Sunday, June 27, 2010

Canny and uncanny people

Something quite compelling in this statement, when reflecting on the ups and downs of pursuing a large, lonely research project:

"Canny people tend to succeed in their own lifetimes; uncanny people tend to be recognized and appreciated only centuries later, because during their time their actions appeared to be either insane or pointless."

From "The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world" by C. F. Kurtz and D. J. Snowden, IBM Systems Journal, Vol 42, No 3, 2003

One can reassure oneself, during the downs -- the times when one indeed feels that one's efforts are both insane and pointless -- with the idea that one is, in fact, uncanny. Yeah, that's the ticket.