The obsession of media companies with lists is amazing. Articles with “3 ways to-“, “7 things to do when-” or “15 great ways to achieve-“. Now I know that we need to be producing content as Google just loves content & context searches. But the problem is that telling people that one thing is better than another is flawed. Binary opinions suck.
By ‘binary’, I mean that zeros and ones sense of “do this or do that, but you can’t do both”.
Let’s be quite clear about this (in a non-list, non-binary way): everything in this world has complexity.
In my space, I focus on communications. I see how communications impacts upon conflict, leadership, performance, team excellence, collaboration, presentations, etc.
So how could I dare to declare to the world that there is only one thing above all others that is essential to success?
If we consider that 6 LEGO® pieces have a potential for 915 million combinations, how many combinations do you have in your own head?
I’m not really into my maths, to be honest, but maybe someone out there can do the sum for me. Can we multiply the number of values and beliefs by the number of situations and cultures and mindsets, etc.?
I’m guess that we have WAY more than 915 million combinations. This is before we introduce the interaction with other people and their combinations.
How can we have binary opinions in the face of millions of combinations?
Binary opinions & snake oil, anyone?
A lot of the advisory space is filled with the same kind of people pitching diets and weight management programs. The diet industry (the word ‘industry’ gives it away) offers quick fixes for people too lazy to invest time and energy.
Social media is awash with brain dieticians and personality surgeons pitching snake oil rather than tailored and specialised support.
The reason why we have counsellors, therapists, coaches, mentors and facilitators is because there is rarely ‘one way’. We can’t be prescriptive and we shouldn’t pretend that there’s a quick fix.
We can’t operate solely on binary opinions that exclude other equally valid (if not more so?) ideas.
So my binary statement is “don’t build your life around what is spouted on social media at you”.