I had two big takeaways from my weekend in Pennsylvania:
1) Just how important the physical / tactile element is in learning.
2) Making ideas real as quickly as possible = iterating faster.
In all of my activities – there is a tangible deliverable.
There are the obvious tangibles, such as hamburgers, ugly scarves and artisinal spork(ish) things.
Top (first attempt at blacksmithing) – choose your function: dental/torture device or leaf-tipped steak turner.
Bottom (second attempt at blacksmithing) – early prototype, artisinal spork.
There are less obvious tangibles – such as the deliverables in my professional environment:
– Online tutorials
– Synchronous course-delivery
– Documentation (of various sorts)
– the dreaded PowerPoint file….
Then there are even less obvious tangibles – but that others can still see.
This tends to manifest in the form of activity.
– The internal realization that I deserve to take better care of myself and the physical activities that seem to follow from that – pick up heavy things, take stairs vs. the elevator, eating an apple vs. a bag of gummy bears…
– Conversations and the physical act of speaking with another.
This last idea I am still wrapping my head around….
I am noticing a trend in my environment.
The notion that it is OK to present an unfinished / partially developed product for feedback.
Get something out there in the world.
Make it real.
I’ve been seeing this notion over and over again in my environment over the past few weeks:
– The Business Intelligence Unit moving to an Agile development process model and attempting to drag the rest of the IT department kicking and screaming with it.
– The boat that Megan and I developed finishing the creek course TWICE (albeit not very quickly). Because we got our feet wet at the beginning of our development process.
– The continued development of the artisinal spork. I think more blacksmithing courses are in my future to learn more about how iron behaves and the choreography of the craft.
I’m finding the faster I attempt to make something real, then try again, the faster I improve.
The more time I spend staring at my navel THINKING about making something real – the slower improvement comes.
That only took 42 years to figure out 🙂