David Ruttka

Engineering | Gaming | Improv | Storytelling | Music

A Set of Fresh Eyes

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The other day, I saw my wife looking at a recipe book and writing in a notebook. She often looks at these books when making meal plans and grocery lists, so I didn’t think much of it. Many minutes later, she was still writing. I looked closer and realized that she was copying recipes by hand. “Have you considered taking a picture and emailing it?” The look of realization spread over her face, and we had a laugh. It turns out that she had considered scanning it, but our scanner isn’t a flatbed.

It struck me as another great example of why team communication is so powerful. She had come up with a reasonable solution, but when it didn’t work out, a narrow focus on that solution caused her to overlook a working alternative. My teammates have often found me in a similar state and gotten me rolling again with a simple “Have you considered…?”1 I immediately see the light and can usually see exactly how my initial idea put me on a train of thought that made me miss it.2

Feel free to share some times you remember when a set of fresh eyes was all it took to see a better way.3


1: I’d like to think that I return the favor from time to time.

2: In addition, I usually facepalm myself.

3: Pairing can make this process continuous, but that’s for another post.