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The Filament Blog


We all suffer from a profound case of “Idea Surplus Disorder” at Filament — and we think that’s a good thing. Here are some of those ideas we’d like to share with you.



Monday Morning Meeting #17

Welcome to Filament's Monday Morning Meeting. Here are a few of the things we'd like to share to help you make this week a good one!

Just because we have more ways to communicate than ever doesn't mean we've gotten better at it:

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  – George Bernard Shaw (via Swiss Miss)

Solving problems forward isn't always as effective as solving them backward.

It is not enough to think about difficult problems one way. You need to think about them forwards and backward...  Let's take a look at some examples. Say you want to improve innovation in your organization. Thinking forward, you'd think about all of the things you could do to foster innovation. If you look at the problem by inversion, however, you'd think about all the things you could do that would discourage innovation. Ideally, you'd avoid those things. Sounds simple right? I bet your organization does some of those ‘stupid' things today.

Here's a great list of team-building games.  You've likely heard of many, but here was a new one for me:  

Team Building Game #20: You Get One Question

Come up with several scenarios in which a person would be chosen to do something. For example, it might be a new job hire, marriage, leading an organization, or commanding an army. Ask each team member to come up with the “perfect” question — but only one! — that should be asked of a person that would determine if they were the perfect fit for the scenario. Have each team member write their question down. When all scenarios have been covered, discuss the questions as a group and see what each team member thinks would be the perfect question.

Purpose: Team members quickly learn how each other thinks differently. The perfect question that each comes up with will reflect their motives and what they think matters the most. This is an excellent way to lead into a discussion on how team members determine who is capable and who they will follow or trust.

Hate the bedroom in the children's book Goodnight Moon?  You're not alone.


Need some good 70's stock photography to go with that awesome powerpoint?  Retronaut has got you covered.

Some super tips for scaling yourself as a leader.

And finally, a great story about the power of asking "why" more than once:

Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. Simply put, birds -- in huge numbers -- were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience.

Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial. Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"

A little bit of investigation revealed the following:

  • The birds were attracted to the Jefferson Memorial because of the abundance of spiders -- a gourmet treat for birds.
  • The spiders were attracted to the Memorial because of the abundance of midges (insects) that were nesting there.
  • And the midges were attracted to the Memorial because of the light.

Once they turned the lights on an hour later at the Memorial, the midges were gone (along with the spiders, birds, and all the poop) -- proving that asking "why" enough times can clean up a lot that smells in any situation. ;-)

See you next week!