wrapping paper.png


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 #64



Happy Monday! We’re back from Orlando (and a quick weekend to Portland, Oregon) and gearing up for some cool work leading a handful of workshops this week.

One of the highlights of our week at ILTACON was an hour-long session we built called “N.S.F.W. (New Skills for Work): How to pitch faster, innovate smaller, fail bigger, change easier, meet smarter, critique better, and ask more.” It is an hour-long overview of some of the coolest things we’ve learned (and stolen) from our great customers. Here’s a link to the presentation. Let us know if you’d like a version for your team or organization!


Building a “roadmap” for your organization’s future seems like a great idea, but…

The trouble is, the metaphor is misleading. Conventional roadmaps chart the way to real places; change roadmaps are about imagined destinations. They assume that change is a predictable process of simple steps in cause and effect, where the consequences build in a linear fashion.

A tool originally developed to represent existing realities doesn’t work well as a mental model for creating new realities...if the world is a complex adaptive system and consists of complex adaptive sub-systems, is it surprising that linear, deterministic, and static tools so often fail?

I’m totally going to put these to the test with my daughter: Questions to ask instead of “how are you?”

Wondering why it is so hard to invent things that are obvious in hindsight? Ponder why we waited so long for the bicycle:

First, the correct design was not obvious. For centuries, progress was stalled because inventors were all trying to create multi-person four-wheeled carriages, rather than single-person two-wheeled vehicles. It’s unclear why this was; certainly inventors were copying an existing mode of transportation, but why would they draw inspiration only from the horse-and-carriage, and not from the horse-and-rider?

I’m not quite sure how to describe Ludwig, but it looks like an interesting addition to every writer’s toolbox.

Lots to chew on in these leadership lessons, including:

Repetition won’t spoil the prayer when communicating with your team. You need to keep everyone going in the same direction. The entire team needs to know and understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Defining the mission, the goals, the objectives, and the path will help you keep everyone moving together. But once you define those points, you need to repeatedly communicate them all to the team over and over and over again to make sure it’s fully understood, remembered and kept front of mind. You can’t do it just once a year. Do it once a month!

and this:

If your org chart doesn’t make sense, then most likely….. neither does your org. And don’t optimize your org for one or two people and de-optimize it for everyone else. Set things up in a clear way that optimizes for performance and growth of the entire organization.

Gone is an ephemeral to-do list where your tasks disappear after 24 hours if you don’t complete them.

Seek is the coolest app I’ve seen in a while. It uses the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Practically magic!


“The only way to consciously deactivate a thought is to activate another. In other words, the only way to deliberately withdraw your attention from one thought is to give your attention to another.” ― Esther Hicks

“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

"Always be prepared to think that experts are stupid. They often are." — Jane Jacobs