wrapping paper.png


The Filament Blog

Posts in Creativity
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.

Read More
Monday Morning Meeting #16

Welcome to another Monday!  Here are the cool and interesting things we found this week.

Who doesn't love free stuff? has free stock images, videos, fonts and sounds.  Pretty cool!

In case you wondered why nobody is taking your well-meaning advice:  Why we dismiss negative feedback.

Looking for things to improve in your business?  Identify things people still do with spreadsheets and make them better.

Read More
Time-Boxing and the Minimally Viable Cat

Paul Dawson at Fluxx shares a great example of a constraints-driven exercise he calls "time boxing" to deliver a lesson on the power of constraints. After asking people to draw a cat in only 15 seconds -- he finds that their rushed drawings are all still pretty recognizable as a cat (my 15-second attempt is above).

He suggests that giving people a shorter amount of time doesn't make them draw something different, they just draw the same thing, only more elaborately:

Try time-boxing tasks (and particularly discussions) that seem hard, or decisions that take too long, and see what happens. You will almost certainly get as far as you need to in whatever time-box you allocate, and it will help you sift out what is important, and what is not.

Next time you're trying to get to the essence of something with your team, make sure you ask yourself if you really need more discussion time to make it perfect, or if you'll get the same insights from your minimally viable cat in a fraction of the time.

Read More
MMM #12

Happy President's Day!  It's time for another Monday Morning Meeting. Ready to go?

The Idea:  If you sleep 8 hours, you have about 1000 minutes left in your day -- essentially 100 ten-minute blocks.  How are you using them?

It’s always good to step back and think about how we’re using those 100 blocks we get each day. How many of them are put towards making your future better, and how many of them are just there to be enjoyed? How many of them are spent with other people, and how many are for time by yourself? How many are used to create something, and how many are used to consume something? How many of the blocks are focused on your body, how many on your mind, and how many on neither one in particular? Which are your favorite blocks of the day, and which are your least favorite?  Imagine these blocks laid out on a grid. What if you had to label each one with a purpose?

The Quote:  “It is surprising how much one can produce in a year, whether of buns or books or pots or pictures, if one works hard and professionally for three and a half hours every day for 330 days." - Leonard Woolf

Read More
In Defense of Generalists

Jorge Barba rises to the defense of generalists, and I think he's right -- and not just because I'm a generalist.  He calls out a problem we've encountered with our clients at Filament:

Today more than at any moment in time, organizations want innovation; but reject creativity. Think about that. The funny thing is the only type of innovation that comes from specialization is incremental, and that has an expiration date. The longer you improve the same thing, the fewer improvements you make. It’s why all organizational failure is self-inflicted: a failure of imagination that results from the curse of knowledge.

It takes a Generalist or jack of all trades to make connections across disciplines and stimulate creativity; the type that is disruptive and game-changing.

I also absolutely love his idea to create a "Challenge the Status Quo Day."

Read More