Don't be afraid to start over...


I worked with architects and designers my entire career and always enjoyed how they created the drawings that would ultimately become the spaces we worked in. I learned that it was an iterative process that always included lots of erasures. That influenced the rest of us to also work iteratively on the things we dreamed up and implemented in operations: lots of brainstorming, always including others and their perspectives, and never hesitating to start over with a clean sheet of paper. Even as computers and version control procedures took over this ideation process, it too included deletions and edits until we got it right. Once, we opened a new restaurant that looked good on paper but failed miserably operationally: that led to the practice of building partial and full-scale models that could be studied and changed until those too got it right. Great things start out as small ideas that, through a disciplined process, become finished concepts and products. All of them invariably contain lots of actual or virtual erasures, the goal being to get it right before you start to construct the real thing.  Be open to input from others and don’t be afraid to admit imperfections, and when you are part of an ideation or design team, never hesitate to add your thoughts and perspectives to the mix. Like your mother always told you: “two heads are better than one”. So, don’t be afraid to use your eraser today.

 

Elsa Peretti (1940 – 2021): Italian jewelry designer and philanthropist as well as a fashion model, described as “arguably the most successful woman ever to work in the jewelry field