Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Artistic Reality

Sometimes when you are dealing with the high politics of a system that might have major impact on an industry, you may run into a wall of confusing interests. How did the status quo come about, what are all the vested interests, if you change a practice what else might be affected? I find that when I have allowed my hips to be buried in the muck, first I doodle for about fifteen minutes, and then I set myself down and draw a Reality diagram. This is a concise way to describe, on a single sheet of paper, all the psychics impinging on a project. It is comprised of five quick sketches, each a slightly different flavor, describing various elements and relationships surrounding the projects "reality."

The first diagram of Physical space, shows a hypothetical activity that encapsulates a typical event ranging across a variety of actors. Man A stabs man B, who seeks help from doctor C. Okay relax it was an accident. B works at factory D.

The second diagram shows Ethical Space, basically who has spiritual "claims" on others for their actions (or omissions).

The third diagram shows Contractual Space: the understandings, paper, and legal relationships between the parties.

This fourth diagram is more of a list, a high level classification of the types of information each party keeps that are relevant to your system.

The last chart shows Financial space: simply how the money flows between the parties. So now you've got a piece of paper in front of you that succinctly summarizes the entire Reality surrounding your project. Does this solve anything? No. Does this tell you what to do next or make your life any easier? Probably not.

Yet I have found that this diagramming is an invaluable tool, because it shows you why things are the way that they are, the nature of their balance, and the interplay of the forces between them. It frees you from the muck because it shows you the difference between the hard and the soft limits. So unstick yourself: get real!