“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers: It comes from being open to all the questions.”
Variously attributed to Earl Gray Stevens and Marianne Williamson (you figure it out and let me know)
Questions are much on my mind this week, so pithy quotes about questions catch my attention. Not the most lofty thought, but this does get at a common problem.
We are often so busy rushing to find the answer to the question that we miss some things. We focus on the outcome and not the process.
Sometimes the focus on getting the job done is critical and primary … sometimes it means we miss out on other things.
Some specific reasons why focusing on outcomes at the expense of process is always good:
... We miss the energy of being in that space between not knowing and knowing.
Energy exists whatever we do and wherever we point our minds and our bodies. The question really is whether we get the full measure of value from all the energy or whether we restrict ourselves to a narrower stream.
Energy exists when we have left the safe and known as we move toward a new and unknown place. If we spent most of our effort to reach that future unknown state, so we can make it known, we tend to not notice the actual journey as much.
… We do not ask other questions which change what we focus on.
Some of us are comfortable ranging far from the focus, but others feel an obligation to stay tightly aligned with what they believe is the goal.
When we focus only on where we are going, we may not want to stop and explore the alleys, the lanes, and the paths along the way. Too bad … sometimes the willingness to explore and range off the tight focus creates new experiences and provides information which affects our future decisions. Sometimes we even change directions …
… We measure what we focus on, so the outcome becomes the primary measure.
Those who value the measurement and evaluation of things will like this one.
Simply put, what we measure is what we pay attention to … and the reverse is just as true. If we only measure outcomes, as summative evaluations often do, we are missing the possible learning which comes from looking more closely at our processes as we move to those conclusions. The assessment folks call it formative assessment, when we measure during the process. I am specifically not just talking about measuring progress toward the goal, but also measuring how we are as we go down the road.
What are YOUR thoughts about measuring the middle?
Wondering about not just where we are going, but how we are doing on the journey in the Heartland ….