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, June 30, 2009

SURVIVAL OF THE FASTEST

I have heard of the following simple but yet meaningful story many many years ago. I can't even remember who actually told me the story, but it has always remained intact in my head.

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.

It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."

This is obviously the law of the jungle!



Looking at the essence of the story, it's analogous to the story about "the competition does not sleep &/or does not wait for you", often told to participants in the 'Money & You' seminars. [I had attended one in Adelaide, Australia, during the early nineties.]

In fact, I recall from a Straits Times' report, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, while speaking at the convocation ceremony of the NTU in February 1995, had shared the following strategic insight with fresh university graduates at that time:

"Singaporeans must run even faster, to stay ahead of the competition coming from neighbouring countries & emerging economies. It is a marathon & we have to run fast & run without end."

Putting all the foregoing perspectives in today's global context, I like to share the following interesting survey findings, which I have come across while surfing the net:

- China produces about 5 to 6 million university graduates annually (Singapore: about 15,000 annually);

- China produces more than a million graduates suitable for employment in world-class service companies;

- More than 350,000 Chinese students are studying in overseas universities;

- China produces about 20 million English speaking students annually;

- 6,000 Indian institutions of higher learning produce 2.5 million graduates annually;

Can you now connect all the dots together?

I can really appreciate that our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has captured the criticality very well almost 15 years ago, & has also not been proven wrong in his strategic foresight. Now, I can also truly understand what actually keeps our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew awake at night.

I can agree that speed matters, but agility, flexibility, & adaptability to change count too. Don't forget, the Chinese are fast learners, too!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING


“In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible & plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.”

~ Edward De Bono;

Saturday, June 27, 2009

DOING A BRAIN DUMP

How Busy is a Bee?

Can you write down all you know about a honeybee?

This little creature has a brain the size of a grain of salt, tiny compared to humans, but you will be amazed at what it can do!

Make a list of interesting bits of information to help you craft a Thumbchart on a bee!


Dilip Mukerjea writes:

Bees are four-winged, flower-feeding insects. They have enlarged hind feet, branched or feathered body hairs, and generally a stinger. Honeybees and bumblebees are the most common. Bumblebees are larger and stronger than honeybees.

Bees communicate with each other about food sources using dances. The sounds from the movement of the bees is picked up by the tiny hairs on the bee’s head. Bees use the sun in navigation.

The honeybee’s hive has cells made of wax. This is where the queen bee lays her eggs. She lays up to 2000 eggs per day. A queen bee can live for 3-5 years.

Bees turn the nectar from flowers into honey. Worker bees must visit over four thousand flowers to make just a tablespoon of honey.

Beekeepers must be very careful when they remove honey from the hive. They try not to hurt the bees. The beekeepers give sugar syrup to the bees to replace the honey that they take. There is only one queen per hive.

Now it’s your turn to carry on from where Dilip has left off!

Just be spontaneous!

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

Say Keng's personal comments:

For me, this is simply a great exercise as well as a stepping stone to a superior idea generation methodology known as 'brainwriting'.

In contrast to the oral sharing of ideas in a team during brainstorming, 'brainwriting' involves team members silently writing & sharing their written ideas.

Research has revealed that 'brainwriting' yields better productivity than 'brainstorming'.

It is believed that its origin has often been attributed to the iconoclast physicist Richard Feynman.

Friday, June 26, 2009

EVERY CHILD IS BORN A GENIUS!


The 'Bookazines of Brilliance' also refer to The Ingenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea.

They are written primarily for parents of today - to help them nurture a conducive learning environment so that their children can dazzle with brilliance in the New Millennium!

Parents are their children's first teachers. Every child is born a genius!

A stimulating environment makes a big difference in child development! Let the bookazines be your field guides.

The first four editions have already been published, & they are:

- 'BrainBabes';

- 'GoldenMinds';

- 'KinderBlossoms';

-'ThinkerBelles';

Selected segments from the first four editions have also been featured in this weblog.

Annual subscriptions to The InGenius Series are now available from this link, under 'Learning Miracles'.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ARE YOU FUTURE READY?

The 'Bookazines of Brilliance' refer to The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. They are written primarily for executives of the New Millennium - to help them become future-savvy!

The first four editions have already been published, & they are:

- 'Catalysing Creativity';

- 'Ideas on Ideas';

- 'Igniting Innovation';

-'Leadership, Learning & Laughter';

Selected segments from the first four editions have also been featured in this weblog.

Annual subscriptions to The Braindancer Series are now available from this link, under 'Learning Miracles'.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DRAWING OUT THE ARTIST IN YOU!

Writing in the 'BrainBabes' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines, Dilip Mukerjea introduces a very simple exercise on perceptual drawing.

In a nut shell, the purpose of the intended exercise is help you shut down your left brain in order to draw what you actually see.

All you need is a pen & a sheet of drawing paper.

Here it goes:

On the sheet of drawing paper, draw the hen as you see on the right.

Take your time . . . don’t rush!

Have fun!

Now, on the flipside of the drawing paper, look carefully at the drawing below, and copy it exactly as you see it.

Only when you have finished your drawing, turn it upside down. What do you see?


(An Upside Down Drawing is a trick - actually, it sort of makes no sense to you as you see as it is; hence your left brain, which relies on logic, shuts down voluntarily, while your right brain, which embraces imagination, happily takes over in the process - to help you draw better!)

If readers are keen to explore further the conceptual & technological underpinning of this simple exercise, as well as wanting to do more perceptual drawing exercises, please read creativity maestro Betty Edwards' two masterpieces:

1) 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain';

2) 'Drawing on the Inner Artist Within';

[For annual subscriptions to The InGenius Series of bookazines, please proceed to this link under 'Learning Miracles'. ]

METAPHORS IN THE MAKING

To recap from an earlier post, entitled 'Metaphors be with You', a metaphor is when you say that something is something else, using figurative language to compare and contrast different objects or ideas. They are formed when words are put together to create pictures in your minds.

Poets use metaphor-speak for an idea as if it were another idea.

In “The Highwayman” Alfred Noyes says, “The wind was a torrent of darkness and the Moon was a ghostly galleon.”

Metaphors are FUN to use! AND they allow your brain to BULLDOZE THROUGH BARRIERS!

Let's do a simple exercise.

1. Select an object or idea as the subject of your thoughts. It is a good idea for you to make a simple drawing of your theme.

For example, suppose you wish to describe storytelling.

2. Identify what it is you want to communicate about storytelling. You may wish to express how enchanting it is to tell and listen to, stories.

3. Now think of another object or idea that strongly implies what and how you wish to express your thoughts. Perhaps you like the idea of “spaceship” to communicate the way stories transport you to other worlds.

4. Finally, craft a sentence in which you link the idea of ‘spaceships’ to ‘storytelling’. For example, you could write or say, “Storytelling is a spaceship that takes me on voyages to other worlds.”

Congratulations! You have just used ‘spaceship’ as a metaphor.

Using metaphors when you write and speak will allow you to communicate more effectively and in a more interesting way. It allows your imagination to break freeeeeee!

Now try your hand at crafting metaphors from the three images appended in this post, using the four-step process described above. Make your associations and metaphor away.

Suggestions: ‘Elephant’ could remind you of a good memory; ‘Four Aces’ could remind you of a winning hand; ‘An Egg’ could remind you of a new idea, and so on.

This is a simple way to help you think clearly, and to come up with creative ideas in challenging circumstances.

[Excerpted from the 'Thinkerbelles' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea. For annual subscriptions to the bookazines, please proceed to this link under 'Learning Miracles'. ]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A SIMPLE EXERCISE IN CONTRARIAN THINKING

Try this exercise:

Pick a topic you'd like to explore.

Draw a line down the centre of your page.

In one column, write many short statements, of everthing you know to be true.

Then, in the other column, write the opposite statements.

Then explore these contrarian statements for ideas.

[Source: BuildingBrands]

Monday, June 22, 2009

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING

"Without the breadth of life, the human body is a corpse; without thinking, the human mind is dead."
~ Hannah Arendt, 1906–1975, an influential German-Jewish political theorist, & also a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular"; she often described herself more as a political theorist, because her work centered on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth & inhabit the world.";

Sunday, June 21, 2009

EYEING ON TWO NEW TOYS

I visited the IMM Jurong East shopping mall this morning to gawk at - & play with - two new electronic toys for men:

1) The Nokia N97 smartphone, with all the exciting new applications; (Price: S$1,200); [More information at this link.]



2) The Olympus Tough Series camera u8000, with waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof & crushproof features - actually, what I like about it is the heavy "metalness", plus the shadow adjustment, dual-image stabilisation, intelligent auto-mode detection, & beauty-mode accentuation technology; (Price: S$598); [More information at this link.]


I haven't yet bought them, but am still thinking about them. I am always fascinated by new technology.

Just think of the amount of ingenuity & imagination the respective creative designers have thought of in the making of these wonderful devices for modern convenience, notwithstanding the ultimate customer experience. Enough to make you drool!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

IGNORE EVERYBODY & 39 OTHER KEYS TO CREATIVITY

I have learned, while browsing the Amazon online catalog, that 'Ignoring Everybody & 39 Other Keys to Creativity' is the title of a new book by Hugh MacLeod.

Interestingly, the book also contains many of his ideas since 2004, under the byline 'How to be Creative', from his 'Gaping Void' weblog. Here's the link.

So, if you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever, I reckon you can read about some of the ideas that have worked for the author over the years.

IN SEARCH OF WORKING WISDOM

In my spare time, & in between stacks of serious non-fiction books, I generally like to read books which can be read in quick short bursts.

In this particularl blog, I like to mention about two of such books:

1) 'Wisdom, Inc. : 26 Business Virtues That Turn Ordinary People into Extraordinary Leaders', by Seth Godin;

2) 'Working Wisdom: A Guide to the Art and Strategy of Success at Work', by Patricia Monaghan;

In the case of the first book, which I had acquired at a used bookstore, I had actually read it quite some time back. I was partly influenced by business strategist Donald Mitchell's not-so-good review on Amazon, but I was curious about the the author, a sort of a marketing maverick.

Although I do share many of Donald's 'adverse comments' about this book, I did find some very intriguing anecdotes & interesting nuggets pertaining to:

- attention to detail;
- creativity;
- curiosity;
- focus;
- goals;
- inititiative;
- resourcefulness;
- self-motivation;
- strategy;
- vision;


The exercises under 'Toward Virtuosity' in these areas were great & fun, too.

I reckon this book is still a worthwhile read for professionals.

As for the second book, I was in some way simply attracted by the word 'wisdom' in the title.

Moreover, this book is also written in brisk, short bursts, so reading it is a real breeze.

Although the book is written as an instant oracular system, I did not follow the author's instructions. I didn't want to play with the suggested three quick tosses of coin.

Instead, I went straight into the jugular. I read through all the 200 shrewd strategies for success in one go during one weekend. I had a glass of ice-cold lemonade & a regular-sized packet of cashewnuts with me.

As a strategy manual, even though it is about the size of two cigarette packs laid side by side, it is fully packed with savvy 'advice' to help readers skilfuly master all of life's challenges. It is written in crisp language - clear, concise & succinct. As you read each 'advice', you may have to ponder a little.

For example, #189: The doorway is part of the Wall

"Opportunity often appears as part of the run of things. It is easily overlooked, for it does not stand apart or call attention to itself. What seems to be an obstacle, a limitation, contains within it the opportunity you want. Look carefully at that wall. Study it until it reveals its openings to you. The best opening goes through, not around, the limitations & challenges you perceive."

I had some illuminations & revelations while going through this pocket book, which I jot them down dutifully in the margins.

Friday, June 19, 2009

SIMPLE ACTIVITIES TO GALVANISE YOUR GENIUS!

Writing in the 'Kinderblossoms' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines, Dilip Mukerjea shares the following simple activities to galvanise your genius:

1) Leaves & Flowers: Feel the textures, smell the fragrances, then draw what you sense;

2) Emotions: What does "happy", "sad", or "angry" look like? Mimic these emotions in a mirror and draw what you see. Then try a range of other emotions;

3) Name Designs: Project your personality to the planet! Create some fabulous designs, based on your own name. Use colour, images, and symbols to craft your masterpieces;

4) Your Life So Far: Draw the key points in your life; use a range of emotions to flavour your work;

5) Making Personal Flags: Design a personal flag that descrbes your nobility!

6) Storyboarding: Draw the events of a story on a storyboard, and get a friend to make up the text;

7) Detailed Observation: Look closely at something (any object) and see if you can come up with at least ten features that are particular to that object;

8) Talking Textiles: Use drawing and clothing as a way of expressing historical stories, involving links to Science, Language, Cultures, and Geography;

[For annual subscriptions to the bookazines, please proceed to this link under 'Learning Miracles'. ]

Say Keng's personal comments:

The suggested activities may seem mundane, but I can assure readers that they are designed to enable you to perceive the world in differing as well as interesting ways.

In a nut shell, they can heighten your perceptual sensitivity as well as sensory acuity to the world around you, which, to me, are the essential prerequisites to personal creativity.

You will be really inspired, and not only that, you will never be the same again in looking at the world around you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

10 PLACES TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN FOR FREE


Here's the link to 10 fantastic resources from Brain Training 101 that offer some quality brain training:

1) NeuroNation;

2) Dakim Brain Fitness;

3) Fit Brains;

4) CogniFit;

5) The Oiginal Memory Gym;

6) Brain Waves;

7) Brain Connection;

8) Rinkworks Brain Food;

9) Thinks.com;

10) Happy Neuron;

Enjoy your exploration.

A BOX FULL OF KISSES

It was Christmas Eve. A man was upset. His 5-year old daughter had wasted a roll of gold wrapping paper. They didn't have much money, and he he was annoyed when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

But early the next morning, the little girl brought the gift to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy."

The man was taken aback, embarrassed by his show of irritation the day before. But, upon unwrapping the gold paper, he looked thunderstruck.

The box was empty! He yelled at her: "When you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside!"

The little girl looked up at him and exclaimed, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They're all for you, Daddy."

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and pleased with her to forgive him.

That gold box stayed by his bed for many years and, whenever he felt sad or discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of his daughter.

We have each been given a gold container filled with love and kisses . . . from our children, family members, friends and from God.

There is no other possession more precious than this. May we always treasure such treasure . . .

THINK: Forgiveness is greater than revenge.

[Excerpted from the 'Kinderblossoms' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. For annual subscriptions to the bookazines, please proceed to this link under 'Learning Miracles'.]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A STROKE OF INGENUITY





[The creative sculpture, involving 38 automobiles, as depicted in the foregoing photos actually exists in Western Nebraska, USA. It's supposedly a spoof replica of Stonehenge in UK. For more information, please visit this wonderful link to Friends of Carhenge.]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DEVELOP YOUR CHILDLIKE WONDER

Adults can learn a lot from children. Children dream big and have a sense of wonder about the world.

You can tap into your childlike wonder to believe in your entrepreneurial dreams, says Mark Victor Hansen, author of 'The Richest Kids in America'.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Pay attention to all the times you think or act creatively.

Do you dabble in something just for fun?

“Creativity causes our talents to surface,” Hansen says.

2) Write down all the things you do well creatively.

“Include things like finding a new solution to an old problem, focusing your energy on bettering yourself or doing something that just makes you or someone else smile,” he says.

3) Review all of your talents and decide which one brings you the most joy.

Hansen asks, “Which one, when you are fully engaged, makes time and space disappear? What is one activity that you look forward to, lose yourself in and excel at that is your true divine imagination at work?”

"My definition of success is the difference between where you are and the use of your full potential. Each of you has a multiplicity of talents, and you need to exercise all of your potential to reach your dreams," Hansen says.

[Source: Seeds of Success from Success Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 15, 16 June 2009]

Monday, June 15, 2009

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING

"I have not yet learned all that I can learn. I have not yet achieved all that I can achieve. I have not yet become all that I can become. I have not yet loved all whom I can love."

~ Jim Ball, CEO, The Goals Institute & author of 'Soar . . . If Your Dare';

VISUAL LEARNING: THE FUN WAY WITH THUMB CHARTS

[continue from the Last Post]

Here are some valuable of tips from Dilip Mukerjea to help you with your Thumbchart Imagery:


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

Sunday, June 14, 2009

VISUAL LEARNING: THE FUN WAY WITH THUMB CHARTS

[continue from the Last Post]

The exercise on ‘Nutrition’ could easily be expanded for you to include information and points of view on, for example:

Tap Water:

Is it safe? Can it be unsafe? Where does the water in the tap come from? Which countries have safe and /or unsafe tap water for drinking? Which countries don’t have any tap water?

Soda Pop!

Are they healthy? Do they contain harmful elements that could make you sick? Why are they so popular? Would it be possible to make soda pop without sugar so that it still tasted great? How does it compare with drinking water?

Nuts:


Are nuts nutritious? What are they made of? Where do they come from? How many different varieties of nuts are there (aside from the human version!)?

Eggs:

Are they good for you? Where do eggs come from? Which animals lay eggs? Do trees lay eggs? Did we come from eggs? Why do eggs have a shell around them?

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

Here are some simple images for you to start compiling your visual library. Practise drawing these, and other, images. This skill will help you become a Thumbchart expert!


When children get used to drawing, they acquire the skill of seeing what is visible, and what is ‘invisible’! This makes them wonderfully holistic brain processors!

[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from the 'Thinkerbelles' edition of The Ingenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Saturday, June 13, 2009

DO YOU KNOW...?

More importantly, what are you going to do about it?

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

VISUAL LEARNING: THE FUN WAY WITH THUMB CHARTS

[continue from the Last Post]

The Thumbnail Chart below, has the drawings from the previous post, made more elaborate for when you have completed researching your notes for each box.

Stay playful... especially if you have to learn stuff that is serious!

You can enlarge such charts to create Learning Posters!



Clues to get started with research notes: We know we need to eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. To prevent cancer, 8 to 13 servings per day are recommended. A serving is one cup of raw fruits or vegetables, or ½ cup cooked.

Each colour found in fruits and vegetables focuses on building the immune system in its own way.

Before reading further, can you give examples of fruits and vegetables in various colours?

Some suggestions for the fruits & vegetables colour quiz above:

Green Foods – broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts;

Red Foods – tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage;

Orange Foods – carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe;

Green/Yellow Foods – yellow corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado and honeydew melon;

Orange /Yellow Foods – oranges, pineapple, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines;

White/Green Foods – onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives;

Red/Blue/Purple Foods – red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes,concord grapes, blackberries;

[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from the 'Thinkerbelles' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Friday, June 12, 2009

VISUAL LEARNING: THE FUN WAY WITH THUMB CHARTS

Thumbnail Charts or Thumbcharts help us to explore ideas, and to learn efficiently.

These images are not detailed; rather, you zoom into, and quickly jot down your thoughts and feelings about a topic, to create a tapestry I call a Thumbchart.

Here are the steps to get you buzzing:

1. Select your topic;

2. Draw your topic theme and give it a title;

3. Use a pencil or pen, black & white initially if you wish, but multicolour for the final layout;

4. Rough drawings are fine;

5. Write notes beside each drawing in each thumbnail box (and on attached sheets when detailed);

6. Create a legend (a symbol code) to highlight the status of each box;

This strategy gives instant clues for you to recall important details about each item.

In the exercise below, see if you can write brief notes in each box to explain for example, why fruits, vegetables, fish, and water, can be good for you, why you might need to beware of certain cooking oils, and so on.

I have started you off in the ‘Fruits’ and ‘Water’ boxes.

Example: Let us select the topic ‘Nutrition’. A starting point could be ‘Fruits’ and ‘Vegetables’; they provide a variety of nutrients. Now keep going...


[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from the 'Thinkerbelles' edition of The InGenius Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS: WHICH PATH ARE YOU ON?

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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DO YOU KNOW . . .?


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

FROM DILIP MUKERJEA'S ITINERANT TOOLBOX: THE PREFERENCE GRID

PURPOSE:

To plot your brainstormed ideas. Once captured in hard copy, and located in zones of priority, it becomes incredibly easy to make decisions. You also retain a record of the thinking process that influenced your decisions.

A Preference Grid captures in hard copy all options generated whilst addressing an issue.


The advantages of sorting and recording a range of options in this manner are:

■ extracting clarity out of clutter

■ faster processing

■ easier decision-making


Plotting Procedure:

State the problem, challenge, or issue that needs to be addressed.

Now, start generating ideas, using whatever technique you choose. This could be a brainstorming process, brainwriting, storyboarding, or any of the other techniques described in this book.

1) Section a page with three columns, headed ‘Options,’ ‘Probability of Success,’ and ‘Effort Required.’

2) Write down your list of options under the column titled ‘Options.’

3) Use a rating scale of 1 to 10, for example. Allocate a value (subjectively, no doubt) to each option in the other two columns. Here the variables are: ‘Probability of Success’ and ‘Effort Required.’

4) Transfer your processed options to the Preference Grid.

The example that follows demonstrates both parts of this process. It is titled: “How can we boost employee morale?”


Plot the coordinates for each option. The options will most likely be sprayed across all four quadrants.

To differentiate between the options in the four different quadrants, use symbols of different shapes and colours, with the option number written within them. This method also boosts memory with respect to the location of each cluster of options.

For example, the golden star symbol pertains to quadrant 2, the green oval is for quadrant 4, and so on.

We nominate the quadrants from 1 to 4 starting with the top left as 1, and then moving clockwise. Any option that is on the border between two quadrants, as say option ‘2’ in our example (between quadrants 1 and 2), we give a unique symbol (in our example, a red octagon). Any red octagon would be on the cusp of two or more quadrants.

If you wish, an option that straddles all four quadrants could also be given a unique symbol. This would be for a ‘5/5’ rating when evaluating an option.

Once all options have been plotted, you have an options scenario, a picture, a map. The following page shows the sorted result of the processing just carried out. At this juncture, you are in a position to make a considered plan of action.

Obviously Quadrant 1 may seem to be the most attractive because here we have a high probability of success and a low amount of effort to be expended.

But there could be situations where it is better to expend more effort if the goal is truly worthwhile; we could thus have an option in Quadrant 2 that is valued higherthan any in Quadrant 1.

Quadrants 3 and 4 are of course, less attractive; we should nevertheless, NOT discard the options in these quadrants as they might have immense future value.

Ideas do not come ready to use; they come ready to refine.


[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital for a Knowledge Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual capital of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

FROM DILIP MUKERJEA'S ITINERANT TOOLBOX: BRAINSTORMING

[continue from the Last Post]

Method 2

This time, select a two-word expression for your problem, theme, or targeted idea. For example, you could use the words in this technique, chain and reaction as the starting and ending words respectively. Now create intermediate idea bouncers (stepping stones) say, five in number.

We could proceed as follows:

Chain-------------------------- Reaction

The intervening words can then be, for example: links, shirt, anger, relationship, and chemistry. That is, chain makes me think of links which reminds me of shirt (because of cuff links), and so on, when finally, chemistry reminds me of reaction.

Let us now apply this technique to a problem, using an institution’s initials as the starting ‘word’:


Once the intervening words have been supplied, we take each word in the verbal chain and associate it with our problem, that is, for ITE to make a breakthrough.

The example shown above is by no means all that can be spun off; the associations are limitless. Now you try it with a real life situation that needs attention.

For example, you could get going with:

Marital................................................ Relationship or

Office...................................................Politics or

Power...................................................Vacuum etc.

[Excerpted from 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital for a Knowledge Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE!

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

Monday, June 8, 2009

DO YOU KNOW...?


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

FROM DILIP MUKERJEA'S ITINERANT TOOLBOX: BRAINSTORMING

[continue from the Last Post]

THE CHAIN REACTION:

PURPOSE:

Swift thought association leads to a rapid stream of insights that unravel the hidden facets of a situation. Incredibly simple, yet formidable in stimulating an explosion of creativity.

Method 1

Select a random word and spin off a series of associations, in effect, a chain reaction. Then select each word in turn, and link it literally or symbolically to the situation under scrutiny.

Example:

Let us say that the random word is kite. We now incite the chain reaction as follows:

kite • sky • sunshine • water • swimming • sharks • teeth • face • chicken • kangaroo • candle • lavender

So we started with kite and ended with lavender, a total of 12 words.

Now we array these words vertically, and associate each of them with our problem, which is, say:

How can we unite and focus our diverse ways of thinking so as to realise our vision for achieving breakthrough in organisational innovation?



[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital in a Knowledge Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

A WISE QUOTE FOR MONDAY MORNING

"By not trying too hard, we avoid learning what our true potential is, and having to fulfill it. Doing our best can be deeply threatening. It forces us to consider what we're actually capable of accomplishing. Once we learn the lesson we can't unlearn it. Our true potential becomes a shining light we can follow. . ."

~ Richard Farson & Ralph Keyes, 'Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation';

Sunday, June 7, 2009

YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE!

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

FROM DILIP MUKERJEA'S ITINERANT TOOLBOX: BRAINSTORMING

[continue from the Last Post]

Brainwriting Record Sheet

Challenge:

In what ways might we be able to . . . (e.g. reduce the high turnover in our Organisation)?


1) Write or sketch 3 ideas across the top row… one idea per box: 1A, 1B, and 1C.

2) As soon as you’ve done this, place the form in the middle of the exercise zone or pass it on to a facilitator of the session. Immediately pick up a form someone else has completed.

Don’t continue on the form you have just used.

3) If you are finishing real quick, put your form in the middle and pick up an extra blank form … Go for quantity!!! The quality will emerge soon enough.

4) Write 3 more ideas across the second row (2A, 2B, and 2C). These ideas can be your ‘originals’ or ones that have been sparked off by others in the first row.

Similarly, when you get a sheet with the top two rows completed, fill in the third row, so as to complete the sheet.

5) Eventually, everyone should have completed a form each, plus any additional blank forms, as in Step ‘3’ above.

NOTE : This exercise can be done at high speed, say within 5 minutes flat, or at a leisurely pace, with advantages to both scenarios.

Advantages of this Technique:

■ Fast;

■ Democratic ~ everyone gets to participate;


■ No loss of ‘face’ for ‘stupid’ answers;

■ Participants remain incognito ~ they do not have to reveal their names against their entries;
■ No time for criticism ~ process encourages ideation through adrenalin flow!


[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital for a Knowledge Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]