Archive for April, 2015
Funnliy, for someone who uses so many post it notes, I have never asked myself this question. (I am a little embarrassed by this since ‘Why?’ is such a fundamental question in Agile Coaching!} Today, by accident, I discovered the answer.
In a book for Agile stationery-lovers everywhere, The Perfection of the Paper Clip, author James Ward reveals the answer:
“The Post-it note came about by accident, really. There was a guy called Spencer Silver, who was working at 3M. He was trying to come up with a really strong glue. Unfortunately, he got the formula wrong and created a very, very weak glue, which is not much use if you’re a company that sells glue. There was another colleague there called Art Fry, who as well as working for 3M, he was in a choir, and he used to use little pieces of paper to mark the pages in his hymn book. And those bits of paper would keep falling out, and he thought, oh, if only there was some kind of weak glue that I could use to stick these bits of paper in the book … and that’s how the Post-it note was born.”
Ironically, a solution looking for a problem!
Like they say at UK.gov, ” if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”
This post is so perfect, we just had to link to it. Read and enjoy.
Here’s a candidate for the worst job in history. Put your hand up to be the one who figures out who sits where in an office, when there is a move or a restructure on. An endless cycle of creating spreadsheets, consulting with people, updating spreadsheets, consulting again. And no one is allowed to see it until it’s final for fear that they complain. What a nightmare.
But my friend Nat has it figured out. The ultimate transparency in seating plans. Instead of the endless rounds of secret consultations, and paper updating, he creates a place for conversation and thinking about who is going to sit where. On his filing cabinet, he sticks up a seating chart and uses people-shaped memo magnets, colour-coded further with liquid paper and highlighters to represent different teams:
Each team can see where they are sitting, and can try out different combinations with Nat. “What if we did this?…”
It’s easy to update and change, you never have to worry about accidentally deleting someone (you can’t lose these magnets, they are so strong that if they are anywhere near the filing cabinet they will home in like an exocet missile), and if you need a soft-copy – just snap a picture.
(But what if you don’t have a handy filing cabinet? Aussiemagnets.com.au also stock a range of flexible iron products that can make a magnetic surface where there is none. Want to use magnetic cards but you have a glass wall? You can attach flexible iron to the walls with double-sided tape, and the whole area is magnet-friendly.)
Spotted: If we tell you we’ll have to kill you.