The first pancake.

The first pancake
By Cyndi Dawes—Practice Director at Huddle.
Every stack of steaming and fluffy pancakes begins with the first pancake.
And every first pancake is, let’s face it, not fit to share. In fact, one of my favourite cooks, suggests you take the first pancake as cook’s treat!
So, what’s the point of the first pancake? Well, quite simply it helps us learn. We get to test out the heat of the pan, how much butter to put in, how big the pancake from a single ladle becomes… you get the drift.
The first pancake allows all the following to be just right, or at least better.
So it is with other kinds of creation. By the the time you read this, this article will have been refined a couple of times. You are not seeing the first pancake. When we design or problem solve we make new things. We test them, we play with ideas and concepts and we learn.
Putting the first idea out there for feedback and testing helps us learn. It’s not the right thing yet, we know that, but it’s the thing that supports others to respond and give us useful feedback. What worked? Why? What needs changing? Why? 
Sure, it can be uncomfortable sharing that first pancake. As leaders we can’t always get to solutions for complex problems on our own, in fact rarely can we. Admitting that and letting others in on that can feel vulnerable. But that’s leadership. Showing that willingness to share a first, even second pancake, with others will model that openness to your team and help build a culture of collaboration and learning.
You can’t ever craft the best solution without some refinement and iteration of your first concept. Just like a pancake stack… it all starts with the first pancake. So don’t chase perfection on that first idea or concept, practice seeing it as a first pancake and see what freedom and creativity that unlocks in you.
  1. For more on vulnerability go to the Queen of vulnerability, google Brené Brown. I love her. You’ll love her too. Promise.

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