The Essence of Implementation 2
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“What is the essence of implementation?”
“In essence, to implement means to take action on.
We might say everything you absorb and experience has a learning potential. Implementation is taking steps towards the actualization of that potential.
Let’s take reading a non-fiction book as an example.
As you read, the main goal is to identify the information that has value. This requires what Edward de Bono calls ‘value sensitivity‘. The information might have value in that it helps you understand something, or in that it has what I call an ‘actionable kernel‘ – a potential to improve your life in some way if put to use.
Let’s say you discover an idea that has an actionable kernel. This is a decision-point. You may choose to do something with that information, or not.
If you don’t, nothing happens – and, by doing this consistently, nothing will ever happen.
If you do, you initiate the implementation process. The process has three stages:
Stage 0: Idea Capture
Stage 1: Transformation
Stage 2: Design
Stage 0 is note-taking. You highlight the idea and/or save it somewhere – ideally in a commonplace book. You’ve taken an important first step. However, unless you progress to the next stages, it has close to zero value.”
“I was stuck at this stage for a long time.”
“The advantage is that, once you transcend this stage, all that information is available to you.
Stage 1 is transformation. You take the idea, reflect on it and deconstruct it, extract the actionable kernel, and give it actionable form. This means paraphrasing the initial idea, transforming it into one or more directives that tell you exactly what you need to do. (Specificity)
Stage 2 is where the magic happens. This is a beautiful creative iterative process.
At a micro level, depending on the nature of the idea, it may involve creating habits (Behavior Design), creating drill-games (for practicing specific skills), or creating experiments.
At a macro level, it means discovering how it connects with everything else (Thematic Interconnectedness), discovering synergies with other practices, and beautifully integrating it into your life.
It also means continually optimizing the implementation process itself, to increase implementation-density and implementation-efficiency.”