Sunday, March 12, 2017

Messy Thinking

I try write in my blog every day. I believe we are mostly a collection of habits. I want writing to become a habit. Making it a part of what I do automatically means I am not waiting for inspiration, I go looking for it.

I know this means that many of my blog posts don't make a lot of sense. They make sense to me! (As I press publish... not always afterwards) I do read through them as carefully as I can. 

The second job I had after working in product development, was as a Marketing Actuary. Trying to take technical ideas and put them into a communicable form. There is a big gap between the people who have the time to think through issues (because it is their job) and the people who are doing other things. The Curse of Knowledge - 'The better you know something, the less you remember how hard it was to learn'.

The only way to find out if an idea can still connect to people, is to engage. The problem is you can't wait till an idea is fully formed before you do that. A lot of people 'stay private till they plonk'. Then when they reach their 'Eureka!' moment, no one else has a clue what they are speaking about.

My thinking is messy. I often confuse myself, and a lot of what I say is nonsense. I have been in several discussions where I have said, 'Okay, I am not making a lot of sense. I am going to shut up now.'

Lost in Thought in the Long Grass

As important as the conclusion you reach, is the path you took to get there. We are good at simplifying that path in retrospect. 'Our story' seems clear in hindsight. I know for me, that is rubbish. Much of our knowledge is what Virginia Postrel calls (in The Future and it's Enemies) Tacit Knowledge. We don't know why we know what we know.

This is one of the challenges of a Global v Local world. The further decisions get stretched from the places where the results are felt, the more Tacit Knowledge gets lost.

By writing every day, I am 'thinking in the open'. People who know me will be able to read between the lines. They will read between the lines in ways I don't understand. That is because even if I have shared an experience with someone, they would have seen things differently. That can only add to my understanding if I invite them in to my thinking. If we think together.

So I apologise if I lose you. I may be lost too. In conversation or in reading what you write, I will try my hardest to tell you when you have lost me. Please do the same.

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