We’ve talked a great deal about the straight line between a meaningful change and an individual person’s efforts within the group. The five factors are the way that we explain this line as part of the story of vision. But leadership isn’t just in companies, and triangulation helps us understand a concept. So here is how the five factors work (and don’t work) in a current political event.
There’s a big debate right now about spending $3.5 trillion (or some lesser amount) on social issues, primarily infrastructure. Whether you are for or against this proposal, it is clear that the Democrats are struggling to make this idea become a real bill and eventually policy.
Here’s the big secret: this failure isn’t because the ideas are bad, it’s because the story of vision isn’t being told clearly.
Democrats are trying to tackle social issues to create an impact on education, health, ease of transportation – measures of fulfillment and opportunity in life, in other words. But the measurement being used is dollars. The measure doesn’t match the problem. To understand the connection between the policy (the change) and individual lives, citizens have to translate dollars into an impact on specific social and economic problems in the country. This depends on their understanding, knowledge, willingness, and patience. The straight line between cost and social benefit does not exist.
The solution is that the policy cost should never have been the first thing discussed. Rather, the social value of the bill should have been hashed out first and cost should have been discussed only later, as a way to determine final implementation details. In practice, this means that the Democrats would have already reached an agreement about which issues the bill would address and what goals it would accomplish.