This week Tamsen shows how asking the little questions will help you answer the big ones. By breaking down your mission into the five pieces of the Red Thread, you can find specific answers that will help you carve out your own path.
Tamsen breaks down various ways that companies look at the same problem, idea, or change to highlight how similar answers can lead to wildly different companies, each with their own Red Thread.
Understanding the Red Thread is one thing, but discovering what it means to you and your life can be tricky. What can you do to help? Think about your favorite movie.
Early in a script, many writers will include a seemingly inconsequential conversation that lays in the theme for film. Going back to your favorite movie and looking for these clues can get you on the path to finding your own Red Thread.
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery service. Their Red Thread is to figure out how to get something from point A to point B as quickly as possible. How do they do it? Surprisingly, it’s not about an algorithm that solves for the shortest distance; instead, it comes down to a simple solution: they don’t turn left.
What UPS realized is that solving their problem isn’t just about figuring out the shortest distance to the destination, it’s about which decisions actually impact the wait time for a package. Turning left increases the wait for the lane to clear, and also increases the risk of an accident because you’re moving through oncoming traffic.
Rather than having their Red Thread say that they do the same thing the same way every time, UPS kept their goal in mind, which allowed them to find a new solution to an old problem.
This week, Tamsen Webster finds the Red Thread in a TED talk by Brian Little: “Who Are You Really? The Puzzle of Personality.” The presence of the Red Thread is often the difference between a good talk and a great one.
Watch the video for yourself first, and see if you can pick out the first four elements: the goal, the problem, the idea, and the change. Little doesn’t get into step five, the action, but that’s because he’s so focused on laying out a compelling case for a big idea and a surprising path to change.
See if you can pick out the elements for yourself, and then you can compare how Tamsen breaks it down to learn how to make the Red Thread work for you.
Find more resources and see the full transcript of this episode at TamsenWebster.com.