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Finding the forest around the trees

by Rick Baker
On Jan 19, 2012

Can you imagine what it would be like to be an ant specialist?

I mean, can you imagine making a career of studying ants - being a myrmecologist.

That's what E. O. Wilson did.

What started as a study of ants led E. O. Wilson to some very-interesting conclusions on a variety of topics. He wrote a number of books, including 'On Human Nature'. 

About human beings, E. O. Wilson said,

"We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom."

He went on to forecast,

"The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely."

This forecast makes sense.

The question is, how do we prepare ourselves to be the synthesizers E.O. Wilson describes?

One factor that cannot be ignored is SEEK SIMPLE: at least every once in a while, take the time to look for the simplest solutions.

And, as a piece of Seeking Simple, we must slow down enough to consider the obvious: as an example, we can learn from Obvious Adams. Obvious Adams is a book written by Robert. R. Updegraff almost 100 years ago. Updegraff wrote about common sense and he wrote about the fact simpler is almost always better.

Updegraff also wrote Five Tests of Obviousness. You can use that test when you analyse situations and problems. 

That is one step toward becoming a synthesizer.

 

 

 

Comments (1) -

rick baker
10/7/2012 6:28:40 PM #

"Leaders learn that analysis begins by looking into the parts and synthesis begins by looking out from the parts. While they're working on one of the parts, they never lose sight of the system and the bigger systems that contain it."

Dr. Joe MacInnis
'Deep Leadership', (2012)

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