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Applying Frameworks

I recently read an article about why 'Diversity Training' doesn't work. Even you can read it here. The essence of it is that it suggests companies to stop trying to get their employees to accept diversity in its generic form and to start by asking them to treat every co-worker as an individual. I feel that this is applicable to every aspect of our lives. We are always generalizing things and trying to force-fit situations into what we might have encountered before so that it gets easier to deal with. While this is the sensible thing to do in most situations, it shouldn't be the only way to deal with things. Certain situations demand more inquisition and an understanding of all the underlying aspects for a favourable conclusion to be arrived at.

Given a choice, most people would probably try to understand all factors affecting the situation before they start generating suggestions for improvement. But the sad truth is that nearly everyone has the more important job of convincing their superiors that they're headed in the right direction. This acts as a stifling force on their ability to build from scratch. The other stifling force is the time constraint that everyone faces. So, when a person is faced with a problem, he will first try to analyze how much time he has to resolve it and then as to how he can justify his actions to his superiors. Finding out the actual reason behind the problem takes a backseat and most of the time, ends up being buried out of sight somewhere.

This behaviour has come to be recognized as the best way to handle problems, and it is our education system that is responsible for this. Every school-going student knows the importance of doing things the way they are taught in class. While the effect of this is minimal in formula-based courses, the effect is highly negative in creative courses. When students start taking this approach in courses like Strategy and start force-fitting frameworks to any given scenario in order to 'be on the safer side' by showing the evaluator that the frameworks have been read and understood.

In courses like Strategy that need for being able to think creatively and to observe all the data and identify the effects of changing them, is far greater than being able to understand and remember frameworks. The frameworks should only be a communication tool and shouldn't itself be considered a solution. It can at best be a starting point.

Like in our exapmle of the 'Diversity Training', it is essential to consider every situation on its own and a solution must be formulated from first principles rather than by trying to consider a generic solution and then deal with the intricacies one by one.

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