Reading an article the other day about seven types of people (personalities).
Now ask yourself 3 questions
How do I view
You will often find we are a victim of our self image. So how do we map who we really are (the answer to number 2) to who we desire to be (number 1) and how do we relate to those who receive from us (number 3).
We often design our products with our own self image in mind and it causes our output to fall flat as our consumers can't relate to our vision.
Getting to the correct answer is not always as easy as it seems it should be. One of the leading roadblocks is personal bias. Personal biases are a culmination of our experiences, beliefs, misconceptions, desires, motivations, pride and many other elements that make up our day-to-day thought patterns. Unfortunately, personal bias can be destructive when it comes to solving problems. Yes, I know that's a bold statement. I wont get into the justification here; let’s just assume that I am right. That is your first exercise in letting go of a personal bias…
The goal of this article is to discuss ways to reduce your personal biases and thus experience a richer set of successes, correct answers and rewarding experiences. For the seeker of simplicity and innovation, this will mean a greater probability of creating perfect solution.
To overcome personal bias, one must:
Perhaps Steven Covey stated it best; "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." You can’t solve other peoples problems as you understand them, you have to solve them the way they understand them.
When things go wrong, are you prepared to look at the failure for possible successes? When I think of the chain of events that created penicillin, Post-It Notes, and other inventions seemingly gone wrong, I can’t help but think how lucky we are that the inventors saw alternate uses and ultimately brought them to market.
Recently we ran across a new children’s toy that could have been born out of just this kind of model. Do I know for sure that this toy was born from error? No! But that is not the point. I am pretty sure that no one set out to create a new material that would allow a toy that splat on the ground and then re-form to its original shape. The Splatback does just that.
The point is this, whoever created this thing was very imaginative. They saw, found, created a material with incredible elastic properties and formed it into a new toy that sells in mall stores for around $5 US. The price is another giveaway that all that research and development was not spent on the creation of this toy. Somewhere, someone saw this material and determined an alternate use in an alternate market, or so I am guessing. But again, my guessing is not the point.
Do you look at something that would normally be considered waste and try to find value? New value… Do you look at successes in parallel industries and tinker with ways to bring that concept to bear in your space?
Getting new ideas off of the ground can be difficult, especially when we believe ourselves to be a lone idea champion. "The lone champion is often relegated to drag along the organizational dead-weight of the enterprise," or so it goes in their mind. After watching this video, I was reminded of a few facts:
The next time you think you are dragging an organization along all by yourself, remember, there are others helping to push it along. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they are not there helping you.
A mathematical puzzle that baffled the top minds in the esoteric field of symbolic dynamics for nearly four decades has been cracked — by a 63-year-old immigrant who once had to work as a security guard.
The conjecture essentially assumed it's possible to create a "universal map" that can direct people to arrive at a certain destination, at the same time, regardless of starting point. More
Trahtman, an immigrant to Israel from Yekaterinburg, Russia, solved a problem that had been stumping mathematicians for over 30 years. When it was all said and done, the professor said "The solution is not that complicated. It's hard, but it is not that complicated. Some people think they need to be complicated. I think they need to be nice and simple."
The solution has practical implications in highway navigation, data storage, file systems, network architectures and user interfaces. What is as striking as the solution is the statement made by Trahtman that ‘Solutions need to be nice and simple.’ That should be the ultimate goal of design in general, to take the complexities of everyday life and reduce them to simple, understandable navigations.
It’s easy to make things complicated. But it’s difficult to make things simple. Perhaps simplicity is one of the most challenging problems of our time.
|Here is how the puzzle works. Start at any point and use a 3 word pattern to describe directions to the yellow or green end points. An example of a 3 word pattern is 'red - blue - blue', since this puzzle uses two colors only. Repeat the pattern until you arrive at your destination.|
Directions to Yellow = "Blue - Red - Red"
Directions to Green = "Blue - Blue - Red"
Increased choice brings discontentment until the choice is perceived as unlimited and there are appropriate filters in place.
Many, many years ago, I lived in a very small town in a studio apartment working two jobs to survive. My tiny apartment was fitted with a 13" color TV that received exactly one station at about 75% clarity. Each night of the week I looked forward to the shows presented by my one network station. I knew them by heart. Some I liked better than others, but each was a hit, at least to me. My only choice was TV or no TV.
In the decisions where we have less to choose from, we know our options are limited and we are more content with, or at least willing to accept, what we have. When the range of choices increases, two things happen: 1) we become more discriminating in our tastes and are less likely to settle for mediocrity; 2) we fear that we may miss something better and are willing to pass up something that would have otherwise been acceptable.
As the amount of choice increases, the complexity factor also increases until the point that choice is no longer a benefit. This is where the filters come in. With the appropriate filters, even though the available content is enormous, choice once again becomes limited. The difference is that is has been placed into context. This is the model of Amazon, YouTube, Google, iTunes and many, many more. Through power real-time data crunching, you receive recommendations of things you will like based on things you actually like. It is the appearance of lack of choice in a world of unlimited choice narrowed by filters.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity." Or, as it is most modernly stated, "Elegance is simplicity found on the far side of complexity." (Thanks Chris). The simplicity on this side of complexity, in this case, is having but one choice, or very few choices. As choice and complexity increase, filters and super crunchers bring a new sense of order, the simplicity on the far side of complexity. We become content once again not because we have a lack of choice, but the apparent choice is an array of things that are almost guaranteed to be consistent with our desires.
If you let the doubt stage overwhelm you, it will be hard to succeed. Work hard, but keep your priorities straight. Stay focused on the end game and don't get distracted by politics and doubt. Success is within reach.
In all four cases, innovation requires us to change our perspective and drive new value into an existing problem.