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Are these three questions REALLY simple? November 21, 2006

Posted by Tom in Innovation, Stronger Organizations.

Principled Innovation, a great blog by Jeff De Cagna for associations and association managers, takes the simplest questions and draws conclusions by how they are answered.  Here’s the post (presented in its entirety so you can understand the context of the entire argument):

This post is simple. I just want to ask you three questions. I hope you will think about them the next time you are involved in a conversation about the future of your association:

1. What are you learning about the future that excites you?
2. What are you learning about the future that concerns you?
3. Are you motivated more by the excitement or the concern?

If you’re motivated more by the concern, you probably prefer to play it safe. If you’re motivated by the excitement, you probably want to innovate. My advice is to not let your concerns about the future drive the future of your association. Leaders know that when excitement drives the organization’s work, great things will happen!

Scott Briscoe of the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE), in the ASAE’s Acronym blog, offers his answers.   Most telling is this selection of his answer to the third question:

My two answers seem to be intertwined quite a bit, but if I had to choose one, I’d guess it’s my motivation around the concern that is fueling the excitement. Almost no one would rather be described as “safe” rather than “innovative,” so I’m hoping that I’m an exception to his last statement. Many of my thoughts on the matter seem anything but safe—up to and including my own job security.

The line between safety and innovation can get blurry as Briscoe indicates.  A little fear for one’s safety can drive a lot of innovation – indeed, has driven innovation throughout the years.

So let me pose the three questions to my readers: When looking at workforce and economic development, what excites and concerns you?  And is it the excitement or the concern that drives the work you do?

I can’t wait to see your comments.  I’m still formulating my answers, and I’ll post in the comments when they crystalize.



1. Jeff De Cagna - November 21, 2006

Tom, thanks so much for picking up my post. I look forward to seeing your responses, as well as the thoughts of your readers!

2. Principled Innovation LLC » Are my simple questions simple? - November 23, 2006

[…] Tom over at the Convergence Blog wonders whether my three simple questions are as simple as I claim. Well, my answer to that inquiry is also simple: yes and no. […]

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