Sunday, 11 October 2009

Wonky-shots and staplers of the mind

Henry my architect friend, in exploring my iPhone camera, inadvertently captures two partially obscured, wonky images of himself. Then ‘working with what he got’ he abstracts the images with provocative effect.

It occurs to me that his using these “accidental” images is thinking entrepreneurially: trying out new things for unexpected effect. Then taking the effect to another level by imaginatively working with what he’s got.

This is so different to what's taught and assessed in schools: beginning with the specified result figure out causative chain that produced it; understand, document, standardise and learn it then organise a linear process to reliably replicate it.

The latter approach (linear causal thinking) is the world of the stapler, the folder and the file. For more on that try Your Stapler is Making Assumptions: about how the objects and designs around us represent and determine our logic.

In most of the business contexts that I work in, the stapler reigns. Especially amongst the educated. In contrast the entrepreneurs probably succeeded at being ejected from school: avoiding being conventionally schooled. 

No wonder it’s so difficult to get employees to think like businesspeople: way more fundamental than “getting buy-in”. It’s about food for thought: a diet of wonky-shots instead of staplers for the mind.

That prompts a little spur-of-the-moment poem:

Staple diet.

I feel so much better

When I’ve followed to the letter

The procedures that I learned

At school


When the information

Is properly tabulated

The pages neatly stapled

And filed


When I’ve aligned my goals

With my grandest aspirations

Stapled them in A3 to

The wall


Then all I need’s a job

With the incumbent tasks prescribed

And a clear secure route to

The top.

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