"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I am always fascinated by the phenomenon of "ideas build on ideas".

If you have been following my weblog, you probably can recall the reported "conversation" between the beaver & the mousedeer at the vicinity of a dam. Here's the link to the blog post, by the way.

I reckon readers should be familiar with the work of change strategist & futurist Joel Arthur Barker, who wrote his debut book, 'Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms' during the mid 80's.

He rode elegantly on the seminal ideas of scientist Thomas Kuhn, whose 60's classic & benchmark book,'The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions', had profound as well as irritating effects on a lot of people, including other scientists, as far as the concept of "paradigm shift" in the scientific world is concerned.

With clarity & succinctness, Joel Arthur Barker then brought that brilliant concept into the corporate world, within the context of business futurism. He has even built a highly successful proprietary series of wonderful training videos to go with it.

For me, the most productive learning experience from the work of Joel Arthur Barker is understanding - and applying - the power of paradigm pliancy.

In contrast, entrepreneur/researcher Frans Johansson drew his inspiration from the work of the Medici family during the Renaissance era to write his wonderful book, 'The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, & Cultures' in 2004.

[For more information, readers can go to this link.]

In a nut shell, the book's fancy title actually refers to an explosion of creativity and imagination that occurred in Florence, Italy, during the Renaissance era. It stretched from the late 14th century where it started right up to the early 17th Century, where it had spread to the rest of Europe.

During that period, the powerful & influential Medici banking family funded artists, artisans, painters, sculptors, and even thinkers and scientists from many different cultures and disciplines to come together in Florence to debate, discuss, and discover new ideas.

[I was holidaying in Florence with my wife in November 2006 & had read that, out of 1,000 European artists, painters & sculptors during that period, about 350 of them had lived and/or worked in Florence, Italy.]

Through their generous patronage, we are able to speak of and admire the wonderful masterpieces & elegant work of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello, Raphael, Ghiberti and countless others.

The book is about how all or each of us can create our own "Medici Effect" by applying the concept of "inter-sectional ideas, cultures, disciplines & strategies in new & previously unexplored ways".

Dilip Mukerjea likes to call it, "Junction Dynamics"!

From my perspective, it's akin to making deliberate juxtapositions!

Nonetheless, for me, the most productive learning experience from the work of Frans Johansson is understanding the power of creating "inter-sectional moments of AhAs".

Very interestingly, in recent times, Joel Arthur Barker has come up with a new business concept which he calls 'Innovation at the Verge".

[For more information, readers can go to this link.]

He explains the "verge" as "where something & something different meet.

According to him, "Innovation at the Verge" is when two or more elements that are very different from one another are joined together to create a single idea that solves problems the separate elements could not.

He has given the example of a forklift that is also a weighing scale.

Do readers now see my point: "ideas build on ideas"!

Think about it:

- Ned Herrmann's "Whole-Brain Problem Walkabout" via understanding of his brain dominance profile instrument;

- Roger von oech's "Creative Whacks" - explorer, artist, judge, warrior;

- Michael Hewitt-Gleeson's "Seven Thinking Caps" - via multicoloured caps;

- Edward de bono's "Six Thinking Hats" - via multicoloured hats;

- IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization via their process methodology as embodied in the "Ten Faces of Innovation";

So, who is the progenitor? In my view, any attempt will only be a purely academic exercise.

[As a matter of fact, there seems to be a "verbal jujitsu" revolving on the net between Edward de bono & his one-time protege & collaborator, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, with regard to who actually had started the idea of multicoloured hats or caps. Readers can read debono's version at this link; Gleeson's version at this link.]

No comments: