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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

ln the end I hope my clients don’t need me. Well, hope is a strong word — maybe it would be more honest to say that “should” be the case. I believe that my business will be more whole if this is true.

“I am training you to take my place.” That’s far more reassuring (and healthy) than, “When we’re done this project, you can pay me to do it again next week.” But teaching my clients to never need me is still a bit frightening.

Yet, despite this benignly altruistic ambition — training others in the way of knowledge management, innovation, and creativity is no mean task.

Jim McGee asks, “Where are all the Jedi Masters of knowledge work?” How does one apprentice creativity? Where is the 4-year one-on-one mastery of crafting innovation?

Over at Idea Flow, Renee echoes Jim and writes, “You can teach someone creative skills, but you can’t teach them explicitly how to think more creatively. Or to be more innovative.”

Both writers stop at the same spot: being expert in these meta-human skills requires a lifetime. Passing them on to another person takes exactly the same amount of time. So, to put it bluntly, if you can’t do it yourself — you’re screwed.

Jim points out that we stand at the foot of problems so large and looming that we are all novices in the shadow of the challenge. There are no solutions, no perfect joints, no master form — these are wicked problems and our best will be the people that hold the the rudder as we paddle through.

But I think we would be short-sighted if we didn’t acknowledge the characteristics of the masters. The masters pause to think. They collaborate. They understand the difference between complicated and complex.

These are practises I can pass to my clients — along with bright blue light sabres.

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