From Now On
|Vol 11|No 1|September|2001|
When we search for new solutions to old problems, we should avoid using the rotten wood, shallow thinking and flawed planning of earlier attempts. We arrange the right tools for the occasion and dig deeply and well, determined to build our new system on firm footings. We prepare the ground. We cultivate. We don't rush things, pounding our stakes into the earth as if mere force will suffice.
The trellis book I had consulted underlined the importance of digging holes and setting concrete. The author also recommended the use of power tools for such a task.
Such good advice. And yet here was a demanding set of new skills and a tool that required new learning for me to succeed.
It is the same way with research. Sometimes we cannot access the information we need or convert it into meaning until we have acquired new tools and new skills. Data may be readily available while meaning lies far below the surface.
In looking to restore species and habitats to healthy conditions, for example, researchers must do more than end the current threats. They must dig back into time to figure out what conditions existed before the degradation of environments began.
Effective solutions are almost always deeply rooted in past experience and tied firmly to evidence and experience that supports and validates the strategies being proposed.
1. Looking for Plans & Conventional Wisdom 2. Adapting the Plans to Local Conditions 3. Collecting the Elements 4. Digging 5. Resting 6. Assembling and Cementing 7. Foundation Work 8. Assembly 9. Learning New Skills 10. Synthesis 11. Considering Context 12. More Assembly 13. Combination 14. Revision 15. Completion? 16. Extension? 17. Synthesis 18. Two More Sections 19. SCAMPER 20. Wondering 21. Looking Around 22. Growing the Idea
Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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