Jonah Lehrer spoke for under 10 minutes at Poptech 2009, but listening to the podcast I was reminded of the value of being outside. Of not being entrenched. Of being aware of more than what is just to hand. Of being an outcast.
"Sometimes, the most impossible problems - the most intractable problems - they seem difficult and intractable, not because they actually are, but simply because we haven't look at them from the outside."At work, we've undertaken the Clifton Strenthsfinder *thing* to understand more about our personality. Our make up. My top five strength themes were:
Belief, Strategic, Connectedness, Responsibility and Relator.I see these play out a lot in how I have developed as a worker over the past 15 years, but one thing that I value more and more these days is stepping out of the situation to try and see it more clearly. To perhaps remove emotion (positive or negative) from it and see what might be taking place. Perhaps rationalising it a little more. That can be tricky and I'll be honest that there's a few things on the go that I'm finding it hard to be objective about!
Taking time to be outside of the bubble/fishbowl/activity gives a perspective so easily lost from the frenzy of activities. That frenzy is all well and good - and often essential. I guess this is where teamwork - and varying skill-sets - is vital.
And it's the opportunity for creativity that flows from this position of observation - and segregation? - that I find refreshing too.
But there's more.
One of the themes I took from Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" was that very few of those notable discoveries in science were made by someone at the centre of attention. Einstein was marginalised, yet his impact on scientific thought was astounding. Darwin too (like him or not) was seen as a bit of a whack-job for years.
And for me, far more importantly, Jesus lived on the margins, yet his influence was across the culture of the time. And through the cross an eternal influence.
So that wee podcast is worth a listen/watch. Really. What does it make you think about?