Tuesday, June 01, 2004

It's over 

The presentation that we have been preparing for our client was moved, from Monday to Wednesday, thereby giving us a bit of extra time to polish it. Parkinson’s Law applying as usual, we took all that time, but it does help. The way things work is that we spend several weeks doing a pile of analysis and research, then we try to distil that into a presentation that gets across our findings in a coherent and convincing way. What happened in this case, given the extra time available, is that we went through two final versions of the presentation. The first contained detailed analysis, diagrams of processes, lots of graphs, and a wealth of detail. The second version, however, is different. This one hints at the bulk of the work that underlies it, and speaks with the confidence that comes from the fact that we really know the stuff behind it, but it is sharper, more succinct - better.

There is an analogy here with any kind of creative process. It is said that Picasso could paint photographically by his late teens, before he branched off into re-arranging bodies on canvas. You need to know and understand the rules thoroughly before you can start to play with them and see what happens. It works the same way for golfers, painters, writers. Only when you have the foundation of hard work does everything else look so easy. The more you practice the luckier you get.

Case in point: the more astute might pick up the reference to golfers, followed by a paraphrase of Gary Player. You don’t have to spell it out, but it’s there, and what is unwritten or unspoken lends substance to what is left. So now I’ve blown it. A good idea spoiled.

Listening to: The Clash. London Calling makes me homesick. Strange.

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