Tooling around - no problem

Change is a problem for those of us concerned with tools. It makes perfect sense that we see slow adoption rates, resistance to change and missed opportunities to take advantage of the tools. Coders who are debugging beta.blogger, WordPress, Typepad, Technorati, Feedster, LiveWriter, SecondLife, etc. - will naturally forecast a difficult transition because that is their experience. Their change model looks at change, not changing. They are thinking about the tools, not tooling around.

Changes occur easily when we stop thinking about changes and begin changing. Tools gain widespread adoption when we outgrow talking about the tools. Then we continue tooling along and tooling catches on. "Tool" is a noun. "Tooling" is a verb. Using nouns says we're stuck making a thing of it. Using verbs says we're doing it and being an example to imitate. Things are a tough sell and slow to change. Changing is already happening. Changing sells itself and catches on contagiously.

I learned to ski in my twenties with difficulty. I recall the six year olds in "ski school" who were learning to ski also. They skied past me without poles like I was making skiing unnecessarily difficult. I was relying on formal instruction to change while they were learning informally and changing without effort. For me skiing was a noun; for them it has always been a verb.

When we think learning (or blogging, tagging, subscribing, etc) is a noun, we torment ourselves with structuring the formal process. When learning is a verb, we are learning informally as we tool along. Verbs have uses for nouns. Nouns have difficulties with verbs. The words in the title of this blog end with "ing" for a reason. It's better to "be doing our thing than to thing our doing" -- especially when we are wanting more changing to happen.

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1 comment:

  1. VERY well stated! I love this!
    I had a similar feeling recently when I read about Toyota in FastCompany. Change isn't an 'event' at Toyota, its THE WORK!
    It makes so much sense today as the rate of change is increasing so rapidly.
    Merry Christmas!