Category Archives: Breakthrough Thinking

The Real Value of Confusion

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Are you confused about how to proceed with your hottest project? Baffled? Bamboozled? If so, take heart! Confusion is not always a bad thing. In fact, it's often a necessary part of the creative process.

The weirdness enters when you start judging yourself for being confused. Then, instead of benefiting from this normal stage of "not knowing" you end up in endless rounds of self-talk, procrastination, and worry.

What is confusion, really?

Technically speaking, it's a state of mind in which the elements you are dealing with appear to be indiscriminately mixed, out of whack, or unable to be interpreted to your satisfaction.

You CAN Tell a Book by its Cover — Especially If You Have 9 Choices

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Ever hear the phrase "You can't judge a book by it's cover?" Of course you have. But what you probably haven't heard is how far back that phrase goes -- all the way back to June, 1867, as seen in the newspaper, Piqua Democrat. "Don't judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a jacket and yaller pants."

What You Can Learn from the FedEx Logo in Five Seconds

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During the past two years, I've asked more than a thousand people what they see when they look at the FedEx logo. 80% say "letters" or "colors" or "shapes" or "the word "FedEx." The other 20% tell me they see an arrow -- a white arrow.

When I ask the baffled 80% if they see the arrow, most of them shake their heads and shrug. Only when I point to the arrow (in between the second "E" and the "x") do they see it -- a moment that is usually followed by their favorite exclamation of surprise and a chuckle.

This little phenomenon, methinks, is a great metaphor for what it really takes to innovate. There's something right in front of our eyes and we just can't seem to see it.