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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 #59

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Happy Monday! Welcome to the July 22nd edition of the Monday Morning Meeting: A weekly collection of Filament news, tools you can use, and interesting ideas that will help you think differently about your week ahead.


VENTURE CAFE CORPORATE INNOVATION EXCHANGE: The Filament Team is heading to Boston in October to facilitate the RE: IMAGINE Corporate Innovation Exchange, a three-day conference we’ve built with our friends at Venture Cafe.

OFFERINGS COMING SOON: We’ll have our BOGO (Buy One / Give One) Sketch Session up on the site this week, along with a new Meeting Design Sprint offering.

THE SPRINT SPACE IS NEARLY COMPLETE! Look for a Sprint Space announcement next week. We’ve taken Matchbox Design’s old space and turned it into a super creative innovation space you can rent by the day, week, or month — and you’ll get a mix of our services with each engagement.


PREPARE BETTER FOR YOUR NEXT MEETING: Trying to plan your next team meeting? Here’s a Meeting Preparation Worksheet we created during our Meeting Design Sprint a few weeks ago. It is part of a full Meeting Kit we’re working on.


What would you give for an “Untouchable Day” each week where you can focus without meetings, interruptions, and calls? Here’s how to do it:

How do I carve out Untouchable Days? I look at my calendar sixteen weeks ahead of time, and for each week, I block out an entire day as UNTOUCHABLE. I put it in all-caps just like that, too. UNTOUCHABLE. I don’t write in all-caps for anything else, but I allow UNTOUCHABLE days to just scream out to me.

Why sixteen weeks ahead? The number of weeks isn’t as important as the thinking behind it. For me, that’s after my speaking schedule is locked in — but, importantly, before anything else is. That’s a magic moment in my schedule. It’s the perfect time to plant the Untouchable Day flag before anything else can claim that spot.

On the actual Untouchable Day itself, I picture myself sitting in a bulletproof car surrounded by two-inches of thick impenetrable plastic on all sides. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. Meetings bounce off the windshield. Texts, alerts, and phone calls, too. My cell phone is in Airplane Mode all day. My laptop has Wi-Fi completely disabled. Not a single thing can bother me… and not a single thing does.

Forget talent, hire for curiosity:

The world is changing so fast and in so many ways that we need leaders who are equally curious about how to create customer value as they are about creating social value as an enterprise.

Part ways with your organization’s Heretics:

This kind of employee, and we have all seen this up close, is negative about the Company and disses the management, coworkers, the board, the strategy, the workplace, and everything else under the sun. But for some reason the heretic prefers to stay and be miserable than to move on and find another place to work that is more to their liking. My friend states in his book that you have to part ways with heretics in your company, regardless of how talented they are, how connected they are, and even if they are protected in some way. You have to find a way out of the heretic mess.

It is hard for us to agree with this more: Why a Monthly Offsite is Crucial.

Remember “Opposite Day” in grade school? Austin Kleon shares his approach to writing that would work for organizations trying to build something new:

Making a list of everything stupid and idiotic that someone else is saying and then sitting down and trying to articulate the exact opposite.

Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers:

The fastest way to grow is to offer something that your current customers, those most loyal to you, would gladly pay for if you provided it and that, by virtue of them acquiring this new offering, it would make your original product or service even more valuable to them. And here is the catch: the new products that are launched do not need to be better than those of the established companies to be successful. As long as new products have synergies for the customer, they will likely get adopted.

Can’t wait to put this together.

A list of books for every age (literally).


"Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo" — John Sinclair

It’s okay — in fact, it’s better than okay — to make mistakes, really big mistakes sometimes.… That strikes me as where all the good stuff happens.” — Melissa Harris-Perry

“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (‘what can the world offer me?’) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (‘what can I offer the world?’)” ― Cal Newport

"Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart." — Mencius (Meng-Tse)

“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.” ― James Altucher