"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."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Lester C. Thurow, former dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has stressed:

“In the twenty-first century, brainpower and imagination, invention, and the organisation of new technologies are the key strategic ingredients.”

“Today, knowledge and skills now stand alone as the only source of comparative advantage.”

Some nations have drawn up lists of the key technologies, which will serve as the engines of wealth and prosperity in the new century.

Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry compiled a typical list in 1990. That list includes:

- Microelectronics;
- Biotechnology;
- The new material science industries;
- Telecommunications;
- Civilian aircraft manufacturing;
- Machine tools and robots;
- Computers (hardware and software);

Based on present trends, it is believed that by 2020 the Internet will access the sum total of human experience on this planet. This refers to the collective knowledge and wisdom of the past 5,000 years of recorded history.

The impact of the Internet can be compared to that of Gutenberg’s movable type in the 1450s. This is when it became possible for large numbers of books to reach a mass audience in Europe. (China and Korea already had a version of movable type).

Prior to Gutenberg, there were only 30,000 or so books in all of Europe. By 1500, Europe was flooded with more than 9 million books, stimulating the intellectual ferment, which paved the way for the Renaissance.

With so much information available today, we tend to move from being generalists to specialists.

Yet, whenever people learn something sufficiently well, they cease to be aware of it. This could be dangerous if our minds shut down and we stop learning.

In order to think on your feet and stay on your toes, try the following exercise:

Divide a blank sheet of paper into two vertical columns.

At the head of the left column, write the title: “Assets” and at the head of the right column, write “So what?”

In the left column, write down all the assets that pertain to you or your Organisation.

Only after the work in the left column has been completed, answer each point in the right column.

The objective of this exercise is for you to be able to answer any Devil’s Advocate questions that might be thrown at you from members of the public. It stops you from becoming complacent.

Once you can confidently answer the “So what?” Questions for each point, you can believe you are on firm ground… for the moment.

We must constantly cannibalise who we are in order to become who we could be.

After all, isn’t it true that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth?

[Excerpted from the 'Lifescaping' seminar participant's workbook. All the images in this post are the intellectual propoerty of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

Likewise, a couple of years ago, Singapore has in fact launched its masterplan to make the island an 'Intelligent Nation', with an inclusive digital society for all by 2015.

The Masterplan will leverage on our capacity to innovate; ability to integrate resources & capabilities across diverse organisations & geographies; & intent to tap the world as the market for Singapore businesses.

Businessess will be better empowered to grow, people will lead better lives, & foreign investors will find new opportunities in Singapore's infocomm-enriched environment. It will be an exciting infocommenabled future where no one will be left behind.

So, what's your personal masterplan for the future?

[On a broader scale, & if interested, readers can also go to this link to read a 160-report on Singapore's strategic thrusts to leverage on 'manufacturing' & 'services' as twin engines of growth to exploit the global economic trends towards a Knowledge-based Economy.

It may give you more ideas about crafting your personal masterplan for the future.]

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