How to Make Your Creative Work More Lasting

In Chapter 12 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, leadership philosopher Bijoy Goswami answers "How Are You Learning to Make Your Work More Lasting?"  He notes how constant iteration helps him uncover deeper truths behind the models he creates in his writing.  He shares how each year offers additional perspective to build upon his core concepts and create something more truthful, lasting, and pervasive.  Bijoy Goswami is a writer, teacher, and community leader based in Austin, Texas.  He develops learning models, including MRE, youPlusU, and Bootstrap, to help others live more meaningfully.  Previously, he co-founded Aviri Software after working at Trilogy Software.  Goswami graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Computer Science, Economics, and History. 


Erik Michielsen:  How are you learning to make your work more lasting?

Bijoy Goswami: I do two things. One is you have to keep working at it to make sure that it’s actually right at some level that it is – The longest that I've worked in terms of models is MRE (Maven, Relater, Evangelist) with The Human Fabric and so I started with that model probably in 2000 with my buddy Bruce when we started our company together in 2000 and then moved on from there and get some other things, 2005 I wrote Human Fabric with a friend, another friend David Wolpert and I wrote this book The Human Fabric which described the three energies and often times you’d say well great, that was the book and you’ve really done it and what I've found now in 2012 is that 2005 and 2000 were just the beginning like writing the book was just the beginning of the process. I've learned so much more about the MRE, about how those energies work in the intervening seven years and I would guess that in the next 7 or 20 or 30 or however long I get, I'll keep doing that. So, to me the thing is, you gotta – There’s something about your trying to tap in to something that’s actually true that it’s verifiable, you know. And the more true the thing is that you're finding out, the more lasting it is because that’s what, you know, pervades is truth.

So, you know, people say, you know, with evolution, oh evolution is just a theory. Well, there’s a complete misunderstanding of what a theory is, right? A theory is something that is articulated and has been attacked and evolution has been attacked for the last 200 years or however long it’s been and still has stood up. So, clearly something that Darwin found was a deep truth that actually is true about the way the universe and the world works.

So, when you confine something that is true in some deep sense I think by its definition it is gonna be lasting. So, that’s certainly one thing is you can’t just promote something that is, that’s just because you feel promoting it, I think that’s not necessarily going to last. So, you gotta find something that’s true and gotta be able to say, well, you know, this part that I said before is not true and so I'm gonna amend it, I'm gonna change it so that I can really articulate the deeper truth that I now know.

But I think the other piece of it is I do think that there’s sort of this deeper truth but there’s also your truth and so that may be the piece of it that’s really interesting. When you look at great artists, when you look at people like who’ve done something that we as a civilization back and go, Oh, my gosh. What is it? They express something uniquely. They found their way to, you know, do painting. They found their way to make a company. When you look at Apple, there’s no other company like Apple whenever you look inside that company, it’s like there’s not the 10 principles that Apple uses. They’re their principles.

So, there’s this interesting tension between things that are true at some fundamental level and things that are true for you. So, I completely, you know, disagree with the idea that the whole studies that go, here are the five things that works for everyone because what are the things that work for you. So, I think that’s what really also interesting is that what’s lasting is also what’s particular true and unique to the person, to the organization, to that place or whatever it is.