Idea Surplus Disorder #54

In this edition of Idea Surplus Disorder: SuperCollider, the meeting limit, RFPs, advice for founders, why "change management" is a myth, title theater, timeshielding, cats, more (different) cowbell, the singing-impaired, and more.

Idea Surplus Disorder #54

Good morning, and happy Monday!

In this edition of Idea Surplus Disorder: SuperCollider, the meeting limit, RFPs, advice for founders, why "change management" is a myth, title theater, timeshielding, cats, more (different) cowbell, the singing-impaired, and more.

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

Introducing SuperCollider

We're launching something super-cool in May with our friends at CIC and Cortex.

It's called SuperCollider and is a monthly event in the Cortex Innovation District that delivers a concentrated day of progress and practical learning to teams of three or more.  

SuperCollider will be a practical, results-oriented experience designed to enhance teamwork and drive innovation, all within the span of a single, productive day.  

  • Work: Give your team the perfect environment to push projects forward with complimentary access to CIC’s co-working space and amenities — including private offices for teams of five or more.
  • Learn:  Equip your team with real-world business skills by attending Filament-led workshops and leave with tools and techniques you can put to work right away.
  • Help: Strengthen your team's culture in creative brainstorming sessions with mission-driven nonprofits, giving them fresh perspectives on their most critical needs.
  • Do:  Discover innovative solutions for your business as you connect with peers in creative discussions where practical insights emerge from addressing common challenges together.

Whether you're leading a company, managing a ten-person team, or changing the world in a three-founder startup, SuperCollider will help you accelerate your work, learn new approaches, meet new peers, and collaborate on solutions with genuine impact!

Look for more soon!

Ideas + Insights

Should two hours of meetings each day be the limit?

More than half of executives polled said they had too many meetings, while 27 per cent of rank-and-file workers said the same. A surfeit of meetings can force people to get tasks done after hours, something that about two out of five workers do at least once a week. The effects were the same whether the meetings were virtual or in person.pending more than two hours a day in meetings can hurt productivity, a new survey found, putting a ceiling on an element of the daily grind that many workers have come to dread.

I'm really feeling this sentiment this week: if you truly hate someone, give them an RFP.

Either/Org is a growing repository of all things organizational design. Check out their Inspiration Library for a bunch of great resources, articles, case studies, and more.

Life-sized holograms for meetings are (finally?) here!

These 100 "best bits of advice" for founders include these gems:

  • If you personally want to grow as fast as your company, you have to give away your job every couple months. Molly Graham on scaling startups.
  • The quality of your questions determines the quality of the feedback you receive. Instead of asking vague questions like, "Do you have any feedback for me?" or "How can I improve?" ask specific questions to unearth truly constructive feedback. How can this deliverable be 10% better? What would make you “love” this instead of just “like” it? Shivani Berry on becoming a feedback magnet.
  • When it comes to public speaking, keep polishing your best idea, don’t continue trying to mine for brand-new gems. Think of your favorite song. Do you ever get tired of hearing that song? It’s the same with a strong talk. Anjuan Simmons on building a personal brand.
  • When managers get ready to give hard feedback, they do a lot of prep work. Maybe they write a script or even go through a practice session with a friend. But think about how little work goes into giving folks praise. Russ Laraway on upping your management game.
  • The longer someone works for you, the harder it is to change their behavior. The longer you don't deal with something, the less likely you can fix it. Michael Lopp on tough conversations.
  • Resilient founders don’t ask “Which competitor are we scared of?” Instead, it's “What's the new product that would terrify us the most if it were launched tomorrow? What fully-formed company would be an existential threat to us, whether it exists or not? And if it doesn’t exist, why aren’t we building it?” Bob Moore on founder resilience.

Got to make a reference call on a potential hire? Here are 25 great questions you could ask.

Does your company engage in Title Theater?

This is when key titles change, and often the job descriptions change, but the same people are performing the same role as before.

Change management is strategy:

Change management has always been an add-on, a concept acknowledged but rarely implemented, in major change situations like implementing a new strategy or a new enterprise system.
Companies and people need to be able to change, anticipate change, prepare for it and execute change effectively.  If a company is building strategy, a key component of that strategy should be what change is necessary, and how quickly should we be able to change? 

Timeshielding blocks time on your calendar to do the things that interest you (vs. discreet tasks):

Make room in your calendar for your curiosity attractors, the rabbit holes and the mind wandering that can lead to unexpected creative breakthroughs. Let go of outcome-based goals for a few hours every week and focus on your creative output, with no performance metric or specific result in mind, other than feeling inspired and sharing your ideas with the world.

Disagree with a leadership decision in your organization? Here are five questions that will help you come to terms with it:

  • What specific situation do I disagree with?
  • How will setting aside my disagreement benefit me? 
  • How will setting aside my disagreement benefit my team? 
  • What information might the decision-maker(s) have that I don’t? 
  • By accepting this decision, what specific actions am I committing to take? 

Fun Finds

Words of Wisdom

"Believe you can and you're halfway there." – Theodore Roosevelt
"Your unconscious can't work when you are breathing down its neck." – Anne Lamott
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." – Confucius
“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.” – Alfred North Whitehead
"Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in." – Bill Bradley
"There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line." – Oscar Levant
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious." – Albert Einstein
"All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." – Albert Camus

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