Creativity

MESA Part 4: The Origins of MESA

The MESA Method is full of firmly held beliefs and sharp distinctions. To understand why they’re so important, you have to understand where they came from. I recently sat down with Bárbara Soalheiro, the founder and CEO of MESA Co., and Lígia Giatti, her number 2, to try and understand the origins of this new way of working.

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MESA Part 3: The Art of Unlocking People’s Creative Potential

In Part 2, I laid out what I believe are the 10 principles that MESA Co. uses to fine-tune the working environment.

But what are they fine-tuning the environment for? Unlocking people’s creative potential.

The open secret of MESA (and other Accelerated Work Experiences) is that, beyond the rules and guidelines and structures, their true purpose is to unlock people’s potential to achieve more than they imagined was possible.

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MESA Part 2: The 10 Principles of Work Sprints

Enter your email here if you’re interested in hearing more about MESA in the future. In Part 1, I described the basics of the team-based work sprint methodology known as MESA. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at the underlying principles that tie together MESA and other kinds of Accelerated Work Experiences (AWEs)….

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A Maker’s Ethos in the Era of Networked Attention

Once upon a time, we faced the scourge of Information Overload. Too many emails with too many details producing too many open loops to keep track of. But now we have a new challenge: the Information Apocalypse. Not only is there far too much information to consume or manage, much of that information has now…

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PARA Part 6: Small-Batch Projects for Focus, Creativity, and Perspective

In P.A.R.A Part I, I argued that the Project List was the lynchpin of modern productivity, serving as a dashboard of your current commitments and the bridge between actionable and reference systems.

But formulating a Project List is also one of the most difficult exercises for most people to complete. And I’m not the only one to notice. David Allen has written:

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Strategically Constrained: How to Turn Limitations Into Opportunities

I first came across the idea that great strengths can emerge from great constraints in Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle is the Way. He takes a philosophical and historical approach, citing numerous Very Important People in history who used their unique challenges as springboards. I was annoyed by the idea, thinking something along the lines…

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PARA Part 3: RandomNote – Building an Idea Generator

What if you could push a button and immediately be given an idea?

Not just any idea. A good idea. An idea relevant to your interests, your goals, and your current projects.

What if every time you pushed this button, you also made it more likely that even better ideas would be surfaced in the future?

I’ve found a way.

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Meta-Skills, Macro-Laws, and the Power of Constraints

Nearly every science-fiction novel seems to agree on one thing: in the future, work will be indistinguishable from art. Such wide agreement suggests that work is far more than a means of income generation. Even in a robot servant utopia, with all our practical needs taken care of, human work will still have a purpose….

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Immersion. Experimentation. Leverage.

A thesis on software eating the world This is an unauthorized summary of the 30,000-word blog series Breaking Smart, by Venkatesh Rao of ribbonfarm, which I believe to be among the most important writing in recent years on innovation, productivity, and problem solving. The series attempts to answer the question “What exactly does it mean to…

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