When I first started working, decades ago, it was hard to know how to creatively solve problems. Concepts, tag lines, and innovative models were in short supply. The primary sources were found in magazines, books, seminars, classes, and occasionally conferences. Even if you knew you had a problem you could not solve, finding anyone who had dealt with something similar was difficult and time consuming. It was work to know. When the problem was complex, it was often hard work with success coming through luck as much as endurance.
Especially in relative terms of difficulty, there are no excuses today. Data and information is all around us. Viewpoints and analysis are freely shared for the sake of discussion and better understanding. Techniques, solutions, and case studies are available on-line. It took me awhile to relearn how to find things; somehow my knowledge on the Dewey Decimal System was not the key to discovery.
As I trawl through Linkedin, white paper libraries, and research reports, I realize the information is buried in here somewhere. As I think more about it, the examples of solving a problem in one industry were always available to others. Insights are and were available. The most difficult barrier was the same yesterday as it is today – my willingness to see and hear. My proof statement comes in a reading of an old wisdom writer. He noted that a community had “gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed; they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion.” (Jude 1.11) Writers across every faith system recorded their stories of success and failure. Great stories of valor, monumental stories of failure caused by fear, and more – they are there for our reading and reflection. I know this even as I repeat the sad scenes from earlier generations.
Life offers us the opportunity to read, reflect, and review. We can learn from others. We can be more because of their triumphs and failures. Every story is an opportunity for us to grow. Then eternal question rests in my willingness to hear with my heart.