Snacking on Sunshine

In one of the most layered and engaging comics I’ve enjoyed in some time, this past Sunday’s “Over the Hedge” features Hammy taking a bite of sunshine.

While that itself is delightful, today’s riff is on the side comments. “We’re going to pretend that never happened, right?” To anyone charged with product leadership and innovation, those are far too familiar. Innovation cannot be demanded. Like so many other positive attributes, good results are seduced rather than cajoled.

In teaching the Systemkey framework, we see one particular reactions along this continuum over and over: skepticism (if not outright distain)>> [learn more]>> questioning >> [learn more]>> strong endorsement, even enthusiasm.

25 April 2010 Over the Hedge Comic

In a mentoring session several weeks ago, @billmeade, made the statement which I whole-heartedly support and endorse, “How do you get inventions? You love people!” It really is that simple. Whether you buy into Maslow’s needs or not, when people are comfortable, they relax and allow their natural, childlike creativity to flourish. If you have any doubt that profound “disruptive” technologies have their start in the happy coincidence of right place, right time, invest in a rewatch of James Burke’s fascinating series Connections. More than a century ago, Pasteur remarked that “Chance favors the prepared mind” and researchers in areas from optics to Teflon have benefited from being prepared.

What people marvel over the most is how we have the audacity to put chuckleheads [Bill & Bob’s meaning] in the middle of high-value project teams. We do it for the same reason the Beatles did it! There are many more examples to come in the next blog in this series: Munching on Moonbeams, so stay tuned!

Keep the Faith,


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A walk in the forest…

Systems Thinking teaches us how to scale our perspective to study the forest or the trees, while Systems Engineering tells us what to do with the data we find.

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