Frameworks

The human body is a great source of metaphors. One of my favorites is how the framework of our skeletons is “fleshed out” with the necessary tissues to create a human that might be just like you. The framework/”tissue” pattern is likely repeated in more places than we realize, but a common example is construction. A building, be it a single family home or a skyscraper, usually begins with a frame 1 on which various “organs” are hung; the siding on the outside of the house, the roof, the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems, the internal finishing and furnishing.

Frameworks are selected and tweaked based on the particular outcome we’re hoping to achieve. Your skeleton is different than my skeleton because you’re different than me, but if we were the strip away the flesh from our bones what would be left would be recognizable as a human skeleton. The same is true for a building. We would recognized a building framework because it has a top, bottom, and sides, floors, ceilings, windows and doors in an arrangement that’s likely to provide shelter and utility to humans.

Concepts can be constructed on frameworks, too, and I’m a collector of these conceptual frameworks. They tend to be lists where each item in the list is designed to highlight particular aspects of a concept. The full list provides some degree of completeness when describing the concept. As with other frameworks they are often tweaked to support the needs of whatever the concept under consideration happens to be, but when the details are stripped away are still recognizable as a particular category of framework.

Here is a list of a few frameworks, in alphabetical order, that I’m currently finding to be useful…

  • ACOILUSD – This is one form of what designers call the “customer journey”. It expands to; Aware, Choose, Order, Install, Learn, Use, Support, Dispose. All of these elements are addressed by a complete product (a good or a service and its delivery system) either explicitly or implicitly. It’s better if it’s explicit.
  • Aesthetic Mechanical Pragmatism – My framework for my belief system.
  • Business Model Canvas – Created by Alexander Osterwalder and to some degree popularized and reinforced by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf.
  • Purpose/Mastery/Autonomy – A framework for what really motivates us once you get above the basics of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I think this originally came from Daniel Pink’s book “Drive”, but I first learned about it in this RSA YouTube video.
  • SCIPAB – From Mandel Communications, it provides a framework for fleshing out a request to anyone. This is key if you’re trying to create any kind of change that requires the cooperation and collaboration of other people.
  • System One/System Two – Most of our behavior is automatic and reflexive (System One) rather than deliberate (System Two). This framework was first introduced to me by Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking Fast and Slow. It changed what I believe about how people make decisions and to some degree helped me to give them a lot more slack.
  • Value Proposition – The version I find most useful is derived from Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm though it may be expanded a bit. Mine includes: For [Customer] Who [Needs] The [Product] That [Provides these benefits] Unlike [Alternative Solutions] From [Other Sources].
  • Wardley Technology Evolution – An element of Wardley mapping that provides me with a quick appreciation for the maturity of a particular way of achieving an outcome and the opportunity for moving it to the next level. First introduced to me by Simon Wardley’s hilarious 2014 OSCON keynote and further elaborated on in his blog Bits or Pieces.
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Dave Mandigo

My father died suddenly yesterday of a massive stroke. I don’t really know how to feel right now1. Saying that he taught me a lot or anything at all seems absurdly trite. So much of me comes directly from him. Most of it good. Some perhaps less so. He was human and taught me to be human, as well. I’m often struck by that when I hear myself talk or look at myself in the mirror. What do you say about someone who was directly responsible for your existence and played such a vital role during the first few years of my life?

I last spoke with him on Christmas Day. He told me about the progress he was making on his shop and speculating on getting into the wild mushroom business. He was always adventurous, inquisitive and appreciative of the things that this universe has to offer. These are traits that he shared with me and I hope I’ve been able to share those traits with my kids.

He was a good man. As I understand it, he was at my uncle’s house looking for ways to help since my uncle is (or was) due for surgery today. He fell to the ground while there, was taken to the hospital by ambulance, never regained consciousness as far as I know and died later that evening. He died doing a good thing. If that’s his last lesson for me then I’ll forever be grateful.

There are, of course, many more things to say but I can’t right now. Maybe later.

I love you, Dad. You will be very much missed and you’ll always be with me.

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Finding a path

There are a million ways to do anything, but only about a 100 ways to do them really well. The trick is to develop the skills required to find one of these 100 quickly, be persistent until you do, and being willing to let go of the ways that aren’t working well. Investment, persistence and openness may not guarantee success, but if you ignore them you’d better be very lucky. IMHO.

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