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Daniel Pink

Time is on my side...

As performed by Mick Jagger

of the Rolling Stones yes it is.

Well Mick, that really all depends. Turns out, the

timing of virtually everything can be either on your

side, or working against you.

You name it, from booking your next doctor’s

appointment (heads up - you want an AM slot),

writing a blog piece, working out, taking the SATs,

asking for a raise, meeting with Nancy in marketing,

or pitching the C-suite - the “when” needs to be

considered when planning the “what”.

How do I know this? Because Daniel Pink told me.

Read his new book “When: The Scientific Secrets of

Perfect Timing” and get ready for a shift.

You know those books that have great advice on

every page, but somehow never get applied in your

everyday life? This isn’t one of them. Apply you will.

Yes, there’s a ton of deeply researched material

packed into this read, but don’t let that scare you off.

In this case “deeply researched” doesn’t mean

boring. The Daniel Pink magic that made his

previous best-sellers so approachable and

provocative is ever-present here.

We caught up with Daniel to ask a few questions

about the When of timing and why we should care.

04 FLOW JULY 2018



Q: About 30 pages into When, a mounting sense

of lost opportunity waved over me as I realized

I've been doing it wrong all these years (damn

you, late afternoon meetings with Finance!).

This may well be one of the best books on

optimization I've read in years (and I've read a

lot of them). There are practical, executable

tips throughout.

With that in mind, how has your work routine

changed post-research compared to

pre-research for the book, if at all?

Daniel: It’s changed may own routines in several

ways. Let me offer two.

First, once I began understanding the research

on peaks, troughs, and recoveries, I reorganized

my day. Since I’m a more of a lark than an owl,

my peak is the morning. That’s when I’m best

doing analytic work - like conjuring words and

trying to make them march in formation. So

early in the writing of the book, I took a new

approach. Every morning, I came into my office

- the garage behind my house - around 830. I

gave myself a word count - usually around 700

or 800 words. And I didn't do anything else until

I wrote the required number of words. No

checking email. No watching sports highlights.

Nothing. I didn’t even bring my phone into the

office. By doing that every day - 700 words

today, 800 words the next

day, another 800 the day after

that - the pages begin piling

up. And, believe it or not, this

book on timing was the first

book I ever delivered on time!

Second, I’ve become more

systematic about taking

breaks. Each day, on my list of

things to do, I try to schedule

at least one afternoon break.

And those breaks almost

always abide by the design

principles that science tells us

make breaks most effective -

moving, outside, social, and

fully detached. So in the

afternoon, you might see me

walking around my neighborhood - often with

my wife, but never with my phone. I used to

think that amateurs take breaks and

professionals don’t. Now I understand that the

truth is the opposite: Professionals take breaks.

It’s the amateurs who ignore breaks.


DQ: aniel, as I mentioned, this book has

optimization tips throughout. If you and I had

the opportunity to walk the National Mall for

30 minutes chatting about When and its

relationship to the collaborative process,

what's one actionable tip I would take away?

Daniel: I’d ask us to spend 15 of those minutes

talking not about how to collaborate more

effectively and instead talking about why we’re

collaborating in the first place. What are we

trying to accomplish? Why are we doing this in

the first place? What’s the point of the exercise?

Then I’d schedule a separate time for a

pre-mortem. In this technique, created by

psychologist Gary Klein, we look out, say, one

year from now and imagine that our shared

project is a bust. Then we try to figure out what

went wrong. And then, returning to the present

day, we set up ways to avoid those pitfalls. I’d

much rather make mistakes in my head in

advance than in real time on a real project.


Q: When has received a lot of press and reviews

since it came out and landed on the best-seller

list. Is there anything in the book that you

thought would receive more attention, but


Daniel: I thought the material on choral singing

- the fact that it’s basically as good for us as

physical exercise - would have gotten more

attention. That said, there’s still, er, time!

Looking for more from Daniel? Check out his

fantastic Ted Talk on motivation below or visit

DanPink.com to connect with him on social media

and read more about When and his five other books,

including other New York Times bestsellers A Whole

New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human.

The Puzzle

of Motivation

Dan Pink




in the kitchen




with Chef Eric Ripert

My Dad held up his glass to mine and proclaimed

“to easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had”.


Perhaps predictable when dining at Le Bernardin, the revered

Michelin three-star restaurant in New York, but to this day that

experience (a treat from my Dad on our first trip to New York back

in 2014) stands out as a truly memorable culinary event for both

of us.

The evening was a study in collaboration and creativity.

From the first step in the door the team produced a

seamless flow of exceptional hospitality, ambience,

service and food.

As the chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert’s

part in this orchestra of teamwork is not insignificant.

We caught up with Chef Ripert to talk creativity,

collaboration and a surprising new option that

needed both to make the menu.

Q: Chef Ripert, can you talk the collaborative

process at Le Bernardin? And the evolution, if

any, in how you approach collaborating today

vs. when you first began your career?

Chef: Teamwork at Le Bernardin is everything.

Whether creatively collaborating on a new

dish or ensuring an evening in the dining

room runs smoothly, our employees are our

family and must all work together with

respect and harmony. We have an

unbelievably loyal team - many of the

members have been with us for more than

20 years! We have a warm relationship and

overwhelming dedication that makes it

easy for them to understand and share our

vision with every guest who joins us at Le


06 FLOW JULY 2018


Previously, I used to be a very authoritative

chef. I would yell at my cooks and had very

little tolerance and patience. It was the style

of management that I learned from other

chefs during my early years of training.

Around 2000, I started to contemplate the

kitchen’s atmosphere; we were losing a lot

of employees and I was confused. I decide to

re-evaluate the way I manage people

and I realized something in

myself - I couldn’t be

happy if I was

angry; those emotions

can’t coexist. Now, we

don’t yell at Le Bernardin,

there is no drama. Today

we have arrived at a certain

level of management where

the team is happy to work

together, and even during

our busiest times, we have

a peaceful environment.

Q: Le Bernardin recently

introduced a vegetarian

tasting menu option. Can

you take us through the

creative process you and your team went through as

you designed this new option.

Chef: In January of 2018, for the first time ever, Le

Bernardin created a Vegetarian Tasting Menu. The goal

of this menu is to highlight vegetables in the same

focused and dedicated way that we’ve always treated

fish – to simply elevate the quality and freshness of

each ingredient. The creative process is not something

you can control and you never know when inspiration

will hit.

To develop this menu, as with any of our other dishes,

we rely on teamwork and collaboration. What I ask my

sous chefs, and also impose on myself, is to take notes

whenever they have an idea. I write it down on

whatever piece of paper I have nearby. Eventually, I

bring all of the papers together; I carve out a spot

conducive to creativity – calm, quiet, clutter-free.

Sometimes, an idea sounds really good and we’re

excited to pursue it, but when we try it, we realize it’s

not at all what we expected. We don’t rush ourselves.

We work on new dishes and sometimes we get lucky

and it only takes us a few days to master them, and

other times it takes months.

A best-selling author, TV host and regular guest on a variety

of food-focused programs, Eric Ripert has built a reputation

as one of the world’s preeminent chefs. His flagship

restaurant, Le Bernardin is consistently ranked amongst the

best dining establishments in the world.

Keep up with Eric on Twitter (Eric Ripert) and Le Bernardin




Sasha DiGiulian talks

in climbing

As she summits a towering 2,300-foot granite

dome in Madagascar, Sasha DiGiulian books

another in a list of impressive “firsts”, this one

the first female ascent of Mora Mora, ranked as

one of the most difficult climbing routes in

the world.

I knew who Sarah was before Mora Mora,

but reading about that climb dialed me in.

I had a chance to connect with this top

American climber to talk

collaboration, creativity and


08 FLOW JULY 2018


Q: Sasha, what does collaboration look like when

prepping for a climb? And what does it look like when

you're on the climb?

Sasha: While climbing is an intrinsically individual

sport, more often than not it is not possible without

a climbing partner. I have a really special

relationship with each climbing partner that I

have because there is a lot of trust built into

this dynamic.

Currently, my climbing partner (Edu

Marin) and I are prepping for a

two-month long trip in the Canadian

Rockies around the Banff region. We

have three big walls of the most

challenging technical faces that we

want to complete, each in one day. In

order to prepare for this project we have

been mapping out the gear that we

need; from ropes, to trad and sport

gear, to the on-the-wall sleeping

gear, etc.

Q: What role does creativity play

when you're on a climb?

Watch Sasha completing the first female ascent of

American Hustle in Oliana, Spain

A Columbia University grad, when Sasha’s not ascending a

grade 9a, 5.14d (as the first North American woman to climb

what is recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs

achieved by a female), she gives her time to organizations

that inspire the pursuit and access to sports, and female

empowerment. She is on the Board of the Women's Sports

Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for

Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club.

Check out what’s she up to today - Sasha DiGiulian

Sasha: Climbing is all about solving a

gigantic jigsaw puzzle; putting

individual pieces of the puzzle together

in order to “send” or “summit” the

climb. The creative process mainly

happens during the climb - there is an

element of visualization and

thoughtfulness that happens beforehand

but a lot of the creativity is packaged

within the flow experience of climbing.

Q: What inspired you to start climbing and

what's inspired you to keep climbing?

Sasha: I started climbing when I saw six; I

loved the fact that I was in control of how I

moved up the wall.

Climbing is this input-output formula; what you

put into it is what you get out of it. This varies at

times - the effort that I put towards training,

exploration, and big projects, but what has

remained constant is my passion for it. I love how

climbing has taken me around the world, given me a

lens to experience remote corners and interact with

different cultures.

I love the process of not knowing I am capable of doing

something, physically, then revealing to myself what I

am capable of when I figure out the mental side. There

are many aspects of climbing that I love; the sheer

physical experience, the mental puzzle-solving, and

the community.



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