Lets Boil Some Frogs

"Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you do not have one." -Kermit The Frog

Lets Boil Some Frogs
"Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you do not have one." -Kermit The Frog

It's been a stimulating week (and sorry for the late newsletter as it's been a long week indeed), but I noted when someone used the term boiling frogs in a meeting. It's been a long time since someone I knew had said the metaphor, but I've been thinking about it and wanted to chat for a few minutes.

Wikipedia describes the term as:

The boiling frog is an apologue describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water, which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.

While the reference itself is generally exemplary, I was thinking about how one could apply this thinking to digital or cultural transformations in organizations. Or, perhaps, even used as a methodology to force change in oneself.

Here's the question - Is it better to:

  • Make a rapid change? Jump into the deep end? Maybe the water is boiling!
  • Make a gradual change? Slowly (turn up the temperature and) let lots of incremental changes transform something over time. Or, if you follow this path of total erosion - is there ultimately no escape?

Unfortunately, I guess that the answer is "it depends on the situation." But it's a compelling lever to play with when trying to move things in a different direction.

Oh - before you worry too much - science has proven that the metaphor is wrong anyways.

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Forward Thinking

I came across a somewhat disturbing post on Twitter that mentioned actress Winona Ryder who has passed what is known as the Brimley/Cocoon Line.

The meme is pretty straightforward - when the film 'Cocoon' premiered in theaters, Wilford Brimley was 18,530 days old (50 years, nine months, and six days). There is an online calculator to see if/when you've crossed the line.

I now know I crossed this line past January and have been depressed.

Thought of the week

Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • I'm a total sucker for life hacks, and "25½ ways to get things done" has some perfect ones. I liked 'things can't be forced, and sometimes, even though it's really hard, it's better to let it sit for a while' as it seems to be the theme for life, in general, these days - More
  • A comic that was inspired by the talk "It Takes Time," "How living on Mars time taught me to slow down" was an excellent commentary. Nagin Cox, Tactical Mission Lead on the Perseverance Rover, discusses her observations by working on 'Mars Time' - More
  • "Think Differently by Inverting Your Questions" leans into a topic I've talked about in other newsletters - inversion theory. Some good reminders in the article on how to focus on a different picture and the steps that come before it - More
  • Some great visual thinking about the power of 'rest' in "10 Rules for Assertive Rest" - More
  • The great Tim Urban reposted one of his classic articles, "Stick Figure Puzzle" this week and deserves a re-read - More
  • "Why Every Business Needs Powerful Storytelling" talks about the concept of why our own human DNA is wired into 'corporate storytelling': 'The more useful an idea, the more incentive we have to make it memorable and spreadable.' and that human brainwaves sync with 'greater understanding and memory' when stories are told - More
  • Huh! "People in the Middle Ages Slept Not Once But Twice Each Night: How This Lost Practice Was Rediscovered" details the concept of Biphasic sleep and why the Industrial Revolution killed the practice. - More
  • Described as 'small moments of excruciating tension,' "How to navigate workplace awkwardness" was a fun read (unfortunately behind a paywall, I think) on how to work through some of the office's more delicate moments - More
  • We're all still going through the mess of hybrid, on-premise, and fully remote, and Derek Thompson has had some good thinking in the space. This week he talks about a new role, "The Synchronizer," in "How to Solve Remote Work's Biggest Problem." - More
  • "This Is How To Have Emotionally Intelligent Relationships" describes four secrets to free yourself from bad relationship habits. I find "knowing your triggers" (and potentially letting people know about them!) to be helpful - More


Been listening to "Do You Realize?" by The Flaming Lips on repeat for the last week. With the (err, leaked information) about the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 trailer from Comic-Con, we know that's the song featured in that trailer.

I figured it would be a great one to close out with today... I forgot how great of a song it is.

Do you realize? Ah-ah-ah
Do you realize? That everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know you realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Be well. ✌🏻