Breaking Through When you are stuck – HBR IdeaCast

My mornings usually start with Podcast episodes. I usually listen and then leave it there. But I think it would be good to document the thoughts just so I know what I got from it.

Today’s morning listen was the HBR IdeaCast’s episode where I heard from Adam Alter a Marketing Professor from NYU Stern School of Business. Alter has also written the book Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most.

As I sit to write I realize how little I have absorbed. I am saying that from a practical aspect that when I keep listening as habit, I am not able to retain much. I wonder what could be a better way.

One thing though I remember is him saying that initially we explore many ways and directions before we decide on one. And once we do that we need to say no to things that come as a distraction to our chosen mode. We can go back to the exploration mode later on. This cycle repeats itself many times in our life.

I think it is significant because one we do not settle for the first version, but we also don’t keep wandering once we figure the path. And he takes the example of the artist Pollack and his paintings of how he arrives at his method after going in different directions. I recently heard a similar thought by a film maker about the movies he makes.

He also mentioned that our best thought might not be the first 10 but the 11 to 20. Which though I get it, was not what I had been thinking for a while. Even thought I am a proponent of the iterative approach, I have been playing with the idea that the spontaneity burst factor cannot be replaced by anything else. May be both needs to be there. Then how do we add a spontaneity factor into our iterations.

I also liked the way Adam spoke about the importance of not doing anything. To acknowledge that we are stuck but not to be too comfortable with that situation.

When I started writing the post I did not remember anything from the podcast. I had to pen them down for the gate to open. I guess writing about a podcast we heard would be a good exercise. Will continue to do this.

Adding this book to my list. Some people have asked where I get my list to read. I get it from other people’s reading list and from hearing authors speak on podcasts.

Categories: Podcasts

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