Thursday, January 08, 2009

What's in your toolbox?

Gavin and I had an interesting conversation on Twitter last night.

In one of my tweets I said that I considered myself a layman in everything I do. Even the things I get paid handsomely to do.

He expressed surprise at this remark.

To which I said that if Brian Eno can maintain his status as a non-musician, then I should be able to always be a layman.

It's sometimes hard to get a lengthy point across in Twitter, given you have to do it in just 140 characters.

But what I was trying to say was that I consider myself to be continually learning.

This mindset is important to me because I have met too many people during my career who seem to be the opposite of the way I see myself.

Experts. Seniors. Management. You know the type.

When I made the Brian Eno tweet Gavin tweeted back to ask if I considered Brian Eno as an expert/leader?

I said to Gavin that I look to Eno in the same way I look to many innovators in other fields.

The fact these people are in a different field to myself makes what they do and how they do it even more interesting to me.

I have done much in my career that has been inspired at some time or other by thinking from other industries or fields.

It's what I call adding to the toolbox.

I started out many years ago with just a box of spanners. After a lifetime of work I have a bigger toolkit than a roadside assistance van. And I am still adding to my collection.