Not every organization is perfect, and we are far from perfect. Not everything is buttoned up, and to go back to David’s quote about us not being ordinary, sometimes there is chaos and swirl at IDEO in our desire to be extraordinary. We are a creative organization run by creative people, and as we tell our clients every day, creativity is messy, and well, so are we. Some gentle reflections on ourselves as we continue on our journey, perhaps think of them as things to work on and lessons still to be learnt.
We aren’t entirely so, let’s be honest. But unfocused goes hand-in-hand with optimistic, right? Everything is exciting and full of wide-eyed possibility until the next thing comes along, and then, oh, wait, the next, and the next…we tend to lean towards the chaotic, and sometimes that causes, well, chaos. But it’s super-exciting, right?
Again, this goes alongside being childlike in our wonder and excited about everything. IDEO collectively is something akin to a Golden Retriever: puppy-like and boundless in its energy but requiring a lot of attention and love. One of the foundations of a piece like the one you’re reading is to place some boundary conditions and expectations on one another so that we can still keep the excited part of ourselves but contain the craziness.
IDEO is not a political place; people are not trying to maneuver or manipulate the system or each other to succeed. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite – 99% of the negative interactions are usually positive, good intentions that have been clumsily executed. The whole point of this book is to have us all on the same page emotionally and more importantly, pragmatically, so that we can focus on the thing we all care about – doing great work.