According to Scott Page at the University of Michigan, depending on where you live in the world, you keep your ketchup either in the fridge or in the pantry. Who cares, right? Well, no one really, until you’re out of ketchup. If your head’s already in the fridge, you might reach for something like mayonnaise or mustard. If your head’s in the pantry, you might reach for, say, malt vinegar. When the ketchup’s flowing, no one cares where it’s coming from, but when you’re out of ketchup and you’re out of mayonnaise and you’ve got a problem to solve, you need someone who’s looking in the pantry.
Now. A businessman, a sociologist, an educator and an accountant walk into a bar (virtually), and they’re all looking for ketchup.
This past two months, I’ve had the privilege to contribute to a big project at LJS & Associates with an incredible team that I think can be fairly characterized as both intellectually and generationally diverse (literally: my mom is the accountant). We hadn’t worked according to our generation or our backgrounds, but according to our strengths and insights and we had done so in this comfy interstitial fluid of cordiality and respect, and gentle, rather than brutal honesty. When we closed the project, Leigh asked me to reflect on “working with the olds”, and it occurred to me that it… had not occurred to me.
A businessman, a sociologist, an educator and an accountant walk into a bar (virtually) to celebrate. They found something much better than ketchup.
You can hear more from Scott Page on the importance of diverse teams in Episode #52: Raising the Bar of Reply All, a podcast by Gimlet Media.