Some food for thought for today, courtesy of R. D. Lang:

The range of what we think and do is limited
by what we fail to notice.

And because we fail to notice

that we fail to notice
there is little we can do to change

until we notice
how failing to notice
shapes our thoughts and deeds.

This reminds me of the exercise where people concentrate on counting the players who pass the basketball.  If you haven’t done this before, you should stop now and try it (1:21):

Often we are so focused on one thing that we fail to notice other important information around us.  This is why consultants are often helpful; they are not subject to the same “selective attention” that overtakes us.  I am spending the day with our consultant and I know before going in that he will see something that I did not.  

You don’t need to have a consultant to benefit from a new perspective.  Ask questions of those outside of your group.  Run your product by a group of users instead of producers.  Hang out with people who are not in your office, and preferably not even in your industry.

It’s easy to miss a gorilla if you’re paying attention to something else.  Try today to notice things you haven’t really seen before and see how the new information shapes your thinking.

— beth triplett

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