Idea Surplus Disorder #48

In this edition: extreme brainstorming, teams-in-name-only, buying time by saying no, voice notes, compliment sandwiches, banishing guilt, Pink Panther themes, crying babies, and more.

Idea Surplus Disorder #48

Good morning from icy St. Louis, Missouri.

In this edition of Idea Surplus Disorder: extreme brainstorming, teams-in-name-only, buying time by saying no, voice notes, compliment sandwiches, banishing guilt, Pink Panther themes, crying babies, and more.

I’m Matt Homann, the founder of Filament, and I’m glad you’re here!

Filament Friday + New Skills For Work

Join us this Friday (January 26th) for our first Filament Friday of the year.

Filament Friday is a unique blend of networking, co-working, and skill-sharing where you can meet new innovation-focused peers, find new ways to overcome current work challenges, and roll up your sleeves to make real progress on that project that never seems to get off the ground. You’ll leave with new connections, actionable strategies, and innovative ideas you can implement right away.

Next Tuesday (January 30th), we'll explore creative ways to identify your organization's "why" at New Skills For Work.

Ideas + Insights:

We could build a week-long workshop exploring these extreme brainstorming questions. Here are a few I'd like Filament to answer better this year:

  • If you were forced to increase your prices by 10x, what would you have to do to justify it?
  • If all our customers vanished, and we had to earn our growth and brand from scratch, what would we do?
  • What would be the most fun thing to build?
  • What if you were forced to charge customers in a completely different manner?
  • What if you could change anything, regardless of what anyone thinks or feels?
  • What if our only goal were to create the most good in the world, personally for our customers?

Maybe collaboration is hard in a hybrid world because you're no longer on a real team:

Teams-in-name-only are groups that claim to be a team, but lack emotional commitment and shared purpose. They are like working groups, but without the efficient processes and individual responsibility. Work gets done, but not always in the most efficient or effective manner. Being on a team-in-name-only requires neither discipline nor commitment, which typically makes it the default mode of working.

Want to plan a successful offsite? Here's a list of resources you can use – or you could just call Filament. ;-)

I can't wait to dig into this list of 100 Books on Progressive Organizations and Managing Well.

Here's a great communication exercise from Bernard Roth's Achievement Habit:

This exercise ideally involves a partner, though you can do it alone, playing both roles. One partner gives a statement, starting with “The reason I . . .” The other partner responds, “That’s a goooood reason.” Do this for about five minutes, then reverse the roles so that the second partner starts the conversation with “The reason I . . . ,” and the first partner now affirms each such statement as being a goooood reason.

In our culture of yearly resolutions, we don't ask the bigger questions enough, like "What could you do in a decade?"

Imagining how you’d like the next ten years of your life to be, and then asking yourself what a reasonable investment of energy would look like to accomplish those things, leads to an obvious follow-up question: how does the daily life needed to reach those ambitions compare to what you’re doing now?
There will always be a gap between our highest pursuits and our everyday reality. But being mindful of that gap is one of the best motivators to make change. It may be hard to hit a distant target, but as the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar remarked, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

We've been telling our clients for years that compliment sandwiches don't work:

If you avoid that risk and manage to be genuine about the positives, they can drown out the negatives. Research shows that primacy and recency effects are powerful: we often remember what happens first and last in a conversation, glossing over the middle. When you start and end with positive feedback, it’s all too easy for the criticism to get buried or discounted… especially if you’re talking to a narcissist.
Giving a compliment sandwich might make the giver feel good, but it doesn’t help the receiver.

Need more time? Buy it back by saying "no" more:

The obvious way to buy back your time is to pay someone to do something for you. Pay the mechanic to change your oil or a dry cleaner to press your suit.
The less obvious way to buy back your time is to say no. Passing on a promotion might "buy" you more time with family. Declining the dinner invite might "pay" for the time you need to exercise. We buy back our time not only with the money we spend, but also with the opportunities we decline.

For younger students, reading digitally for leisure was associated with lower reading comprehension:

The researchers suggest that more “shallow” cognitive processes might be invoked by digital text characteristics such as “short length and fast-paced stimuli,” in contrast to print reading materials. They also speculate about a “lower linguistic quality of digital texts” as potentially adverse to reading skills development. 

Feeling guilty about losing touch with someone? Here's a sentence from Dr. Edith Egar to help you reconnect:

I give you a sentence,” she said, “One sentence — if I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently.” That’s the end of that, she said. “Guilt is in the past, and the one thing you cannot change is the past.

Why does every coffee shop look the same?

Simply existing as a coffee shop isn’t enough; the business has to cultivate a parallel existence on the internet, which is a separate skill set entirely. “It almost feels like, you must have a social media acumen, you must be savvy in this area that is adjacent to your business, but not directly embedded in your business, in order to be successful and visible.”

A three-minute speed-reasoning test can be as reliable as longer, much more expensive tests.

Fun Finds

Words of Wisdom

"At some point, you’ll have to move from imitating your heroes to emulating them. Imitation is about copying. Emulation is when imitation goes one step further, breaking through into your own thing." – Austin Kleon
"Assume the reader knows nothing. But don't assume the reader is stupid." – Ann Handley
"All businesses are loosely functioning disasters." – Brent Beshore
"The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong." — Francis Crick
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” – Von Goethe
"Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.” – Normal Vincent Peale
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Marthe Troly-Curtin
"Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed."Terrence McKenna

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