No. 16 - Unite Through Questions

Often, people look at a project like Unite and expect answers, not questions. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but often the path to those answers is through questions. This is particularly true when it comes to weaknesses. Tonight I’ve been watching a video by a Harvard Business School professor, Robert Kaplan, that is a lecture encapsulating some of the thoughts in his book “What You’re Really Meant to Do.”

One of the points I find particularly valuable for our work on Unite is to “ask others what your weaknesses are.” This is something that I know I find hard to do. It’s not that I think I don’t have weaknesses, of course I do, plenty. It’s that I have a lingering fear, much of it subconscious (which he adroitly brings to the surface), that hearing these weaknesses will cause me to give up.

You can hear what he says on this video, start at 12:45:

Kaplan video at Google 2013

His advice fits well with the latest major change by Unite from the Version 10 booklet to Version 11. Unite has switched from suggesting to people that the Unite Global Bill of Rights document is so good that they should sign it, to asking them to review it and comment about any weaknesses it may have.

Looking for weaknesses is actually a source of strength. Many people are willing to support the idea of a Global Bill of Rights, but are reluctant to sign a document that they haven’t helped prepare. By asking people to help write, not only is there the benefit of their input, but also their participation helps foster camaraderie and commitment.

So when you look at our new Version 11, and our website as well, you will see we are looking for weaknesses and hope you will share them with us. We are even offering to pay people to help find our weaknesses. Then I hope we can work together to turn them in to strengths. Unite’s value added is to make rights enforceable for people in all countries. To this end, let’s keep asking questions.

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