#135 The work mindsets

Happy Sunday, everyone.

In addition to the “design + build + run” mission component of my boys’ robotics team, there is also an innovation project assignment. Its requirements include developing a “desirability, feasibility, viability” style presentation and creating a prototype for their innovation.

At last week’s meeting, the team of four boys and a girl passed the crucial point in all innovation projects where you have to stop thrashing and start subtracting.

All teams of any size doing any type of work cross this threshold — when the creativity mindset takes second seat to the focus mindset.

Here are my notes from last week.

Notes on Work

  • There are dozens of ways to dissect the anatomy of work. To simplify things, let’s look at the two mindsets for doing any type of work from mowing the lawn to sending people to Mars.

  • The two mindsets are Creativity and Focus

    • The Creativity mindset is

      • surrendering to discovery and curiosity

      • exploring any and all ideas and possibilities

      • looking for buried treasure on an island without a map

    • The Focus mindset is

      • the elimination of options

      • the devotion to discipline

      • the execution of a well-groomed plan

Look back at any good work that “gets done” and these two mindsets were present. If you miss the creativity phase, your work falls flat. If you miss the focus phase, your work falls down. Hold the tension of both, and good work can become great.

Until next time, friends.


P.S. I’ve followed the web-publishing landscape for a while now. It’s interesting to see companies carve out their corner. I’m considering moving this newsletter to Papyrus.

P.S.S How to win without talent or luck by Sahil Bloom

P.S.S.S For my creative partner, Elliot, this song was made from 45 years of “Apple sounds”.

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