“Find the bright spots”
In their latest book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard published by Broadway Books (2010), Chip and Dan Heath devote all of Chapter 2 to an explanation of how and why to find what they call “bright spots.” That is, “You are simply asking yourself, ‘What’s working and how can we do more of it?’ That’s the bright-spot philosophy in a single question.”
A second related question is, “Who’s really doing well and what can be done to have him or her do more of it?”
A third and related question is, “What can we learn from what’s working well and who’s doing well that can be shared with and applied by others?”
I agree with the Brothers Heath that, “Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over weeks, sometimes over decades.”
My take on all this is that bright spots are not solutions. Rather, they are positive (hence encouraging) indicators of what and/or who can help to achieve a series of small solutions. Meanwhile, keep in mind that certain mindsets are unwilling and/or unable to see bright spots or at least acknowledge their existence. Those who see them sooner than anyone else does — and then respond to them effectively — have what could be a significant advantage.
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