Seeing the Gaps

Element Descriptor

This skill overlaps with but is distinct from strategising. It’s about seeing what is NOT happening, not being discussed, seeing vulnerabilities in opponents and see how they could be exploited, how coalitions could be stitched together. i.e focusing not just on what is but what could actually be.

Level descriptors

You can look at your own organisation and perhaps closely aligned ones and see how they are not making best use of their current resources and easily graspable opportunities. Convincing others you are right is another matter, of course…You can look at the organisations working on “your” issue both locally and beyond and see the opportunities for collaboration and even formal coalitions, and how existing strengths might be leveraged with a plausible amount of work to create a serious threat to the status quoYou can look at organisations in overlapping fields, with or without a prior history of collaboration with those in your own field, and see where synergies could be exploited, and what egos and turf wars might need to be managed to achieve that. Managing them is something else again, of course…You are able to make educated guesses which are spookily accurate about what gaps will emerge in the coming weeks/months based on your knowledge of different groups’ trajectories and attitudes, and why some will matter more than others. Of course, doing anything with this intelligence is another matter…

Element Overview Essay

This is a draft. If something doesn’t make sense, or you see typos, or if you have further ideas, please email us on

This sounds like mystic woowoo, I’ll admit, but what I mean, by seeing the gaps is being able to see how things could be with a different perspective, just to parallax view. For example. “Turn the ship upside down” as Kurt Vonnegut has in one of his short, short novel And being able to see the silence or hear the silences in what other people are saying, to do this, you really need to have done some deep thinking about what’s going on, and to be doing intensive listening to what other people are saying, how they’re saying why they’re saying it. And you need a phenomenological and even a hermeneutic approach. You need to be really trying to see the world as they see it. Simultaneously seeing it as you see it, and seeing the things that they’re seeing that you’re not and flipside, explaining to them, that there are things that you are seeing that they are not, and doing that in compassionate ways that aren’t a dick swinging I’m smarter than you move, but I hang on. If you adjust your conceptual analytic lens, other things will come into focus.

And the reason we are lousy at that is we are taught NOT to think like that. And those who are most able to repeat and believe whatever reductive nonsense that our Lords and Masters are pushing this week are rewarded. Those that can’t, aren’t.

The consequences of not seeing the gaps is that we will stay in our intellectual silos. We miss opportunities to see the world differently. The work of ally ship, the work of convening becomes more difficult.

So the fixes involve being compassionate, being humble, but working hard and trying to accept different worldviews. Learn from them, and also communicate in language metaphors, analogies, that other people find useful even if you do not necessarily do so

Development Resources

Assessment Resources