The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Wants and needs

People got used to confusing wants and needs.

Here is a simple distinction.

A need can’t be deferred forever.

It’s possible to defer a want forever.

Something else we have to pay attention to is the expected reaction to the need. In some cases, it might be clear, but in most, the expectation to be able to act on a need exactly as imagined easily becomes a source of frustration. A need is independent of its satisfaction but it does need to be cared for.

Beyond basic needs, consider needs resulting from a commitment. The later might require teams to figure out how best to respond to a given need. When it comes to wants, teams may decide to build in the extra effort or leave it aside. That makes perfectionism a want.

And, just in case, doing work we are proud of is a commitment.


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