The Big Picture - April 2012 - (Page 4)
by Gregory Sharpless
www.bigpicture.net Gregory Sharpless Editor/Associate Publisher email@example.com Britney Grimmelsman Associate Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
In the early 1800s, northern Mexico was facing constant raids from Comanche Indians. Mexico had tried various ways to deal with the Comanche, including aggression, peace treaties, paciﬁcation by religion, and others. But for various reasons none of these strategies had worked for very long (if at all). Mexico, however, did manage to come up with an interesting solution to its problem: Permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain – mainly US citizens – to settle into Texas, which was then part of Mexico. These settlers were not only given permission to come into Texas, they were wooed: given large chunks of land – between 175 and 4400 acres, according to reports – at pennies on the acre, and would have to pay no taxes or customs duties for many years. Why would Mexico be so benevolent with its land and taxes? The hope was that a larger Texas population would discourage Comanche attacks. The new settlements and settlers would create a kind of “bu er zone” for Mexico between its major northern cities and the Comanche. Although Texas had only a population of about 3500 in 1825, that number had grown to nearly 40,000 in less than 10 years – and it would be this new group of settlers who would take on the brunt of hostilities with the Comanche in the years ahead. Once Texas became an independent republic and then a part of the United States, northern Mexico’s concerns with the Comanche were largely a thing of the past. Whether you agree or not with the particular strategy put in place here, you have to admit that it certainly shows that Mexico was willing to try a variety of options. It didn’t just stick with one game plan and follow that option no matter what. When one strategy did not work, it tried another and another, until it found one that was successful. They were not only persistent, but they were also resourceful and imaginative in dealing with this particular challenge. So my question to you here is: What challenges are you facing, and what strategies are you taking to overcome them? If your ﬁrst solution has failed – or not gotten you to where you want to be – are you ready with another option? Are your solutions of the easyto-come-by variety, or have you invested a bit of thought and imagination into them? And did you garner input from your sta , and get their backing for your new plan? Finding a solution to a challenge is rarely easy – but if you’re willing to not take the easy way out, you just might come up with an innovative answer to your problem.
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THE BIG PICTURE APRIL 2012
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The Big Picture - April 2012