Saturday, May 23, 2009

ANTICIPATORY FAILURE DETERMINATION OR PREDICTIVE FAILURE ANALYSIS

Today, I have learned two new terms in technical problem solving from the net.

One is Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA). PFA is actually a proprietary IBM technology for monitoring the likelihood of hard disk drive failures.

The other is Anticipatory Failure Determination (AFD). It is part of the TRIZ problem solving algorithm, but set in an inverted fashion, which makes it useful for failure analysis as well as prediction.

Here's the link to an article by Jack Hipple of Innovation-TRIZ, in Tampa, Florida, which describes the AFD or PFA in action.

According to the article, the term PFA has been chosen to replace AFD, as it is believed to be a better phrase descriptor of what the process does.

What is most fascinating is the way questioning is done by changing the basic question from 'what could go wrong?' (a checklist type of approach) to 'how do I make it go wrong?' - a proactive saboteurial approach.

Thus, the question is changed from 'what' (or even 'what if?') to 'how', giving one the wonderful opportunity to play agent provocateur for a change.

For me, I am glad that PFA or AFD adds on to my understanding of what I have been talking about earlier, based on what I have learned previously from Dr Jack Matson: Intelligent Fast Failure.

[Please refer to my earlier post, entitled 'Embracing Failure as a Strategic Model'.]

Read Jack Hipple's wonderful article.

At least from my perspective, PFA or AFD is certainly interesting as a workable strategy to preempt failure or rather to fail forward fast & intelligently.

[For more information about the proprietary TRIZ methodology, which has its origins behind the former Iron Curtain (USSR), please visit the author's corporate website.]

DESIGNING YOUR OPTIMAL CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT

Further to my earlier post, I thought it would be a great idea to expand a little bit on the subject of "multi-sensory stimulation" as opposed to "restricted sensory deprivation".

I certainly recall during the nineties I had come across the work of husband-&-wife educator team, Rita Dunn & Kenneth Dunn, who had created an innovative assessment called the 'Productivity Environmental Preference Survey' (PEPS).

They had studied personal preferences of learners along several dimensions, actually about 21 of them, related to various environmental, physical, emotional, sociological, & psychological aspects of an effective learning environment.

I like to draw intellectual cues from their study, particularly the environmental & physical dimensions, to see which ones are applicable to an optimal creative environment:

- Light (dim or bright);
- Noise (quiet or sound);
- Design (formal or informal);
- Temperature (cool or warm);
- Peers (working alone or with others);
- Authority Figures (present or not present);
- Mobility (movement or not);
- Intake (eating/drinking or not);
- Time of day (morning, afternoon or evening);

Here are some possible questions to consider:

- At what sort of work station do you work best? (desks, lab or work benches, on the floor);

- What sort of seating area do you prefer? (straight-backed chairs, lazy-boy recliners, swivel chairs, sofa beds, bean bags);

- What kind of stimulus do you need around you? (plants, pictures of nature scenes, open windows, television, play toys like yo-yo & slinky, brain models & charts);

- What kind of lighting do you need? (natural, artificial, bright, dim, direct, indirect);

- Do you need to be warm or cold? (open air, air conditioning);

- Do you need activity around you? (movement, conversation, kids playing, factory floor, coffee shop, busy streets, retail environment, nature park);

- Do you need intake? (coffee, mineral water, tea, coke, cookies, fruits, jelly beans, finger snacks);

- Do you need a sparse environment or a cluttered one (lots of piles or a clean desk)

- Do you want noise around you? (Silence, baroque &/or classical music, instrumentals, birds chirping, ocean waves, factory noise, kids playing, metal rock & roll);

- What about movement (space to break-out, gallery walk, exercise equipment, games);

- When do you work best (if at night, where can you work? If during the morning or afternoon, how to keep people awake? If during meals, how can you eat & work?);

- What materials do you need to do your thinking (journals, drawing blocks, construction papers, note pads, canvas, clay or play-doh, building materials, flip-charts);

[Please also refer to a much earlier post, entitled 'Guidelines for Setting Up a Brainstorming Lab'.]

AN INTERESTING VIEWPOINT ON THINKING IN THE BOX

While going through some of the previously bound notes which I have regularly downloaded from the net, I came across this observation from an old article of Fast Company:

According to Dr. Peter Suedfeld, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia & an expert in human cognition, "creativity is a very mysterious thing that exists in pretty much everyone - but that there are indeed ways to improve it".

One method he has studied extensively is what he calls the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) - putting people into places with no light or outside stimuli.

"What I've found," he said, "is that far from making people crazy, moderate deprivation lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and makes people more creative."

Does that mean a person wanting to be creative is better off thinking, say, inside a box?

Dr. Suedfeld considered this a moment, & then said, "To the extent the box keeps the outside world away - then, yes, it is better to think inside the box."

This is certainly an interesting counterpoint to 'Thinking Out of the Box'.

Nonetheless, I can well understand the significance of removing noises, interferences, distractions from a creative environment, but one should not allow it to be too sterile in stimulation.

In contrast, I understand that renowned creativity experts like Doug Hall (the 'Eureka Ranch) & Gerald Haman ('Thinkubator') often love to push their creative environments to the point of being rowdy & stimulating like the kids' playgrounds, in order to spur innovative thinking & spark breakthrough ideas.

Henceforth, a question now floats in my mind:

Will spending some quiet time inside a float tank, a container that is designed with sensory deprivation as part of wellness therapy - helps one to be more creative?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply moulding one's inner life. And that too is a deed."

~ Etty Hiilesum (1914-1943), a contemporary of Anne Frank;

Friday, May 22, 2009

CAN YOU FIND THE HIDDEN TIGER?


There are two tigers in this picture. As you can see, one of them is obvious, but the other is hidden. Can you find it?

Clue: Just shift your focus!

[Source: Planet Perplex]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing Gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost (1874–1963), poet;

AN INTERESTING VIEWPOINT ON MENTAL FLEXIBILITY

I have found this insightful viewpoint on the net:

"Someone asked the famous Brazilian soccer legend Pele what was the most important lesson he had learned over his years of playing soccer.

Pele said he had played all over the world and had listened to literally thousands of team talks. These talks, of course, varied greatly.

But, Pele continued, they were exactly the same in one way. They all told the team what to do but completely ignored the fact that the other team on the field could wreck all of their plans within moments of the kick-off.

So Pele concluded, the greatest lesson he had ever learned was this:

“Winning is all about restarting from a position you never expected to be in.”

Pele was talking about mental flexibility. Life is always in a state of flux. Change happens all around us.

Rigidity puts us in conflict with the flood of change around us; flexibility enables us to ride with the flow."

[Source: Dr Brian Harbour]

HAVE A GREAT DAY TODAY

Today
I woke up early, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. My job is to choose what kind of day I will have today.

Today
I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today
I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today
I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today
I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today
I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today
I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today
I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today
I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today
I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my body, mind and soul.

Today
stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a Great Day
unless you have other plans.

~ Author Unknown

[Source: Liz's WWWorld]

NOTES FROM MY SCRATCHPAD: ZING!

Here’s a summary of the five steps for generating big ideas from the book, 'Zing! Five Steps & 101 Tips for Creativity On Command', by Sam Harrison:

1. Explore: Observe & Research

- Gather all the information possible about the challenge; Become a sponge; Notice people; Anticipate; Don’t just look, see!

2. Freedom: Brainstorm & Visualize

- Have a “free-range brain” and come up with as many solutions as possible; Judge not; Assume nothing is impossible; Observations + Connections = Ideas;

3. Pause: Pause & Detach

- Step away from the problem and let it stew in the back of your mind … Einstein said his best ideas came while shaving;

4. Embrace: Edit & Select

- While you were pausing “the subconscious mind was doing the heavy lifting; Now the brightest idea floats before you.” With the embrace step, “we find a solution that zings.”

5. Life: Prototype & Implement

- “Breathe life into your idea… In this step you add flesh, bones and heart to your idea; You make it lively and likable.” Verify the idea; Modify it to make it better; Be the idea champion;

Thursday, May 21, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: KEEP IT SHORT


I have spotted this caption at the shopfront of a retail boutique in the Marina Square shopping mall yesterday afternoon.

Somehow, it has probably reminded me of the "30-second elevator pitch" one needs to initiate in order to gain the quick attention of a venture capitalist or investment banker when selling one's business idea.

SPOTLIGHT: FOR THE HIP & GROOVY YOU


Yesterday afternoon, I had visited the Marina Square shopping mall with my wife, as part of our window-shopping romp. It had been revamped completely since the last time I was there many years ago. In the old days, the whole place looked more like a slightly upgraded version of the People Park's Complex in Chinatown.

For me, this poster with the wonderful caption, located at the entrance from the Pan Pacific Hotel, was certainly apt for the visitor.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Ideas not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cells they occupied."

~ Arnold Glasgow, American psychologist;

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL APTITUDE

One of the major findings that have come out of George Vaillant' Harvard Study of Adult Development (as documented in his book, 'Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life') is this observation:

“It is social aptitude, not intellectual brilliance or parental social class, that leads to successful aging.”

That's to say, warm interpersonal connections are necessary — & if not found in or with our parents, they can come from siblings, relatives, school or class mates, business friends, social buddies, & mentors, if any.

Although I am out of the active business loop, I am still in close touch with some of my close business friends.

At the social level, & from time to time, I also hang-out with my good buddies from the Jurong East Sports Centre, also from my informal Wednesday Club, old classmates from my Technical Institute as well as Polytechnic days, plus my other friends whom I have gathered over the years from my travelling & other encounters, like attending seminars/workshops.

I always find the "talk shop" over a meal or drinks with my social buddies very intellectually stimulating, as we often unwittingly cover a very broad range of stuff, useful as well as mundane, under the sun.

Because of the Internet, I have also new social buddies who are more techno-savvy.

Closer to home, I also meet up with my own elder siblings, as well as other relatives on my side as well as those from wife's side. One mandatory meeting is always the reunion occasion during the Chinese New Year.

Besides touching base with the elders as well as contemporaries with their growing outer family generation, such an occasion also offers opportunities to talk about good old times, which in turn bring back sweet memories. They certainly help to energise the wonderful smile on our faces during the golden years.

Of course, at the deeply personal level, I have my good wife to keep each other's company for the rest of our lives. Using the exact words from my wife: Everyday is Honeymoon Day!

I have found that such warm interpersonal relationships often make me feel good, not only about myself, but also about others, & also about the world in general.

More importantly, these personal initiatives are not just confined to building & maintaining existing relationships, but are also extended to rebuilding old as well as establishing new relationships.

As a matter of fact, everything we do in life, at work, in business &/or otherwise, all boils down to relationships.

I therefore fully concur with Vaillant’s final response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

How can I begin to reveal my greatness RIGHT NOW?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Celebrate your success & find humor in your failures. Don't take yourself too seriously. Loosen up & everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun & always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume & sing a silly song."

~ Ronda Beaman, mid-life coach & author of 'You're Only Young Twice';

10+1 TRAITS FOR YOUTHFUL LIVING

According to mid-life coach Ronda Beaman, writing in her book, 'You're Only Young Twice: 10 Do-Overs to Reawaken Your Spirit', there are ten plus one traits that contribute to youthful living.

These traits are:

1) resilience;

2) optimism;

3) wonder;

4) curiosity;

5) joy;

6) humor;

7) musicality (song & dance);

8) work;

9) play;

10) learning;

11) love (across all);

She adds that the first four traits represent one's outlook on life; the next three traits, the language of one's life; & the last three of the ten traits, one's drive to thrive in today's world; while the last plus trait, love, conquers all!

Most interestingly, she argues that "humor is a way to break out of your rigidity, a gentle way to alter the language of your life."

She recommends:

"Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don't take yourself too seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song."

She even suggests how to set a humour or comedy club, with the following ground rules:

1. Figure out what makes you laugh and decide to do it, watch it, and read it more often. When you find something really funny, bring it to the next meeting to share.

2. Subscribe to a joke-a-day Web site. Just type into a search engine the word "jokes" or the name of your favorite comedian(s), and you'll have plenty of choices.

3. Memorize one joke each month to deliver at the meeting.

4. Every member brings a cartoon to each meeting to share and swap.

5. A different member of the club serves as host for each meeting and determines the theme, costumes, and activities.

6. Invite guest speakers: local comics, singing telegram performers, and community theater actors. You'll be surprised at the number of funny people in your community who will welcome the chance to talk about their work.

7. Hold your own Comedy Revue once a year. Invite spouses and friends, and feature the funniest jokes you've found during the year. Tell stories of humorous things that happened in meetings, and enlarge and post some of the best cartoons. In short, celebrate the laughs.

8. Do something fun, something outrageous, and something to make you laugh at every meeting. Rent funny movies: Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant or Harvey with Jimmy Stewart. Introduce your club to the comedy of Monty Python. Visit the library to find old books by humorist Robert Benchley. Listen to old-time radio program tapes by satirist Stan Freberg.

9. Between meetings, challenge yourself to practice humor. Start writing your own jokes, and swap knock-knock jokes with kids.

10. Put together a Comedy Club First Aid Kit. Fill it with comedy cassettes, joke books, and various disguises like red clown noses or big nose glasses. Keep the kit in your car to pull out immediately when something happens that challenges humor--like getting stuck in traffic or seeing the outrageous price of gas!

[The author's work is based essentially on the science of growing young, known as neoteny, & also on the pioneering work of anthropologist Ashley Montagu (1905-1999), as chonicled in 'Growing Young', originally published in 1981.

Both authors have brilliantly argued that childlike traits, such as the need to love, to learn, to explore, to be creative, to sing & play, would help us to prevent "psychosclerosis," the hardening of the mind, so that we could die young - as late as possible.

Please also read my earlier post, entitled 'How to Stay Youthful Forever'.]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

For my own appreciation, I have adapted the following questions from the book, 'The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50', by Dr Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, renowned sociologist & Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University:

1) what motivates me in my Third Chapter of life to want to learn something new?

2) what are my sources of inspiration?

3) what are my greatest fears & inhibitions?

4) what are my major barriers to learning?

5) what allows me to pursue adventures?

6) how are the processes of learning, adaptation, experimentation, & mastery different during this period of my life?

7) do my maturity & life experiences support a greater sense of liberation & collaboration; a new level of patience, perspective, & confidence; & a sturdy sense of self that permits risk-taking?

8) how do I break long-established patterns of behavior, old habits & inhibitions that no longer serve me well?

9) how do I seek & make productive use of feedback & criticism when I am developing new skills & adapting to new realities?

10) how do I hang on to my dignity, sense of authority, & self-respect when the awkwardness & imbalance of new learning make me feel infantilized?

11) what needs to be unlearned if I am to learn something new?

12) how do I balance — & negotiate the tensions between—the losses & gains of new commitments?

13) what are some of the things that I discover that I simply cannot learn?

14) what are the physical, developmental, cognitive, & emotional limitations that prevent me from gaining mastery of new skills & taking the next developmental step?

15) what are the connections that can be drawn between individual learning, community building, & cultural creativity?

16) what institutional innovations, shifts in cultural priorities, & educational reforms might support the translations from individual gain to public good?

THE THIRD CHAPTER


"I believe that successful aging requires that people continue — across their lifetime — to express a curiosity about their changing world, an ability to adapt to shifts in their evelopmental & physical capacities, & an eagerness to engage new perspectives, skills, & appetites.

This requires the willingness to take risks, experience vulnerability & uncertainty, learn from experimentation & failure, seek guidance & counsel from younger generations, & develop new relationships of support & intimacy. . ."

~ renowned sociologist & Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, 64, writing in her ninth book, 'The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50'; according to her, the third chapter in life is characterized by people — between fifty & seventy-five—who are considered “neither young nor old”; interestingly, she defines learning in this stage of life as not traditional learning, but as a mid-life process of "changing, adapting, exploring, mastery and channeling energies, skills and passions into new domains.";

ARE YOU HAVING A MID-LIFE CRISIS? A HANDY CHECKLIST

Here's a simple but handy checklist to help gauge quickly: 'Are You Having a Mid-life Crisis?'

- Discontent with life and/or lifestyle that may have provided happiness for many years;

- Boredom with things/people that have hitherto held great interest;

- Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different;

- Questioning the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before;

- Confusion about who you are or where your life is going;

[Source: 'The Boomer Chronicles' weblog of a 40+ Boston-based journalist (Rhea).]

6 DIMENSIONS OF RESPECT

This following advisory is great, especially in understanding respect as a core value.

1) Offering others the knowledge, skills & resources needed (Empowerment);

2) Nourishing feelings of worthiness, wholeness & well-being (Healing);

3) Feeling good about ourselves resulting from growing self-confidence that doesn’t seek external validation (Self-Respect);

4) Encouraging authentic communication: listening carefully & responding authentically (Dialogue);

5) Wanting to know who people are, their stories, dreams, thoughts & feelings (Curiosity);

6) Offering full, undiluted attention; being fully present (Attention);

[Extracted from the 'You Learn Something New Every Day' weblog of Elisabeth (Lizzie) Crudgington (in UK), based on a speech by Dr Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist & professor of education at Harvard University. Here's the link to her original blogpost.]

THE KEY TO LONGEVITY

Anthropologist Ashley Montagu once told me that his goal in life was "to die young ... at a ripe old age!"

By this he meant that even as we inevitably grow older, we can still retain the life-affirming characteristics of our youth.

No matter what problems and challenges we face, our daily lives can be filled with vitality, joy, playfulness, and a passion for new experiences. It doesn't matter how old you are - once you learn to laugh and play with life, you can feel young at heart, both at work and at home.

The key to dying young at a ripe old age is to constantly change the way you do things.

Whenever you can, you break up your everyday routines, you change your ingrained work habits - in short, you do something different.

~ from the book, 'Work Like Your Dog: 50 Ways to Work Less, Play More & Earn More', by Matt Weinstein & Luke Barber;

HOW TO STAY YOUTHFUL FOREVER

According to anthropologist Ashley Montagu (1905-1999), as chonicled in 'Growing Young', originally published in 1981, here is an original list of qualities or traits you would need to nurture and nourish in order to stay youthful forever:

1) Need for love & friendship;

2) Sensitivity to others

3) Thinking soundly without stereotypes, using observation, analyses, & experimentation, which babies do from Day 1;

4) The need to know and learn, to become aware;

5) The need to work with pleasure & freedom;

6) Exercise your curiosity, your "inquisitive insatiability";

7) Express your sense of wonder & awe;

8) Play at activities just for the fun of it, not restricted to a goal;

9) Express your imagination through the power of mental images of what is not present;

10) Express your creativity;

11) Open-mindedness;

12) Flexibility;

13) Explorativeness;

14) Resiliency;

15) Enthusiasm;

16) Sense of humor;

17) Joyfulness, laughter, & tears;

18) Optimism;

19) Honesty & trust;

20) Compassion;

21) Sing & dance!

[The author had brilliantly argued in the book that childlike traits, such as the need to love, to learn, to explore, to be creative, to sing & play, would help us to prevent "psychosclerosis," the hardening of the mind, so that we could die young - as late as possible.]

DAYDREAM AWAY - IT'S A WORKOUT FOR YOUR BRAIN

I only wish that my first school teacher during the fifties, Mr Cherian, was still around today., as I would certainly email him the following good news:

Daydream away — it’s a workout for your brain

During those early years in school, I often liked to daydream away in class. Invariably, a small chalk duster would fly in my direction. Most of the time it missed its intended target, but once in a while, I could feel the momentary pain on my head. It was some sort of wake-up call.

Kalina Christoff of the University of British Columbia in Canada & her colleagues, with the aid of fMRI brain scan findings, have recently concluded that the brain's default network, which is linked to easy, routine mental activity, would be the only part of the brain to remain active when the mind wanders, along with the brain's "executive network" — associated with high-level, complex problem-solving.

In a nut shell, this study shows that our brains are very active when we daydream — much more active than when we focus on routine tasks.

It also suggests that daydreaming is an important cognitive state where we may unconsciously turn our attention from immediate tasks to sort through important problems in our lives.

Creativity experts have agreed that daydreaming is great for idea generation. Interestingly, psychologists & counsellers have also agreed that daydreaming is a great way to escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Unsure of how to daydream?

Try these 10 steps from life & creativity coach, Quinn McDonald - to help go from crazy busy to inspired creative.

Daydream often. It costs nothing, but is deeply valuable.

TIME TO THINK, REFLECT & DRAW CONCLUSIONS

"The best leaders I’ve studied all discipline themselves to take time out of their working lives to think. They all muse. They all reflect. They all seem to realize that this thinking time is incredibly valuable time, for it forces them to process all that has happened, to sift through the clutter, to run ideas up the proverbial flagpole and then yank them down again, and, in the end, to conclude. It is this ability to draw conclusions that allows them to project such clarity."

~ from Marcus Buckingham’s excellent book, 'The One Thing You Need to Know: About Great Managing, Great Leading, & Sustained Individual Success';

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"You can evolve further only by using what you have in new & interesting ways."

~ Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), prominent American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, & science historian; also one of the most influential & widely read writers of popular science of his generation;

Monday, May 18, 2009

CONDUCTING A PERFORMANCE AUDIT

This wonderful yet simple story may have been told many times.

For me, it epitomises the importance of demanding the maximum of oneself, more than anybody else.

A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits.

The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation:

The boy asked, “Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?

The woman replied, “I already have someone to cut my lawn.”

“Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.” replied boy.

The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn.

The little boy found more perseverance and offered, “Lady, I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach, Florida.”

Again the woman answered in the negative.

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver.

The store-owner, who had listened to the entire converation, walked over to the boy and said, “Son… I like your attitude. I like your positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.”

The little boy replied, “No thanks, I was just checking my performance with the job which I already have. I am the one who is working for the lady to whom I was talking to!”

ENTREPRENEURIAL INSIGHTS FROM THE CORRIDOR

"I treat my work every day as a performance & I always aim to do my best, whether or not the spotlight is on me."

~ Yong Bing Ngen, award-winning chef-owner of Majestic Restaurant & Majestic Bar in Bukit Pasoh Road & Jing at One Fullerton, talking about his work ethic;

On the successes he has enjoyed in his career:

"In life, you succeed not because of your own greatness but because you have few enemies."

He apparently has learned it from his sifu, executive chef Leong Mun Soon (father of celebrity chef Sam Leong, who is currently Tung Lok Group's corporate chef & director of kitchens) at Kuching Hilton's Chinese restaurant Toh Yuen during the eighties.

[Source: 'The Monday Interview' in today's issue of the 'Straits Times']

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"It's hard to do something well when you lack perspective."

~ from the corporate website of innovation strategy consultancy, Doblin Inc., founded by Jay Doblin (1920-1989), noted industrial designer, Director of Chicago's Institute of Design (1955-1969, at Illinois Institute of Technology) & innovator of design theory;

Sunday, May 17, 2009

VISIMAP GALLERY: SHIFTING FOCUS

[continue from the First Post]


This quick map, of the strategy of shifting focus, done with the aid of VisiMap Pro software, comes from my personal collection of maps, which dates back to my early years of exploration.

[More information about VisiMap Pro is available at this link.]

VISIMAP GALLERY: EXPLORING INDUSTRY SCENARIOS

[continue from the First Post]


This quick map, of exploring industry scenarios as applied in strategic analysis, done with the aid of VisiMap Pro software, comes from my personal collection of maps, which dates back to my early years of exploration.

[More information about VisiMap Pro is available at this link.]

VISIMAP GALLERY: REFRAMING

[continue from the First Post]


This quick map, of the strategy of reframing, done with the aid of VisiMap Pro software, comes from my personal collection of maps, which dates back to my early years of exploration.

[More information about VisiMap Pro is available at this link.]

VISIMAP GALLERY: LEARNING QUESTIONS

[continue from the First Post]


This quick map, of the learning, discovery & evaluation questions (which one would need to ask during the process of learning), done with the aid of VisiMap Pro software, comes from my personal collection of maps, which dates back to my early years of exploration.

[More information about VisiMap Pro is available at this link.]

WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THESE ROSES?


[Clue: This is a random-dot stereogram, or more popularly known as 'Magic-Eye', or just plain 3-D optical illusion.

For viewing instructions, please go to this link.

Source of image: PlanetPerplex.]

WHY MONA LISA IS SMILING?


[Source: Ahmad Anvari's blogsite]

LEARNING & UNLEARNING

In many of my earlier posts, I have talked about the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, especially the profound influence of the book [*], 'The Adult Years:Mastering the Art of Self-Renewal', (followed by 'Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life') written by their founder, Frederic Hudson, & executive director Pamela MacLean, from the standpoint of having helped me to negotiate my mid-life transitional change during the nineties.

My name is on their mailing list, & I often receive regular newsletters about their superb insights as well as wonderful offerings.

Here's one I have received today:

TIME FOR SOME UNLEARNING?

More than any other activity, learning is the single act that separates us into two categories: the reactive and the proactive. WHAT'S TRUE FOR YOU?

When you learn, you naturally increase your awareness, interest, and knowledge about something new in life. Absorbing new knowledge or a skill is an attitude, a habit, and a way of life. To learn is to turn problems into investigations, and crises into opportunities. The act of learning something new disturbs our old mental frameworks and creates real possibilities for change, growth and discovery.

This is the essence of self-renewal, the most positive form of human change. During the rest of your life you will have lots of experience, but probably little new and significant learning preparation -- unless you get proactive and make it happen!

What new learning is going to keep you in a proactive rather than reactive state of being?Here are some actions to explore:

- Read, Read, Read - seek out several sources from books, to articles, blogs and more. Stretch yourself. Turn off your television and get proactive!

- Engage in 'Episodic' Learning - take a trip to a new place alone or join a 'volunteer and travel' group.

- Take on a Big Learning Project - jolt yourself! Learn a new language, sign up for a class at your local community college -- stretch yourself! - Make a Difference

- volunteer in your community; offer to play a leadership role, you'll inevitably uncover new learning while also adding value!

Re-Energize YOU Take Time to UnLearn !

ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS

Unlearning & Learning is called for in all of our beginnings and endings. It is an ongoing process of self-renewal, growth, and discovery for each of us. The cycle always begins with a strong inclination to make something important happen and ends when that effort no longer seems important.

Endings require you to let go of some dream or effort that has lost its passion and force in your life ... and learning and unlearning paves the way-

- Learn how to cooperate with change, use it as an opportunity for growth and discover in the new chapter of your life.

- Learn how to begin anew with feisty determination.

- Learn how to recontruct your life through conscious transitions, by seeking new clarity in your priorities and choices.

Live Well...

In the unusual times of today, it's tempting to hold on to our old ways of being --- but now's the time for some radical learning and unlearning. If it's one of those times in your life when you are ready to roll up your sleeves and take a thorough look at how you want the chapter ahead to come together ...

You can go to this link to download an 'Unlearning Worksheet'.

[* together with a few other wonderful books, including Richard Bolles', e.g. 'How to Find Your Mission in Life', & Richard Leider's, e.g. 'The Power of Purpose'.]

10 RULES FOR SUCCESS IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY

One of the most beautiful things about surfing the net is the chance encounters to many interesting stuff.

Just look what I have found.

France's best-known blogger Loïc Le Meur has come up with 10 rules for success in the knowledge economy while writing his entrepreneurship blog. It ws first featured in a 'Financial Times' report:

● Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible;

● Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors;

● Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you;

● Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback;


● Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you;

● Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it;

● Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open;

● Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case;

● Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product;


● Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal;

ARE YOU READY TO HAVE MORE FUN?

I have found this link to a very interesting blogsite, operated by a software specialist Ahmad Anvari. It's his funplex, an apparently fascinating term he has coined.

Enjoy!

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"Hindsight is insight for foresight. Knowing this, life can't go wrong; it's all been done before."

~ Jesse di Campli San Vito;