Leaning into sharp points

Written by Parker Gates
Posted April 29, 2013

Taking risks & trying new things isn’t comfortable. For me that discomfort can show up in the form of stress, anxiety, and a lack of appetite.

It’s plain to see why organizations have a hard time embracing experimentation. Who has the stomach for it?

Lately we’ve been really leaning into some sharp points in order test ideas that we think are important. This results is a restlessness and laying awake at night thinking about pending work.

It occupies all my thoughts.

85% of the time my work “feels good” and that’s a huge pick-up from where I used to be 4 years ago. But that other 15% of the time I’m thinking about how we might recover from an experiment gone horribly wrong! But here’s the catch: We’ve recovered just fine from every disaster we’ve encountered. As a matter of fact they’ve all turned out to be world-class learning opportunities of which no one could have ever taught us. These lessons come at a price but don’t all things worth while in life?

So, I know it’s scary to have a big idea and to not have any clue as to how it’s gonna play out… but that’s the only way we learn and the only way we can have big impact in the world. Playing it safe by doing what you’ve always done is a recipe for obsolescence.