Issue #22

In this edition: more Filament events, the five D's of meetings, using questions to build a strategy, compounding ideas, avoiding overconfidence, science fiction, opposite movies, a Lego Shining, and more.

Issue #22

Welcome to Idea Surplus Disorder.  I’m Matt Homann, the founder of Filament, and I'm glad you're starting your week with me.

In this edition:  more Filament events, the five D's of meetings, using questions to build a strategy, compounding ideas, avoiding overconfidence, science fiction, opposite movies, a Lego Shining, and more.


  • We're opening the doors for another Filament Friday on July 7th. Come hang out with us, work in our Cortex space, and meet some other cool people.  We'll also set aside some informal "Sketch Session" time if you've got a challenge you're working on and would love some helpful thought partners.
  • July 11th is our next N.S.F.W. (New Skills for Work), and we'll be sharing our brand-new decision-making canvas (The Guide to Decide). RSVP here.
  • Filament's Book Club is now called BookStorming! Our next session will focus on creativity in business.  Sign up to stay in the loop!

Ideas + Insights

At Filament, we’ve implemented a meeting framework that helps us know in advance the type of conversations we'll have, and we keep every meeting to one of these Five D's:

  • Dreaming: Here's where our ideas bloom freely. We encourage an unrestricted exploration of possibilities. The objective? To visualize the future, regardless of how ambitious the idea may seem. An 'I don't know' is not just acceptable; it's welcomed as an indicator of pushing the boundaries of our thinking.
  • Discussing: This is all about open dialogue, probing deeper into topics, asking questions, and building understanding. We're ready to entertain different viewpoints in a vigorous but respectful discussion. Coming prepared with research and key questions to guide the conversation is essential.
  • Deciding: This is the critical juncture where decisions are made. We define who's responsible for making the decision, the factors that will guide them, and the process that will be followed.
  • Doing: Here's where plans are put into motion. We assign tasks and foster a clear sense of accountability.
  • Debriefing: Finally, we reflect on our journey. What worked? What didn't? How can we adapt and improve? This stage is all about learning from our actions and preparing for what lies ahead.

Before you go from goals to metrics, you need some questions in between:

There is a technique that I have used that uses questions to triangulate toward focused actions to then coordinate and focus action to effect a strategic goal. The technique is known as GQM, for Goals, Questions, and Metrics. GQM questions are intended to be a fairly complete inquiry into the Goal. Because of their completeness, GQM’s questions help you stay focused on what matters.

Compounding ideas drive more progress than individual genius:

If you view progress as being driven by the genius of individuals, of course it’s hard to imagine a future where things are dramatically better, because no individual is orders of magnitudes smarter than average.
But when you view it as one person coming up with a small idea, another person copying that idea and tweaking it a little, another taking that insight and manipulating it a bit, another yet taking that product and combining it with something else – incremental, tiny bits, little ideas mixing, joining, blending, mutating, and compounding together – it’s suddenly much more conceivable.

Want to prototype your organization's future?  Use science fiction:

Science-fiction prototypes are imagined laboratories based on (scientific) fact, that challenge creators and readers to critically reflect on the impact of science and emerging technologies and on the social and emotional responses of the world - including themselves.

Optimize your decision-making by avoiding overconfidence:

You might not know with certainty when the 100-year flood is coming, but you do know with certainty it will come. And that means you should leave yourself positioned accordingly.
The purpose of positioning is to make prediction unnecessary. You are prepared, or you are not. The argument for not preparing is one of efficiency. It’s more efficient to only prepare when you need to. Being prepared all the time carries a cost.
Overconfidence lulls you into a false sense of security about the future and ensures your position is weakest at the very moment you need it to be strongest. When the storm comes, it won’t give you a warning.

Bad days are like bad weather:

I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather.
Here are some obvious things about the weather: It’s real. You can't change it by wishing it away. If it's dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can't alter it. It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.
But. It will be sunny one day.

Fun Finds

Computer art from the 50's and 60's.

Eye Candy is a visual library of camerawork tricks.

What the web looks like when you're colorblind.

An AI Resume builder.

The Shining, but in Lego.

Opposite movies.  The first rule of Peace Club is to talk about it.

Words of Wisdom

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud
“If the hero or heroine didn’t have a flaw, it wouldn’t be tragic because it wouldn’t ‘mean’ anything. It would just be bad luck.” — Phyllis Rose
People will tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up.  In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours. – Ken Hakuta
You don't have to become something you're not to become better than you were. – Sidney Poitier
“What a Man wishes, he will also believe” – Demosthenes
"After you solve the biggest problem, something else becomes the biggest problem." – Balaji Srinivasan
"A photograph describes only that period of time in which it was made. Photography alludes to the past and the future only in so far as they exist in the present, the past through its surviving relics, the future through prophecy visible in the present.” – John Szarkowski
"Happiness is not perfected until it is shared." –  Phillip Sidney

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