We have often heard about terms like ’ Be Limitless ‘ and ‘ Endless Possibilities ‘. These are bandied about in self help books, motivational speeches and even some business negotiations..” Considering the synergies that exist between our two organisations, there are endless possibilities that we can collaborate on “, is not very uncommon CEO speak. Well, (enough) said!
The reality on the ground is very different though. There is not much weightage accorded to the magic and energy of ‘ possibility ‘. And even less so in the case of what empowers possibility ie ‘ enrollment ‘. Often times we are all barking up the wrong tree. Consider that we look at this situation like if it were to be a quadrant with four concourses.
Concourse 1: High Possibility; High Enrollment: This is where most of our tribe is headed. Showing up, enrolling and putting in the hard yards, the emotional labour in the hope that at the end of it, they would realize what was envisaged as possible when they began. It’s indeed a very overcrowded space, fueled in large doses by what we call the ‘ herd mentality ‘ and the supposed ‘ wisdom of the crowds ‘. Needless to say, the competition in this concourse is the highest.
Concourse 2: Low Possibility; High Enrollment: How to get into the Brazilian national football team ? Or any of the top NBA teams. Or getting admission into the IVY League Universities like Harvard, MIT etc. The odds are heavily stacked against the participants but the level of intensity and desire to get on board is at its highest which reflects in the insane number of enrollments for that special pie in the sky. In such cases, the existing eco system also keeps triggering and stimulating the hope and promise and thereby the corresponding spike in enrollment to get on board.
Concourse 3: Low Possibility; Low Enrollment: Yes there are such tribes..wanting to be lava surfers and ride the lava spitting out from the Mauna Loa (one of the world’s biggest volcanos) but there is neither a structure nor system in place to bring this to fruition. Little wonder such things see the lowest in terms of both possibility and enrollment.
Concourse 4: High Possibility; Low Enrollment: Strangely, this is the most under tapped area of the quadrant in spite of this being the area with the highest potential. It could be areas like being a social worker or a nurse or a music therapist. There is always a Minimum Viable Audience(MVA) and our enrollment can see that audience being connected to, engaged with, influenced and impacted.
We hold on to the old competencies and our hard-earned status roles far longer than we should. The only way to be creative is to do something new, and the path to something new requires leaving something else behind. Creativity is the generous act of solving an interesting problem on behalf of someone else. It’s a chance to take emotional and intellectual risks with generosity.
“Ignore sunk costs” is the critical lesson of useful decision making.
The thing you earned, that you depend on, that was hard to do–it’s a gift from your former self. Just because you have a computer science degree, a branding agency or the ability to do calligraphy in Cyrillic doesn’t mean that your future self is obligated to accept that gift.
What can we distill from this? Which is the Blue Ocean( or even better Green Swan) that is calling out to us? How much enrollment are we planning to put in to swim to where we want to be? Are we prepared to guts it out? Yes, the possibilities are out there. Enrollments are open. Apply now!