How versus What

Thoughts from interaction with Izabel

On Thursday afternoon, we had a workshop with people who were mainly involved in figuring out how to produce products. On that same day in the evening, I attended a party with people who were mainly involved in figuring out what products to create. How versus what. Two types of people have distinct air about them. Of course their interests do not merge much. But each need other to make an impact to the world.

In today’s business cycle in Japan, if “what” people remained with their big company, they are spending 80% of their time in admin work to satisfy the organizational system. When the become independent, they probably spend 50% to 80% of their time practicing their craft. I see more and more of these “what” people leaving big companies.

What happens then is disconnect of communication between what people and how people. They aren’t good at talking to each other to begin with, and when they are no longer bound as an organization, they simply stop talking.

What happens then?

Maybe there will be more companies like IDEO who has the ability to connect these two distinctly specialized kinds of people. A real value for a “consultant”, “coordinator”, “project manager”.

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