What are you able to imagine when you’re brainstorming a new project?  Do you find yourself limited by what you’ve done before?  Or more commonly by what your team has done before?

Someday I’m going to find the source for a story I sometimes tell about a team of sociologists studying a remote tribe in South America.  They asked the tribesmen to sort a large pile of colored tiles into smaller piles based on similar colors.  They were expecting the people would sort the tiles into four piles: red, yellow, blue and green.  They were surprized when they ended up with only three piles: red, yellow and blue/green.  What they learned was that in that valley blue and green were thought of as one color.  They had only eyes to see what they knew existed.  And nothing beyond what they knew.

I love the language in this quote from Dan Wieden of Wieden + Kennedy.  (It has the River Runs Through It feel, but its more than that.  It has the feeling of possibility.)

"We must begin all things in ignorance.  Otherwise we never start from the beginning.  We all carry so much baggage, so many assumptions, habits, prejudices born from experience, that it is very, very difficult to see the world for what it is.  And to find our role in it, our true role, not necessarily the one we’ve been raised and educated to asssume (p. 116, Mavericks at Work)."

The question might be, "how do we begin all things in ignorance?"  It has to do with Walking in Stupid Every Day and understanding the upside of inexperience. 

Beginning All Things In Ignorance