4 days a week

I just watched a TED video, where Steven Jonston discussed where good ideas come from. In the video, he what he calls a ‘slow hunch’ and how sometimes the really great breakthroughs take time, and a connected mind, to happen. He talked about the creation of GPS, which all began out of a couple of scientists playing around in their lab when the Sputnik satellite went up.

The more we look, the more we see the benefit of projects which are slow. We’re witnessing the dawn of a new cognitive surplus; where what you do OUTSIDE of work (or your productive time, call it what you will) matters more than what you do on the clock.

I guess, by way of concluding this post, I’d like to share that I’ve just moved to working 4 days per week at Ai-Media, for exactly this reason. I believe that I’m more productive, and much more useful to myself, Ai-Media and others by having more time to do things slowly. It will allow me to say to yes to more things. I’m free on Fridays, and will probably be lurking at some of the local Sydney Jellies from now on. My ultimate hunch, is that the idea of working ‘full time’ is quickly coming to an end. I for one, can’t wait to see what we produce when all these slow hunches come together.

The edge is everywhere

The edge is here

I just finished reading John Hagel’s blog post, revolution from the edge, and though I’d comment a bit more about it here.

In his article, John discusses how people at the edge are self organizing through technology and common ground to make change possible. Clay Shirky also talks about this. It’s apparent now that citizens, where’d they’re on the edge or not, have a greater cognitive surplus now than in past times and can come together to solve these ‘wicked problems.’

John discusses how people in these environment, with wicked problems, need to be exposed to accelerated learning experiences to help them cope with those situations. I tend to disagree with this statement, as it forms part of a mindset which continues to see people with hold action because of their apparent need for structured learning.

This ‘edge’, which we all discuss, is everywhere around us. It’s pervasive, and pulses through each human on our planet. People resonate at different frequencies all the time, which allows them to cope with different levels of complexity. Within these environments, people learn from those people that are a ‘half step’ ahead of them. Perhaps they’re peers, perhaps teachers – what ever the case, these lessons about how to organisers and strive for change exists within all of us, at every point. Accelerated learning is happening all the time, and no program will be able to match what is now provided by the collective. Those operating at a higher level of consciousness, those a half step ahead, will always offer faster, greater learning than a structured environment can provide.

So, I ask some real edge questions. What does the world that you know look like without formal education? (What do children do between 5-18?) What about a world where government doesn’t exist? (What do we rally against then?) Or work is not defined by existing boundaries? (What is money?)

These questions are already being answered somewhere in the world right now, by people living those lives. It’s our job to find them, and connect them to a broader collective for their impact to spread. And these edge questions, though different, are alive within you right now. 

What are they?

Holding on tight

Holding on tight

I hold on too tight. I’ve had a somewhat personally frustrating month and I’m not quite sure why. I think it’s been mainly frustrating because I’ve felt powerless, perhaps thinking I’m owed too much or that ‘things’ are against me. I’ve recently taken this out on those closest to me, the ones I’ve loved most. It’s a strange sensation.

This week Edward Harran, Janet Hopkins and I ran the Mental
Health Unconference
and I was reminded again of how sometimes I hold on a little too tight. My dedication to my own scope and ideas, sometimes caused me to miss opportunities for greater depth and understanding.

Holding on tight

Ross reminded me of this even tonight, when I was holding back posting a blog post announcing the Awesome Foundation Sydney founding board. Even then, I held back to maintain power over what I thought was best. 

“Wait till tomorrow,” my inner ego said.
“More people will see it then.”

I’ve always meant to put up a post about a question Rose and I discuss often: what holds you back? 

In these times, where there is uber-complexity everywhere it’s a helpful little reminder to me about remembering that crucial question; what holds you back? In an agile sense, it presents itself in one of the three questions asked in every huddle – what’s blocking you from achieving the next action item?

I’ve always held off writing the post, because I could never think of what it was that *actually* held me back. 

Now, I think I know. I hold
on too tight.

We live in probably one of the luckiest positions in this planets history. Never before have ‘humans’ controlled our domain so well, and not since the dinosaurs has a species so completely conquered the earth. Global warming aside, it’s a bloody great time to be alive and there are a fantastic crew of people here to be a part of that with. It’s no cake walk, but I wouldn’t want to swap my tickets for the show we’re seeing now for anything.

So what holds you back? What are you holding on tight to? What would happen if you let go? If you embraced simplicity over chaos and trusted in your own resilience? I’m gonna give it a go. I might even join Xavier for his Mindful March and see if that helps at all. It certainly can’t hurt.

So, what holds you back?