I introduced the concept of IF back in post #27 - IF. Here’s what I had to say…
“You can think of these IF’s as theories or ideas that I’m going to follow in search of growth.”
Back then I was working on theories to anchor my SELF Map. Todays topic is the theory that guides my MapOfMe business. Or in Mapspeak, my WORK IF.
MY WORK IF
After way too many iterations, here it is..
GROUPed with PEERS
and challenged to
CREATE & DEFEND
PERSONAL & TANGIBLE(MAPs)
we will grow.
This theory is all about my belief in the value of Map building. And it provides ideas for helping folks successfully engage in the process.
Below I’ll take a closer look at each of these ideas.
I see lots of upside and zero downside in exploring what makes us and our businesses tick. And the way I propose we do that exploring is by drawing SELF and WORK Maps. But just because something offers potential value doesn’t mean folks will dive in. Think vegetables, exercise, meditation, etc.
Folks need a shove, or at least a nudge. And the best nudge I'm aware of is peer pressure. Remember the Judith Harris research from post #40 - Snot-Nosed Peers?
Her research showed that when it comes to influence, even parents take a backseat to peers. So I'm comfortable assuming peers are a powerful force. And that folks are most likely to draw Maps if I put them in a room, real or virtual, with peers performing the same task.
And for the purposes of Map building, I want to define peers as being as similar as possible to each other. To understand why, let's consider the opposite - trying to draw a Map with folks not at all like me.
I could imagine sitting next to a random Map drawer who’s making great progress, while I'm stalled. Rather than getting inspired wouldn’t I, as a typical human, be more likely to defend my lack of progress? "It’s easy for them. They're not like me. They don’t have to deal with X like I do.”
So a business owner might dismiss progress by a non business owner. "They don't know what it's like to shoulder the responsibilities of a business."
A middle aged married father of four might dismiss progress by a single millennial. "They have no idea what it's like to shoulder the responsibilities of a family."
By grouping folks with peers that are walking the same or similar path, I aim to get rid of these excuses. We humans have a strong tendency to measure ourselves relative to folks we consider to be our peers. So why not take advantage of this fact/insecurity to drive engagement and growth?
When you create something you value it. Even if your "creation" was as simple as following assembly instructions.
So says researchers Michael Norton, Daniel Mochon, and Dan Ariely. Here are some findings from their work.
“In a series of studies in which consumers assembled IKEA boxes, folded origami, and built sets of Legos, we demonstrate and investigate the boundary conditions for what we term the “IKEA effect” – the increase in valuation of self-made products. Participants saw their amateurish creations – of both utilitarian and hedonic products – as similar in value to the creations of experts, and expected others to share their opinions.”
Haven’t we all had this experience? I recall sewing a pencil bag in high school home economics class. The thing was an absolute piece of junk, but I thought it was the bomb.
Moronic, but powerful proof that the “IKEA effect” is real.
And it supports my theory that if I can get folks to CREATE Maps, then they'll value and use them. And there's more news from the study that could benefit Map builders...
“we show that labor increases valuation of completed products not just for consumers who profess an interest in “do-it-yourself” projects, but even for those who are relatively uninterested.”
At first glance I like this. Even "relatively uninterested" Mappers could get value. That's good to know. But who wants to work on a challenging project with "relatively uninterested" peers?
And that's why I have more theories on how to get folks interested, engaged, locked in.
There’s a big difference between assembling an IKEA desk and building a Map of what makes me tick. There's not a ton of skin in the game with the desk. There's nothing but skin in the game with the Maps.
Call me lazy, but I just don't feel the need to elaborate on this one. If you have no interest in drawing these highly personal Maps, then you shouldn't do it.
But, if you're even a little interested, the personal nature of the task is gonna suck you in like a cheesy reality show.
It's one thing to speak candidly, but it's a whole different ball game when you have to "put it in writing".
At least that’s how it felt during my Map building experience. Pencil on paper helped me to cut through the confusion and bullshit and get to clarity. I can’t tell you how many erasers I burned through wiping out stuff I thought I believed.
Bottom line, pencil on paper makes a huge difference.
In my dream scenario I’m locked in a room with peers and I've created this amazing, personal, tangible Map. All is well - until they call bullshit.
That’s when the alarms start screeching. "Who are these assholes telling me I'm not being real? That they've walked this path and they think my work is shallow?”
This is the crucible. Remember post #13 - FEEDBACK? The one where we talked about the value of constructive criticism. How this intense heat turns OK thoughts into more refined understandings? How DEFENDing your ideas is a critical piece of learning and growth.
It all sounds so wonderfully constructive, but the reality is that we all hate having to DEFEND our work. All I can say is boo hoo, get over it, it’s part of the process. And done supportively, by people we respect, it’s well worth the stress.
It leads to new ideas, perspectives, attitudes, mindsets etc. It’s the heat that burns away the impurities and turns so-so ideas and Maps into great ones.
(This site is all about building a Map that will help me do work and life better. So at the end of each post I check in to see if any changes / insights come to mind.)
Now you know and understand my WORK IF. The theory that sits beneath my MapOfMe business. Here it is for review.
GROUPed with PEERS
and challenged to
CREATE & DEFEND
PERSONAL & TANGIBLE(MAPs)
we will grow.
And here's how it looks within my current WORK Map.
And you're already aware that I believe in tight linkage between SELF and WORK Maps. So here's my IF from my SELF map for comparison purposes.
So are these IF’s from my WORK and SELF Maps compatible?
The term ALIGN from my SELF Map is the 100% driver of my WORK IF. I want folks to live in alignment with their well understood visions of themselves and their businesses. But that can’t happen until you develop those visions. So the MapOfMe business exists to help you do just that.
And along the way, assuming you’re like me, the biggest blocker of your clear vision is going to be WRONG STORIES. They clog our brains with bullshit excuses and misconceptions. And the only way I know to deal with them is to face them, understand a little psychology, and diffuse their power. Which is exactly what we do in the Map building process.
And once we’ve done that, we’re on the path to better ALIGNment. We’re better able to see our blessings. We’re in a position to build a habit of expressing GRATITUDE.
Game set match - the Maps work together like peanut butter and jelly.
Was that luck, or divine intervention, or am I some genius that just unlocked a secret law of the universe?
None of the above. It came together because I made it come together. I threw away every single stray thought that didn’t add value. That couldn’t justify it’s existence. And all that was left were deeply held beliefs of mine that had no choice but to fit together. So I fought like crazy to achieve this fit between Maps and it was worth the effort.
These Maps I've Created are Personal and Tangible and I've Defended them with Peers. Consequently, as my IF statement would suggest, they’ve helped me grow. And I’m convinced that the Map-building process will also help you grow.
So, my master plan is to develop a class, or something like a class, that further proves or disproves my theory that Map building is a powerful source of growth. I think it’ll be an awesome peer-based experience, but as of January 2017 I haven’t even started building it. So do not wait for me.
Grab your pencil and get to work. I found value doing this exercise without a classroom of closely matched peers, and so can you. The cost is zero and you might be surprised at what happens.
Speaking of surprises. I expected this first whack at building my Maps to take a couple months. Here it is a year and 53 posts later and I’m still not finished. But I’m close. When I hit go my next post - #54 which will outline my business CAN’s/goals - the first draft of my SELF and WORK Maps will be complete.
I can’t wait…
***Note: This site works best when you read the posts in order. So please head to the ARCHIVE to get started.