PROTOYPE REV 1.7
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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