A friend of mine just asked me “How would you use ProxThink to choose an image management software package?”
My answer relies mostly on the ProxPatterns. If you’re familiar with them, you can use them to help with a task like this, and also to have it perhaps be more than just another task to get done. In other words, perhaps it can have some fun points and some style points, rather than just being a job.
Every bold word or phrase in what follows is related to a ProxPattern or ProxThink Basic. You should be able to figure out which ones. If it seems hard, I’ll put a hint in brackets like [this].
So her question is her situation. I’d use ProxAwareness to become more aware of some of the possible features, options, and available software packages. But don’t drive yourself crazy because there are limits to what any one person can research about this. Your ProxAwareness search should probably [allow uncertainty] include reviews by some experts if possible. Experts have a different proximity related to these types of situations. Also develop of list of your critical needs and the problems the software must address. You want to honor the integrity of these needs and problems, as well as the people who will use the software. Do these users possess skills or abilities, as well as challenges or limits which you must honor? The best software package will relate to a variety of the needs and problems, as well as the characteristics of the users. If possible, it will also allow a smooth transition to the new software, both on the technical side, and the user side. However, how each user will rank it depends on their unique proximity or ProxSet. And of course, there are limits of any one element (the software) to relate to other elements.
The decision process takes active involvement, but being is about relating, so it can be satisfying. At each point in the process, if you are getting stuck, discouraged or even angry, keep the ProxPatterns in mind, especially the Combo ProxPatterns (PPs). Use the Combo PPs even in moment-by-moment decisions as you both dance and wrestle with the situation. For example: “OK, I’m going to allow some uncertainty as I explore this or try that. Oh, I’m meeting some resistance, as I’ve found something or someone asking that I honor the integrity of their characteristics or needs. I’ll avoid forcing it while I figure out how to honor them or it. Perhaps [allow uncertainty] there is a way to relate to a variety of these elements and relationships which I need to honor. By using other ProxPatterns alone or in combination, perhaps [allow uncertainty] I’ll find a way to relate to this variety. Yet, using the Limits PPs, I know there is probably [allow uncertainty] value in making some progress here.”
With active involvement, proximity awareness, and allowing some uncertainty, you will probably come across elements of this situation which are quite unique, interesting, perhaps funny and potentially related to other elements and situations in your life. You might [allow uncertainty] find ways to create links to them for future reference, use or entertainment.
Of course my friend’s proximity for this situation of hers will contain much more specific and detailed elements and relationships.
But perhaps [allow uncertainty], once the new software in installed and in use, she will have carried out some of the ProxThink Core Idea: “In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.” In other words, the images, users, needs, challenges, software and hardware will be better related than before. And, an improvement in the proximity related to this situation may improve the proximity of other situations which include some of the same elements (such as the same people or the same computers). Not only that, the proximity of the new software may itself be an element in the proximity of other situations, such as the atmosphere of the office, the enjoyment of work, the profitability of the company, or the speed of the development of other projects.
Yes, all this proximity thinking terminology may be a little overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it. Avoid forcing it, perhaps [allow uncertainty] learn some more about the ProxPatterns and the ProxThink Basics. Stay actively involved, but honor the integrity of your interest and energy. Ungroup or “unpack” the ProxPatterns and Basics, and group them again, as you become more proximate with them. It’s possible you’ll make a smooth transition to “getting” the above example. Of course, allowing uncertainty, it’s possible you won’t! In that case, perhaps [allow uncertainty] move on with your life, at least for a while [value of some]. Then, perhaps [allow uncertainty], come back and give it another try.
Thanks for the question Coco!