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By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
2 min read

Five Strategy Things N° 3

Guess the source of this slide; Empathy; Seinfeld on Jokecraft; Flight Manual for the U2; Interestingness defined.

Guess my source

A cup of coffee at your location of choice in NYC to the person who correctly guesses (or discovers) the source of this diagram.


Not sure why, but this video popped into my head a few times recently. It’s worth a watch.

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the core things I’m looking for in a Strategist is taste. And the shortest path to having great taste is having a really refined sense of empathy. My hypothesis is that you’ve got to train for it, too.

Seinfeld on Jokecraft, Difficulty

I’m not sure jokecraft is a word, but perhaps it should be.

Via Russell Davies, via the New York Times, I give you Jerry Seinfeld on his process for developing and refining a joke. It’s fantastic.

And in typical fashion, Mr. Davies has come up with something that I’ve been recycling/retelling to people near constantly over the last week: “It’s not complicated, it’s just hard.” (NB: complicated ≠ complex, and complex probably = hard. Right?)

And if you think about that for a minute, and read/believe in the thesis of this piece by The Economist on the end/slowing of innovation, you’d start to think that everything around us, everything that we do, isn’t nearly as complicated as it’s made out to be. It’s just hard to do right.

From 1959, the U2 Flight Manual

Recently declassified, and via Jalopnik, this is fascinating to read through if you’re interested in aviation, secrecy, strategy, planning, or anything relating to those topics. The fact that there are hundreds of steps to follow (for a team of people, no less) just to get the plane in the air suggests that we’re probably not providing enough detail in the plans we provide for our clients. We can do better.

Defining Interestingness

Link (Lost to the sands of time, I'm afraid!)

I read this post a LONG, long time ago, and returned to it (rather serendipitously) in a search for a few articles to put into an universal digital syllabus.

Interestingness might not be the most important thing, but it has to rank pretty highly:

“My short definition of interesting is ‘worth thinking about.’ Something is interesting to the extent that, even in its absence, you continue to replay it, develop it, compare it, communicate it, translate it, share stories about it, laugh at jokes about it, use it to understand other things, have an opinion about it, imagine variations on it, seek further information about it, want to communicate with it and with others who also find it interesting.”

Put this next to the reasons people share and you’ve got a pretty good toolkit going.

By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
Updated on
Innovation Five Things