2020年7月27日 星期一

Seth's Blog : Are we part of us?

Are we part of us?
Liberty is a state of mind. It can be seen as a chance for freedom, or a promise made but not kept. We can choose to be part of something or choose to be apart.

Liberty is the offer and promise and requirement of responsibility. A willingness to connect and to offer dignity in response to those around us.

Independence is actually about cooperation and interconnectedness.

Yet we’ve set up systems that limit what we see, how we connect and insulate us from the hard work that’s right in front of us.

One of the most important words I know doesn’t have a simple English equivalent, which says a lot. Sawubona, a Zulu term, means, “I see you.” Not just your face, of course, but your hopes, your dreams, where you came from and where you’re going. It’s not something we’re good at, and I need to do it better.

Figuring out the best way to see and understand and care about the people we call ‘us’ can be difficult indeed. And essential.

Seth's Blog : The difference between patina and cruft

The difference between patina and cruft
Cruft is obsolete. Cruft is broken, discarded, non-functioning refuse that should be hauled away.

Patina is the wabi-sabi of positive use. A bookshelf of well-worn encyclopedias (now replaced by Wikipedia) has a patina to it. Simply seeing it reminds us of the possibility of discovery.

Patina makes it easier to go forward. Cruft gets in our way.


 

Seth's Blog : Wasting second place

       

Wasting second place
100 people apply for a job. 99 are sent home. What if the winner hadn’t applied? You might have been thrilled with the person who almost got the job.

17,000 people apply to a famous college. Only 10% get in. But at least a third were good enough to get in but didn’t get lucky. What happens to their narrative?

Selective organizations need to get better about communicating to the people who ‘almost’ make it. And it’s an incredible waste to discard all the knowledge that was gained in the sorting process… how to share it to help someone else?



PS coming soon: A new session of The Story Skills Workshop. You can join the list today to find out more and get updates.

Seth's Blog : Doom scrolling

Doom scrolling
Being informed is a virtue. It helps us make better decisions and encourages us to take action.

Getting hooked on an endless scroll of media inputs is not the same as being informed. There’s long been a business model of urgent news (“man bites dog!”), but now it’s been leveraged, amplified and optimized to suck people in for hours at a time. And division is much easier to sell than progress.

If it’s not helping you take action to make things better, what’s it for?

Seth's Blog : Fake deadlines

Fake deadlines
Slack enables systems to function with more efficiency. That’s because unavoidable delays and errors compound in a system that doesn’t have enough buffer space.

But fake deadlines don’t solve this problem. Fake deadlines exist when we can’t trust others (or ourselves) to be clear about our progress or prioritize honestly. So we invent a date before we actually need something to arrive.

The challenge is that fake deadlines compound. Once someone on another project realizes that they’ve been outfoxed by a fake deadline, they’ll simply escalate their urgency as well. Or perhaps the provider realizes that we’ve been faking the deadlines, and so now there’s a whole new level of guessing about what the real deadline is.

Professionals don’t need fake deadlines and don’t respect them. Instead, we have the chance to build in appropriate slack, get our priorities straight and keep our promises.

Seth's Blog : Money costs money

       

Money costs money
Because there’s a cost to using it on one thing instead of another.

And because the person who invests money has choices, and often chooses the choice that works best for them.

Most people would be happy with a hotel that generates a profit of a thousand dollars a day. But if the hotel cost $50,000,000 to build, you’re bust.

Time costs money too.

That’s not the same as saying “time is money,” which it isn’t. Time is magnificent, hard to stockpile and impossible to recover.

But it still costs. Which means that it’s worth considering whether something worthwhile comes back for your investment and your effort.

Seth's Blog : Defending the status quo

Defending the status quo
Random House isn’t in the bookstore business, they’re in the business of publishing ideas that matter.

Audi isn’t in the gasoline business. They sell personal transportation.

You’re not in the business of having a job with an office. You are willing to trade time and effort in exchange for money and a chance to do work you’re proud of.

When the world changes, it’s tempting to fight hard to maintain the status quo that feels safe.

And so, utility companies lobby to ease emission standards, when they would be just fine if the standards were tightened. And so tech companies fight against new formats and new forms of exchange instead of leading with them. And of course, powerful cultural forces fight to preserve their hierarchies instead of figuring out how to thrive with new ones.

What we want and how we believe we get it are often two different things.