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A few weeks ago I wrote how ignorance is more than bliss, it’s the shortest route to doing something amazing.
I fully stand by that view, however it is also important to remember that while ignorance can take you to places you may never otherwise have seen, I also highlighted how it is intelligence and rigour that helps you decide – and define – whether you should commit yourself to that opportunity or if you need to throw it away and start again.
In other words, you can’t have one without the other.
To a certain extent, they’re co-dependents and without understanding that, you will never realise what you – or an idea – could actually end up being.
I say this because I hear far too many people quoting stuff that they obviously don’t really understand.
A while back I made a comment about their being no rules to planning.
While I stand by that view … I’ve had that comment played back to me a bunch of times by people who seem to ignore – or forgot – that I also said having no rules wasn’t an excuse for slack standards, self-indulgence or lack of rigour.
Same with a presentation I made on the importance of generalists.
Unlike what some people seemed to think, I was not devaluing the role and importance of specialists [would you like to be operated on by a ‘generalist surgeon’???] nor was I celebrating people who simply have a lot of interests.
Liking a bunch of stuff doesn’t make you a generalist, it makes you a human.
When I talk about generalists, I’m talking about people who have had life/work experiences that transcend ‘casual interaction’ … people who have been involved in a whole range of situations, disciplines and industries … people who have gained a level of knowledge and experience that gives them the right to contribute, evaluate, cross-reference and judge with a level of informed substance and objectivity.
Without that, then all we’re doing is allowing subjectivity to determine outcome – and while there is a time and a place to involve ‘intelligent naivety’ into the process – it should never be allowed to have ultimate decision making power.
[For proof, see some of the rubbish companies invest millions in, just because of the comments from a focus group]
Of course I understand why people do this.
As Paulo Coelho said, ‘People only hear what they want to hear’, so anything – that on face value – suggests someone has a unique quality that has high commercial value, is going to be quickly and blindly embraced … but that does not mean it’s right or validates that attitude or behaviour.
This is why I wrote a post saying planners need to stop behaving like politicians because if you only hear what you want to hear and you have no desire to challenge, learn and grow from your inevitable mistakes, then you’re going to have to learn the hard-to-swallow truth …
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