FROM DILIP MUKERJEA

"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, March 31, 2009

CREATIVITY & HUMOUR

One of the most essential ingredients of creativity is humour. If we think deeply about this sensation, we can appreciate that humour is no laughing matter. Here follows an example:

In the 1940s, an employee managed to slip past the secretary of Mark Woods, president of American Broadcasting Company.

"I just had to see you, Mr Woods," he said with a desperate look in his eyes. "I've asked my immediate supervisor for a raise, and he said I couldn't have one. I really ought to get the extra money."

"Why?" asked Mr Woods, looking utterly bewildered.

"Well, for one thing, there are three companies that want me."

"What three companies?"

"The light company, the phone company and the gas company," said the employee.

Woods sanctioned his raise in appreciation of his sense of humour.

Well timed humour is creativity at its best, and could be very popular in a social setting. It can work to great effect in the political arena too.

The worksphere operates far more productivity when humour is present. This correlates with also having a high level of tolerance - the higher the level, the greater the capacity for creativity.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, the famous Hungarian-American film and television personality once appeared on a show targeted for the lovelorn. One of the questions came from a young lady: "I'm breaking my engagement to an extremely wealth man who has already given me a fur coat, a Rolls Royce, diamonds and a stove. What should I do?"

"Give back the stove,' advised Zsa Zsa.

One must appreciate the difference between essentials and non-essentials. A good manager will be able to prioritise accordingly.

The Scottish-born American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), was visited on one occasion by a militant socialist. The zealot harangued Carnegie about the evils of capitalism and waxed eloquent on the need for equal distribution of wealth. Carnegie let the tirade continue until finally, he summoned his secretary.

He requested two figures to be brought to him immediately: the total value of his assets and possessions, and the latest estimate of the world's population. Upon receiving the information, he made a quick calculation and, turning to his secretary, said, "Give this gentleman sixteen cents. That's his share of my wealth."

Carnegie's quick thinking and creative solution leads us to focus on the fact that the solution to poverty lies not in the re-slicing of the same pie into tinier pieces. Instead, it lies in the creation of more wealth and greater opportunity.

Quick thinking cannot be overemphasised in creativity, though one does also benefit significantly from the slow, gradual process of meditation.

Here is an excellent example of rapier wit that is quick and reflexive. It occurred when an Algonquin Wag challenged the irrepressible Dorothy Parker to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence; she instantly shot back with "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think."

Former North Carolinian Senator Sam Erwin Jr, a gentleman of the old school, and in possession of a southern accent that dipped with charm, wrote the following definition of humour when he was 85:

"Humour is one of God's most marvellous gifts. Humour gives us smiles, laughter, and gaiety. Humour reveals the roses and hides the thorns. Humour makes our burdens light and smoothes the rough spots in our pathways. Humour endows us with the capacity to clarify the obscure, to simplify the complex, to deflate the pompous, to chastise the arrogance, to point to a moral, and to adorn a tale."

[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Brain Symphony: Brain-blazing Practical Techniques in Creativity for Immediate Application', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

Monday, March 30, 2009

THE PERFORMANCE GRID & THE POWER OF POSITIVE EXPECTANCY

It is not good enough to be gifted in a particular domain. If your thinking does not support your talent, the outcome will be negative!

As can be seen in the performance grid above, the only instance where there is a positive outcome is when your 'present ability' is complemented by a 'positive expectation'.

Dare to experiment and know that 'failure' is not defeat but an outcome from which infinite opportunities are born.

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

I like to call it the attitude of 'positive expectancy'.

It's an absolutely crucial factor toward the accomplishment of any personal, worthwhile goal. It's the mindset that you can do your personal best, and you will attain the results you want.

In a nut shell, if your personal outlook or belief system is positive, and you genuinely demand as well as expect the best for yourself, you are certainly going to realize greater personal fulfillment.

This does not mean that your pursuit will always be a breeze, just because you positively expect that outcome. But, 'positive expectancy' begets positive results.

For me, it actually boils down to making a powerful choice: 'positive expectancy' or 'negative expectancy'.

Unconsciously, your mind and thoughts decide all your actions. Repetition of thoughts creates greater presence of those same thoughts. If you think of abundance constantly, you will find prosperity in your life. So, you need to fuel your mind with positive feelings of having plenty, so to speak.

This is focusing your mind and making a conscious effort to think positively and prosperously.

Hence, the one who practices the attitude of 'positive expectancy' becomes proficient at turning problems and challenges into solutions; obstacles and adversity as opportunities for learning.

The depth of your personal wealth, prosperity and excellence greatly depends upon your steadfast commitment to your 'positive expectancy'.

Generally, there are 7 important aspects that contribute to 'positive expectancy':

1. Decide precisely what you want in life;
2. Imagine vividly the outcomes you so desire;
3. Sincerely believe in your life pursuits;
4. Enthusiastically act upon what you have set out to do;
5. Monitor your progress & make changes where necessary;
6. Follow through relentlessly;
7. Stay focused on your ultimate goals, but remain flexible in your approach;

ANNIHILATING WRITER'S BLOCK!

For starters, Dilip Mukerjea doesn't believe in writer's block! But for those of you who do, he suggests the following remedies to resurrect your neurons:

Talk to strangers
(Yes, even strange people . . . like the person penning these lines). They provide perspectives that are off-kilter and can sides-wipe you into a serendipitous awakening from literary slumber!

Talk to people who are No Longer Alive
(Yes, they can serve as role models, stimulants, and agent provocateurs!). Read their stories, hear their tales, tune in to their spirits.

Talk to Stuffed Toys
(Yes, they do answer back!)

Talk to Plants and Animals
(Yes, they can converse better than many humans!).

Conquer the Conquerable!
Move ahead and keep moving, by taking on the easy challenges, winning quick victories, so as to build stamina for the long haul, and celebrate every success!

Freewrite
at random . . . anything,, anywhere, anyhow! 2 minutes non-stop! Suspend judgement. If you are at the keyboard, cover the monitor if you have to. Keep writing. Don't worry about gibberish, misspellings, and grammatical humdingers. Keep your hand moving and your brain will think it's writing. No sweat. To be mindful, you need to be mindless!

Freewrite in the Nude!
(Yes, it does free your brain, since your brain and body are connected! At least mine are!).

Take regular breaks!
After say, an intense freewriting stint, take a break. Do not think about writing whilst on your break. In fact, do not think . . . at all! Walk! Not grimly and calisthenically but for joy! Oxygenate your soul!

Impersonate a Persona
(No, not illegally, metaphorically!) Write as if you were a great writer, such as Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, Helen Keller, Dostoevsky. View your theme from someone else's perspective, style, approach, interest, torment!

Change the medium
If you have been writing at the computer, get away and start scribbling on rough paper instead. get the real feel of a pen scratching on paper.

Hallucinate Positively
Quite ass-whipping yourself! Visualise catastrophes if you must, but visualise them happening to other catastrophes. Stay cool and enjoy your creative mentations. If you can fantasise, you can write!

Drink LOTS of Water!
(Don't worry about irrigation; water hydrates, lubricates, and electrolytically stimulates your genius!)

[Excerpted from 'Taleblazers: Imagination to Imprint', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING

"Expose yourself to the best things humans have done, & then try to bring those things into what you are doing."

~ Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers;

Sunday, March 29, 2009

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Over the weekend, as I sat down to re-read the heavily-illustrated book, 'Mapping the Mind', edited by medical journalist Rita Carter & neuropsychologist Christopher Frith [with contributions from Simon Baron-Cohen, Francis Crick, Antonio Damasio, Uta Frith, Richard Gregory, Joseph LeDoux, Sir Roger Penrose, John Maynard Smith, Steven Rose & other leading researchers in brain science] some interesting observations from Dr Simon Baron-Cohen caught my immediate attention once again.

Here's the extract:

"After decades of research into whether and how the sexes differ psychologically, some differences are repeatedly found that, though not true of every individual, certainly emerge when groups are compared.

On average . . .

- Men are better than women at rotating images mentally;

- While women are quicker at spotting when two images are alike;

- And better at generating words;

- Men are more accurate in targeting tasks;

- Women can recognise missing objects;

- Spotting when a particular shape is embedded in a complex pattern is more easily done by men;

- But women can do fine manual tasks, like placing pegs in a board, more easily;

- Mathematical calculation favours women;

- Yet mathematical reasoning comes more readily to men; . . . "

All I know from my previous readings is that the corpus callosum is larger in females, which probably explain their superiority in verbal fluency, than in males.

STRESS IS CERTAINLY NOT A GOOD IDEA

Stress equates with distress . . . Neither help with exhibiting prime learning or recall abilities. Stress raises blood pressure, as the heart and blood vessels react to emotions.

If we are constantly stressed, all the symptoms involved in blood pressure control become overworked.

It is thus very important to learn and practise stress-release techniques; some of these could be yoga, t'ai chi, aikido, breathing exercises, aerobics and meditation.

A positive mental attitude is highly recommended.

Modern research has given us cause to believe that people in their fourth decade onwards can retain only a perfect memory, but exude a tremendously high level of creativity.

There is nothing to stop them having "youthful minds", as seen in young people, where dynamic brain power, learning ability, creativity and emotional zest are commonly evidenced.

Recent findings have revealed that stress is directly related to the production of cortisol, one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. Though not harmful in moderate amounts, chronic levels are toxic and found to be the primary cause of brain degeneration during the aging process.

Evidence suggests that excessive cortisol production over decades destroys the biochemical integrity of the brain.

It has now been found that cortisol robs your brain of its only source of fuel: glucose. This has a direct impact on the neurotransmitters - the brain's chemical messenger - which transport your thoughts from one brain cell to the next.

Disruption of neurotransmitter function, along with a slump in the brain's fuel supply, results in difficulties with concentration and memory.

In essence, cortisol over-production ruins hormonal balance, and throws the brain and nervous system into a tailspin.

[Excerpted from 'Braindancing: Brain-blazing Practical Techniques in Creativity for Immediate Application', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

According to Ms Sanveen Kang, a clinical psychologist at Singapore's Institute of Mental Health [as reported in the Straits Times' 'Mind Your Body' supplement of 26th February 2009]:

'Never dismiss stress; instead, learn to cope and tackle the problems one by one.'

The supplement offers 40 great tips from local medical experts on how to hang loose, which readers can read more about in my earlier post in the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

CREATIVITY & OUR TWO BRAIN HEMISPHERES


The cerebral hemispheres of the human cortex are specialised on the left and right sides; creativity emerges from a combination of attributes from both left and right sides:

The specialisations above appear to be true for 95% of right-handers. However, these can vary also between the sexes.

Women have their brains wired differently to men, and the size and physiology are also known to have some differences, which could turn out to be significant.

What is certain is that we all have the potential to be supercreative.

Our 100 billion neurons are vastly underused and yet we have achieved so much with our Creative Capital.

The prospects are tremendously exciting in The Brain Millennium!

[Excerpted from the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

From what I have understood from neuroscientists, the left and right hemispheres of our brain have the ability to communicate with one another through a small structure, already hardwired with a thick band of nerve fibres, known as the corpus callosum.

So, to build upon what Dilip Mukerjea has talked about in the foregoing essay, I like to share this wonderful insight from American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996):

"Mere critical thinking, without creative and intuitive insights, without the search for new patterns, is sterile and doomed. To solve complex problems in changing circumstances requires the activity of both cerebral hemispheres: the path to the future lies through the corpus callosum."

Friday, March 27, 2009

CAN I FAIL?

In an earlier post, I have reviewed award-winning innovator Jack Matson's 'Innovate or Die: A Personal Perspective on the Art of Innovation', in which the author has shared many interesting perspectives about 'Intelligent Fast Failure'.

Somehow, I am not too sure whether I have been triggered to post the review by a very pertinent & yet very insightful article I have read in the Wednesday issue of the 'Straits Times', under the 'Think-Tank' byline.

The article is entitled: 'Can Singapore Fail?', & has been written by Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore's former diplomat to the United Nations, & now Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the NUS.

Let me recap the prologue of his article:

"I have just finished writing an article for the Wilson Quarterly, an American journal, on the topic, Can America Fail? The opening paragraph reads as follows:

"In 1981, Singapore's long-ruling people's Action Party was shocked when it suffered its first defeat at the polls in many years, even though the context was in a single constituency. I asked Dr Goh Keng Swee, one of Singapore's three great founding fathers and the architect of Singapore's economic miracle, why the PAP lost.

He replied, 'Kishore, we failed because we did not even conceive of the possibility of failure'."

Wow! What a penetrating insight from Dr Goh!

Although Dr Goh has meant the conceptualising of failure from the national leadership point of view, I am certainly intrigued by its implications from a personal standpoint.

In life, I reckon, for most of us as we chart out what to do in the longer term, we always look at the forward journey in terms of success.

The 'image of achievement', as Dr Karl Pribram of Stanford University has so eloquently postulated as part of his 'Holographic Brain Model' rings very true here.

Frankly, I don't think anyone really look at the road ahead from the perspective of the possibility of failure.

There may exist the fear of failure, at least in the heart, but nobody ever sit down to conceptualise for such a contingency in the head.

Hence, the question I am now posing to myself: Can I fail? That's something really worth pondering.

[Kishore Mahbubani is also the author of 'Can Asians Think? Understanding the Divide Between East & West' (2001), & 'The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East' (2009). I have read the first book. It sets out a wake-up call to all the westerners as well as Asians.]

INTELLIGENT FAST FAILURE

I have read the book 'Innovate or Die : A Personal Perspective on the Art of Innovation' by Jack Matson, an award-winning innovator, during the nineties.

In reality, this book is an enhanced version of the author's two earlier books, respectively entitled 'The Art of Innovation: Using Intelligent Fast Failure' & ‘How to Fail Successfully: A Bold Approach to Meeting Your Goals Through Intelligent Fast Failure’.

The latter two books were originally published in 1991, with the earlier one by The Penn State University (The Leonard Center for Innovation & Enhancement of Engineering Education).

The books' core philosophy was based on the author's personal experiences in exploring creativity & innovation with engineering design students in his 'Failure 101' or ‘Intelligent Fast Failure’ courses at the university (first at the University of Houston, later at Penn State).

He had taught engineering students to unlearn years of practising risk aversion, stressing the connection between creativity & risk. He had encouraged them to realise that failure was essential in developing design skills & judgement.

In a nut shell, as I had understood it, ‘Intelligent Fast Failure’ was basically a fast learning process, using failure (results) as a springboard.

Instead of experimenting with only one project idea, students could have several project ideas to work on at the same time. If one would fail, they could modify or adjust it or quickly pick the next one to work on. This experimentation would accelerate the learning process, which would encourage the students to get through the failure results more quickly, before low confidence or low self esteem could set in.

As a result, the students could reach the knowledge acquisition curve more quickly, where they would be able to find out what would work & what would not work.

His principal premise in the book was this:

"No issue is more important to the engineer, or entrepreneur, than intelligent failure."

I had read the author’s books enthusiastically, especially during the early 90's, when I felt, as a mechanical engineer by training, I could relate readily to the author's teaching philosophy.

At that time, I also felt that the author's unique concept of experimenting with creativity, particularly in the field of engineering design, would empower me to go forward & experiment simultaneously with other aspects of my own chosen life pursuits - research, consultancy, training & development, coaching, networking, globe-trotting & personal hobbies.

I eventually moved on, with further inspirations from other authors/books, to establish a strategy consultancy business, run a newsletter as well as operate a small retail outlet in early 1992.

To this day, I still think that this is an excellent book about creativity & innovation in action.

I strongly recommend reading this book if you are serious about wanting to learn how to manage failure & to develop an appetite for risk in your life &/or your work.

The book, generally written in a light-hearted manner, is packed with true-to-life examples, personal cases, & experiences of innovators excelling in the art of innovation on an organisational, civic or personal level.

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

ESTABLISHING A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT

Don’t stipulate, stimulate!
Give people space-time to indulge in serious play! Recognise that play and laughter are strategic business weapons. Stimulate new conversations, new perspectives, new passions!

Motivate!
Extinguish fear and paranoia by involving, informing, intriguing, and inspiring everyone. The workplace should be safe, so that the workers are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes; this enables high standards to be set.

Spark off creative combustion!
Dissent demolishes stagnation; provoke and embrace multiple perspectives.

Sanction autonomy!
A sense of freedom, for its own sake, not freedom for or freedom from, liberates the spirit and catalyses creativity. Give people opportunities to pursue their personal aspirations.

Encourage thinking out of the coffin!
Obliterate corporate death by celebrating off-beat, way-out, points of view. Award prizes for the zaniest ideas.

Experiment constantly
with creative ergonomics. The work environment needs to be attractive, informal and relaxed, with ample room for spontaneous redesigning. Creativity is inspired, not acquired. Creative people require an atmosphere conducive to thinking in nonstandard ways.

Open up the system.
Paranoia is the bane of all passion-propelled creative work. One way to keep defences down is to encourage experimentation.

Encourage roles over rules.
Clock-punching routines can inhibit creativity, and erode trust. Instead, make people proud of, and accountable for, the results of their work. Inspire and encourage flexible thinking; this creates a shift from a value-added to a value-multiplied mentality.

Know that hybrid vigour emerges from the union between success and failure,
two mutually sustaining aspects of human development. Relentless innovation is allowed to happen when you blur the distinction between success and failure.

[Excerpted from the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

Reading the foregoing essay by Dilip Mukerjea reminds me of a beautiful quote often attributed to Steve Jobs, which goes something like this:

"You cannot mandate productivity, you must nurture the environment, create the space & provide the tools to let people become their best."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Writing in the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines, Dilip Mukerjea penned a brief snippet of information on the bumblebee, as follows:

"It is a simple exercise for any aerodynamic engineer to explain the numerous reasons why a bumblebee cannot fly - most obviously, its wings are too small to lift its body. But it flies anyway!"

To end his writing, he posed two pertinent questions for readers to ponder:

- What do I 'know' about myself that might not be true?

- What do I 'not know' about myself that might be true?

HUMOURWORKS

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.

"It's a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway," he said.

"Actually," said the guide, "it's named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation."

The visitor was astonished. "Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?"

"Yes, indeed," said his guide. "He wrote a cheque."


A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. in some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."


A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell. She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

"Oh, my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"

"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

[Excerpted from 'Taleblazers: Imagination to Imprint', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

BOOK REVIEW: 'PETER DRUCKER SHAPING THE MANAGERIAL MIND', by John Flaherty

I have found it very refreshing to read again Peter Drucker's published thoughtwares!

Over the years since I started working as an engineer in the late sixties & also at different times in my life till now, I have read many of Peter Drucker's works on management, change, entrepreneurial endeavour & executive effectiveness.

I had bought this book just after it was published. What attracted me was firstly, the author's credentials:

He had followed Peter Drucker for over forty years & had kept notes on materials from Drucker's lectures, books, articles, conversations & correspondence. Secondly, the book had covered some sixty years of Drucker's thoughtwares.

I thought I could have access to further insights & new perspectives.

To my great delight, I have not been disappointed at all.

In the context of my own interests, I have found it very refreshing to re-read & attain a finer understanding of many important concepts.

Let me share some of my personal favourites with readers:

- Drucker talked about perception. He defined perception as seeing what everybody else had seen but ignored & thinking through what nobody else had thought through.

He observed that "people see what is presented to them; what is not presented tends to be "problems" - especially in the areas where performance skills falls below expectations - which means that managers tend not to see opportunities. They are simply not being presented with them."

[This reconciles in some way with the work of Edward de Bono, another great throught leader.

Please read his 'Opportunities: A Handbook of Business Opportunity Search'.]

- In dealing with the future, Drucker suggested thinking about the future in three classifications:

1) projection (the future that has already happened);

2) anticipation (the future that one expects to happen);

3) innovation (a systematic methodology for inventing the future);

[Many of the intellectual works from the World Future Society (WFS)'s members, nothwithstanding other consultants, are based essentially on these concepts.]

- Innovation is purposeful planned change, the sowing of seeds today for an entirely new & different business tomorrow;

[Many innovation consultants/authors have exploited this concept through their books & seminars.]

- Drucker provided an array of practical tactics for identifying entrepreneurial opportunities, namely:

1) the unexpected (success, failure, outside event);

2) incongruities;

3) demographics;

4) industry & market structure;

5) creative imitation;

6) entrepreneurial judo;

7) the ecological niche;

Frankly, I thought this author did a much better job than Drucker in enlightening me here!

[Michel Robert, a well-known international consultant in strategic thinking, readily exploited these concepts & even created a very successful proprietary methodology called 'Strategic Product Innovation Process', under Decision Processes International, which he founded in 1980.

Please read his book, 'Strategic Product Innovation, Pure & Simple' - it's precursor is 'Innovation Formula'.]

- Drucker maintained that inside a business were only costs, efforts, problems, frictions, & crises but never results. In seeking the source of business purpose, he concluded that it was the creation & satisfaction of the customer:

- in essence what has come to be known as the marketing concept;

- in the broadest sense, only marketing produced results; everything else in the business was cost.

Drucker argued strenously that there were no results inside the business, only costs; the outside factors of the customer & innovation were the crucial factors to performance & no business had control of them;

What I also like about this book is that it is filled with useful summaries & checklists of key lessons at the end of each chapter. The author must be complimented for doing a marvellous job.

Peter Drucker is undoubtedly the organisational thought leader of the 20th Century & our most significant contributor to the concepts of modern management & business strategy.

I concur that this book can serve as a practical crash course for first time readers who want to explore Peter Drucker's most profound discoveries in management, change, entrepreneurial endeavour, & executive effectiveness.

For all entrepreneur-wannabes out there, please read - & reread - this book.

Your effort & time will be well-spent & also ambly rewarded at the end of your exploration!

[Subsequently, I have also acquired & read 'Inside Drucker's Brain' (2007), by Jeffrey Krames, & 'A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher' (2008), by William Cohen. I will post my book reviews separately.]

YOU: The i-Leader!


An i-Leader is a breeder, of ideas. His or her organisation’s job is to grow, develop, attract, and keep talent.

No enterprise can cost-cut its way to the future. The future depends on innovation.

We need to see people banding together as evangelists of innovation -- internal, cross border,or cross culture. Today’s imperative:

How do you create an open market for capital inside the organization?

”Invent” is a vital concept: It’s the creative product of the human mind. We must start with invention.

But innovation means transforming some aspect of the world. Pressure is a privilege given to us to generate ideas. It is an engine for a fresh new world.

Innovation happens when technologies come together with a market.

Sam Walton took the cash register and connected it to a database and changed the face of retailing. Suddenly, everything on his shelves went on spec, because he connected two things together.

Gaps create opportunities. When an organisation recognises the value of an hierarchy of imagination over an hierarchy of ranks, innovation is allowed to blossom.

So where are you placed? Are you reading the gaps?

Therein lies your ovation to innovation!

[Excerpted from the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

BOOK REVIEW: 'OPPORTUNITIES, A HANDBOOK OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY SEARCH', by Edward de bono

Surprising, there isn't a single review of this wonderful book, not even on Amazon.com website, except for my review.

I would seriously consider this book to be among the best in the genre.

Unfortunately, within this genre, there are only a handful of well written books on deliberate opportunity search, which would include Michel Robert's 'Innovation Formula'.

Most of de bono's many other books touch on the betterment of human thinking. This is one of the few odd ones that he had penned, which focuses on deliberate opportunity search.

(There is, in fact, another one of his, which focuses only on the exploration of success principles. It's entitled 'Tactics'.)

There are four principal parts in this book:

- Introduction;

- People, Attitudes & Opportunities;

- The Opportunity Audit;

- Thinking for Opportunities;

Each part is packed with workable ideas & valuable insights.

Unlike most business books, the Introduction of this book is more than an introduction. On its own, it's a real gem as it gives a detailed preamble of the varied concepts of opportunity search, opportunity space, opportunity audit, opportunity team, idea sensitive areas, opportunity map, making distinctions & generation of ideas.

The remaining three principal areas are goldmines of strategies & tools to assist a deliberate opportunity search.

The Opportunity Audit is the best I have read so far.

The If-Box Map is a quick & powerful tool to apply, in spite of its simplicity.

de Bono defines an opportunity as “a course of action that is possible & obviously worth exploring”.

He makes some very illuminating observations in this book:

"The reasons that many opportunities pass us by is a perceptual one - we do not recognise an opportunity for what it is. An opportunity exists only when we see it."

"Everyone is surrounded by opportunities. But they only exist once they have been seen. And they will only be seen if they are looked for."

That's why I have always maintained that perceptual sensitivity to the world at large is a very important skill for all of us in today's rapidly-changing, technology-savvy world.

Additionally & very interestingly, he offers possible reasons why we often missed our opportunities:

- We simply cannot see the opportunity;

- We can see the opportunity, but cannot see any possible way of evaluating it;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but cannot see how it can be achieved;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity & even how to achieve it, but nevertheless it is not for us;

- We can see the opportunity, but can also see huge problems with people, resources & money;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but we have better use of our resources & efforts;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but in our opinion the risks are too great/rewards too small;

In spite of the transpiration of time - the maestro wrote it in the mid-eighties - this book is definitely - & undoubtedly - still worth pursuing.

Instead of waiting for opportunities to knock on your door, I strongly suggest readers to go out there & search deliberately for opportunities, with the aid of this book!

THE CERTAINTY OF SCEPTICISM

So we went to Atari and said . . . “What do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want you to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.” And they said “No.” So we then went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said “ . . . We don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.”

Apple Computer Inc. founder, Steve Jobs, on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer;

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, 1962;

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

H M Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927;

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”

David Sarnoff ’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s;

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work;

“The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.”

Bank president advising Horace Rockham (Henry Ford’s lawyer) not to invest in Ford Motor Company, 1903;

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”

Lord Kelvin, president Royal Society, 1895;

“This “telephone” has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of
communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

Western Union internal memo, 1876;

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”

Drillers whom Edwin L Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859;

[Excerpted from the 'Catalysing Creativity' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WHAT FUTURISTS BELIEVE

"Futuristic leaders ACHIEVE results because they truly BELIEVE a different future is possible. They CHANGE their own and their organiza­tion's behavior, habits, and culture, in order to obtain their collective DREAM.

Futuristic leaders fully EXPECT to reach their goal -- and also fully "expect the unexpected" along the way -- because they unswervingly FOCUS on that goal.

Aware that reaching the future requires that they and their organizations GROW -- both mentally and spiritually -- futuristic leaders HEAR things: they listen intently for clues and pieces of vital information that will guide them in that growth.

Futuristic leaders vividly IMAGINE what the future will be like, what needs to change to get there, and how the charted course might need to vary along the route.

They JUSTIFY their mission, not only based on profitable returns, but in the proper ethics and values that will bring it to fruition.

Futuristic leaders KNOW both what they know and what they don't know, and what more they and their teams will still need to know in the future. They const­antly LEARN, day by day, decision by decision, as they move forward.

Futuristic leaders MOTIVATE themselves, and inspire those around them to do the same, to adventurously NAVIGATE previously uncharted territory. They ORGANIZE and optimize every available capacity and resource to help them PERSEVERE until every part of the mission is accomplished.

Futuristic leaders always QUESTION their advisors, their information, and themselves. Then they can best RESPOND to challenges and opport­unities in ways that STRATEGIZE the most responsible and best possible future outcomes.

Futuristic leaders TEACH everything they know to the highest-qualified teams of individuals. They UPLIFT them to VISUALIZE and drive towards their collective future.

As well, in today's "webolutionary" Internet Age, futuristic leaders encourage their teams to literally WEBIFY their organizations into value-creating networks, or "biznets."

Futuristic leaders also XEROGRAPH themselves: they "clone" or duplicate their own abilities and processes in others, to ensure ongoing growth and continuity through yet another generation of futuristic leaders.

Finally, futuristic leaders repeatedly YIELD consistent and spectacular results, and ZOOM their organizations speedily to ever-succeeding peaks of success."

~ Dr Frank Feather, 'Futuristic Leadership A-Z';

[What I have liked most about the foregoing wonderful book was the author's ingenuity of using the whole alphabet system to illustrate twenty six key action steps to help one prepare for the future. 'To prepare' means to 'see' & 'map' the future.

The author also wrote the earlier fascinating book during the late eighties, entitled 'G-Forces: The 35 Global Forces Restructuring Our Future'.]

LEADERSHIP & ACTION

Most evaluations of reality depend upon a synergy of two or more senses. Leadership calls for a three-step approach to translate wishful thinking into willfull doing:

(1) Awareness, where a situation is sensed and accorded attention

(2) Assessment, where analysis of the situation creates clarity, and

(3) Action, where intention becomes reality. This is inevitable, because we have within us more resources of energy than have ever been tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than has ever been tested, and more to give than we have ever given.

Leaders impel the three-step approach into action via three questions:

- What’s the matter?

- How come?

- So what do we do?

[Excerpted from 'Leadership, Learning & Laughter' edition of The Braindancer Series by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

THE LEARNING LABYRINTH OF THE BRAIN


Traversing a labyrinth might be a nuisance to some, but The Learning Labyrinth of The Brain is no nuisance: it gives birth to ‘new sense’!

Each circular element within the labyrinth is a seed with infinite developmental possibilities. A useful analogy to consider might be our ability to count the number of seeds in an apple ... but can we count the number of apples in a seed?

In cooking, no single ingredient determines the outcome of a recipe: the same is true in thinking, learning, creating, and bonding.

Creative work requires the ability to define a problem using one set of tools, to investigate it using others, and to express the solutions using yet a third set.

The Learning Labyrinth is a menu of gourmet thinking tools that lead to integrated brilliance.

[Excerpted from the 'Catalyzing Creativity' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Monday, March 23, 2009

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

WHAT FUTURISTS BELIEVE

"During the next decade many people will be coming around blind curves yelling things at you. They will be too busy to stop and explain, so it will be up to you to figure it out.

If you have paradigm paralysis [i.e. unable to think in new ways], you will be hearing nothing, but threats.

If you have paradigm pliancy [i.e. being pliant or tolerant of new ideas; be tolerant of people who are suggesting those new ideas, and have tolerance toward people who see the world differently], you will be hearing nothing, but opportunity.

I would submit, in the context of all that I have said, that the choice of which you hear is entirely up to you."

~ Joel Arthur Barker, 'Future Edge' (1992) [an update of his earlier debut book, 'Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms' (1988);

THOUGHT-STREAMING & EDGY IDEAS

Thoughts do not generally come to us in straight lines, between margins, all neatly sorted out. They are born as fuzzy images on the edges of our conscious minds. These 'edgy images' then become a little clearer (as shown above, by the various light bulbs around the centre).

A collection of such random images may move toward a central zone of focus (or they may stay on the edges and become the centres of other edgy thoughts).

Most ideas come from the edges. They can be refined as edgy ideas, or left to keep travelling 'inwards'. Those that coalesce to become the central zone of focus, (the large light bulb above) can be used as the central image of a Mind Map to trigger more ideas.

An Example of Thought-Streaming

Inventing a Sea Plane:

As you can see from the garland of images forming the edges of the outside circle, the sea plane is a composite of edgy ideas that swoosh in towards the centre. Each of these edgy ideas is also a synthesis of other edgy ideas. This is how the human brain propels evolution.

The central image thus formed is now ready to become the starting point of a Mind Map.

It has become our zone of focus, from which a spray of additional ideas emerge.

This starting point has been created from millions of other micro-starting points. The micro-zones of foci drift across our minds, inviting us to use them in our night- and day-dreams. Most keep drifting. To catch them, you need a purpose, an intention, which has a force of its own.

Then. "automatically", like individual bulbs in a chandelier.

This is a the birth of a Mind Map!

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with The World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING

"You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your
ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviours of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules."

~ Dr Francis Crick, 'The Astonishing Hypothesis' (1994);

LEADERSHIP & LOVE

The awakened spirit exhibits leadership by looking within. Wisdom is nothing but a drop in the ocean of consciousness; enlightenment is the ocean. The soul of a leader is nothing but the essence of her followers. They are her depth; she is their surface. They are her periphery; she is their centre.

Is a leader made, or discovered? Perhaps uncovered, brought to light.

Morihei Ueshiba, the revered founder of Aikido, once stated: “The true martial art is love.” But love often remains shut up inside us; it need only be released. The question is not how to produce it, but how to uncover it. What have we covered ourselves with? What is it that
will not allow love to surface? How can leadership emerge?

Love is the sacred soil for leadership. When one is without love, the ego steps in, darkness descends, consciousness gets clouded. Love and ego cannot coexist: love begets leadership, the ego leads nowhere.

There is an unbridgeable distance between the ego and leadership.

The ego strives to bridge itself with the horizon, with a projected desire. But the horizon does not exist. So how can one make a bridge to it? We can only dream about the bridge. We cannot be joined with the nonexistential. Leadership is the absence of desire, of ego; it is an impulse to move in the present, towards spiritual fulfillment.

Life should not be about dread and defeat, but about achievement and exaltation; it can only happen through leading from love.

[Excerpted from the 'Leadership, Learning & Laughter' edition of The Braindancer Series by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A PRESCRIPTION FOR ELIMINATING NEGATIVITY

Here is a magic trick for you, whenever you find yourself suffering from an excess of negative thoughts (for example, nervousness, worry, depression, anxiety, sadness, grief):

Imagine that there is a big, hungry vacuum-cleaner inside your brain, greedily gobbling up all the poison (negative lightbulbs in the drawing here).

Use all your senses and make the feeling real. In no time at all, you will feel much better and be able to move ahead positively.

Once the vacuum-cleaner has done its job, you should not only feel better, but also look better.

In case this does not happen, check your posture! If it is drooping, your mood will be the same. Immediately change it to one that happier, more upright.

You should look as if you are relaxed and alert. And remember, smile, smile, smile! From the heart! Then go and make other people happy too!

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea. All images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

SERVANT LEADERSHIP

Servant-Leadership is an expression coined by Robert Greenleaf. In his words:

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.

Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. He or she is sharply different from the person who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. For such it will be a later choice to serve – after leadership is established.

The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types.

Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.”


Source: 'The Servant As Leader' published by Robert Greenleaf (1904-1990) in 1970.

Greenleaf goes on to ask whether those served grow as persons and if they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?

Furthermore, he expresses concern towards the least privileged in society, whether they will benefit, or, at least, that they not be further deprived. The concept of traditional autocratic and hierarchical modes of leadership are being phased out.

Focus has shifted to the arena of workers and the enhancement of their personal growth. Through teamwork and community, institutions can become paragons of societal excellence; with uncompromising high standards of ethics, care and compassion, the servant as leader becomes an example of a spiritual guide on the river of life.

[Excerpted from the 'Leadership, Learning & Laughter' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Saturday, March 21, 2009

HOW TO HANDLE CRITICISM: THE 5 FINGER HEART CHECK


Unless you lie down first, nobody should be in a position to flatten you and trample upon your spirits.

This "heart check" applies to children as well as to adults. Whenever anyone criticises you, first pause, and consider the following features before collapsing into a heap. They are "The 5 Rs" that lead to resolution.

First write down the criticism on a piece of paper and place it in the palm of your open hand. Then ask the following questions:

1) Is the criticism rational?

2) Is the criticism realistic?

3) is the criticism relevant?

4) Is the criticism reasonable?

5) Does the criticism deserve my respect?

For every "NO" answer, close one finger of your open hand. If eventually, all the answers are "NO" make a fist and crumple up the sheet of paper.

Now throw it into the trashcan, not in the brain!

[Original Source: Unknown; Secondary Source: David Lewis; adapted, crafted & formatted by Dilip Mukerjea. Excerpted from his book, 'Unleashing Genius with The World's Most Powerful Learning Systems'. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

POSTERWORKS, by Dilip Mukerjea


[All the digital images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.

Digital images from the author - in high resolution, vector graphics; hand-crafted but digitally enhanced, & arranged in different library categories, to suit both corporate & educational domains - are readily available for outright purchase.

Please contact the author at dilipmukerjea@gmail.com for more information about pricing & delivery.

Requests for custom engineering designs to suit clients' particular requirements are also welcome.]

THE SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF LEADERSHIP

Leaders who are spiritually awakened have a strength that is a communion of body, mind, heart, and soul. Their fortitude comes from love, imbued with a strength that is fragile, vulnerable, like a rose blossom or a dewdrop. Such leaders manifest the strength of life, not of death.

Their power is not one which kills, but that which creates; neither is it of violence, or aggression, but one that flows from compassion.

Leaders of this ilk radiate life, love, and laughter. Their laughter is . . . almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, and ecstasy. Not because they see life as perfect; in fact, they know that if something is perfect, it has to be dead; anything alive must be imperfect. Their aliveness is communicated through laughter, in a quest for their divinity, within their imperfections.

Where is the value in this for the modern-day corporate executive busy looking solemn?

Laughter that is genuine, not meant to harm, draws energy from the source within us, and spreads as a glow across our outer being. Energy starts flowing, urging laughter to gather momentum.

Laughter lulls one into a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. One cannot think and laugh at the same time. Being diametrically opposite functions, one is forced to choose: laugh, or think. If thinking steals its way in, the laughter is compromised; it lags behind.

This is a case of ‘crippled laughter’.

Laughter at full throttle causes the mind to suddenly disappear. It is the mantra* of joy, and can help a leader become an incarnation of our essential Godliness. The manifold pathways issuing forth from meditation practices are an endeavour to get into the state of no-mind—laughter is an ideal highway to that oasis of tranquillity.

Glimpses into the state of no-mind open up fresh vistas for the leader to sense a vast ‘amness’, a dropping of the ‘I’, a marshalling of the ‘we’, where leader and followers merge into a symphony of spirits.

* In Sanskrit, manas means ‘mind’ and tra means ‘to free’. So a mantra is a combination of transcendental sounds that free our minds from the anxieties of living in the material world.

The mantras are holy hymns, poetic expressions of revealed truth. They are in the form of symbols or seed-words or combinations of a few meaningful words, carrying with them certain sounds and vibrations—specific ones for specific needs.

Mantra has come from manana, which means ‘reflection’. The component tra indicates its ability to save the person who reflects upon it for a sufficiently long time.

Mantra means that which, when we repeatedly meditate upon it, saves us from our lower nature. I offer laughter as the mantra of supreme eloquence, through the agency of no-mind, expressed by the spiritually awakened leader.

NOTE: Some examples of leadership with the above qualities: Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, The Buddha, Bodhidharma, Jesus Christ, The Prophet Mohammed, Lao Tzu.

[Excerpted from the 'Leadership, Learning & Laughter' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Friday, March 20, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: 'WHAT A GREAT IDEA!', by Stephen Tomecek

Ever since I have read 'They All Laughed... From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives' by Ira Flatow, among many others, I am always on the look-out for similar books in this genre.

I have an ardent fascination for the history of science & technology, & have amassed a vast collection of books in this genre.

Not only I am interested in the life stories of the scientists & inventors, I am also keen to find out how they went about in the pursuit of the original ideas behind their inventions.

I have recently acquired 'What a Great Idea! Inventions That Changed the World' from a used bookstore.

It showcases lively, colourful stories about some significant inventions & discoveries against a historical background e.g. the hand axe, the wheel, the clock, writing, clothing, mathematics, & the computer. It also divides them across five broad time periods ranging

- from the ancient world before 3,000 B.C.E.;

- the metal age from 3,500 B.C.E. through A.D. 1;

- the age of discovery from A.D. 1 through 1799;

- the age of electricity & communication from 1799 to 1887;

- the age of the atom from 1887 to the present;

What I liked about this book are the full-colour diagrams & clear illustrations, which have been well-integrated with brief descriptions of how the inventions work as well as insightful information about their impact on society as well as on subsequent inventions & discoveries.

What eventually emerges from this book is a sense of inter-connectedness among the inventions & discoveries that other books often lack. This reinforces what Leonardo da vinci once said:

"Everything is connected to everything else."

Also, the author's style of presentation is informally straight-forward & visually appealing.

Well, if you have that curiosity streak in you about the history of inventions & discoveries, just like I do, I guess you just have to go & get hold of this book. I can assure you, this book gives an entertaining & informative tour.

DEVELOPING PARADIGM PLIANCY

What Dilip Mukerjea has talked about in an earlier post, entitled 'Paradigm Paradise vs Paradigm Paralysis', is basically the critical importance of developing paradigm pliancy as we navigate the 21st century.

In a nut shell, paradigm pliancy is just the purposeful search for new ways to stretch the mind & break out of the box, or rather, 'paradigm paralysis'.

According to change strategist/futurist Joel Arthur Barker, who first alerted the corporate world to the business of paradigms during the 80s, it's an active behaviour in which we constantly question & challenge our prevailing paradigms by asking the 'paradigm shift' question:

"What do I believe is impossible to do in my field of activity today, but if it could be done, would fundamentally change my way of doing it for the better?"

To me, as a model for change, it is analogous to 'Developing Mindfulness' as advocated by Dr Ellen Langer of Harvard University in her classic book, 'Mindfulness'.

Also, my sentiment is best captured in the apt quote by French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922), as follows:

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

So, how does one develops paradigm pliancy?

First things first. For a quick start:

1) Seeing the old world in new ways:

- that's seeing the commonplace with new eyes, transforming the familiar to strange & the strange to familiar;

2) Challenging your daily status quo, assumptions & premises:

- that's daring to question your sacred cows & traditional taboos;

3) Making novel connections;

- that's bringing together seemingly unrelated objects, events or ideas, in a way that leads to new revelations;

4) Recognising new patterns;

- that's perceiving significant similarities & contrasts of objects, events or ideas in the world out there;

In the end analysis, considering the many similarities in outcomes, I like to equate 'developing paradigm pliancy' with 'creative opportunity finding'.

Recommended Readings, based on my personal favourites:

i) 'Future Edge: Discovering the New Paradigms of Success', by Joel Arthur Barker;

ii) 'Wide Angle Vision: Beat Your Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers, & Rogue Employees', by Wayne Burkan;

iii) 'The Whack-A-Mole Theory; Creating Breakthrough & Transformation in Organizations', by Lindsay Collier;

iv) 'Breakthrough! The Problem-solving Advantage: Everything You Need to Start a Solution Revolution', by Debbe Kennedy;

vi) 'Business Blindspots: Replacing Your Company's Entrenched & Outdated Myths, Beliefs & Assumptions With the Realities of Today's Markets', by Benjamin Gilad;

vi) 'Thoughtware: Change the Thinking & the Organization Will Change Itself ', by Philip Kirby;

[Note: Wayne Burkan, Lindsay Collier & Debbe Kennedy have collaborated with Joel Arthur Barker in the past. From my point of view, their subsequent writings essentially help to expand our understanding of the paradigm phenomenon from different angles.

The remaining two works are great for helping to make the future a function of your renewed thinking.]