL, I also have to allow anonymous posting.

It is a long-running annoyance for me, folks who want to comment anonymously. That's why comments were restricted to a Google, OpenID, or any of the other choices which are not anonymous such as Wordpress or Typepad.

That's not to say it won't work out just fine this time! I'm going with that visualization, and we'll see what happens.

Thanks very much for stopping by, Melanie, and I'll have my eyes open for your new stuff as blog30 continues.