Merlin Mann at 43 Folders points us to an interesting book called Mindfulness and makes reference to Jorge Borges’ (one of my favourite writers) famous list of 14 animal types (includes embalmed ones, stray dogs and those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush). Merlin points out that our ability to categorise and re-categorise is a fundamental skill.
Merlin’s post triggers a couple of thoughts. Richard Nisbett’s The Geography of Thought illustrates that westerners view the world differently from Asians: westerners are taught as children to see the world as nouns (look Johnny, a truck); Asians are taught to view the world as verbs (look Emiko, clapping). Yes, we all categorise but we should be mindful that different cultures do it differently.
Mindfulness is a word used extensively by Karl Weick. The sensemaking process begins when something is noticed and mindfulness enables us to notice what’s happening.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: