How Power Powers Ideas

A few months back, the Economist ran an article with the headline “We’ve Run Out of Ideas”. And they were 100% serious. I actually said – aloud, like a crazy person – to no one in particular just generally in the direction of the magazine …that’s because you only see SOME ideas.

And so that’s the inspiration of this talk I gave at a TEDx event in Reno recently.

To address the biggest problem we all face. Why don’t we see most of the ideas we desperately need? And what can we do about it?

Those people who have already watched it have been giving it big thumbs up, capital letter WOWs, followed by exclamation marks. So, even though you, dear reader, know the idea of Onlyness better than most, I’m going to say this talk is worth watching.

It provides an action plan to the individuals who would like to be heard personally (don’t change who you are, change who you are with!). It also offers a conversation starter to organizations, by saying we need to stop asking people to “be the change” when that’s not the actual problem. Instead, we need to create the spaces — those social constructs — where people (including yourself) can contribute from that spot in the world only they stand. That’s how we tap the full range of human ingenuity that is Onlyness.

On a personal note, I finally feel like I said what I came to say with this idea that I’ve been researching now for 7 years. And I hope that I get to give this talk many, many times. Imagine using it as a starting point, to change the frame of “lean in” to “enable onlyness”; how do we open up that aperture of ideas we all need.

Imagine having a conversation with your team: how do we change the spaces at work so more ideas get through? How do we set agendas better? How do we invite more commentary? How do we stop silencing those saying what we all need to hear? Let’s gather together and talk about real life issues and specific solutions to make work work for all of us. Those conversations could create real cultural change because it could change how we relate to one another.

Anyways, I hope you find it of value to your work.

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