Bookmarked Ken Norton: Please Make Yourself Uncomfortable (

From my keynote at the Mind the Product conference, San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall on May 4, 2016. It’s February 13, 1960, and Ella Fitzgerald stands on a West Berlin stage, nearing the end of a stellar performance. On a whim, she decides to sing β€œMack the Knife,” a popular…

Ken Norton uses the example of improvisation in jazz to discuss cultivating the right environment for people to be uncomfortable – the zone of optimal uncomfortableness. He suggests three strategies to support this:

  • Use strategies such as ‘provocative competence’ to get uncomfortable.
  • Listen more than talking.
  • Create an environment of psychological safety where everyone’s voice feels valued.

David Culberhouse suggests that this is about balancing disequilibrium.