Monday, December 08, 2008

Bingo: What comes next?

Did you ever play the game Bingo? It is associated more with elderly fund raising events today than the kids game from once upon a time. There is a sphere filled with marked balls. One person spins the sphere and draws out a ball (kind of like the lottery) to read the letter number combination on it. The players all have cards. Each card is marked with a 5x5 grid where the spaces are filled with similar letter/number combinations. If the player has a match between a square and the letter number called, s/he marks the square with a token or a colored marker. As the squares are filled, the first player to complete a row up, down or full diagonal calls out "BINGO".

Wikipedia has a more detailed explanation here (includes pictures of the cards used).

Anyway, with that as an intro, I think life is like a BINGO game. We all have a card. The contents of the squares are what we were genetically born with. Some of the physical attributes are instantly recognizable. For example, I stand 6 foot 2 inches. I can't do much about growing taller, so trying to play in the NBA was not an viable option. Serving on a submarine was also not an option. There is a height restriction of 6 foot. Some other attributes, we discover over time. My love of music, writing and collaborating are things I have recognized along the way.

In the midst of figuring out what comes next, I find David Zinger has a post today with that very question. The comment I left there I want to expand upon here.

David, this is a great question. When I am in project management mode or process re-engineering mode, this question is almost overused but with great purpose. In any workflow, what does come next is critical to understanding where there are improvement possibilities.

For our own personal lives, if we don’t know what comes next, then it is quite possible we could be doing the wrong thing or going the wrong way.

I re-read Seth Godin's The Dip this weekend. When I had read it back in March, I realized that Seth had summarized his book with a sherku:

Quit the wrong stuff
Stick with the right stuff
Have the guts to do one or the other

If you figure out what comes next, then you can determine if it is the right thing to do, or the wrong thing. Then making the decision to proceed, or quit comes to play.

Your choice!

What comes next?

BTW: Re-reading The Dip and finding David's post was a BINGO!

Do you come across BINGO's in your life?
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