Bob Sutton, who was an inspiration around the time we started Socialtext, is becoming one of my favorite bloggers. I've been sharing his posts like The Snowstorm Study in my internal blog and talking too much about the No Asshole Rule. But Strong Opinions, Weakly Held is an absolute gem:
...Perhaps the best description I’ve ever seen of how wise people act comes from the amazing folks at Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future. A couple years ago, I was talking the Institute’s Bob Johansen about wisdom, and he explained that – to deal with an uncertain future and still move forward – they advise people to have “strong opinions, which are weakly held.” Bob explained that weak opinions are problematic because people aren’t inspired to develop the best arguments possible for them, or to put forth the energy required to test them. Bob explained that it was just as important, however, to not be too attached to what you believe because, otherwise, it undermines your ability to “see” and “hear” evidence that clashes with your opinions. This is what psychologists sometimes call the problem of “confirmation bias.”
Not only is this great advice for interpersonal communications in an organization, it might be a guiding principle for blogging.
I wonder if the title is a hat tip to Small Pieces, Loosely Joined, where the pieces are people and the conversations ebb and flow their ties.