The Red Rubber Ball at work

date Feb 10, 2009
authors Kevin Carroll
reading time 1 min
  • Book Title: The Red Rubber Ball at work
  • Author: Kevin Carroll
  • Year written/published: 2009
  • Summary: Personal accounts of business leaders and creative artists about their childhood play versus their adult playtimes during work. And these accounts are categorized according to Innovation, Results, Teamwork, Leadership, Curiosity.
  • My Comments: A very fun book… reading both the childhood and adult parallels makes it think that one should indeed not grow up!
  • Some extracts:

“We didn’t know what we didn’t know. That’s quite empowering because when you don’t know the reasons it can’t be done, then it kind of can.”

Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO Questions to ask in Kid life…

  • What were the favourite games you played as a child?
  • Did you do magic or have magical experiences?
  • What did you draw?
  • did you tell stories?
  • How would you describe the pleasure in making things up?
  • Did you read a lot?
  • What sports you play?
  • What kind of activities allowed you to test the boundaries?
  • What was the thought process behind your childhood inventions?
  • What did you get out of creating / investing?
  • Where did you do your creating / investing?

Question to ask in adult life…

  • How do problem solving and imagination play out in your work today?
  • Do concepts of play from childhood have a role in your life now?
  • How does your work mimic the way you played?
  • How do you describe your current job?
  • What is fun about the responsibilities you have in your job?
  • What are some “play words” that resonate with you?
  • What part of your kid-self is still alive and well in you?
  • Why is imagination important in your work?
  • How do you define play?
  • The best types of play happen in what kinds of environments?
  • As you get older, how idd you hobbies change?
  • How does being part of a team make you feel?
  • What makes a good team?
  • What is productive play?
  • Is there an opponent today in the business world like there was when you played sports or games as a kid?
  • in what kinds of situations at work do you thrive?