I am now half-way through reading ‘Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven Johnson. It is a good book, and has a lot of concepts I have become familiar with in the past few weeks working in a tech environment. The concept of ‘flow’ is prevalent, as is the balance between the privacy of a cubicle and the freedom of communication that is inherent in an open layout. It is an intriguing read, and one of its concepts has stopped my page progression. That is the idea of the walk, or another externally stimulating force, adding to the understanding of a concept when other ventures of usual merit do not bring solutions to light. Meaning that a jog in the night, a wait at a bus stop, or any other ‘pedestrian’ action outside of a focused environment bring solutions.
Personally, my higher functions do not work well if they have a single focus. In fact, focus is stagnating. I find myself in a few beyond-surface conversations on the phone from time to time, and I am caught by my conversation partner: I am usually out of breath. I hop from one crack in the ground, or from one couch armrest to another while my mind wanders. With these oddities I find that I come to some more influential understandings.
Also in this book it describes MIT and Microsoft’s oddly constructed buildings. MIT’s building 20 before it’s demolition, and Microsoft’s building 99. They are/were flexible buildings that accommodate differing projects. The focus of Microsofts building was apparently to build the water coolers, and then build the offices around them. The central focus of these innovation hubs was community. It seems that there is merit in group discussion: the biggest discoveries do not come from the lone man scanning the data, but rather a collaboration of colleagues questioning aspects one mind has dismissed or forgotten.
Our direction in this program has mirrored these thoughts often. Fearless Leader has brought up most of these ideas when questioned or directly. These ideas are implemented on a fairly large scale (~100 employees), and are beneficial to the environment: stuff gets done, and all parties are happy.
Innately I have combined these ideas. I pace and explore unrelated activities as I ponder, and (despite my usual introversion) I like to discuss these same ideas so that my overwhelming focus is so laser like that my computer and I enter a vacuous state.
So I guess I have unintentionally asked a question in pursuit with the cohesion of these two ideas. Would you care to use your bi-pedal locomotion and have a conversation with me, about any and all topics?
Would you care to go for a walk?