thinkAbout 2011 - Property of Strategic Horizons LLP

Most of us spend our days on a continuum somewhere between doing nothing and trying to do everything.  Seldom do we attempt to do all four within a single span of 24 hours.  In part to test if this could be done, the first day of the annual Pine & Gilmore thinkAbout took on this challenge.  This is an event held each year to explore the outer limits of thinking on our experience-based economy.  The attendees come from across the globe to share what they have been doing, to hear the latest thinking from Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, and to collaborate on pushing the thinking in this area a bit further.

By Cory Doctorow from London, via Wikimedia Commons

The morning was a massive knowledge transfer akin to a Vulcan “mind-meld” for you Star Trek fans.  Joe Pine and Kim Korn covered their new book, Infinite Possibility: creating customer value on the digital frontier at warp speed.  While heads were still spinning, Jim Gilmore took the group through a series of provocations that have formed the basis of his thinking for challenging clients to see the world differently.

The afternoon pushed thinking on what it means to experience nothing, anything, something, and everything.  How little can you do when doing nothing?  Try it for 45 minutes.  How does that compare with doing something and doing it with others?  Ramp that up to attempting to do everything on a lengthy list and in competition with others.  Can you feel the pressure building?  Finally, what does it take to work in a group to do something of value?

By evening, the conversations blurred everything from the morning and afternoon into a series of somethings that individuals were already applying to the work they do.  Nothing was beyond further exploration and discussion in the small groups where anything was possible.  This will sound familiar to those who have attended a thinkAbout in the past.

This year’s thinkAbout was billed as “a little bit of Nothing, Something, Everything, and Anything to foster creative thinking and encourage the exchange of ideas.”  Sounds like something Spock would support.

When are you most creative?  When doing nothing? Something? Everything? Anything?

Where do you find your best state of flow? When doing nothing? Something? Everything? Anything?