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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 #46

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Welcome to Filament’s Monday Morning Meeting: a mix of innovation news, the tools we use, and the interesting ideas to help you think differently about your week ahead.


Next week, we’re in NYC, facilitating three workshops we designed for our friends at ILTA.

As we get our Sprint Space ready to go, we’ll also be rolling out several new things in the next month, including Last Minute Meetings and Workshop Weeks. Stay tuned for more!

Need a Filament whiteboard fix? Check out our Instagram where Todd and Dawn are sharing some favorite illustrations from our first three years.


Last week on the blog, we shared how and why to use pre-mortems to lower the risk of a project’s future failure, along with a great worksheet we use with our customers.


Seth Godin (from his book the Icarus Deception) on the difference between the safety and comfort zones:

We don’t have time to reevaluate the safety zone every time we make a decision, so over time, we begin to forget about the safety zone and merely pay attention to its twin sister, the comfort zone. We assume that what makes us comfortable also makes us safe.

This is such a great time-management question we should be asking ourselves and our teams more often:

What’s the most important thing I can do today that would make tomorrow better?

Gino Wickman in Traction suggests you imagine your team’s problems as monkeys:

Envision all of your direct reports’ responsibilities, problems, and issues as monkeys. When your direct report walks into your office with a problem, he or she is trying to leave his or her monkey with you. At the end of the day, after multiple people have walked into your office with their problems and left them with you, you end up with 20 monkeys jumping around your office. If someone walks in with a monkey, he or she needs to walk out with it. If he or she can’t or won’t, you’ve hired the wrong person.

We’re always told we must “embrace failure” to innovate better, but I’m really taken by this suggestion from Jay Samit: embrace failing, not failure:

There is a difference between failing and failure. Failing is trying something that you learn doesn't work. Failure is throwing in the towel and giving up.

While I’m trying to use my phone less, I’m putting to use several of these great tips to help me use it more efficiently, and I bet you will, too.

The most profound thing I read this week is this list of 26 Ways to Know You’re Emotionally Mature. I’ll leave you with the first two, and suggest that you read the rest:

1. You realise that most of the bad behaviour of other people really comes down to fear and anxiety – rather than, as it is generally easier to presume, nastiness or idiocy. You loosen your hold on self-righteousness and stop thinking of the world as populated by either monsters or fools. It makes things less black and white at first, but in time, a great deal more interesting.

2. You learn that what is in your head can’t automatically be understood by other people. You realise that, unfortunately, you will have to articulate your intentions and feelings with the use of words – and can’t fairly blame others for not getting what you mean until you’ve spoken calmly and clearly.


“Failure sucks, but instructs.” — Tom Kelly

“Creation is not a moment of inspiration but a lifetime of endurance.” — Kevin Ashton

“Compelling as the idea of simplicity is, there’s no guarantee that nature itself has as much interest in simplicity as those attempting to describe it.” — John Brockman

“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.”  —  Dan Sullivan