Money Is Not the Problem
Read 52 RULES OF THUMB by Alan Webber over the holidays. Really good stuff. (More later.)
I was particularly struck by this powerful nugget:
If the only thing you need to solve a problem is money, then it’s not a problem.
I’ve used this quite a bit in the last few weeks with a myriad of organizations. Here’s my interpretation:
IMPACT drives INCOME. The IMPACT/SOLUTION/IDEA is the hard part. Once you demonstrate that, there is plenty of money for good or great solutions.
Here’s a great example of this Rule of Thumb that has received constant international coverage for the last few weeks… the Haiti earthquake.
The problem is really not money or aid… it’s INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORTATION, WEATHER, etc.
The problems in Haiti demand creative and innovation SOLUTIONS… not more money.
To me, this means they need smart people and bright ideas. The whole ‘disaster relief’ is really a DESIGN PROBLEM. (What do we fix first? What we do with the deceased? How do we get all of the donated supplies from the airport to people who need them? Etc.)
If it were me, I’d send the best design firm in the world, IDEO, to figure out how to make this work. The SOLUTION needs to be FAST and SIMPLE! (Note to Tim Burn and David Kelley: ‘Skinny Dip’ not a ‘Deep Dive’.)
Note: As a side note to the whole money/problem thing, Haitian money is worthless. The most valuable commodity in Haiti? Clean water.