Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Experiences vs. Principles

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on July 14, 2009

I tend to form opinions a lot based on my experiences.  I think we all do this.  When something works  for us we tend to assume that it is valuable and that it should work for others.  When something doesn’t work for us we tend to assume that it doesn’t work for anyone or that it is of little value.

Principles are tested through the process of lot’s of people’s experiences in many settings over a long period of time.  Principles are usually universally true…they don’t change.

Principle says: Exercise is good for everyone.

Experience says: Running is too hard on my knees and riding a bicycle is not practical where I live so swimming is the best form of exercise.  A different experience  may say: I’m allergic to chlorine so I can’t swim, but jumping on a pogo-stick get’s my heart pumping so the best exercise comes from pogo-sticking.  These are fine conclusions individually but problems arise when swimmers and pogo-stickers have to sit on a board together to oversee a community rec center development.  Unless decisions can be made on principle the result will be the induction of a new sport called water-pogo.

Experiences are a unique part of everyone’s story but when the goal is to create unity and inspire team work the focus should be on principles.  Everyone can buy in on principles because they have broad application and are typically true for everyone.  Establish principles first and then let people formulate their experience or opinion in the context of that principle.  This will produce results where each team member involved better understands why the decision was made the way it was, and the more they understand the more they own and support the decision.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: