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

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