Deconstructing the Work Literacy Learning Event
Avoiding "SpeedFit" Syndrome

Pixar University on Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age

Great video--some money thoughts:

  • If you're looking for innovators, people who are going to create things that have never been created before or solve problems that haven't been solved, you can't look at their resumes and find evidence that they've accomplished what you want them to accomplish. It hasn't been done, so it's not going to be on their resumes.
  • When you work collaboratively, you take someone's work and say "Here's where I'm starting. How can I 'plus' this? How can I build on it to make the person who gave it to me look good?" It isn't about judging the work, it's about "plussing" it.
  • "The core skill of innovation is error recovery, not failure avoidance."
  • "Looking for mastery in anything is a really good predictor of mastery in the the thing you want done."
  • Look for the "proof of a portfolio, rather than the promise of a resume."
  • We need depth AND breadth in people.
  • "We want people who are interested, not interesting." Interesting is easy to get. Interested is a skill that's tougher to find. 
  • Look for people who "amplify." When you go to them and say "I have a problem," they lean in and want to know more, rather than saying "I have problems too and I'll bet they are more interesting than yours." 
  • Communication involves translation--if you're a tech trying to talk to an artist, you can't just "emit tech." You have to be able to translate into language the artist understands.
  • People who are interested are much more willing to work on communication as a destination, not a source. They're willing to do the translating on their end, to make sure that things are understood by the receiver. Breadth--knowing about a lot of different fields/areas is what fuels that ability.
  • On cooperation vs. collaboration--cooperation is simply doing your job and staying out of people's way. That is, it's work that one person could do, given enough time. An assembly line is a good example--several people, each doing their particular function and staying out of each others way.
Collaboration is something different. It means amplification--the amplification you get from "bringing together a bunch of human beings who are interested in each other, listening to each other, bring separate depth to the problem, bring breadth that gives them interest in the entire solution, allows them to communicate on multiple levels and finding the most articulate way to get a high fidelity notion across to a broad range of people so that they can each pull on the right lever."


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Thanks for a great post!! This one of those posts that will go straight into our Monday morning Admin. team meeting. Maybe it will help us amplify our efforts? Regardless thank-you for putting this out there.

Great post, very helpful right now as innovators seek to grow their own work while our industries figure out how to work within a conservation economy. The layoffs are extreme, which means there are thousands of brilliant people out there now looking for something they are interested in!

Two months ago at the Web 2.0 conference our nonprofit set up a booth to talk about the future of the 3D web with programmers and industry leaders. What we found was that most people wanted OUT of their jobs....4 out of every 5 who came to our table used it as a career confessional to try and find something more meaningful for their lives. Many of those people will be laid off soon, if not already, and are hungry for something REAL to work on. Very few have that vision of what the REAL looks like for them, and the real innovators will understand how to translate that vision to inspire the deep creatives low leaving the web 2.0 or financial market industries.

Love the comment about being interested as opposed to interesting - that has got me motivated.

Fabulous post - thanks for picking out the gems from this spectacular talk!


this Blog speaks to me!!!

I am a fairly young guy, that is a master of none, and thought I was doing something wrong. this video, and your thoughts tell me that I have the skills and means to be successful in the digital age.

I used to think that there was something wrong with me for not wanting to be a cog...

A friend of mine, Stacy, had just shared with me that there are similar discussion in Daniel Pink's book "A Whole New Mind".

Feeling exhilerated!!!

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