I picked up an interesting book at the library this weekend, The Necessary Revolution, How individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World by Peter Senge. It has a couple of paragraphs that precisely align with what the business of you is all about on page 50.
Problem solving is about making what you don’t want go away. Creating involves bringing something you care about into reality. This reflects a subtle yet profound distinction that, we believe, will make all the difference for the future.
Creating draws its energy from dreams or visions of what people truly want to see exist, in concert with accurate and insightful understanding of what is. Reactive problem solving draws its energy from crises, usually driven by an underlying emotion of fear–fear of the consequences if we fail to solve the problems.
This is not a black-or-white dualistic distinction. In the process of creating what we truly want, many problems will invariably arise, and effective problem-solving skills are vital to tackling them. The distinction lies in what is primary versus what is secondary. When problem solving is primary, we focus on figuring out what’s wrong and avoiding outcomes we fear. When the creative orientation is primary, life becomes a journey of brining into reality what you truly care about and addressing the many practical problems that arise along the way. Reality is no longer the enemy–indeed, understanding and reflecting on how different problems forces contribute to one another, how they have come about, and how different forces contribute to the status quo are essential. But working with these forces is very different from reacting to what has gone wrong.
When we apply the business mindset to our lives and activities, we enable ourselves to make creating our vision the primary driver behind our activities. We become proactive about doing what is important for the business system we call “I.” We create the opportunity to understand ourselves as system that integrate into larger systems. This in turn allows us to adopt a larger view of life in general which will help not only ourselves but the systems we integrate with. It will help us move towards sustainability in our lives and in this world.