I’ve been doing some reading around personal unconscious bias.
This is in part because of some excellent internal sessions on diversity that my colleagues have been running, and in part because the management team at Project Imagine & Dozens has been focused on good recruitment practices to support our culture – did I mention we already have a 70% female senior management team and a 13% POSITIVE gender pay gap (where women are paid more on average than the men)?
These are things we are rightly proud of and want to maintain, but not get complacent about.
It occurred to me that some of the good advice I was reading could also be applied to how we seek solutions for our financial well-being. In particular to answer a question in my head …
How can a community help when the issues are often so intensely personal?
Coming up with Ideas
My ‘spark’ was a reference to one of Seth Godin’s blogs with some great ideas …
These ones stood out for me personally (though I encourage you to read the full list):
6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner’s mind. A little awareness is a good thing
10. Ideas come from trouble
11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless
Just like the challenges you face when you are looking for a job, or when you are trying to decide what kind of person you are after, we all tend to stick with what we already know … but if we really knew what was best for us, this would not be a moment of (in)decision.
We are all limited. We are biased by our limited experience. As one writer put it, we are … “comfortably uncomfortable.”
At the end of the day, we have similar financial issues; whether it is a need to save to buy a property or a big expense like a wedding, maybe just build savings to give us security, or make sure we can eventually stop working and enjoy a comfortable retirement while we are still healthy.
But the decisions we make will be very personal, so how can others help?
For many of us, our instinct is to puzzle it out in private. Maybe we commit to learning more, reading more, thinking more, … but this does not lead to new ideas, or to better action.
But maybe, “ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide” and what we need is to get outside our normal processes and hear about what others are doing. Not because we will choose the same, but because it might inspire us to do something different.
My own experience is that I feel most energised, excitement and “clear” about the path ahead after spending time with good people, people who share generously, not because they’re trying to influence me, but because they’re willing to help me see things from a perspective other than my own.
Together, we are …
Which brings me back to this community.
I do not see this as just a place to get answers to our product questions, but a place for us to exchange different ideas and experiences because it helps us and others.
If “ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless” then I would love this place to be one where we feel able to share our thoughts and questions, but also willing to offer ideas and suggestions.
That is why I like the idea of promoting Financial Wellness. It is also why the Dozens mission is all about Incentive Alignment.
It is not a competition where if I win, you lose, but where we all actually win when we help each other.
I’d be very keen to know what you think - whether it is the best way to grow this community, Seth’s blog, our mission, or anything else - even if you want something else.
Ideas, after all, can come from trouble!