Don’t Focus First
Prompted by a book he’s reviewing, Tom Peters takes a break from his vacation to remark on why it is a big mistake to focus before creating (the comments are good too):
In my 1999 Wow Projects 50 book, I devoted 22 of 50 propositions (the biggest section by far) to Framing Issues. When I start on something/anything, I resist focusing with all my heart and soul! At the beginning, regardless of what the Client (for a Speech, Consulting Engagement) asked for, I talk sweet, but ignore it in practice. I need to burrow into the situation, do my research, talk to a million people from inside and outside, etc., etc., etc. (et etcetera). Only then can I even do a First Approximation of “focus.” In fact, some of my best work, especially speeches, has come when I chuck the whole thing “as planned” 20 minutes before going on stage, or even reverse course after I’ve started. I can’t figure out the punch line until the third quarter of the game, more or less. Begin by “focusing” on the “goal”? Not on your (my, that is) life!