Something I've been struggling with lately is: how does one best "package" their efforts to demonstrate what they're thinking, working on, achieving?
I don't mean in the sense of a resume or elevator pitch. I mean, how do we point to the ongoing outcomes of our efforts, even when those efforts are still in progress?
Last year I encountered an artist who spoke to me about her "series." To her, her series reflected the period she was in, a frame of mind, a perspective. It captured for herself, and shared to others, a manifestation of that time and effort. That made me wonder... what are *my* series? How do I capture and share them?
Like so many, I hold an innumerable amount of ideas in my head. Often, their execution is in the reconciling of differences, the linking to other patterns, the extrapolation to a new concept. Sometimes, this gets converted into execution in my work at my organization. Sometimes, this stays personal. The benefit of putting an idea out there is that over time I can check my thinking against said idea. The filter of sharing constructs temporary scaffolding to better understand. But I haven't found a preferred way yet to "close the loop" on these efforts, to capture the value that I think I'm creating.
My guess is that for writers it's much easier. Their sense of identity-- writing-- is precisely the ability to collect and share these innumerable ideas running through their head. It seems easy for founders, too. Their sense of identity-- their company-- is the unit that holds and shares value. But what if you're not able to spend your days as a (good) writer? What if you're not the fundamental team of the organization you work for? For those of us whose distillation of efforts is not directly evident-- how do we successfully share the state changes of our thoughts?
In chatting about this topic, a friend suggested this approach: Who do we know from 200 years ago? How do we know about them? Likely, they're known for: a scientific achievement, a civil / societal change, a distinctive group, a foundational business, a political act, a military battle, or the result of their art, say painting, writing, singing. There is some *outward mark* that they've made, some discrete outcome that we can point to.
So how do I package my ideas and ways of thinking that can be shared with and recognized by others? In absence of creating my own organization, maybe it *is* some form of figurative language that forms one's series. But is it my own writing? A catalog of diagrams? A fostered dialogue among a group? Or some other way of packaging ways of thinking. We shall see...
Art by Wu Guanzhong