Notebook / Archives for Wonder

  • A room where no one was afraid to speak

    I came across this incredible quote in the Guardian about Danny Boyle directing the opening ceremony for the London Olympics:

    “Danny created a room where no one was afraid to speak, no one had to stick to their own specialism, no one was afraid of sounding stupid or talking out of turn. He restored us to the people we were before we made career choices — to when we were just wondering.”

    I also found this article at The Intentional Workplace that asks how he and his team managed to pull off the spectacle, and importantly distills it into five lessons for intentional leadership and healthy, happy collaboration. Lesson 1 is “Assemble the People You Believe In & Maximize their Freedom”

    Lesson 2 is “You Can’t Truly Succeed Unless You are Willing to Take Real Risks”:

    Anyone who has seen the way bureaucracy — in government, in the fearful corridors of corporate America — eviscerates originality, seeks comfort in consensus, and hides behind the fear of even the most benign level of risk-taking to quash even the most tepid examples of boldness — has to marvel at the miracles of intact survival that Danny Boyle’s conjuration represents.”

    Lesson 5 is “Be Gracious. Be Grateful.”:

    If you’re a leader, your reputation precedes you. And as the saying goes, they’ll remember how you made them feel. That’s what stands out in Danny Boyles’ experiences with people at every level. One volunteer described, “He’s the most down to earth person you could imagine. He chats to everyone. He’s not just on the sidelines waiting for people to come up to him. He actually mingles with people and starts conversations with them.

    Read the rest of the article: Team Danny Boyle: 5 Lessons in Leadership

  • It's butterflies all the way down

    When Ed Lorenz, who was studying weather systems at MIT in the 1960s, plotted the changes of all the variables in his chaotic weather simulator as points in an imaginary "state space", he discovered an image appear over time — what he called a "strange attractor," and which looked strikingly like a butterfly.

    He also inadvertently discovered fractals. An attractor is called strange if it has a fractal pattern. In other words, the butterfly attractor when magnified infinitely, still produces orderly patterns all the way down.

    Conclusion: It's butterflies all the way down.

  • The Universe Is a Green Dragon

    (a nice review I came across for Brian Swimme’s charming and profound book, The Universe Is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story):

    “The universe continues to unfold, continues to reveal itself to itself through human awareness”. Simply stated, Swimme’s premise is that “the universe is a single multiform event. There is no such thing as a disconnected thing. Each thing emerged from the primeval fireball, and nothing can remove the primordial link this establishes with every other thing in the universe, no matter how distant”. The same dynamics that forged the fireball and the trillions of stars are also at work within us. We are dragon fire.

    “The universe is enchantment”, and Swimme’s profound book is liberating. As the universe unfolds, it demands our response: “Do we awake, dedicating ourselves to a vision of beauty worthy of our fire’s origin?”.