Simple Steps to Help you Think Like a Genius by Michael Crosson
Inspired by the bestselling book “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir (1838 –1914) – Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.
Not too long ago, I watched the new “Sherlock Holmes” movie starring Robert Downey Jr. as the famous detective and Jude Law as his faithful side-kick, Dr. John Watson. Before I saw the movie, I watched the trailers and commercials that preceded its release. They portrayed an action-packed film loaded with fights and explosions. I was quite relieved – when I finally saw the film – that the one thing I found most interesting about the Holmes mythos, the power of deduction, was firmly in place with this re-telling. Sherlock’s ability to implement his keen senses, harness his formidable knowledge and compose a logical conclusion from seemingly unrelated data has always fascinated me. Holmes is a master of Connessione (connections); one of the “Seven Da Vincian Principles”.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation marks the beginning of the familiar genre of crime solving via clue collection. Today, the theme is played out on a high-tech frontier on popular shows such as “CSI.”. While the time, tools and techniques have changed, the basic premise of discovering clues and making connections remains intact. The essence lies in opening yourself up to the relations of all things in our world. When we open our mind to the possibilities, the connections present themselves.
Da Vinci was very aware of the interconnections between everything in his world. How shape, form and structure were affiliated on a micro and macro level. Da Vinci’s principle of Connessione is really “system thinking;” appreciating and recognizing the alliance of all things and phenomena.
By tapping into the possibilities of connections, I’ve been able to improve my day-to-day operations in the office.
- Could an application that is leveraged exclusively by developers offer value to other departments in my company?
- Can consistent internal practices benefit my external clients?
- In a world with so many divergent technology devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones), wouldn’t it make sense to design for compatibility instead of customization?
My recent work on smartphone technology has really challenged me to look for technological commonalities in the mobile market. Sure, I could design the same app three times so that it would work on three different devices. But wouldn’t it better for my client (and me!) to build it once and have it perform uniformly across platforms?
Doing my research and finding the associations between devices and programming provided the key to a repeatable and efficient mobile solution. Challenge yourself to look beyond the obvious and search for the interconnections that can change, for the better, the way you work and interact.
Much like Holmes, by following the clues and establishing the links, a better solution can be discovered.