Blind Yet Bold–First half at Adianta School
I came across a fable called “The Blind Men and the Elephant” which is more than 2000 years old from our country telling the story of six blind men. The King presents these men with an Elephant asks them to touch it and tell him what it is.They touch the elephant at different parts. The blind man who felt the elephant’s leg tells the king it is a pillar, the man who felt its tusk says it is a huge solid pipe, the one who feels its tail says it is a rope, the one who feels its trunk says its a tree branch, the one who feels the elephant’s ears says it a huge hand fan and the one who feels the belly says it is a wall.
The “Elephant” here is the wicked problem and people who try to solve these existing problems in the society like us at Adianta are blind men. We work in the same context of social problems.
It is very important to understand this. Let’s say we were trying to solve a social issue like child labor and you are from science background. The way you approach to solve it will be definitely referred from your personal ,professional experience and also education. You will try to solve the problem using these references. Your friend accompanying you comes from a medical background. She has a different lens to look through this problem. So almost everyone who is trying to solve a problem will have their own frame through which they look. Hence the solution and the approach will be entirely different for them.
Charles Munger once said “To the man who holds a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” So we have to shift from this one hammer view of solving the problems in this world.
At Adianta, that’s exactly what we are trying to achieve by bringing in the multi-disciplinary thinking ability to solve the problems by building start ups through innovation and leadership. Our cohort consists of young aspiring entrepreneurs who want to change the world through innovation. As a member of this cohort, I have had the opportunity to get exposure to the multi disciplinary thinking approach. I am an engineer by education hence I used to look at problems only like an engineer. But I have learnt many other things after coming here.
Design thinking approach has helped me build an empathy towards towards people and understand what they want. It provided me with a rigorous approach to building my own start up.
Social research skills like Visual Culture Mapping and Ethnographic techniques helps me understand behavior changes of people and create change. Approaching the problems to create solutions which would bring right outcomes.
Business skills that I have learned provided me with entrepreneurship models like building a monopoly and conversely lean start up methodologies. It has helped me to understand purpose of business, creating value for customers and frameworks like building business canvas, creating personas for understanding myself and my start up idea in a better, sustainable way.
I can look forward to 2015 with open eyes and it looks very bright.
I wish everyone a very happy new year. Live long and prosper well.