Gung hay fat choy! Welcome to the Year of the Serpent, a.k.a. the Snake, a.k.a. the “little dragon.” If you didn’t know, it’s quite an auspicious year in the Chinese lunar calendar, and for Nuvana, it’s been especially busy. Which is my sly way of apologizing for not keeping up with the Nuvana blog posts. [note: I first wrote this back in February, but have been too swamped with Nuvana builds to edit and post. Apologies!] We’ve just been so busy with a number of projects, builds, launches and exciting new products. But never fear. We’ve been keeping lots of notes of our experiences and you’ll start to see them splattered across these virtual pages in the weeks and months to come.
With the beginning of any new year — whether you celebrate this as Gregorian year 2013 or lunar year 4711 — there’s always unbounded optimism that colors the festivities. That goes for new relationships, certainly with business partners. Sooner or later, we hear a reasonable question: So why does the Nuvana platform work?
Without doubt, the confluence of our technology, customized features, elegant design, seamless user experience — all these aspects contained in Nuvana products results in success. But to be honest, like any man-made structure, somewhere along the line — and perhaps in many places — there are linkages that can only be closed by the A.F.L.: the Almighty Flying Leap.
In other words, you gotta believe!
In the spaces that Nuvana operates in (education, health, communities of practice, private sector performance), there are so many other factors at work: teacher performance, student readiness, community ethic, administration commitment, device capability, internet connection, a solid curriculum, time of year, executive buy-in. A full battery. And on and on. You have to believe these elements, many beyond one’s control, will work to your favor.
But even when they don’t, and believe me, we have had those unavoidable instances where servers shut down or batteries go dead or connections freeze. After all, blind faith in man-made objects, even ours, is bound to let one down. Nevertheless, in the face of these setbacks, we almost always achieve success — and it’s made me and my colleagues realize that putting faith in the community, especially if it’s given power and agency to drive toward a truly positive outcome, constitutes a strategy that is rarely a losing proposition.
Yes. People are inherently good. People inherently want to do good.
And I hope I’m never wrong about that. Otherwise, why be in this crazy space?
It’s the efforts of good people that makes our platform sing. Out of this foundation of faith in people, a whole set of other beliefs begin to unfold. That people want to learn. That there are mentors and teachers, execs and managers, who will work hard to make learning happen. That learners will mentor others given the chance. That an empowered social network naturally flows toward Good. That a community of practice learns best from one another and even better if that learning takes place in the real world.
The beliefs don’t stop there, but I won’t bore you with a laundry list. You no doubt harbor most of these beliefs yourself otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But if you need a lovely little reminder of the innate goodness in your fellow wo/man then take a couple minutes to watch this mini-doc by Casey Neistat.
In the meantime, all the best to all of you in the Year of the Serpent. Here’s to you putting your faith in the right people (not things) so you’ll land safely in capable hands, no matter how big of a flying leap you take. Truly, I believe wholeheartedly, it’s going to be a wonderful year!