(Nearly) every morning, I'm making it my goal to clean out all the stories that I've had on my reading list and pick a few that paint together well. Here's what I came up with today:
I’m in the “I don’t know” camp. Freedom to explore the unknown has to come from admitting where you stand relative to the problem. How can you be creative when you “know” everything? How can you open up the space to do your most daring work if you are focused on closing the gaps in your public facing, confident emotional armour?
“She had a sort of daring imagination,” recalled McMullen, a 1998 Fields medalist. “She would formulate in her mind an imaginary picture of what must be going on, then come to my office and describe it. At the end, she would turn to me and say, ‘Is it right?’ I was always very flattered that she thought I would know.”
See that first sentence? I would die a happy people-thing to have a description like that applied to my life. An incredible brilliance, realised through prose in a way that is lighting my mental fire this morning.
This sentence stuck out at me:
Create a culture that can extract the absolute maximum from these accidents, not one that hides them away and makes sure they don’t happen again.
Within the modern “ship-it; fail fast” mentality, there seem to be glints of this wisdom. That said, I think the comparison falls away after reading this:
Don’t start to solve a problem by employing a current solution or way of working – try and understand what outcomes need to be achieved, then work backwards from there.
There’s plenty of room for imaginative leaps, especially if you are only guided by a few simple outcomes. Meshes well with the humble wisdom of Maryam Mirzakhani above.