Moving the Needle

A very important two day meeting just finished.  I have been to a lot of meetings over the past three years, but this one is going to stand out for a long time.  Five senior executives from a very big company – a multi-billion dollar industry leader – came to our city to begin the step-by-step process of assisting us in becoming the healthiest city in the world. That’s a lot to get your head around, but that is not why I will remember it.  I will remember it as the meeting that allowed me to explain – finally – how  a silly little app will change the world.  (There I go sounding crazy again…)

The meeting itself was irritatingly similar to all of the ones before it; we are all keenly aware of the problems.  If I had a nickel for every time I have heard the word “silo,” MoveUP would be fully funded.  (Actually, we could probably finish the coding for less than what it cost to send these guys here for two days.   But it was super cool, so I’ll just let that go).  It’s not identifying the problems that is the problem, it’s doing something about them that remains the ultimate problem.  And the biggest problem: some things are never going to change.  Like gravity.  And human nature.

And the inability to get companies to work together. 

Or people, for that matter.  Especially at the top.  There are reasons why companies – why people – operate in silos.  You cannot change that.  So stop trying. 

There was much talk about buy-in, about getting the influential people in the city to come together to make this happen.  But that’s not a difficult task, it’s impossible.  It is the core reason why everyone keeps talking, and nothing is getting done.  We can all see what the world might be like if we would all just get along, so we close our eyes and hold our breath.  And when we open our eyes, the world is exactly the same as it was before.

And that is precisely why it appears this little app has melted the cheese right off my cracker: we don’t need them.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite: they can’t stop us.  Which is important, because they will try.  No matter how beneficial something is, there are people that will not buy-in, and there are some that will try to stop it, if nothing else, because it’s not theirs.  That’s human nature, and you can’t change that. 

About midday on the first day, Laura Bauer and Ashley Steinweg of Park View Community Mission came to explain what their group does and what this all might mean both to their organization and to the city (this is one of our most important non-profits).  They were in negotiations with Uber in an attempt to better serve the community.  I showed them how MoveUP works, how they can use it to do everything they want to do, but on their terms, and for free.  They don’t have to sign a contract, they don’t have to adapt to someone else’s model, they just do what they do, only more and better.

And they don’t need anyone’s buy-in. 

So just like that, they ended their talks with Uber.  And that’s how a little app is going to change the world.  Because it’s not trying to get us to do something we are never going to do.  It’s just going to let us do what we are already doing, but more and better.  With MoveUP, there are no losers, we all benefit.  And it doesn’t matter if our leaders buy-in.  They don’t even have to understand.  And there is nothing anyone can do to stop us.          

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