Progress as a noun

Progress as a noun
The idea

In the progress economy we’ll name several specific progress states (known as named states).

These states act as important waypoints, guiding our understanding of progress attempts (attempts to move towards a more desired state – see progress as a verb/state transition).

They also hold the key to revealing the fascinating way that value emerges from progress. As opposed to the tired, traditional, view of it being embedded by manufacturers.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the five named states we commonly use!

Naming states

Here’s the five named progress states we’ll often use in the progress economy.

progress soughtthe more desirable progress state a progress seeker is looking to reach

it often evolves during, and between, progress attempts; and includes any progress sought injected by externalities (government, regulators etc)
progress potentialthe phenomenological view of the progress state that can be reached from a particular point in progress potential during a progress attempt

we can see this as future value to be created and is judged prior to and during a progress attempt
progress offeredthe progress state a progress helper is offering to help reach when a progress seeker engages with their progress proposition

it has a relation to progress sought, but need not exactly match (here we find explanations for mainstream progress sought, segmentation, disruptive innovation and blue ocean strategy
progress originthe progress state from which the seeker starts a progress attempt
progress reachedthe phenomenological view of progress state reached by a specific point in time during a progress attempt

it is judged during and after a progress attempt

Our first use of these named states is as waypoints on progress attempts.

Using as progress attempts WAYPOINTS

progress attemptAn attempt by a progress seeker to progress towards their initial judgement of progress potential.

Progress attempts belong to progress as a verb, but it is here in progress as a noun that we set the foundations. Our five named states act as waypoints on that journey.

Firstly, we have the “progress sought” named state, which represents the more desired state a progress seeker wants to reach. It’s the crucial state we – marketers, progress helpers, innovators – need to identify and understand.

progress soughtthe more desirable progress state a progress seeker wishes to reach.

And progress sought is a fascinating state which continuously evolves during, and between, progress attempts. External influences and other progress attempts that seekers are making in their daily lives, including those in different industries, markets, and even other parts of the world, shape their aspirations. And let’s not forget the increasingly sought progress of sustainable.

Linked with progress sought is the “progress potential” state. This is the state that a seeker feels they can reach if they make a progress attempt. And it is likely less than progress sought. You can expect this to also evolves during a progress attempt as a seeker learns more.

If a seeker judges their progress potential as too distant from progress sought, they may hesitate to start, or continue, a progress attempt. Usually, this gap between progress sought and progress potential arises due to the seeker lacking resources (commonly: skills, knowledge, time). We call this a progress hurdle. And it is where progress propositions and progress helpers come into play.

Progress helpers offer a specific package of resources aimed at increasing a progress seeker’s progress potential – a progress proposition. These offer to help a seeker reach the state of “progress offered”. As well as making progress now a joint endeavour.

And, while there is a necessary relationship between progress offered and progress sought, they don’t have to match perfectly. Luckily, seekers are often willing to accept reaching a more mainstream progress offered state in return for other benefits (it might have lower hurdles to reach, for example).

Some helpers even intentionally deviate from that mainstream progress offered state to bring about new possibilities. Disruptive innovation and blue ocean strategy being two such approaches.

Progress offered also constantly needs to evolve. Driven by the conrinuously evolving progress sought. And the need for seekers to maximise the number of equitable service exchanges (which is the purpose of a helper, a play on Drucker’s famous “purpose of a firm”).

Where a seeker is in a particular progress attempt is tracked by judgements of “progress reached” state.

Although progress potential and progress reached may seem like measurable states, especially when considering value, quantifying them objectively can be challenging. These states are individual and phenomenological judgments. Though more formal engagements may attempt artificial measurements (meeting milestones, for example, or earned value project techniques).

Talking of value…we can use these waypoints to begin teasing out that value is created through progress.

Observing value emerging

Let’s see what progress tells us about value. First we can say that maximum value is created for a seeker when they reach the state of progress sought. Now we’ll also say that there is zero value created before the attempt starts (the “progress origin” state).

Therefore, value incrementally emerges as progress is made from progress origin to progress sought. When seekers embark on progress attempts, we observe value creation as value-through-progress.

value-through-progressa view of value creation that sees value as being increasingly created as progress is made. Though it may not be realised until progress completes

Though we need to borrow an accounting term to fully understand value: recognising. Does reaching 80km of a 100km journey valuable to a seeker? It depends. The seeker might recognise each kilometer as valuable. Or none of it is valuable until reaching the 100km point.

Engaging with a progress proposition turns progress into a joint endeavour, with the seeker and the helper now co-creating value. And we now observe value creation as value-in-use (which is value-through-progress with value co-creation).

value-in-use – a view of value creation that sees value being increasingly co-created during a progress attempt as a progress seeker engages a progress proposition. Though it may not be realised until progress completes.

However, it’s important to note that the maximum value co-created by reaching progress offered is likely less than that value created reaching progress sought.

Unlike service-dominant logic, which forms part of the foundation of the progress economy, we observe that helpers may also make judgements of progress potential and progress reached. Their initial view of their progress proposition becomes progress offered.

And when engaging with a seeker, repeated judgements may happen. The influence of these judgements relates to where the proposition sits on the progress proposition continuum. If potential when co-progressing with a seeker, is judged low the helper may decline to engage (the chance of equitable service exchange is low).

Finally, differences between seeker’s and helper’s judgements of progress reached can be a source of value co-destruction.

Wrapping up

The named progress states act as waypoints on progress attempts. The seeker starts at their progress origin with an intention to reach progress sought (their more desired progress state). But a lack of resource – skills, knowledge, time etc – may mean they judge the progress potential as too low. Meaning they don’t start, or they abandon, the progress attempt.

Progress helpers offer to help seekers increase their progress potential, and reach a state of progress offered. This is a compromise for seekers, but often one they accept, and make progress attempts using the helpers progress proposition (a set of supplementary resources).

Value emerges from progress. With maximum value created by the seeker reaching their progress sought. Using a proposition means value is now co-created as progress is a joint endeavour. But maximum value is lower and achieved when reaching the progress offered state. Troubles in making progress can be see as value co-destruction.

Next steps

Next you could dive deeper nto each of the named states:

Or look at the other perspectives of progress

Or even delve into the complex world of value.

Add to the discussion…

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