Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have you created spaces where hunches can collide?

Steven Johnson tells us that great ideas take years to come to fruition during which hunches incubate and collide with other hunches. Today's managers have to create spaces to allow for both of these. By now you've heard about Google's 20% time (when everyone gets one day a week to work on whatever they want) and another company's (sorry forgot the name) 24 hour period where they work on whatever they want and how these "time off" periods have led to some of these companies' most profitable products or most critical fixes to serious glitches.

It seems as though I have so much work that has to get done in so little time, as does everyone working for me and with me, that I don't know how to give up (or at least it feels like giving up) a day of work.

But beyond incubation time, let's think about the "how" of the colliding hunches. Most of the people with whom I work I rarely see F-2-F. So, how do we create spaces for the collision of hunches when we rarely share a cup of coffee and debate ideas? I've been polishing my virtual management / teamwork skills and I've come to realize that sometimes we have to meet synchronously and visually. Skype is nice because it's cheap, although the slight time delay is awkward. Perhaps we can have a Skype coffee?

Ideas anyone?

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