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A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business by Adam Morgan, Mark Barden

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5 CREATING ABUNDANCE

How to see and access resources we don't have

THIS CHAPTER FOCUSES ON:

  1. In what ways can we gain access to other people's resources to help us overcome our own scarcities and meet our ambitions?
  2. What prevents us from seeing and accessing these resources today?
  3. How can we find new value in what we have, so we have more to trade and more power to create shared agendas?

When you don't have resources, you become resourceful.

—K.R. Sridhar, Bloom Energy1

If you've seen any improv theatre, or the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? you've seen two actors walk out on stage to improvise a scene. They start with nothing, get a couple of suggestions from the audience about who they are and what they are doing, and make up a scene on the spot: “You're at a job interview at NASA, but you are a pianist. Go!” When done well, it can be astonishing to watch a richly entertaining story emerge from two people creating in the moment, with apparently so little to go on.2

One element of the improviser's method is accepting offers. In the scene above, job interview, NASA, and pianist are all offers the improviser is forced to accept. Rather than see these as a limiting burden, the improviser sees them as a gift because they get the story going. Every line of dialog or gesture thereafter is an offer too, and is incorporated into the scene, even the mistakes. Neither actor has everything they need to make the scene a success, but through trading offers back and forth, a co-created ...

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