LeadU presents FREEDOM to FAIL




Here’s an interesting video, oblique to my concept below, but relevant in some ways, about changing the way we think about charity, or really, changing the way we think and act with scaffolding!


Over the past 4 years, one of the most important things to study in the Philippines is scaffolding. And in emerging markets as well, as they are all reflective of poverty cycles, freedoms, and formality.

Lately, the idea of freedom and scaffolding have merged for me in a very practical, if not difficult area.

I’ll try to be brief because the concept I want to get across is multi-faceted:

1) the desire for freedom is killing the dreams of many
2) accelerating complexity is creating extreme pressure on freedom
3) too much freedom is impoverishing

Here’s my example:

Person gets into trouble because of family emergency (you pick it, it doesn’t matter) in the emerging world…

FREEDOM says they can take a loan out on their property.

Lack of a formal economy (places to get formal loans) leads them into an informal economy…

Since a LOT of people don’t pay their bills in the formal economy, people charge VERY high interest for money…

Person solves family emergency, but sets in course the "sorry-sorry" cycle… where robbing from Peter to pay Paul reigns…

Compound interest wipes out the equity, and ability to pay…

Person, who at first saved their family is consumed by the freedom to do so.

THIS IS A REGULAR OCCURRING EVENT IN EMERGING MARKETS and in some cases the developed world as well, as we have seen in the subprime mortgage crisis, where FREEDOM to purchase a home and a sparsely constructed scaffold crushes under the weight of complexity….

NOW, banks and financial institutions can’t tell you what to do,,,

I’m sure it’s because of liability and of course the FREEDOM TO FAIL, as well as succeed…

FEW PEOPLE talk about the FREEDOM TO FAIL, but all DREAM about FREEDOM to SUCCEED.


Should people be FREE to FAIL, when failure is programmed into the system and directly related to their inborn gaps?

Success requirements are huge when complexity accelerates.

People talk about resilience, which in and of itself is largely inborn, and if not, EXTREMELY difficult to manifest when times require it to be so. Antifragility, a concept made popular in Nassem Taleb’s recent book, is essentially about scaffolding density and frequency, although he doesn’t mention it per se.

If people are scaffolded to succeed, they are, in fact, also scaffolded to fail?

My sense is YES to both.

Unless the scaffold is dense enough, or appears with enough frequency to make it robust and networked well in the moment of pressure, it will collapse.  It is fragile.

Helpful Hint: Promoting adequate scaffolding may require steps to limit freedoms, both to succeed and to fail…. I’m not sure we are ready for that @BS, yet @F-L-O-W, it’s a necessary requirement.

Action Step: In the Philippines, I’ve been working on a system of income production, value preservation, and saving dreams. What happens when someone gets in over their heads? Typically, the lender of last resort, just takes the property and kicks the person out.  The person loses all the way around.  Resolving to focus on the positive helps them, even though saving a loved one with an operation, putting a child through college or just providing support/scaffolding when needed, eventually bankrupts them.

I’ve outlined a program to help these people and it involves several steps:

1. Identifying outside capital, which seeks risk-related returns.
2. Recreating the person’s income through the addition of the sari-sari store without recreating the sorry-sorry cycle.
3. Managing the situation closely to be sure that success requirements are met and the dream is saved, although ownership changes.

These three steps LIMIT the freedom to succeed, and scaffold failure, limiting the freedom to fail. It’s not for everyone, but we can save the dream in most cases, that is to live in one’s own domicile, even if the ownership changes for the life of the dream. If you are interested in supporting this kind of "charity" and profit mix, and the study of limited freedoms and why we should limit a person’s freedom to fail, contact me at "generati at msn.com”.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours.  Or if you prefer, at the bottom of this page leave your comment and someone will get back to you.

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

    © Generati

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