It All Stacks Up..
UPDATE: “Where did you go… while I was away..?”
I bet you were still looking for answers – to issues that probably affect all of us.
The constant change that we all experience
– requires that we constantly change – the way we manage change.
That is the profound simplicity of life – for each of us and all of us.
How we do that is then the holy grail of success, individually and collectively – and cooperatively.
But enough about me, what about you – will you agree to cooperate? Maybe, if there is also something in it for you as well (WIFM), a mutual benefit. So that – (WIFM/mutual benefit) is the underlying foundation to the value stack – and the reason why nothing stacks up – at least very well or for very long. Even our shared intentions to do good seldom result in mutual benefits. Most often that is “because” we overlooked some stakeholder or failed to anticipate some unintended consequence. That “hidden” insight is what I was looking for when I found “ASK4” – a core set of questions to take things apart and reconstruct them in a sustainable configuration.
Ironically, even with the entire blogosphere at my doorstep, I have been unable to express that in such a way that a tipping point cold be reached, and the energy of a k-zillion minds could be beckoned and applied to use our common sense to solve our common issues and enjoy that mutually beneficial result.
That turns out to have forced a pivot – a slight CHANGE from just proposing the potential value of such an “ASK4” approach – to actually putting that approach into action and solving a familiar problem. I was forced to face the reality that if this process is viable it must also become visible to become valuable. I realized that if it was a means to enable innovation, it must be applied to create an innovation. Proof-of-concept always stacks up higher in the value pyramid than than does mere conjecture. I needed an artifact that in fact ASK4 can work
So I have been offline from this blog posting for some time. Instead I have applied the ASK4 process to create an innovation – and as of my recent birthday the fee has been paid for an approved patent on the ConstruKs.com erosion and flood control technology.
The ASK4 process works – and my goal now is to put a lot of folks back to work: making a variety of ConstruKs product versions, that can solve a host of infrastructure problems and introduce an economic development opportunity in those same communities. I’d like to modestly call that integrated approach “Economic Recovery In A Box”.
Turns out that people already know how to “stack dirt” to build topographical features for landscaping and roadways and bridge abutments and building foundations, and even for buildings themselves (like adobe/compressed-earth structures). Turns out that people have stacked rocks for keeping landslides from taking the hillsides away and along streams to keep from losing precious landscapes. Turns out that people have used these natural resource materials to create jetties, bulkheads, and seawalls to prevent beaches and lakeside boundaries from changing or endangering lives and property. Turns out that if you place those ballast materials (ex:dirt) inside an interlocked protective material it will stay put and resist the forces of nature – from gravity to floods to wind to ocean currents. It also turns out that many of these issues from mountainside to seashore share a common problem – water.
The problem of flooding (water) that I chose to address as an ASK4 case study is widespread and worth considering – again. The long-standing answer seems to be dirt-simple, sandbags.
Turns out that sandbags aren’t very “long-standing”. That approach takes a source of sand – moved to a staging area – placed into bags – that are hauled to site – carried to the streamside – placed into stacks – and when they have served their purpose, picked up again – carried to a vehicle – hauled away – and a hole dug into which they are disposed – dirt-simple (_n_o_t_). Labor-intensive – yes.
As it turns out, water is an alternative soultion.
Once you investigate an isssue it is likely that the answer is right in front of your eyes – or at least can become more easily visible (using ASK4) . The problem with flooding is water – the problem with flood water is that it is not useful – the reason that it is not useful is that it can’t be stacked (to create a flood barrier) – the reason it can’t be stacked is for lack of a viable container. The root cause of this whole stack of issues is again dirt-simple – create a stacking container system that can hold water. Using a membrane liner in ConstruKs units, water from a flooding tributary/rising ocean can be placed into the standing diamond columns that are laced together to form one interlocked boundary unit that could stretch from North Dakota to New Orleans. When the challenge has abated, the water ballast can be easily returned and the stacking units (which can be made to easily collapsed) stored for future use – efficient/effective/economical. And if desired, they can be filled (once) with the same familiar sand (or even concrete) to become a permanent construction – that resists erosion and may be adequate for the next inclimate season.
Using ASK4 as a proces to address any issue can create viable solutions – as it just did for me. That simple ConstruKs solution may serve you or your community some day. It may provide employment, it may keep a landslide from taking out a highway, it may keep the levee from failing or the river from flooding your property. It may keep the rising ocean from taking away a beach or an entire community.
Before that can happen, I am now faced with some new issues of manufacturing and marketing that this ConstruKs innovation opportunity has introduced. That is where this discussion began:
“The constant change that we all experience
– requires that we constantly change – the way we manage change”.
During the time it has taken to invent and patent the ConstruKs idea, others have launched a whole new online means of crowd-funding such ventures by enrolling the power of a multitude of smaller supporters (rather than a single affluent venture-capitalist). I now have an option to place my innovation idea atop the enabling financial benefits of another useful idea (crowdfunding). Together that could stack up better for each of us and all of us. I can now offer rewards to those that want to help “stack water to stop a flood” – and jump-start their local economy.
Perhaps by addressing the ‘flooding’ case-study example we now have a suitable innovation artifact that exemplifies how we can change the way we manage change (ex:flooding). Perhaps those with programming skill and change managent insight can now see the value of joining forces to place ASK4 online. Perhaps we may all get to cooperate in the ASK4 process to solve countless other issues with our common sense – across these U-Netted Nations.
We’ll see how this all stacks up – and soon I hope !