What is “Doing simple things with humility and failing well!”?

It is often held that simple acts only yield simple results and solutions to complex issues must come from complex actions. This is not true. An example of how a simple thing can create complex results comes from the field of computational theory - cellular automata.

This image illustrates what happens when a simple rule is repeated thousands of times. Instead of producing predictable patterns like repeating or nested groups like you might expect, it generates complex patterns.Just as simplicity in nature yields wonderful complexity (consider how a tree grows), we believe that simple & systematic actions over a long time can yield profound solutions to our wicked problems.

The simple things we do start with having a focused discussion around an interesting framing question, forming very small groups of committed individuals to do a real-life experiment and then sharing the outcome in informal gatherings, publishing in our journal and presenting at a symposium.

. . . With Humility . . .

We understand that humility is displaying an absence of pride, arrogance, and pretense and keeping things in perspective knowing each others strengths and weaknesses and recognizing all are capable of mistakes.

. . . and Failing Well.

The kind of failure that we should learn to love is what is called an intelligent failure. That's a failure in new territory and is genuinely valuable because it brings new information. There was no other way to get that information that to try something new and see what happened.

When we try new things — and not all of them succeed — that’s called experimentation. Learning from experiments is essential for our community's growth.Thus we do experiments. We have to be very pro-experimentation. But we have to be pro-smart-experiments. And I think intelligent failures are the result of smart experiments.