Moving Things Along.

As an engineer I learned that you move a mass by applying force. I learned from “Don’t shoot a dog” that you move a smart animal by providing reenforcement for good behaviors; that attempting to force a smart animal will only cause resistance at first and then they will leave. I learned from the liturature on motivation that rewards work to get behaviors in the near-term, but that they tend to extinquish the desired behavior in the long-term.

My summary of that: you push inanimate objects and you pull animate objects.

I’ve never quite figured out what the right approach is to a institution. A mixture of both I suspect. For example when you call customer service at Apple you dealing with smart folks; and those you need to pull forward – meanwhile your dealing with a large massive beauracrachy. For that you seem to need to push: argue, be firm, hold the line, make a noise, etc.

I suspect that more your inside the institution the more it becomes fruitless to push and the more it becomes wise to pull: convince, encourage, construct, be creative, hold your tongue, etc.

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