Monday Morning Meeting #19

Welcome to another Monday Morning Meeting.  Grab your coffee and check out a few things we think you'll like.

Such a great question from Hugh via the Great Work Study:

What difference could I make that other people would love?

Looking for your next book to read?  Kooba is a nifty book recommendation search engine with a great interface and some AI secret mojo behind the curtain.

This one's not about work, but if you grew up in the late 70's you know you'll read this:  Meatballs, an Oral History.

Some sobering reading for parents: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?  Related: Your Smartphone Reduces Your Brainpower by Just Sitting There.

Jim McGee's been thinking about all the new "productivity" tools we quickly pick up and then fail to optimize:

In trades and crafts, the most experienced and effective practitioners would never invest in cheap tools or materials. Learning to use those tools and materials effectively is the work of years of deliberate practice. The strategy shouldn’t be any different if you are manipulating ideas than if you were manipulating clay. But the marketing and deployment of software rejects these hard won lessons. Software fame and fortune is built on promises of simplicity and ease of use, where ease of use has been interpreted as ease of getting started and minimally productive. We’ve all become facile with learning the first 5% of new tools and services. We’ve been led to believe or we pretend that this is enough. Few among us are prepared to invest in pushing further. Fewer still belong to organizations willing to support this investment.

Want a motivational tip for your facilitation toolbox?  Get people to think in sets:

Simply present assignments, requests, or items as arbitrary sets, rather than as individual units.  New research reveals that people are irrationally but effectively motivated by the idea of completing a set, even if it means working harder or spending more money—with no additional reward other than the satisfaction of completion and the relief of avoiding an incomplete set. Imagine arriving at your boss’s summer BBQ and presenting her with five beers in a box designed to hold six. No matter that your favorite craft beer store permits you buy bottles one at a time. Chances are you’d still buy six, just to fill all six spaces in the box.

Here's a way to get inside the mind of DaVinci:  peruse one of his digitized notebooks.

Finally, we're launching a new newsletter at Filament called -- you guessed it -- the Monday Morning Meeting.  Look for details next week.