Pull Platforms: Proving Answers to Questions We Didn't Know How to Ask

Providing an insight that helped me to solve a problem that I didn't know was there - that, in effect, is a form of serendipity. 

Business needs to move to adopt much more scalable pull platforms.  When we talk about pull platforms often people focus on one level of pull which is what we call access.  It’s simply if I have a need I can make a request, get the resource or the information I need when needed.

That’s a very useful form of pull.  You can think about Google as a search engine is a great scalable pull platform in that regard.  But that’s only the first level of pull.  There are actually two other levels that become more and more important.  One level has to do with the notion that in a more rapidly changing world where there’s so much uncertainty we don’t even have much comfort that we frame the right question.  What’s the question?  What are we trying to answer?

And in that kind of environment there is a second form of pull that we call attraction.  How do you attract people and resources to you that you didn’t even know existed but when you encounter them you say, “My God, that was so helpful.  They had an insight that I didn’t even know was there or that I could ask for and yet it helped me to solve a problem.”?  That’s, in effect, a form of serendipity, unexpected encounters. Creating pull platforms where you enhance that opportunity for serendipity and attraction - that’s very powerful.

Then you get to a third level of pull which is what we describe as achieve but it has to do with the notion of using these pull platforms, and particularly those first two levels of access and attract, to drive learning so that people can learn faster by participating in these pull platforms. 

Coming together to learn faster is ultimately, we think, the big opportunity around scalable pull platforms.  It’s not just taking resources that exist today and connecting them, it’s working together with these resources to learn faster than you could on your own.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less