Iteration and Humility

July 31, 2018 by
Iteration and humility

We’ve been inward facing for the last few weeks- working on systems, cleaning and reordering, and attempting to finish one task before beginning another. Not my natural tendency, to work sequentially.

Mostly projects around here happen in parallel, and iteratively.

Our menus, our bar, our incubation processes, the coffee shed’s growth, our storage systems, our mental health…

Iterating has become a habit for us, but I know it doesn’t come naturally to everyone who starts work here. Putting out incomplete products hurts. A life of iteration is not a constant dress rehearsal but a constant performance and review.

I don’t know if I forced iteration on my staff, or if I’m just the lucky employer of staff who understand that we’re just one never-ending iteration machine. We’ve all learnt to withstand the pain of the ‘incomplete launch’ long enough to reap the joy of projects when they are improved upon and launched again.

I also wonder if we had been what we are right now straight away – that is, if we could have been perfectly complete from the outset – what would be missing? Taking time to complete projects builds up layers of character in our processes and in ourselves. It takes passion, hindsight, care and humility to withstand the constant and continual judgement of others who will always see the undone things, not all that has been created. 

And so too, staff development requires iteration. I can’t imagine someone landing in this business from the outside, un-layered by the efforts of others before them, being able to cope with our tumble-dryer workplace. In fact, many haven’t survived the cycles! But the people that do, gee they’re tough. And beautiful. I see their layers and wisdom and am blessed every day with their patience as we circle through to another iteration together.

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