Spark from Heaven? the Place of Potential in Organizational and Individual Development
Happy New Year!
Why do we fight? Because we're not being treated the way we want to be treated. What do we want? Respect for our strengths and compassion for our weaknesses. How do we give that to others and get it for ourselves?
That's what Doing the Right Thing is all about!
Happy New Year!
I told him my genius was problem-solving. He said, "'Problem-solving' sounds like a process at the outside of the onion you must peel. So...What is your unique process for solving problems?"
The way I solve problems is:
1. Start with knowing for a certainty that there is a solution to every problem and that I am capable of finding it or at least of finding the people who can find it.
2. Ask if what seems to be a problem is really a problem. If someone else has brought it to me, I ask "What makes you think that this is a problem" or "What problem are you trying to solve". Sometimes people say that something is a problem when it's really just a broken-down solution that doesn't work anymore. You might want to fix what they bring you or you might want to throw that out and handle the problem a completely different way. For example, if the toaster doesn't work any more, the problem is not that the toaster is broken, the problem is that you want toast and you can't make it. There is only one solution to the first, fixing the toaster. But there are lots of solutions to the second -- fixing the toaster, buying a new toaster, borrowing someone else's toaster, making toast on the stove, or doing without toast.
3. Get up very close to the problem. Look it all over in detail. Ask other people what it looks like from their point of view. Take it apart, if possible. Look at all the pieces. Understand how they work and how they work together. Sometimes the answer is obvious.
4. If looking at it up close doesn't give you the solution, start moving back from it. As you move back, you gain perspective. You can see other possible solutions or whether there is a way around the problem. When you look at it up close, there's only you and the problem. When you start moving back from it, there's you and the problem and the people and things immediately around it. If you move back far enough, there's you and the problem and all the people in the world and all the resources in the world. With all the people and resources in the world, the problem hasn't got a chance. You just have to let your mind consider all the possibilities that are there -- not just what has been done in the past, no just the standard way this problem is handled, but anything in the whole world that could be used to solve the problem.
Here's the latest on my new novel, THE TOWN THAT FORGOT HOW TO BREATHE, which concerns what happens when the art of storytelling begins to die out in a small, coastal community.
I hope it might be of interest to you.
With all good wishes,
THE TOWN THAT FORGOT HOW TO BREATHE
by Kenneth J. Harvey
(St. Martin's Press, November, 2005)
* starred review, Publisher's Weekly
"Comparisons with Stephen King's commercial power and Annie Proulx's literary warmth are apt but glib. Harvey is an author whose storytelling prowess can speak for itself."
-- Publisher's Weekly
"An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination."
-- J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author of Disgrace
"Both a contemporary and an historical novel, The Town that Forgot How to Breathe is a tour de force! It speaks of the sea: of those who are upon it, beside it, beneath it. Kenneth J. Harvey, a writer like no other, is as knowledgeable as he is adventurous. A very exceptional novel, extraordinary in its power."
-- Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief
"A novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. Grippingly entertaining and bursting with life, it is an absolute triumph of the storyteller's art. Many books are hyped as 'unputdownable'. This one really is."
-- Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea
"This is a massive book in every sense. Long, with a huge cast of strongly-drawn, idiosyncratic characters, eerie and haunting, poetic, funny, moving, it takes on the big themes-- the meaning of life, our relationship to the dead, man’s place in the rapidly changing modern world-- and carries everything off with a surging confidence that leaves the reader, well, breathless."
--John Harding, Daily Mail (London)
"A masterful work" -- Vancouver Sun
"A triumph" -- National Post
"As compelling as it is unique" -- Amazon.ca
"The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is brilliant. Here comes overnight success. -- January Magazine
"A tightly woven fabulation" -- Globe & Mail
"Harvey paints it (Bareneed) as beautifully as any picture postcard --
"Bang-on dialogue... spring-from-the-pages characters" -- Georgia Straight
"His best novel yet... a near-epic scale" -- The Telegram (St. John's)
Foreign rights sold in: Germany, England, Italy, Russia, Denmark, Canada, France and Sweden.
Recently optioned for a motion picture by:
Catherine Gourdier (Some Things That Stay) and
Don Carmody (Good Will Hunting, Chicago)
Home for a quick lunch, then over to Page One Bookstore at Montgomery and Juan Tabo for the monthly book fair for local writers in the cafe. I had a wonderful talk with James, who bought my book. I think I am going to like the talking and listening as much as selling books.