Mon, 22 June 2020
Chris Krimitsos and I talk about the discovery of the self by starting ugly, perfecting your craft, and innovating. We delve into Chris’s book, Start Ugly: A Timeless Tale About Innovation & Change, and discuss the benefits and conflicts of innovation.
I tend to get bogged down with perfectionism, which prevents me from getting started. The philosophy of Start Ugly is to ‘stop thinking and start doing,’ which helps me get started.
Innovators are dreamers who problem solve by probing and implementing ways to improve. Join us today as we delve into the story behind Start Ugly and some current-day innovators.
Mon, 8 June 2020
Over the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of changes and, as a result, we have experienced a lot of constraints, both personally and corporately.
I have witnessed many times where these constraints have led to various creative solutions.
Schools have done parades instead of traditional graduation ceremonies. While this isn’t an ideal solution for the graduates, it was at least a way to celebrate the accomplishments. I live out in the country and a nearby small town had the whole town involved, where there may normally have been less community involvement.
While many small businesses have had to close for a period of time and suffered a lot, other businesses have had to rethink how they can operate while under the legal limitations. My wife and I recently went to a restaurant, and found out we could pay the bill through our phone - no need for a paper check or using the Ziosk machine.
Churches have worked to come up with alternative ways to gather. While many churches utilized streaming services online more - and adapting better ways of doing this - some churches started having parking lot services where everyone stayed in their vehicles. My church is one that did this - we had only online services for a few weeks, and then we started meeting in the parking lot. A few weeks ago, we started having indoor services, but increased sanitation practices and sat in every other pew.
I think about the movie Apollo 13. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m sorry for any spoilers here. When the shuttle experienced an electric malfunction and the CO2 filter stopped working, an extreme situation was created. There was an option to make some modifications, but they were faced with having to connect the proverbial round peg in a square hole. It may have been the other way around, but close enough. The scientists back on earth were gathered and a box of miscellaneous parts were thrown on a table. The leader said, “We have to make this fit into this, using only these parts.” And they only had a very short amount of time before the toxicity level got too high. Spoiler alert - they were able figure it out and save the astronauts.
Scientific studies about constraint
The Harvard Business Review article, they conducted a survey and found that individuals, teams, and organizations benefited from a healthy dose of constraints.
The Inc Magazine article said that we actually need constraints to get good at creating something remarkable.
Both articles go on to explain how constraints can help by forcing you to work with less so you can actually begin to see the world differently. They even talk about how new inventions and business practices have been inspired through various constraints.
Too much constraint
Both articles do mention that too much constraint can dampen creativity. In other words, there’s a point of diminishing return.
So it’s like chocolate - a little bit is good, but too much isn’t good for you.
Creating (or using) constraints to you benefit
Here are some ways you can use constraints:
These came from the Harvard Business Review article and have a slant toward the business usage of this, but we can apply these to our personal lives as well. Here are some questions to ponder:
What’s really important here?
Facing constraints really makes you evaluate what is actually important and necessary vs what is nice to have.
When you start prioritizing things and you only have limited resources, it causes you to look at your situation differently.
I remember hearing a lot of examples on Dave Ramsey’s show. Dave would have people call in and do a debt-free scream. With this, they would share their story of how they paid off their debt. They got to the point where they realized the limitations they had to pay the debt and, after evaluating their priorities, they made some changes to actually start paying off the debt. Usually, they would start cutting unnecessary things out of their budget (bye-bye cable company). Sometimes they would sell some things or get a part-time job to bring in a little extra money. But, everytime, it seemed difficult or impossible when they started, but they saw that they would have to make changes, and, over time, made a big difference. And then it usually creates lasting changes and differences in the way they view their money and lives.
How can you create and use constraints in your life?
I want to encourage you to really think about this and see what differences you can make in your life.
Thu, 4 June 2020
I have been concerned about many issues of injustice over the years based on various issues. The most prominent injustice revolves around race and police brutality.
There are a few problems that I’ve realized for myself regarding these.
I don’t follow enough of the news to fully understand the details of the issues. I hope to remedy this going forward.
Even with what I do know, I never really knew how to respond or react properly.
As a Christian, my first priority is to honor God in all I do. So I saw the way people responded across the county, I had a hard time seeing how I could participate in those ways while still honoring God by following the Biblical principles I know to be true.
For one, I ought not act with a spirit of rebellion. For example, injustice by a few against one (George Floyd) is not remedied by injustice by a mob against all. Peaceful protests are great, but the riots and violence taking place across the country are completely anti-Christian.
One thing I do know is that doing nothing isn’t help at all. I’m reminded of the quote, “All that’s needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”
At the same time, I don’t want to just complain about how wrong people are acting and reacting. Rather, I want to be part of a solution that actually helps people and still honors the Biblical principles God wants me to follow.
There is a Bible principle that shows that when offences and afflictions come to me personally, I am to take that to God and allow Him to take care of it. Additionally, it is also the responsibility of the government to execute judgment in such cases. It is not my right to execute judgment or revenge for myself.
At the same time, God tells us that when we see injustices take place, as a Christian, we are to take a stand. We are to be a voice for them. We are to help and minister to them.
My pastor, Rick Carter, Jr., took the lead over this last week to create a non-profit organization to address this exact issue. It’s called Solidarity Stand. It’s still in very early stages, but on the website, there is a pledge that can be taken. I’m going to go ahead and read that now.
I signed the pledge this morning, and you can also sign the pledge yourself by going to SolidarityStand.org.