Several years ago, I led a hospital department (for those that know me, perhaps a blind leading the blind scenario?) with a group of employees making minimum wage. Most of the staff was young and lacked mentors, so I felt a responsibility to help coach them on their careers. One of them wanted to be a sports agent and had all the potential to become a successful one. I said, "Great, go research it and let's chat about it next week." He came back a week later, and said, "Ok, here's my plan: I'm going to go to the local university, will major in Sports Management, and figure it out from there."
My response: "Yeah, no that's a terrible plan" (Ok I was probably a bit more diplomatic than that). "Have you researched what the top programs are in the nation? Which programs offer internships and have a high success rate of successfully producing agents? Do you know any sports agents who could help mentor you or know how to find them?".
As I was bringing up these questions I could tell that they made sense to this guy, but that these were questions that had not crossed his mind.
Is it because this employee was not smart? Absolutely not, he was one of my best. Did he lack initiative? No, he was ambitious and responsible.
1 reason came to mind: Limited access to information.
This guy was at a disadvantage, not because of his abilities, but because he didn't have people in his life to coach him on navigating a career and he didn't know where to find that information on his own. Being a sports agent is one of those careers that requires knowing the right people to create opportunities. Without the right connections or having quick/easy access to information, this acts as a significant barrier to success.
Should the success of others be dependent on who they know and where they came from? Absolutely not and I am a huge believer that education is the great equalizer.
And I'm not just talking about careers, I'm talking about all processes in our society. We all encounter things that we don't know how to do and we often make mistakes doing these processes for the first time with limited information. This causes us to waste time and the mistakes can be very expensive.
So how do we solve this problem?
I think we can do it with flowcharts. (go ahead, I'll wait till you stop laughing)
Flowcharts explain processes in a quick, simple and visual way. If we can just get everyone to make flowcharts about everything, we might just improve access to information right? Definitely not.
People hate the flowchart software. It'sclunky, it requires a lot of formatting, it's time consuming, and the flowcharts look like they were made in the 90s. Not good 90s, like flannel. I'm talking acid-wash elastic band AC Slater jeans 90s.
To this end, Howgorithm has simplified flowchart software, is giving you automated formatting and infographic design templates that make creating and using flowcharts fast and fun. And we provide a community where you can search, discuss, and vote on helpful how-to flowcharts.
Did I mention it's free? If you use the free version, just be aware that if you store your flowcharts, they will be publicly searchable in our flowchart library. If you want to keep them private and get access to our other cool design templates and other features, we just charge a small monthly subscription.
We're still testing, so thanks for being patient with us. We'd love your feedback if you have any ideas, just shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now get out there and start making some flowcharts. There's probably someone out there who needs to learn what you already know.