Thursday, 15 July 2010

Smooth sea or rough sea?

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors" is a proverb you hear now and then. But maybe it is a little bit more complicated than that.

On the right side (in model above) you can see the "rough sea" that has at least two sides. One is of course the fact that it provides training, turning the sailor into a great sailor. But it is also dangerous and might cause the death of sailors. And maybe make other sailors abandon the job - becoming a farmer or tailor.

On the left side we can see that "smooth sea" creates romantic settings which can inspire to romantic meetings. And romantic meetings can result in children. These children grow up to become either sailors or non-sailors. And those who become sailors might get a chance - in rough sea - to become great sailors.

Being a great sailor increases the chance to return to harbor and have romantic meetings of course. Smooth sea also increase that chance, of course.

Another consideration is that romantic meeting might not always be good since the sailor might prefer romance over rough sea training. And that way missing out on training and fall back to become an ordinary sailor.

The yellow boxes are both needed, i.e. we need both rough sea and smooth sea to create great sailors. Not at the same time, and not with same purpose. But both still needed.

So, the answer to the question "What sea is best? Smooth or rough?" is always:
"Both smooth and rough."

Best answer to "or" is often "and".

Monday, 12 July 2010

Forward & Backward

We can think forward and backward.

I like the cute example with an acorn on the field. A kid and mother comes close and the kid asks "Why is there an acorn there?"

In backward-thinking mode the mother now can respond by telling how it got there. Look back and explain. As in:
"Well, maybe a squirrel dropped it there" or "The large tree over there dropped it" or "Maybe a kid or animal played with it and just left it there."

All good responses. And only imagination limits the kind of answers the mother can give.

In forward-thinking mode the response looks into the future. As in:
"It is there to grow and become a large oak tree" or "It is there to become a squirrel dinner" or "It is there to be found by a kid. And the kid will play with it."

Switch between these forward and backward modes when answering questions. Not all why-questions has to be answered based on the past.

And many times it is more interesting what will be or become - than what has been.

There is sometimes also a non-thinking-mode when answering questions. How about if the mother in the above example answered:
"Shut up and keep walking" or "How should I know? I didn't put it there!" or even "Don't you learn anything in school?"

So, Think when you respond. And use both forward and backward thinking. And practice forward-thinking to explore and shape the future!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Package & map & improvement

Found an old map of some thoughts about packages. It really jump-started my brain again. Making me think about different perspectives about packages and why they are useful. And why they are harmful.

Re-thinking some of the "good" and "bad" sides could lead to interesting improvements and innovations.

Making a "map" of a product or situation makes it easy to start improving. Start anywhere in the map and re-think. Play with the map and find ways to remove and reduce the red (harmful) and add and increase the green (useful).


Tuesday, 6 July 2010

"Why models?"

I love the book "Orbiting the Giant Hairball" by Gordon MacKenzie. In fact, I asked the publisher for permission to publish a small section of the book. I was allowed to publish the section for a few months for a fee. But, I didn't. Seemed silly to pay to be able to quote Gordon for a limited time.

Anyway - here you can find one great text from the book: "Why models?"