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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"How Does IT work?"

This is a variation of a question I am asked repeatedly in interviews and in person.

"HOW does _______________(writing, creating, collaborating, thinking up ideas...) Work?"

The core of the inquiry implies that that is one way.  A single path.  A sturdy, works everywhere for anything, methodology. 

Philosophers have been suggesting (thanks to Soren Kierkegaard for posing this to me as a teen) that the "either/or" approach is limiting.  Patti Digh, author and trainer,  loves to promote the use of AND.  Not this or that but rather, this AND that. I march in that parade.

When it comes to innovating, inspiring, imagining, creating, making...there are few makers who fall into the
"one size fits all" category.  Like the inventive cook in a home kitchen...there is a starting place. Perhaps it is a recipe.  Perhaps it is whatever is available in the chillcase or the pantry.  And then...it's "a little of this and a little of that."  Many culinary delight would be missed if a kitchen only produced all food items in a single method.  So it is with ideas. With art. With wondering and planning.

I have core practices that straddle all my disciplines.  In some form.  What it looks like in a production art effort is a very different snapshot than what it looks like when I am creating a custom piece for someone.  There are similarities at core points and from there, outward, things look very different. 

The question can be more specific to be effective.  "In THIS instance, did you follow a single methodology or did you employ many different approaches?" 

To reverse engineer the subject:  work backwards on an endeavor that didn't feel right or work well for you.  Were you applying an approach that worked successfully in another effort?  The concept of transferable skills is a brilliant one.  And there are instances that a fresh, utterly untried way, is what is essential to the success of the effort.  HOW do you call out that freshness?  Yes, I am asking.  How do you call out that fresh approach in your own home,work, personal pursuits.  I'd love to know.  You are welcome to write me through my web page: maryanneradmacher.net or you can comment here. 

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