Lately I have turned into a regular scatterbrain. I’ve always been sort of disconnected when it comes to organization but recently I find that when I work on too many projects at one time, none of them get done well.
I’ve discovered something else too, or should I say I have revisited an idea and it seems to make sense. When I work on different projects and they are all flitting around in my subconscious, sometimes they come together and provide me with a breakthrough in my thinking or at least a different perspective.
Let me give you a for-instance. I’m trying to improve the document that everyone in an organization might sign to make a personal commitment to safety. I have been working on this document for many years and it still isn’t as good as I think I might some day make it.
Another project I am working on is to take the dozens of VCR tapes that have been made of my live presentations for clients and from them create a series of what we might call Classics. It is painful work watching myself at various stages of my career.
The other day I ran into one from Maritime Telegraph and Telephone in Halifax. I recall that when one of the top dogs of that organization called me we talked about such a document, whenever I used the term “Declaration of Independence For Safety,” he corrected me and said, “Declaration of
Interdependence.” We’d have a little go around and then the topic would come up again and I would say “Our Declaration of Independence For Safety document,” and once more he would correct me and say “Declaration of Interdependence.” So I would humor him a bit since he was a prospective client and, well, they hired me and we did a lot of work for them and came up with making the video and a
booklet and all sorts of things. And we created a Declaration of
Interdependence, sure enough.
Now, the thing is, after it got through my thick skull by his constant correcting I began to realize that it was another breakthrough. Safety demands that everyone is pulling in the same direction. We must look out for our own safety but we must also look out for those around us. When people acknowledge their need for interdependence they are well on their way to a new safety record. When they sign a document of commitment it can be the start of a major breakthrough in creating a safety attitude and atmosphere that works.
So my scattered brain with that pile of tapes and memories and my desire to come up with a better document has spun around in my subconscious mind through the night and I woke up with this article you are now reading and that was one of the projects under all that clutter on my desk that was bugging me. See, a scattered brain sometimes delivers a tolerable result.