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Possibility Deficit Disorder

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What is PDD?

Possibility Deficit Disorder (PDD) is the pervasive and persistent experience of ‘no possibility’ now, and no attractive prospects in the future. PDD is widespread in modern times. At the national level it is evidenced in the lack of ambitious ventures in technology development, industrial policy, educating necessary resources, infrastructure planning, national security, and transportation. PDD can be observed at the corporate level in ineffective product development, low employee morale, low customer loyalty, high staff turnover, lack of cooperation between functions, self-protective behavior between individuals, and distrust between hierarchy and employees. PDD is demonstrated in individual lives in lack of vitality, self-expression, money, positive relationships, health, dysfunctional marriages and families, absence of ambition, and continuous complaints about how things are.

PDD is not the same as clinical depression. Depression is also accompanied by a loss of the experience of possibility. However, PDD does not necessarily imply a loss of one’s ability to cope, earn a living, or to function in daily life or corporate operations. PDD is a loss of future focus, inspiration, and the ability to create new possibilities for one’s self and others.

PDD is a major cause of the lack of innovation in corporations and national competitiveness. Successful innovation is the basis of competitive success in business, government and in life itself. There is an inverse relationship between the inability to create and sustain new possibilities and the ability to invent and sustain innovation. Curiously, because of PDD, corporations and individuals do not identify the lack of possibility as the root of their recurring challenges, problems and lack of creativity. The very condition precludes them becoming aware of the fact that the lack of possibility is the root of the problem. It is a transparent double bind.

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