We frequently see stories in the news where GPS is blamed for why the driver ended-up in a house, on a railroad track, or in a new man-made lake. The drivers are following the prescriptive directions perfectly. The only problem is that your GPS may be providing you with directions based on outdated maps. The landscape has changed, but we ignore the warning to update our maps, and we continue using old directions. Then we wonder why the old directions no-longer work.
In business and education, the landscape has changed, yet we still follow the same directions produced in the Industrial Age, given to us as prescriptive methods, with step-by-step instructions to follow. The knowledge economy is the new landscape. And the pioneers are seeking new directions - but also new maps.
In the Knowledge Economy, we need tools that help with transparency and collaborative decision making (see Option Outlines). We need a change model that is based on the fundamental pattern of how lessons are learned and leveraged (see Story Thinking Cycle). And we need to accurately communicate the reasons behind our explanations, to address collaboration and conflict resolution (see 8 Degrees of Reason).
Imagine being an educational psychologist who gets to interview leaders and knowledge workers to find out what they do – and why they do it.
Imagine finding that all explanations have a common pattern, with a predictable set of reasons, which work in business, education, and policy-making.
Imagine using these methods to “see” thought leadership in action – to increase results in personal and organizational proficiency, innovation, decision-making, collaboration, and conflict resolution.
You don’t have to imagine this – you have found it! The Explanation Age Methods are a culmination of more than two decades of research into the models that drive learning, decision-making, and performance improvement. If you have tried Six Sigma in business and instinctively knew that this factory-driven method was wrong for the knowledge economy – then you are ready for the Explanation Age. If you have wanted to replace Bloom’s Taxonomy in education, but haven’t found the right model – then you are ready for the Explanation Age. And if you are someone who never stopped asking “why” – then you are ready for the Explanation Age.
From the Book
"The Explanation Age is the age after the Information Age. Imagine you are driving down a lonely road and approaching a four-way stop sign. When you stop, you notice that there is no traffic coming from your left or your right. You see the probable reason, since in both directions there is a dead-end sign. So why should there be a stop sign in your path? You turn to your GPS-integrated smart phone and simply type “why.” A list of decisions made about your location begins to appear.
While it was once a busy four-way intersection, the dead-end signs were installed when a major highway was built around the town. You click under this last entry where the dead-end signs were installed, and add the suggestion to make it a two-way stop—to stop anyone on the dead-end roads, and remove the stop signs along your path. You include with your rationale that there would be an energy savings for the traffic that is now needlessly stopping and restarting. On your return trip, the two stop signs along your path are gone."