Grand Finale

What unique things did I learn in this class?

Well, if I quantified it, I would say that about 80% of what I learned in the class was new.  Heck yes!  But let’s be specific:

  • Social impact does not only come from entrepreneurship
  • Social impact is hard to measure, and few measure it well
  • Innovation can be facilitated and designed
  • Keep a “customer” focus in innovation design
  • Trying to do good does not guarantee good results
  • Have others answer personality tests for you.  Especially your mom
  • Deliberately allow strategies to emerge
  • See opportunities instead of problems
  • Map out power structures to know who needs the “push” in the right direction

It’s easy to get swept up by the many red-herrings of doing good, but I learned a lot about how to “Do good better” from this class.

How will I continue this process of self-reflection and layered learning?

I think my strategy classes will help with this actually.  As I take time to think and ponder, I have been most effective as I use framework principles that I have learned through practicing consulting.  It starts with divergent/creative thinking.  Coming up with all the possible or at least all the relevant constituents of a problem or an opportunity provides a basis from which I can hypothesize which drivers of a problem might be significant.  From there, I can figure out what is happening beneath the surface.

This has been an effective method at figuring out lots of things about my life.  I have been able to self-reflect on many questions and issues and learn more about myself, where I fit in with things, what I should do next, and what I really want.  Focusing on the build-up of problems makes it much easier to understand what to focus on.

Of course, having a framework to use doesn’t advance my layered learning if I don’t actually use the framework.  I have found that during periods of fasting I have a great opportunity to run through these frameworks on matters of high seriousness and importance to my life.  Many of the topics we have addressed qualify in their importance as I have needed to figure out my place in social impact and innovation.

These frameworks are also often used in the real world for solving problems.  We sometimes identify it as searching for the root cause.  Using a top-down approach and covering all the potential contributors to a problem help ensure that true root causes boil to the surface.  This can help prevent the faulty solutions we saw in the youtube video of that one guy.

Talking with mentors will help me continue this layered learning as well.  I have a few incredible mentors that have really helped me figure out how to steer myself in the right direction.  I’m still emerging and figuring out exactly what to do, but without their help, I would certainly be going down a path less suitable for me than the one I have.  I don’t think I have really found my sure life plan yet, but I know a lot better how to get there.

Do good better.  When I describe the class to others, that’s the phrase I use.  I learned how to do good, but better.  (The class needs a sequel, “Do good, best.”)