Uncategorized, Self-Realisation

The thing about maps

Sometimes, when we’re lost, we refuse a map, even when offered.

Because the map reminds us that we made a mistake. That we were wrong.

But without a map, we’re not just wrong, we’re also still lost.

A map doesn’t automatically get you home, but it will probably make you less lost.

(When dealing with the unknown, it’s difficult to admit that there might not be a map. In those cases, a compass is essential, a way to remind yourself of your true north…)

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Machine unreadable

More and more, we create our work to be read by a machine.

SEO specialists tell you how to write a blog post that Google will like. Your resumé needs to have the right keywords to get tagged. Everything has an ISBN, an ASIN or a catalog number. Ideas become data become databases…

We did the same thing when assembly lines started up. Every part had to be the same size, the cogs in the system were less important than the system itself.

Being machine readable might feel like a shortcut to getting where you’re going. After all, fitting in as a machine-readable cog into the database of ideas gets you a faster start. But it’s also the best way to be ignored, because you’ve chosen to be one of the many, an idea that’s easy to pigeonhole and then ignored.

What happens if your work becomes machine unreadable?

So new we don’t have a slot for it.

So unpredictable that we can’t ignore it.

So important that we have to stop feeding the database and start paying attention instead…

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The work not yet done

Could be…

That you don’t know what needs to be done.

That you don’t know how to do what needs to be done.

That you’re afraid to do what needs to be done.

It’s frustrating. We want to move up, we want our project to make more of an impact, we want to ship–but the undone work hangs over us.

If you care enough, the path forward is clear, isn’t it?

You can model what needs to be done, basing your next steps on what others have done before you. You can ask your boss or your clients for an agenda. You can test and test again. You can leap.

You can learn how to do what you don’t know how to do. You can improve your skills, get better tools and do the hard work of actually getting better at the work.

But most of all, you can realize that the most urgent work is the work of dancing with our fear, because the fear is the real reason the work isn’t getting done.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The real law of averages

If you want to raise the standards of any group, improving the top of the heap isn’t nearly as effective as focusing your effort on the base instead.

Simple example: Getting a Prius to go from 50 miles per gallon to 55 miles per gallon isn’t nearly as important as getting SUVs to go from 10 miles per gallon to 15. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there are a lot more SUVs than Priuses. The second is that they use far more gallons, so a percentage increase has far more yield. (You can’t average averages).

If you care about health and a culture of performance, it’s tempting to push Olympic athletes to go just a tenth of a second faster. It’s far more effective, though, if you can get 3,000,000 kids to each spend five more minutes a day walking instead of sitting.

Organizations pamper and challenge the few in the executive suite, imagining that one more good decision in the biz dev group could pay off. The thing is, if every one of the 10,000 customer-facing employees was more engaged and kind, it would have a far bigger impact on the company and those it serves.

I think the reason we focus on the few is that it feels more dramatic, seems more controllable and is ultimately easier. But the effective, just and important thing to do is to help the back of the line catch up.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The overflowing outbox

Deadlines are vitamins for creativity.

If you’ve got too much in progress, too much of a buffer, too many items ready to go, it’s easy to slip back to complacency. Without the feeling of imminent, it’s easier to hide.

If you’re the kind of person that needs a crisis to move forward, feel free to invent one. Take the good ideas that aren’t going anywhere and delete them, give them away, hand them off to your team.

An empty outbox is a mother of invention.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Cheap symbolism

The engineering mindset tells us that all that matters is what’s under the surface, the measurable performance.

Designers know that perception is at least as valuable.

Symbolic acts are rarely cheap or wasted if they work. Because we’re story-telling creatures, and symbols are clues about which story we ought to tell ourselves.

Symbolism isn’t cheap. It’s priceless.

Reblogged from: here