Staying young at heart by Tom Kelley of IDEO. Notes on a talk on the Stanford thought leader series of entrepreneurs.
Reenforce your creative young at heart spirit.
Gordon Mckenzie – orbititing the giant hairball.
Gordon visited schools asking each group kindergarten to sixth grade who was an artist.As the day went on he noticed less kids would admit they were an artist. something was influencing the kids to be ashamed to admit they were artist.
Gordon asked. “What happened to all the artist in this school? Why are they not here?” He wanted them to know It’s ok to be an artist! Because some influence was telling them otherwise. Parents, media, school, other adults and kids.
Tom Kelley’s wife sometimes says “You are like a child!” When Tom first heard it he took it as a good thing even though she met it to be a criticism.
5 things; to stay creative and young at heart
1. Think like a traveler – have your mind and perception ramped up to notice everything, get to the hyper aware state. When we travel we notice the cloths, the money, the different signs, it’s all new and it turns up our perceptions. To see like everything is new. When in business it is good to try to “see with new eyes.” Vuja de- George Carlin- to experience life as if you have never been there before. In truth you haven’t but our minds wants us comfortable with our surroundings so we edit the fact out. Imagine if you have never been in your business, your home, your day. If the familiar was oddly new and fresh rather than just the way it is. It is seeing the place we’ve been to a million times before and seeing it with fresh eyes. Asking yourself why do we do it that way? Why is that there? What is its purpose? When we are immersed in our own environment we stop seeing stuff, but by thinking like a traveler and seeing with new eyes we can see things others don’t even perceive. Charelse Degualt airport in Paris.
2. Treat life as an experiment: This principle has to do with the risk, with being actually willing to fail and to learn from your failures. To be prepared for some stuff to not work out, to fail. Examples of experimentation, and failures are 1/2 read books, Thomas Edison found 10,000 ways that fid not work, or WD-40 (so-called because it was the 40th formulation of this “water displacement” formula) and the James Dyson, who created over 5,000 prototypes before he came up with the design for what is now the very successful Dyson vacuum cleaner.
3. Nurture an “attitude of wisdom:” Have a drive for knowledge throughout your life and not rest on your laurels.
As Mark Twain wrote
“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”
This know for sure stuff is a problem for lots of people. For example, Best Buy in 2001 buys MusicLand (biggest retailer of audio cds and dvds) to expand their empire and the management team thought this was great but what they didn’t know was that buying music was passé as people were getting music for free online from Napster started in 1999, two years earlier, and the sea change had already happened as 18-30 year olds stopped buying music. What was the worst is their own employees were those very people who changing their music shopping habits. This lead to a billion dollar loss for the company.
4. Use your whole brain: Most Western school systems, including universities, spend many years teaching us how to maximize the analytical skills of our left brain. In this part of his lecture, Kelley refers to Dan Pink’s excellent book, A Whole New Mind, which suggests that success in the years ahead will come from our ability to use our whole mind, our left and right brains working together to take us to new levels of performance and creativity. “Let your right brain make its mark,” Kelley urged his students. He spent several minutes talking about the “tortoise mind” — the powerful subconscious brain, which most of us know little about. He urged students to assign tasks to the tortoise mind, and to give ample time for contemplation. He used the metaphor of a seed to explain that you can’t cultivate ideas overnight; they need time to germinate and grow. He also recommended that students take time to daydream; he explained that you must slow your conscious mind down in order for the tortoise mind to do its job. •TED talks Jill Bolte Taylor. Museums – house of the muse- to find your muse your passion what drives you.
5. Do what you love: because you will be better at it. You will have the passion and drive the intersection between what they’re naturally good at, what they were born to do, and what people will pay them to do. He recommended to the students that they maintain a “lab book,” in which they write down observations about themselves, their ideas and when and where they feel most engaged with life. This is a process that author Jim Collins used to figure out his life calling, which was to teach others and write books.
I highly recommend this talk.