Art is creating something new, that might not work, to change people for the better. What change do you seek to make?
It’s not art if you know it’s going to work. That’s management. That’s a manual. That’s people at Daifun, China who paint copies of Picassos.
It’s not art if there’s no intent. When you do it because you feel like it, that’s a hobby. A hobby can produce artefacts that look like art. And it could even make you rich and famous, that’s luck. That’s not art.
As you can tell, the way I define art have nothing at all to do with painting or sculpture.
A chef who wants to change how people look at sandwiches, by playing with flavour, pricing and business model. They are making art. That’s could be David Chang, Danny Meyers or your 15 year-old son.
The scientists who banded together during the pandemic, found the vaccine and gave it for free. That’s art.
A receptionist who gives you the inside scoop on the person you were meeting. So you feel prepared and relaxed before you walk in. She’s making art.
An entrepreneur, a sever or a barber. They can all be artists.
Martin Lindstrom shared an incredible story of a simple trick that reduce hundreds of emails a day and creates an upward spiral of change.
Here’s the story.
“So we work for one of the largest banks in the world, and I had this workshop with around 800 executives in the meeting. And one guy said to me, “I’m so frustrated working as a banker.”
I said, “What frustrates you the most?”
He said, “What frustrates me the most is emails. I get 800 emails every day.”
I said, “Would you like to change that?”
And he said, “Absolutely. I’d like to get rid of it.”
So I said, “Are you aware there’s a direct correlation between the number of emails you send and the number of emails you receive? So here’s my idea: Why don’t we get rid of the CC button and the reply all button in Outlook?”
And of course, the folks in compliance said, “Oh, you can’t do it. No, we will always see the CCs,” and all this stuff.
I said, “Frankly, all you guys in this room, how many of you actually ever read those CCs?” And not a single hand was raised.
I’m not kidding. Not a single hand. So we did it for three months–ninety days. After ninety days, the number of emails had dropped from 800 to 362 emails per person on average. This is a true number, and it has zero complaints. And that became almost the first piece of evidence within the organization, that change is possible.”
What wasn’t shared in the story is the idea of the availability bias (What you see is all there is). That we are really not aware of the information that we don’t have. And that it matters enormously. For this bank, it is this little hack.
Our beliefs, choices and habits are made by options we are aware of. And because we think we know the answer. We stop looking.
Even if we know of the bias, it’s a struggle trading attention (which is in scarce demand) for a slim chance of making things better.
If you’re a change maker, it is the enrolment process. What do you need to do to help people see that’s it’s worth the effort to change their mind.
If you’re an agent of change, it is to know you are operating under imperfect information and perhaps the next idea might change your life. If you’re open to it.
You know what’s delicious when we taste it. But can you explain why?
It’s certainly not the ingredients (there are many terrible dishes with the same ingredients).
Nor it is the chef.
There are chefs who create amazing dishes, mostly by intuition. And if you are good at asking questions and deciphering answers, sure, you’ll learn something.
I’m not sure if any of the chef can teach as elegantly as Samin Nosrat.
A great chef might not be a great teacher. Intuition is not pedagogy. Similarly, a Pulitzer writer, a Nobel scientist or an olympian. Teaching is a whole different set of skills. It’s enrollment, empathy, flexibility and communication.
It’s pretty silly to micro-manage people you choose to help you.
1) It takes a lot of your time which defeats the point of hiring.
2) It interrupts workflow and business operation.
3) The best people get demotivated and go away. Back to point 1.
Perhaps at some point, you were let down by someone. And in order to prevent future hurt, you decided not to trust until someone has themselves proven worthy.
But as Bill Laizer points out to Jim Collins, the other bet is to assume that someone is trustworthy until proven wrong. Yes, you would be let down at times. So protect your downside. And the upside is that when you find someone who is trustworthy, they will rise to it.
Even more so, have you also considered the possibility that, because you trust them on the outset, they are more likely to become trustworthy?
There are two approaches to relationships in life, (1) take life as a series of transactions, or (2) take life as building relationships. And the cornerstone of relationships is trust.