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Going on 3s

Lesson 8 from: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change

Beth Comstock

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Lesson Info

8. Going on 3s

Beth introduces the next exercise: where will you go on your next field trip? She shares a protocol for igniting creativity through observation and pattern recognition. Beth challenges you to find “interestingness” in your daily routine - the New York subway offers as many opportunities as the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

Lesson Info

Going on 3s

when you're out in the world, there's a practice that I want to encourage you to think about, about pattern recognition. I call it going on threes, and we all can do this. You don't have to be an expert. This doesn't have to be your job. We're pattern making people. That's what humans do. We sense patterns. We saw one step, two step streets, three steps. I know that pattern. That's a tiger. I'm not going to go down that path. Um, you have your version of it, but here's what I I've practiced I found really helpful for myself. First time I'm starting out in the world, discovering the first time I you make note. While that's interesting, So first thing is observed, I keep a notebook of interesting nous, and if I show you my phone, I have a little folder of interesting nous. So after my a couple of days here in Seattle, I'm gonna come back with a couple of notes of interesting. This one is just how many buildings Amazon's buying is building, but there are always notes of interesting nous. ...

Um, then the second time, what you're doing is you're saying, am I noticing points of connection. Is it a coincidence? So tomorrow I'm gonna be in Portland. Is there something similar in Seattle and Portland? Set a coincidence. Third time I go. That's a trend. I just declare it. I don't need it like an official trend company or Ah, Futurist or Mackenzie. To say this is a trend and just declare it's a trend. And with the team, if I'm working with a team, say, What does this mean for us? This is going to disrupt us. Is this something we need to worry about? How could we learn more about it? So this idea of going on threes I find incredibly helpful. It's what we It's what we all should be good at doing, and it's that part of making room for discovery. The next thing I find really helpful is to bring in outside sparks. Thes are people with ideas, perhaps your consultant. You want to start your own business. Perhaps that's a role for you to play as a spark where your job is to provoke a new way of thinking in an established company to bring in an outside perspective. Um, at one point I had a challenge as I took over that chief marketing job officer job and, ah, I knew we needed a new advertising campaign and we needed a new way to look at the world. And so, rather than hiring a traditional consulting firm or an ad agency, I hired a cultural anthropologist. Sky came in, um, and he kind of psycho analyzed our culture. He made people lie on the ground, had committed, say things like, I'm an alien. I found these letters. What do they mean? Um, he wore black velvet cape. He was unlike anybody in my company, and he made them feel incredibly uncomfortable, especially the lying down on the ground part. It made people very uncomfortable. But out of that came some of the most profound work we had done because we were willing to let a spark come in, somebody who was willing to challenge our perspectives. And so that's a thought I found very. I want to spark with you now. Maybe you can be that spark in your organization vibe. You build a business around being a spark. We need sparks and are missed. Were too focused. These air people from the outside who challenge our point of view who give us another perspective. So with that, I want to move into an exercise to kinda combine those things. I mean, the thing about these outside views, whether it's a field trip, a spark you agitating for change, the reality is thes. Things make you nervous, right? Because you're having to suggest something that people themselves don't see. I felt really uncomfortable bringing in people from the outside because I thought, Well, if they're weird, what if they look bad on me? Or what if no one takes them seriously or what If they don't take me seriously, you have to get over that. What if, like going to visit a NASCAR pit crew? People think this is the stupidest thing they've ever done. You gotta really work and have done your homework and imagine that there's a reason that you're doing this. But you're sparking a new perspective. So maybe all you get out of it is we're just going to spark a new perspective, and that's good enough. So here's a bit of an exercise kind of calling this all the places you'll go after the dark from my Dr Seuss book, I love. So when I encourage you, if you were in a company or if you're ah on your own, what's a field trip you're gonna plan? Can you spark something in yourself that says, I want to go learn about X? Maybe it's a new retail concept. Seattle's If you're here in saddle, it's amazing what's happening around the globe. There's always new things happening, So maybe if you just want to go to a lecture I live in New York City. There, tons of one of my favorite lectures was from the New York Skeptical Society. Um and, um, you never know what you're gonna learn from skeptics. Are you gonna go on your own? You can invite somebody when you going to do it. The next thing is just, um, I want to encourage you to start your own little folder of interesting nous so they want to take out your phone or write a note to yourself. Uhm, I'm going to start to be a better observer. I'm gonna note what's interesting and maybe right here right now, just make a note of something you've seen recently that you think is interesting. I don't know. Maybe you just noticed. Everybody's wearing purple tennis shoes. I don't know why. Why are they doing that? Jules has these amazing tennis shoes from Mexico. Maybe one of our things is suddenly amazing. Colorful 10 issues from Mexico or the new thing. You might be able to get on that early by seeing it here and saying, That's interesting. Is there a place you can find a spark? Now, look, you don't need a big budget for this. Maybe it's a simple as getting a video off YouTube. I think a lot of people find effect using things like Ted talks. Hey, there's a great Ted talk and I share with my group. Maybe start a book club dedicated to a theme of something you want to explore. I wanted to learn about philosophy. I studied biology. I never really studied philosophy. I started a philosophy reading group that was a spark for myself, but I was able to find a lot of people who themselves were interested in sparking that kind of learning so it can also work for you on a on a personal level. Just be that spark for other people. Okay, so with this, I'll just pause for just a minute and see if there any comments or questions have a few more exercises. Before we wrap this up high, we'll give you a microphone. And if you can tell us your first name, I am Simona and I'm just gonna put little point on each one of those one. My field trip today is today. Today, my friend Katrina invited me Good. And, um, because we thought this would be interesting. We both have our own businesses and trying to succeed is women starting our own business in the world. And you have a very interesting background. So good and field trip to come for taking your Piatra against our for the day. Thank you. Um, also as interesting Nous. One thing I find for finding interesting this is to go on Craigslist and I look for start up companies. One I found was, It's like Griffiths an audio social platform, so it could be like it riff. And so it's an audio social platform, and I got on to it before they had even launched it because they just needed people to go on. And I do that actually, with a lot of different start ups just to see what's coming out of new in the world. So if you can't make it out to see something interesting, you can also get on your computer and find it through things like Craigslist, right, because that's where they post stuff like that. And I feel like those are some of the Sparks is Yeah, that's great Soon, Thank you. So riff is a great a great Simona sparked us with Riff is a great, great interesting thing. She's seen ah, challenge to build on Simona. Sort of interesting nous challenge yourself when you're going. If you If you travel and you're going through the airport, pick up a book or a magazine. Maybe you don't read books or magazines do, um, I don't know. Maybe don't follow wrestling, but pick up a wrestling magazine. What can you learn? What can it challenge you to dio? Maybe you commute a certain way toe work every day. Can you find a different way to get to work? You see something different, I guarantee. When you go back to the old way, you'll notice things you never saw before. So even right boot to Simone's point, you can set your computer. But even in your same path to work, I bet you can go away and come back and find some notes of interesting this.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Imagine It Forward Toolkit

Ratings and Reviews

Julie Hankes

Wow, this class was such a privilege to be a part of! There are so many gems in here, but what I loved most, is that she opened my thinking even bigger and offered me tricks and tips to facilitate that for myself and others long into the future. This is a tremendous gift as I'm already pretty outside of the box (i.e. I just took a client kayaking and then out in a seaplane yesterday for a visioning session) and creative in my work, so yes, what a gift! She also profoundly underscores the vital role the creative/imaginary mindset plays in the role of innovation and greeting our world's most wild challenges and opportunities. What a joy, have shared her work with many since this class took place. Thank you Beth for your courageous offering of imagination and championing it's vital role in our everyday work place and in our world's next steps into a more thriving, creative and innovative future!

Arthur Yakumo

I really enjoy this class. If you want a mind shift, having difficult seeing opportunities in front of you, especially living and working in a corporate job, this class is for you. Working for a fortune 500 job, I see how work is constantly changing, I didn't see the opportunities and how we can influence the change or be part of the change. This class helps you see and be part of the changing job revolution.

Christine Denker

If you want a mind shift to create change for yourself or your organization, then this class is a no-brainer! As a middle school English Language Arts teacher, I thought about how I could apply the concepts Beth teaches to my students who I have the privilege of interacting with daily. As a writer, I thought about how much I'm holding myself back and how I need to give myself permission to try new things knowing I'm going to fail and it's okay to do so. I really appreciated this course and had several takeaways that I can't wait to implement.

Student Work