The Rumplestiltskin Rule

1 Sep

The Rumplestiltkin Rule is the principle that your job in life is to transmute exogenous priorities into personal priorities.  It is vain, says the rule, to think that you can proactively control the world around you, that you or your work group can, for example, at your ease develop a strategic plan and then subsequently implement it as if you were the sole actors on the stage.

Rumplestiltskin suggests on the contrary that it is more likely that your life will feel like a sequence of external problems pressing in upon you in rapid sequence.   The key Rumplestiltskin point is that you can with just a slight adjustment of thinking often convert these things you don’t want to deal with into things you want to do, particularly if you are open to learning something new.

Our favorite example is our “Mobility Experiment.”  Forced out of our offices by much-needed radiator repairs, we gave ourselves laptops, we ventured out to sit among our constituents, we experimented with working from home, we communicated with IM and Skype, reporting via Google spreadsheets, and collaboratively writing things in Google Docs.  Now that we’re back in our offices, we plan to add some structured mobility to our lives moving forwards.

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