The HTT, Hare to Turtle Transform

9/5/18, 7:26 AM

Perhaps the STEM folks among you have heard of transforms? Mathematical Transforms are kind of like transformers – the same components can be reassembled into very different forms. And yes electrical transformers also do this to a fashion trading off current and voltage. Writers sometimes talk about points of view in similar terms – the same underlying reality can look quite different depending upon perspective.  Yes, perspective seems be a very powerful and useful concept for it allows us to realize that things can look very different depending upon ones vantage point. Note that look very different, is not the same thing, as being very different – it simply means changing our vantage point can change the way we think about what is happening.

Back to STEM for a second – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics seem to be a perspective society is badly in need of to get ahead, especially in comparison to the rest of the world who seem to be investing more energy in this type of educational curriculum. Three quarters of university STEM graduates in american institutions are not american. Although we may still have the best graduate schools in the world, our population is not the primary beneficiary, because our american students are less inclined to do the extra homework.

Back to the Hare to Turtle Transform, one that is not in any engineering textbook, but as one gets older or more experienced, seems to be worth investigating do to its universality. Some of you have heard of the FFT, Fast Fourier Transform used for spectral analysis, or the Laplace and Z Transforms useful in moving between analog and digital systems, or the Hilbert Transform  relating phase to amplitude. 

What is fantastic about transforms, is they are precise perspective manipulators which reveal different aspects of systems far more easily in some domains than others. Unfortunately, they generally require an amount of math familiarity and ease, beyond those who are technically trained like STEM people. 

The HTT, Hare to Turtle Transform is a simple enough to not require rigorous mathematical treatment to be understood, making it useful to non specialized populations. It has the advantage of being universal, as people do have a tendency to slow down a bit when they age. Here is why that is useful to me and many like me.

Perhaps you were born with so much energy and curiosity, that you spent a significant portion of your life burning rubber, by definition not getting traction, like a race car with so much horsepower that tire friction can not contain them from spinning until they burn. Now it can be a lot of fun to burn rubber physically or intellectually, because it makes a big noise, and a smell and shows off the you have a very large engine under your hood. Unfortunately, it does not accomplish much else, nor contribute to winning races which is where the HTT Hare to Turtle Transform comes in, because remember the Tortoise wins the race!

People born with “more” are somethings referred to as “gifted”.  Observing the membership of the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute and Society, this is both a blessing and a curse. Excess horsepower is much harder to manage for individuals and everyone around them. If one lasts long enough eventually available energy diminishes which is relativistic. If at age of 6, you had more energy than everyone in the schoolyard, this is also likely to be the case when 60, except  60 year olds do not play in the same school yards except occasionally if they are grandparents.

Slowing down on purpose not because you have to, provides more time to do what you are doing better, which generally gets better results. This is not the flip side of burning rubber, being paralyzed by perfectionism, as neither of these are useful. Instead of throwing yourself at the universe, and seeing what happens, be more deliberate than when you had more energy to waste. It is more rewarding to be slower and steadier, and get more done.

As one who has taken great pride in never following routines or listening to authority, slowing down, even when you have excess energy, is incredibly satisfying and productive. Great speed, generating great results is as illusory as the sole contributor solitary changing the world myth. It takes slowing down enough to collaborate not blaming others for not being you. 

Slow down and do just-in-time scoping and planning. It is not possible to plan more than a short time ahead. Ask any leader what percent of their plans work in the anticipated time frame. Do what makes sense every day, not by running as fast as you can, but running as steadily as you can. That means less dreams done more fully for focus, prioritization, flexibility and steady progress always outperforms the rabbits. The HTT, Hare to Tortoise Transform is a path toward getting more and better  results.