What Obscure Bits of Knowledge Do You Have?

“Why-why-why!… Ask it of everything your mind touches, and let your mind touch everything!”— Ann Fairbairn

Did you ever think about Ganymede, one of the most interesting moons around Jupiter, and perhaps the whole of our solar system?

Somehow, this rarely comes up in conversation, so sometimes I need to bring it up myself.

We were out for a late evening walk. Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus were all quite stunning in the sky. We started talking about the moons of Jupiter, and that led us to more reading.  We were fascinated by many intriguing facts and theories about moons and how they were formed, and why they are the way they are.

The most fascinating moon to me is Ganymede.  That moon is said to have an internal ocean with more water than all of our Earth’s oceans combined!  Consider the magnitude of that. My next curiosity exploration will be, how did the scientists figure that out?  (If you know, send me a note!)

It is fascinating how much we can learn and still have an infinity of things we don’t know. One of the big things people often don’t know about each other is what odd places their curiosity has taken them.  

One of my favorite ways to help teams gel is to ask people to share, “What odd bits of knowledge do you have that other people might not know?”

This conversation starter has never failed to bring up many fascinating topics where we learn about the world (and universe) around us as well as the people we work with.

When I ended one of my sessions with a fairly large team, I went around the room to learn what people found useful about the workshop on preventing technical debt.  

One participant said, “I didn’t expect to learn about Finnish Folk Metal music.”

I asked, “That was useful?”

He said, “It was delightful. That is always useful.”

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

Photo of Jupiter by NASA on Unsplash

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