The world we know is built on transactions. Everything is a matter of give-and-take. We exchange what we have for things we want and need of similar value. Economically speaking, it works. We have learned to assign value to everything, and then conduct transactions based on those values. Living by making transactions works as long as you exist in a closed system. You maintain the value of everything. The goal is to keep what you have intact. As long as you are getting what you need for the value you have agreed upon, you’re happy with things and the model works.
But what happens if you aren’t getting what you need? Or if you can see what you need but you can’t afford the value assigned to it? It prohibits you from getting the job done. You either go without, try to renegotiate the assigned values of things, or go outside the system to get what you need.
This is where we are now in education. The values have already started changing but we are still operating on a transactional model. Deep discussions are taking place about the values we have assigned to educating our children. Those comfortable with the status quo want to enforce the existing values. Those of us who see values already changing in society want to renegotiate. And those of us who are unwilling to wait have gone outside the system. It seems like gridlock. But stakeholders will eventually loosen things up and this will play itself out.
Sure we can measure everything and tabulate our gains and losses by a bottom line; people have made their fortunes doing this. But in a transactional world, everything has a finite value. We are locked into whatever resources are at our disposal. But in the Information Age, there are resources and opportunities that can create new and limitless value. To capitalize on this we need to break out of our transactional thinking and be receptive to new ways of thinking and learning and working and living. It’s the difference between settle-settle and win-win. We have to be willing to break the bonds that hold us back in order to find new untapped values.
In short, the transactional model has to give way to new action. Transformaction: thinking and strategies that allow us to create new value. Where do we start?
Shed off the expectation of give-and-take. Business-as-usual is a roadblock to innovation.
Change personal values. Be willing to give up your assumptions, be open to new thinking, and take risks.
Seek and create new value. Imagine the existence you want to live and pass on to our children.
Trust in the power of transformaction. Move forward in faith that new values will provide new opportunities.
When we realize and release ourselves from our transactional ways, we can begin to transform the world…first in how we look at it, and then how we take action…transformaction.