The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Starting with a blank sheet of paper

The ability to start from a place where one can work with a blank sheet of paper is a rare situation. While there often is the desire to imagine a whole new world and act as if nothing was carved in stone, most of the time it is an illusion.

When setting up a project, most teams find themselves confronted with constraints. Most of them will be a given in the current situation. Reality, as it exists, is the starting point most teams are confronted with.

However, in the desire to change things or progress, they’ll often imagine the ability to start from a blank sheet of paper, that is from an unwritten future. They’ll imagine the situation as it should be and think that that is what they are aiming at. And in truth, in a way, this is where the team will want to go.

The challenge they are confronted with is that that is not where they are starting from. Thus, while they do the work, they can’t hope for it to be like it should according to expectations. However, the situation should be, can only be achieved sometime in the future. And if they want to get there, they have to find a way to change the situation to how they want it to be.

But somehow and somewhere in the process, they shift their perspective and consider that what should be is nothing they need to move toward. They assume that it should be there already now.

It’s how blame as well as excuses start.

Someone else is made responsible for bringing the change about. Or the fact that the situation isn’t as it should be is assumed to be an excuse for not achieving the chosen objective.

And it is how desired change is not addressed.

In that case, it is taken as a reason for not starting to do the work. It is giving up on one’s ability to achieve something as long as the situation isn’t ideal.

But the situation rarely is ideal. It isn’t a blank sheet of paper.

Reality is a constraint one has to work with. It requires choosing what can be changed and achieved.



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