Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why Dig Deep, Can't Something Just be for Fun?

A friend of mine recently was describing a complex and intriguing new mobile game by Google.  I was interested not so much in the game itself, but mostly in the individual's personal interest in the game.  I was intrigued by what parts of their being had them reacting positively to the games mechanics and philosophy.  To their great credit, they had much to say on these topics.  But at the same time they asked, 'can't something just be fun?' 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Idea Torrents - Full Speed Thinking

At a recent training seminar on the topic of Creative Problem Solving (hosted by Kristen Peterson) we were presented with a methodology for unleashing our brains from our assumptions and prejudices.  This strategy is rapid idea documentation.  It turns out that when we think deliberately, we tend to self-censor ideas that at first don't make sense to us.  We then often only document and develop ideas which feel "safe" and straight forward.

Creative ideas often result from one from having the gall to look at a topic from every angle no matter how ridiculous it may seem.  During the seminar we participated in a few exercises where we generated ideas using a Let it Flow mentality.  We were tasked with documenting simple ideas at high speed with a focus on high quantity.  This method took away our mind's usual way of self censoring ideas.

I loved this so much, that I went wild when asked to brainstorm, for a couple of minutes, ideas on how to make Walt Disney Imagineering remarkable.  As already stated, this list is fast and furious with no censorship.  The quality and potential of the ideas may be uneven, the the quantity opens many doors of possibility...

How to Make Walt Disney Imagineering Remarkable

  • Encourage Movement of Cast
  • Require Defined Objectives
  • Commit to Honesty
  • Embrace our Gut Feelings
  • Develop Business Cases for Our Preferences
  • Take Actions to Make You the Change That Makes Walt Disney Obsolete
  • Have Courage to Commit to the Well Being of Our Guests
  • Assume Yes!
  • Develop Emotional Literacy
  • Require Feedback
  • Educate Ourselves on Humility of the Individual Guest's Experience
  • Share Our Passions
  • Demand Evidence & Support of Ideas
  • Talk to Our Audience
  • Define Our Values
  • Choose Flexibility
  • Require Accountability
  • Eliminate "We" from Commitments
  • Require Respect
  • Stand as Individuals
  • Embrace our Differences
  • Require Cross-Pollination of Personalities
  • Eliminate "We" from Declarations
  • Only Accept Service Oriented Leadership
  • Eliminate Hierarchy

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Path to Empathy - Wait, How Did I Get Here?

One year ago I was reveling in the excitement of self directed learning, yet I isolated myself from the emotional consequences of what I was learning.  Since then, I have undergone an empathetic awakening like nothing I have experienced in my memory.  Today, I find myself in the position of being a philosophical mentor to most everyone around me.  Strangely, while I command much respect for my incisive thinking into complex emotional struggles, I find my attitude softened, with a humble humility pervading my communication tone and methodology.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Questioning One's Career - A Student Asks a Professional...

Do not fear answering a question with more
conviction or seriousness than it was asked

About one year ago I was approached by a creative and driven young student to participate in a school career project in which the student interviews a professional about their career and industry.  As one may expect, the questions asked were dictated to the student by the teacher, and as also expected, they were bland and uninspired.  Given my respect for the creativity and curiosity of this student, I threw myself full force into answering each question with the full force of the wisdom I had earned through my experiences and choices.

Given that they are from one year ago, I was hit hard by how much clarity and insight many of these answers posses.  On the other hand it is also clear to me how little empathy these responses contain.  One year ago, while I had acquired much wisdom, I was very disconnected from my feelings.

In the last year, I have focused much more on the development of my emotional empathy, and as such, my thoughts and language have softened quite a bit.  I hope you will find these responses useful in your own journey to self discovery.