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How Can We Promote An Innovative Culture in any Forum?


In short, given all things equal (value given & costs for me to reply), I would contribute towards a thread where the poster has an intention to give.

And by the way, this is different from intentions, and it's not always the case that folks who are more self-interested are giving less.
In life, many very self-interested folks build empires based on making buyers better off.

And on forums, it's certainly possible that folks with the intention to give are giving nothing because their ideas are useless, while those who ask a lot ask such great questions that end up giving hugely (and BTW, from a practical perspective, one of the reasons I'm happy to read from you John, is that your case-studies often lead to great reflections and important techniques / strategies). 

I think intentions & value exchange are different, and they go hand-in-hand.

The intention to take value and serve self-interests are always there.
The people who build empires understand that win-win is powerful in the long-term.
As such, they also have an intention to give value while assertively pushing for a win-win for themselves and others.

As advised by Lucio from John's case studies, John seeks to learn a lot while giving a lot through good questions and answering these questions with his own perspective.
Furthermore, he also has a unique set of competencies, so he tangibly delivers on these intentions that no one else can.

Why thinking about intentions is practical?

If I only have 10 minutes to reply to one thread, why should I comment on the good question rather than the good idea?
The good idea implicitly contains a good question (perspective) and a well-thought-out solution.
The good question probably has the perspective with a not so fully formed solution.
Although a good question is better than a bad idea.

Like Lucio advised regarding value-adding, the line between a good idea and a good question is a grey one.
However, it's not infinitely grey as well.
Because people can tell when something is more towards a question and when it's towards an idea.

And vice versa, what's the incentive for a forum user to draft good ideas rather than going more for good questions?
If good questions take less time and get possibly more investment, shouldn't the user stick to good questions purely for his/her self-interests?

This is what I'm getting at.
Given all things equal (value given, costs to answer), I think I should spend time on the threads with ideas over questions.

Of course, the caveat here is all things equal.
Meaning that the idea and question have a similar level of thought to them.

So I would say "encouragement" could have given the wrong connotation in the sense of using active persuasion.

I'm thinking that how I invest my time and replies on this forum is a vote on what is good, what is important, etc.
And I'm saying that I want to vote towards good intentions.
Not only but it's an important consideration.

As such, it's not active persuasion in the sense that I'm evangelising win-win all the time.
I'm casting a vote and encouraging certain behaviour & intentions every time I post.

A Real-Life Scenario

Imagine there are 2 new users on this forum:

  • Samuel begins by posting a brilliant idea
    A Guide: How can you handle taskers in a project-based environment?
  • Michael begins by posting a brilliant question
    What would you do to handle taskers in this project situation?

I'm intentionally choosing new users because there's a short-term consideration here.
For long-term users, we have relationships and don't need to worry so much about who's giving or taking more in any single thread.

Let's assume for a fair comparison that both are equally well-crafted and thought-out.

You only have 10 minutes on the forum before you board the plane.
Who will you give your time to?

I will consider the value given and also the intention to give value.
And one thread has more of both.

Should We Change the Name of the Thread?


this veered off the "innovation" topic and generated an interest dialogoe on value-giving/taking.

Are you cool with changing the title to something more descriptive of value-giving/taking content?

We could change the name of the thread.
The issue is that we may forget the process to which we arrive at these discussions:

  • Innovation stems from the creativity of individuals
    Will influencing people's intentions help generate win-win ideas for the forum?
  • The new brainstorming thread came from here
    Think & Write Freely: the Brainstorming Thread
  • As a result of the thread above, the new concept of frame control was developed and discussed due to the shorter ideation lifecycle.
    Albeit only one data point so I'm assuming here.

Maybe "intention" was the wrong word to use as that doesn't have an innovative connotation.
I should have used the word "focus".

Would influencing people's focus towards generating win-win ideas for the community promote innovation?
Compared to focusing on finding answers for the self.

Again, it's not either or.
We all want to ask personal questions to tackle our own personal situations.
I'm advocating for a new way of thinking when it comes to thinking of new threads.

It's the product management vs product directorship analogy I gave in the original post.
Instead of thinking about how to come up with good ideas, we think about how to set the ground where new ideas will flourish from the creativity of forum users.
Since Lucio mentioned that a lot of ideas are coming out from the forum itself.

What Should We Do About this Thread?

I do think that we converged a lot on a smaller topic from the initial, broad topic of innovation.
Maybe we could

  • Rename this thread to reflecting the discussion on value exchanges and intention for value exchanges
  • Re-post the original title with the first post on another thread and link to here
Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I like the concept of "vote of confidence" and I agree and feel the same.

And everything else being equal, I'd also give higher priority to the positive intention of giving if I were faced with a time constraint.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

The end goal of innovation is to manage complex situations with novel approaches delivering new pragmatic benefits.

So we need a balance of

  • Diverse ideas
  • Ideas going in the direction of pragmatic benefits for the individuals in the team and the overall team (win-win)

Ideas stem from the cognitive processes and automatic thought processes in an individual's mind.
(At least what I have understood from reading up on cognition)

Then, I thought about whether we can influence these underlying thought patterns in individuals.
And votes of confidence is one way of doing so.
I think explicitly saying "I like how you often think for the group" would work too in my opinion.

This is how I went from innovation to incentivising diversity of ideas with a win-win nature through influencing individuals' intentions.

Of course, individual diversity is important as well.
You don't want the group to take over the individual's sense of self.

But neither do you want a bunch of individuals thinking and expressing themselves randomly.
That's what the explicit & implicit social rules & culture of this website are for.
It's more of a mask that an individual wears rather than religious devotion.

*This may in itself take time to think about so we can leave this discussion for later down the road*

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 15, 2022, 2:39 pm from Self-Diagnosis of Being Highly Sensitive, Post #11

What I listed there are the prios I'm working on, SU first and foremost.

Then PU because with the new restructuring it will be quite a bit better and if a product can be quite a bit better, then I feel compelled to do it ASAP.

Because they're high prio, anything else will be at most a smaller parenthesis until I'm done.

As for as how you want to share ideas and inputs, really do as you prefer, I note down great ideas to go back to anyway so if great stuff gets lost it's because I made a mistake, not because I was too busy.

Thanks for explaining Lucio.

What I really wanted to get at are ideas with long-term potential but need more work and have some chances of failure.
So these ideas are not immediately apparent to align with your priorities.
However, with enough of these ideas, they open up another perspective whether in power dynamics, the forum culture, etc.

One example is the thread
The Challenges of Marketing ThePowerMoves
It started on 19 Aug 2021.
It took a few months for any value to become apparent.
Moreover, this future value was highly uncertain during that period.

Do you find the benefits of some temporary exploration to outweigh the costs of time and attention away from immediate priorities in the long run?

According to Jordan Peterson, personality differences influence people's subjective value in the above question.
The personality differences arise because it's not clear what is evolutionary better.

Also, it depends on the situation.
Like if it's absolutely paramount to get through the backlog to develop those courses, then temporarily closing off any exploration could be a good idea.

I'm asking this because my brain thinks of different ideas by virtue of orientations in thought patterns and focus:

  • if I think about unifying frame control methods, then naturally more abstract ideas around frame control arise
  • if my brain wonders about marketing, then I think about marketing.
  • if cold approach, then cold approach
  • if I think about how the courses could improve, then ideas around those will arise
  • Ideas with immediate practical benefit vs ideas with potential, long-term benefit

I'm also asking this because I believe we both get more value being aligned in this regard.

As for as how you want to share ideas and inputs, really do as you prefer, I note down great ideas to go back to anyway so if great stuff gets lost it's because I made a mistake, not because I was too busy.

It's because I view ideation as a collaborative endeavour.
And I really do enjoy the collaborative process.
Hence, I keep asking for your preference.
But maybe you prefer a more individualistic orientation towards ideation.

I can see pros & cons of both, and it ultimately boils down to personal preferences.

Hey Matthew, keep whatever ideas you've got coming if you feel are good ones.

You're a smart guy, I trust your judgment.

I can't guarantee engagement (and that I never can, of course).

If I see value, I jump in.
If I see value but can't explore it further, I'll skim the immediate value for a quick win, and make a note to dig deeper later (as in "frame control" thread).
If not, I'll skip it.

Less engagement now because of the high-prio stuff that I don't want to take too much time off.
But I also almost always leave some time for the forum.

So, business as usual.

And there are also other people who may be interested or dig further, so it's not wholly dependent on my engagement.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I can't guarantee engagement (and that I never can, of course).

I feel that sometimes either

  • I misread your interest in a topic or
  • You appear that you're interested in a topic (at least initially)

For example, in the sharing of Jordan Peterson's course initially, you added in a couple of points about him consolidating jargons and championing the big 5 personality traits.

Then, I find it very natural to elaborate upon those points.

Afterwards, you said you want to focus on the practical points.

I felt that I wasted time elaborating upon those points.

Hey Matthew, keep whatever ideas you've got coming if you feel are good ones.

You're a smart guy, I trust your judgment.

I can't guarantee engagement (and that I never can, of course).

Do you prefer if I share more case studies than ideas?
I do like sharing ideas a lot by virtue of the activity.
But I feel that I get more in return by sharing personal case studies.

Also, for the longer-term ideas like the thread I mentioned above, I don't feel that I'm getting what I want.
I don't get the engagement even after people showed interest in those threads.

OK, yes, then share fewer abstract concepts and more case studies.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Ok I understand.

Do you think the first point I brought up addresses a relevant dynamic?

I feel sometimes you start out interested, make statements or ask questions, I answer, and you taper off.

I feel it can be a bit abrupt. So my last post feels like overinvesting.

It happens mostly in knowledge sharing and idea sharing.

Happens much less in case studies.

I don't know why there's often an engagement imbalance in idea sharing or abstract concepts as you mentioned.

I don't think it's purely our exchanges. It happens with other people as well.

I suspect in idea sharing, naturally one person has more context than the other. So one person naturally shares more.

In case studies, it's easier for the poster to explain the context. It also takes less time to sync and reply.

Yes, it can leave you over-invested.

As for the reasons / solutions, let's postpone that for future time when I have more time (edit: because I'd also have to think about it).

To close this one, if you seek more immediate engagement these days, the easy solution is to post and comment more in practical threads with immediate potential.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I see what you mean.
The crux of my desire is curiosity.
I think the best thing for me to do is to study more on my own.
Then, re-engage the forum down the road when we all have more time.