It’s never enough just to tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have to get them to experience it in a way that evokes its power and possibility. Instead of pouring knowledge into people’s heads, you need to help them grind a new set of eyeglasses so they can see the world in a new way.”
— John Seely Brown, Seeing Differently: Insights on Innovation
I love to share new insights with people. Most of the times when I reach a new understanding, it has been a hard won moment of clarity in a sea of questions. When people come to me and start telling me about some new understanding however, often my first impulse is to test the insight against everything I’ve heard, everything I’ve learned and everything I’ve intuited over the last several decades. The people who I have learned the most from never came to tell me their insights. They handed me the pieces and watched as I struggled to figure out what to do with them. Most often, I would feel like the neanderthals at the beginning of the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. I would ram the pieces into each other, try playing with them. I would see how far I could throw them and see how they tasted. Only when about to give up in frustration, would they all fall into place and I could call the insight my own. Quite often this would spark off several more insights.
Its all too easy to criticize each other’s perceptions. How cool is it tho when we can put ourselves into each other’s heads enough to grock the ideas ourselves and use each other as springboards towards greater understanding.
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