Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Don't Fear The Future

Quote displayed in the Legacy exhibition at the Nobel Museum, Stockholm
I'm certainly no physicist. I do however enjoy the subject. I find it inspiring to read about the history of the discipline.

The physicist turned philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn has long been my guide in making sense of the twists and turns of the natural sciences. He described the way in which one paradigm (for example Einsteinian physics) replaces another (Newtonian physics) in the march of progress. However, he argued that the new paradigm is always able to incorporate the functionality of the old.

This is why in an age when the errors of Newtonian physics are well known, and when relativity and quantum mechanics describe the (current) truth of our world, many engineers can still use Newton's concepts to build engines, bridges and buildings. Newtonianism is flawed as a truth, but for simpler practical applications still works.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Ancora Imparo - The Stockholm Interpretation

Stockholm รก Minuit. Peter Johnson

Ancora Imparo

Apparently Michaelangelo was fond of this phrase. It means 'still I am learning' and indeed, anyone in the business of creativity, design or innovation needs to keep an open mind.

Wandering around Stockholm this evening, I reflected on all the conversation and feedback from this last week. While I walked, I made a big effort to view these discussions from the Swedish perspective; from the point of view of one who loves order and hates chaos.

I'm pleased to say that the result was a mild epiphany.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Crispbread, Meatballs and erm, Chaos.

Sundsvall A.M. by Peter Johnson
I'm sat in a busy hotel in Sundsvall. I've just finished a series of four talks in different parts on this country which were organised by the lovely people from itSMF Sweden (special big shoutout to Daniel Billing).

I was of course here to flog my Control-Chaos-Values approach to the workplace. What I love about doing this in public is the range of responses that one receives. There are still too many of the folded-arms, rigid expression variety, which generally tell me that I'm either being boring (sorry if that was the case), or that these individuals are simply not prepared to countenance such radical change to the way things are currently done.