What can you accomplish in 10 minutes?

Hello. Hope you had a wonderful week. This week I learned about speed, prototyping, and reframing. Hope you enjoy these ideas as much as I did.

What you can accomplish in a small amount of time: The 10-minute photo challenge 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a small amount of time when you set the environment right. The 10 minute photo challenge was created by Jordan Matter. He shoots dozens of amazing photos in just 10 minutes. 

I like that Jordan:

a. prepares (high performance always requires preparation) and

b. leverages constraints to be creative.

Setting an artificial constraint with your team at work or your kids at home helps rebound when you’re in a funk. That’s all a game is — artificial constraints.

Personal Prototyping

Daniel Snow teaches operations management at Saïd Business School (Oxford). He was one of my favorite professors during my MBA when he taught at BYU. He shared some great ideas about how to use prototyping in your personal life.

Fundamentally, the idea is to use quick-and-dirty prototyping to reduce uncertainty by exposing a model of the final product to the market. 

He recommends using this for big life decisions with this model:

  1. Think about the decision pro/con style

  2. Ask yourself “If I were forced to make the decision in the next ten seconds, which option would I choose?”

  3. Pretend you have made that 10-second decision for the next 3 days

  4. Ask yourself how you feel, given the time to think about and mentally live the decision. Iterate with new information as necessary.

I commented with examples from my using prototypes with my family this past year.

The Power of Reframing

My friend, Rob Callan, shared his thoughts on LinkedIn about reframing. Reframing can change a miserable experience into something desirable.

How we frame situations matters, especially when we're doing hard things.

If you're on a team and you feel enthusiasm stalling for a new project, try focusing instead on what people can learn, achieve, and become--that's a lot more compelling than focusing exclusively on the tasks themselves.

I was once told by my boss that I didn’t have the skills to pursue product management, the career track I was hoping for. I walked out of that 1:1 furious. That could have been crushing except for the reframe I decided to take.

I decided to ask myself, “What can I learn from this?”

I vowed to never limit someone’s potential in my mind. I would take seriously the responsibility of managing others. I also committed to double down on building pm skills so that I could accomplish my future goals.

Many years later I am grateful I took that attitude. I’ve been a successful product manager at multiple hyper-growth companies. And now I enjoy teaching product management as part of what we do with clients at Sprintwell.

Please reply to this email about a situation where reframing has helped you.

And for a tough situation at work or in personal relationships, my invitation is to ask, “What can I learn from this?”

Ryan Seamons

What I published this week