Over the Christmas period of 2010, we started to put together a number of ideas. We cross-referenced a study of geniuses with what we’ve seen on the shop floor and combined that with the definition of a problem. (At the most abstract, solving problems is what we do, and a deep understanding of what a problem is precedes its solution.)
A common theme among geniuses is that creative breakthroughs have nothing to do with intelligence. Richard Feynman had an I.Q. of only (only!) 125. Yet, he invented the Feynman Diagram, won the Nobel Prize, and contributed to numerous committees and research areas. He had a career that was book-ended by the Manhattan Project on one end and the investigation into the Challenger Disaster at the other. Breakthroughs are fractal, so what precedes a big breakthrough also precedes a small breakthrough.
These ideas are what we call ‘Preparationism’ and are key to organizational transformation. When we first ran the workshop we noticed that the decisions each participant made would have a later effect on the solution’s shape and design. So we renamed the workshop ‘The Butterfly Flaps its Wings’ to indicate the complex or even chaotic nature of software product development.
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