What have we here?

One thing we’ve all had friendly disagreements about is what, exactly, a cloud looks like. I say it’s a puppy crouched down to play, you say it’s a scorpion ready to strike (which says a lot about our personalities, by the way). Things in the sky are like nature’s Rorschach ink blots—a group of stars look like a crab or a bear, or at least did to someone at some point. So what do you make of this?

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Maybe you see a downward-looking Easter Island head, or a stylized outline of New England, or an unfortunate Tetris piece. But probably you didn’t see this:

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The reason Thomas Lamadieu’s work caught my attention is not because it’s a playful use of negative space. Rather, I’m intrigued by how a set of given parameters (in the physical sense), became the foundation for something so wildly different and interesting. It’s not that there’s obviously a woman sitting in that space (as with the arrow in the FedEx logo), but it does make sense how one grew into it, imaginatively.

We’ve been talking about structure around the office lately, and how to make it work for rather than confine us. Deciding that a certain amount of time will be devoted to creative endeavors is a great idea, but we’ve noticed that often our internal projects get brushed aside because they’re not “urgent,” and so get put on the backburner for a while. It turns out that a while can easily turn into forever, as we’ve all discovered at various points when we take a look back and see the detritus of unwritten stories, unplanted gardens, DIY projects that never get off the ground, blogs left to die—the list goes sadly on.

Perhaps a solution to this common quandary is to install some hemmed in space into the week and just go for it. Dig into those projects (and only those projects) during that time period, which is to be considered inviolate. We’re going to try it out and see how it goes. In the mean time, here’s once more sky drawing for the road. I don't know about you, but what I see when I look at that space now is an opportunity to expand.

Let’s agree. Shall we?

Consensus seems to be one of those things we're always looking out for, seeking out. "Let's reach consensus so we can move forward." It's a staple we need in heavy doses. Like a chef and herbs. A mechanic and wrenches. Or even a politician and a microphone. Consensus is a catalyst for action, a requirement for moving the ball forward. Or is it?

Consensus can often get in the way of progress rather than spurring action. It might be that an idea can be produced in the time it takes to sell it through. Take a great idea and modify it enough times in order to get 3 or 4 panels or boards or whatevers to reach consensus and 2 things can happen.

+ weeks or months (and likely a window of opportunity) pass us by + our idea morphs into something else with less resonance than the original concept

A third outcome, I admit, is that our idea is strengthened by the input of a dozen or so decision-makers. This outcome rests firmly in minority status, so I shant dwell upon it here.

I'll remind you, however, that nothing is holding us back from pursuing our ideas in pure forms. Not a board of directors or a timeline or most of all a budget. If an idea has merit and deserves to be heard, there's a way to make it happen. A lot of folks are simply waiting to hear good ideas in order to help them live in the real world. And still others who think ideas stagger out of conference rooms 2 hours later. Please avoid the latter. The point is to not take "No" or "Maybe" for an answer when only "Let's go!" is deserved. No matter what. Maybe this much we can all agree upon.