What you do, how you got here, what you think

I’m constantly amazed, when hearing people formally present their ideas, by the balance of where they spend their time.

It’s immeasurably safer to catalogue your credentials, your track record, and the path that brought us to today.  Unfortunately, we can look nearly all of that up that pretty easily nowadays.

What we’re hoping you’ll do is to lay it bare by sharing your thoughts about the road ahead.  We don’t expect them to be right, we just expect them to be honest so that we can start a real conversation.

Every project has a marshmallow

I mentioned Tom Wujec’s TED-U talk in one of my TED conference roundups, so I was excited to see the talk go on the TED site today. From the TED blurb:

Tom Wujec presents some surprisingly deep research into the “marshmallow problem” — a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?

It’s easy to say things like “we need different approaches to problem-solving” and “it’s not all about rational, linear thinking and finding a single answer.”

But pat observations don’t pack nearly as much punch as an experiment, run multiple times with thousands and thousands of people – of all ages and educational backgrounds – that shows truly surprising results about who solves complex, team-oriented problems better or worse.

It’s a 7 minute video and it’s worth every minute.  (you especially have to see this if you are a parent, engineer, MBA, executive assistant).

(how it relates to the 30-second FedEx commercial will be obvious).

And more can be found at the marshmallow challenge website.

Tom Wujec’s talk:

…and the great, irreverent FedEx commercial:

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