From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 11|No 1|September|2001

Foundation Work

The cement was intended to protect the wood from rotting by limiting contact with damp soil. It was also intended to hold the posts in place against the weight of grapes and the blasts of winter storms.

© 2001, J. McKenzie, click on picture for full size.

When building new ideas, we must be careful not to set any of our posts in concrete too early in the process. While this strategy may work fine for grape arbors, ideas should properly remain quite fluid until the very final stages of refinement and development. Premature fixing of ideas can block new possibilities and combinations from consideration.

Even when building grape arbors, it pays to leave the wooden structure sitting uncemented in the holes propped up to allow the planners a chance to evaluate the look and the feel of the new structure in its setting. How different it looks in the actual ground.

Once the concrete is set, it will take a chain saw to change the height or position of the structure.

Some people approach invention and the creation of new ideas with so much bias, predisposition and closed-mindedness that they are doomed to failure. Strong foundations can support the lofty spires of a cathedral, but they can also a prison make.

When we gather information to support our thinking, we don't mean selective gathering. The goal is to gather all the information we need to build a clear understanding.

Sometimes the best inventions are carefully grounded in the consideration of everything that might possibly go wrong. Pie in the sky thinking is fine early in the process, but implementation plans require attention to obstacles, issues, threats and surprises.

Back to September Cover

Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.

Copyright Policy: © 2001, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. Materials published in From Now On may be duplicated in hard copy format if unchanged in format and content for educational, nonprofit school district and university use only and may also be sent from person to person by e-mail. This copyright statement must be included. All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly. Showing these pages remotely through frames is not permitted.
FNO is applying for formal copyright registration for articles.

From Now On Index Page