Tools Have Power

I was intrigued by Nate Garvis’ TED talk, “Change our culture, change our lives.” Mr. Garvis stated we have the ability to (and historical success at) designing tools, all of which have power (either to create or destroy), Mr. Garvis contends that we should purposely put these tools to use for the common good:

  1. Make our institutions accountable to the common good. Do this through creating positive cultural habits and habitats, as opposed to focusing on regulatory laws.
  2. Integrate values into our culture – as an example, “green” products have already started to be designed and to show up in fashion, cars, and laundry detergent.
  3. Propose true health care reform to be the opposite of  (a)”get sick, and we’ll fix you”, and (b) “for some reason we think that death is optional.” Instead, we should change our culture to believe “you weren’t born broken, let’s keep you that way!” In the second scenario, we would build more good, healthy food into our habits, along with changing how we travel from place to place.

In order to truly create new habits (and habitats), we have to play with what motivates people:

If we were more interested in the public policy of outcomes, rather than output, then we would start thinking about building cultures, and habits, and habitats. And we could have some fun, making the world better….

We have never had so many tools at our disposal, we have never had so much technology, and so many institutional forums to go at creating a better world! And we can do that, by using all those tools, integrating common good values into the products and the services that we use everyday… <and> having fun doing it.

When we recognize the need for change, it is critical that we consider the measurable outcomes we are setting out to achieve, and that we are open-minded as to how we can leverage all of the tools (people, process, technology, and services) at our disposal to achieve that change. As we allow ourselves to creatively embrace new and alternate ways to combine the power of our tools to achieve these outcomes, we will be delighted with what we can accomplish!

About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.
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