"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."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I find it intriguing as well as amusing to read that the Buzan Organisation has claimed that

"... 250 million people already 'mindmap'..."

on their newly created ThinkBuzan website.

Is this a fact or pure hyperbole? Or, did they just pluck the figure from the sky or is it an audited figure?

Likewise, in the corporate website of the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), which offers professional programs to the corporate world as well as to the general public, I have noted that Tony Buzan has claimed that he is

"the owner of the world's highest Creativity IQ".

I like to know who is the ranking or rating authority.

Interestingly & also amusingly, Tony Buzan also claimed

"he has been consistently ranked as one of the top international speakers at all levels & to groups from 1-15,000..."

"... rated as the top international lecturer in 15 national & international management associations."

In the first instance, any young kid can tell you that 1 is definitely not a group.

More importantly, I like to know the respective ranking or rating authority in the two instances.

Did the relevant people in SIM bothered to conduct due diligence on the "accolades"?

Hopefully, the relevant people at SIM, being a premier management training institution, are not entrenched in colonial mentality. Layman calls it the 'Ang Moh Factor'.

['Ang Moh' is a widely accepted & used as a simple term to describe a Causasian. You will hear the term in local TV & movie productions, radio shows, & also read it in the magazines or books.

By the way, readers can pop into this AngryAngMo website for elaboration on the term. The website is run by a German expatriate.]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This is a sneak preview of 'Theme Park Dreamscape', which also serves as the continuous back-to-front cover of one of Dilip Mukerjea's newest trilogy of intellectual masterpieces for kids & teens, aptly titled 'BRAINCHILDREN'.

It has been specifically designed & beautifully illustrated to spark curiosity & wonder among kid readers.

Please stay tuned for more information!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Dilip Mukerjea will be releasing shortly his latest labour of love, a trilogy of highly-focused books for kids & teens, ranging from Primary 1 to Junior College, in conjunction with the 'World's Most Powerful Learning Systems'.

Here is a sneak preview of the book covers.

Each book has been meticulously crafted with intellectually stimulating contents, full-colour illustrations as well as playful exercises to equip kids & teens with the necessary learning tools & strategies to be future-savvy.

Please stay tuned!

Nonetheless, a Quick Note: If you are a visionary investor, &/or a transformation architect, &/or a possibility coagulator with the intended view of entering the educational marketspace, the foregoing trilogy of books may serve readily as your springboard.

Interested parties are welcome to write to Dilip Mukerjea at


Writing in the Systems Thinker's eNewsletter, Volume 21, Number 1, Gene Bellinger offers an interesting & yet nifty tool.

A simple tool called “The AND Method” provides a way to identify problems that are likely to arise before they happen and take steps to avoid them.

One of the foundational realizations associated with systems thinking is that, because things are so interconnected, it is almost impossible for an action to have a single effect. This is where the magical “AND” comes into play.

For each variable in a causal loop diagram, ask, “AND what else does this variable affect?” and “AND what else affects this variable?”

By doing so, you’ll learn to anticipate unintended consequences before taking action.

[Guidelines for drawing causal loop diagrams, plus examples, can be found at this link.]


While browsing the Amazon online catalog, I came across a book entitled 'Golfing with Your Eyes Closed: Mastering Visualization Techniques for Exceptional Golf', by two sports science enthusiasts Erin Macy & Tiffany Wilding-White.

One tag line caught my personal attention:

"The body achieves what the mind believes."

Also, as I grokked through some of the pages, an anecdote from the great golfer of all time Jack Nicklaus astutely summed up the essence of the book's contents:

"I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It's like a color movie. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I "see" the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there's sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality. Only at the end of this short, private, Hollywood spectacular do I select a club and step up to the ball."

I had often used the foregoing anecdote in my peak performance training workshops during the early years to help illustate the power of creative visualisation & mental rehearsal, besides drawing upon my own personal experiences.

[My first exposure to the mindfulness practices actually dates back to the late eighties, when I had attended one of the 'Alpha Dynamics' weekend retreats.

Readers can go to this link in my 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog to read about one of my real-world applications, which was featured in the local 'Business Times' during the nineties.]

In fact, I also like to share with readers two other inspiring anecdotes:

One came from master motivator Zig Ziglar, who had first mentioned about it in his book, 'See You at The Top', during the seventies or so.

Major James Nesmeth had spent seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. During those seven years, he was imprisoned in a cage that was approximately four and one-half feet high and five long.

[Just try to recall the Vietnam War movie, 'Hanoi Hilton', to get the picture.]

During almost the entire time he was imprisoned he saw no one, talked to no one and experience no physical activity. In order to keep his sanity and his mind active, he used the art of visualisation.

Everyday in his mind, he would play a game of golf. A full 18-hole game at his favourite green.

In his mind, he would create the trees, the smell of the freshly trimmed grass, the wind, the songs of the birds. He created different weather conditions – windy spring days, overcast winter days and sunny summer mornings.

He felt the grip of the club in his hands as he played his shots in his mind. The set-up, the down-swing and the follow-through on each shot. Watched the ball arc down the fairway and land at the exact spot he had selected. All in his mind.

He did this seven days a week. Four hours a day. Eighteen holes. Seven years.

When Major Nesmeth was finally released, he found that he had cut 20 strokes off his golfing average without having touched a golf club in seven years.

Appended below is another inspiring anecdote, from peak performance consultant Charles Garfield, who wrote the two classics during the late eighties, 'Peak Performers' & 'Peak Performance':

In 1959, the world-class Chinese pianist Liu Chi Kung - he had won the second prize in the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Vienna just one year earlier - was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution, during which time he had no access to a piano.

Worst still, he was all alone in a cell for seven years.

When he was released, he almost immediately played a series of highly acclaimed concerts. The public was amazed that none of his virtuosity had been lost, despite seven years without a piano.

When asked how he had retained such a high level of skill with no piano to practice on, he replied:

“I did practice every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind.”

In summing up, I like to quote psychologist William James who once said:

"There's a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture long enough, you will soon become exactly what you are thinking."

A word of caution, though, just in case you may get carried away:

According to peak performance consultant Don Greene, writing in 'Performance Success: Performing Your Best Under Pressure':

There are 7 essential skills for optimal performance on the track, court, links or slopes:

1) Determination;
2) Poise;
3) Mental Outlook;
4) Emotional Appraisal;
5) Attention;
6) Concentration;
7) Resilience;


"How the world we perceive works depends on how we think. The world we perceive is a world we bring forth through our

~ H. Thomas Johnson;

Sunday, March 28, 2010


After finished writing my blogpost, entitled, 'Rock Logic, Water Logic & Possibility Coagulation', I happen to recall a beautiful & apt quote by the legendary Bruce Lee, my favourite hero, as follows:
"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."

~ 'Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey' (2000);

Here, he was reciting lines he wrote for his short lived role as martial arts instructor to the insurance investigator played by James Franciscus on the TV pilot series 'Longstreet' during the early seventies or so.

As we move along on the highway of life, I reckon water is definitely a perfect metaphor for a winnning attitude in today's turbulent & chaotic world.

Because water is fluid, it takes the shape of its vessel or blends with the elements it comes into contact with. Being water, it doesn’t mean not hitting an obstacle. It means hitting the obstacle & effortlesly flow around it.

And the next step is, of course, to find a new way - or maybe even to take the opportunity to exploit the obstacle - while we are around it. That's the essence of Water Logic.


Yesterday morning, while my wife went weekend shopping with her girl friend, I spent 'pow-wow' time with my good friend, Dilip, at my place in Jurong West.

After our usual 'pow-wow' routine, it was already mid-afternoon, & we had adjourned for a quick lunch at my neighbourhood coffee-shop.

Over lunch, we talked at length about the issue of some business professionals who seemingly had tremendous problems in seeing possibilities, especially with regard to intangible assets like intellectual thoughtware.

One particular individual, a woman professional, stood out during our discussion.

Self-proclaimed as a "business architect" & holding a Masters in Commerce, & also having worked for a large international bank before, she eventually admitted to us that she was totally lost as to understanding the business of intangible assets. That was even after we had purposely drew up specific flow diagrams for her, following several face-to-face deliberations.

Then it dawned on us about what we had learned from creativity guru Edward de bono.

Rock Logic & Water Logic.

I will endeavour to explain the above phenomenon from my personal perspective, based on my own understanding of de bono's great work.

Surprisingly, in today's Knowledge Economy, some people, according to our personal encounters, still suffer from Rock Logic.

They are stuck in a part-focused or piece-focused perspective. More appropriately, they can only view the world from a singular, static perspective. They are more comfortable with well-defined boundaries & traditional dichotomies.

That's to say, they are unable to connect things or events, like a system.

For me, the key questions that must come to mind when thinking in a systemic manner are:

- what is THIS part of?

- where did THIS part come from?

- what or where will THIS part lead to?

- how does THIS fit in?

So, from a systems perspective, the sequence of questions may be represented by the connection or flow of the parts (things or events) as shown below:

from where? ---> This Part (thing or event) ---> lead to?

The foregoing illustrative equation, so to speak, is the essence of Water Logic.

For people who embrace or are keenly aware of Water Logic, they often view the world in a flow pattern.

To paraphrase de bono, they have a multiplicity of perspectives. They are very comfortable in toying with numerous raw ideas, & shaping them into viable prospects.

To put it in another way, sad to say, some people just don't know how to get unstuck & move to the NEXT LEVEL, let alone to take the NEXT STEPS, because they just can't seem to see where things or events are moving or leading to.

That's why Dilip & I had put our heads together over several days of intensive 'pow-wow' - at my place a couple of weeks back - to create an extensive repertoire of business ideas & operating outlays - I like to call it 'possibility coagulation' - to help others to convert intangible assets into potential 'brick & mortar' businesses, as shown in the two slides appended below.

[By the way, Edward de bono offers an excellent exposition on the distinctions between Rock Logic & Water Logic. Here's the link to it.]

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have just finished reading an entertaining book.

It's 'Imagination First' by Eric Liu & Scott Noppe-Brandon, both ardent campaigners for arts & imagination in education.

With the book, the authors introduce a set of universal practices - 28 (and a half) to be exact - to help the reader to get unstuck, & to reframe everyday challenges.

I like the authors' principal premise:

"... The reality is that imagination comes first. It must. Until & unless we have the emotional & intellectual capacity to conceive of what does not yet exist, there is nothing toward which we are to direct our will & our resources... Routinising imagination is... the work belongs to everyone of us... We can all use imagination across every part of our lives - & we can all learn to do it better... "

It is fair to say that the authors have been influenced to some extent by Benjamin & Rosamund Zander, who wrote 'The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life', which has also been quoted in the book.

The book has been written in three parts:

- the premise, as I have already captured above;

- the practices, which form sort of field manual - I must add that some of them are quite provocative & inspirational;

- the purposes, which form the thematic distillation;

According the the book, one can readily as well as easily think of & express new possibilities by practising the following playful "capacities" (the authors' term for "habits of mind"):

1) Noticing Deeply: identifying & articulating layers of detail through continuous interaction with an object of study;

2) Embodying: experiencing a work through your five senses & emotions, & physically representing that experience;

3) Questioning: asking "why?" & "what if?" throughout your explorations;

4) Identifying Patterns: finding relationships among the details you notice, & grouping them into patterns;

5) Making Connections: linking the patterns you notice to prior knowledge & experience (both your own & others);

6) Exhibiting Empathy: understanding & respecting the experiences of others;

7) Creating Meaning: creating interpretations of what you encounter, & synthesising them with the perspective of others;

8) Taking Action: acting on the synthesis through a project or an action that expresses your learning;

9) Reflecting & Assessing: looking back on your learning to identify what challenges remain & to begin learning anew;

From my personal perspective, the foregoing "habits of mind", even though they are not ground-breaking, serves as my quick takeaways, especially habit #1 & habit #9.

In the end analysis, I like to say that this is still a wonderful book about opening one's minds to a myriad of possibilities, & choreographing the possibilities to work.

For "ideas to cash" (paraphrasing my good friend, Dilip), I would recommend reading this book with 'Turn Your Imagination Into Money: Every Great Business and Innovation Can Be Attributed to One Thing - Imagination', by advertising consultant Ron Klein. In the book, the one chapter about the '22 Springboards to Imagination' alone will kick your imagination into overdrive.

If you are a strategic planner, 'Corporate Imagination Plus: Five Steps to Translating Innovative Strategies into Action', by strategy consultant Jim Bandrowski is worth pursuing.

[My personal fascination with "imagination" actually goes back to the late 70's, when I had first read Alex Osborn's 'Applied Imagination', followed by Michael LeBouef's 'Imagineering' in the early 80's.

I like to consider them real "classics" on the subject, even though both authors had a different slant from Eric Liu & Scott Noppe-Brandon.

The last book I have read not too long ago is Alexander Manu's 'The Imagination Challenge', which is somewhat scholarly, but worth pursuing too, if you have a deep interest like I do.]

Friday, March 26, 2010


While watching the award-winning movie, 'A Beautiful Mind', a particular scene at the early stage caught my immediate attention.

In a nut shell, the movie, directed by Ron Howard, was an entertaining as well as intelligent biographical account of the life of the mathematical genius, Dr John Nash.

A group of mathematicians, including Dr John Nash (played with finesse by Russell Crowe) was hanging out at a bar. A group of young women had entered the bar. One was a beautiful blonde. She had apparently caught the men's admiring glances.

Obviously, from the men's conversations, it was clear all of them were very interested in the blonde.

That's when Dr Nash pointed out to them:

"If we all go for the blonde & block each other, not a single one of us is going to get her. So, then we go for her friends, but they will all give us the cold shoulder because no one likes to be second choice. But what if none of us goes for the blonde? We won't get in each other's way & we won't insult the other girls. It's the only way we all get laid."

Wow! That's what I like to call "systems thinking". The suggested approach illustrated "leverage", a vital "systems thinking" concept.

What do you think?

For me, & also to recap, "systems thinking" is a disciplined way to seeing with a wide-angle lens, talking about, as well as understanding, the dynamic relationships between things, events or situations as a whole (or holistically) so that we can make better choices & avoid unintended consequences.

"Systems thinking" is becoming increasingly relevant when dealing with even everyday challenges that occur around us.

Just as food for further thought, I like to append below OD scientist/LO pioneer Peter Senge's own description of "systems thinking":

“A cloud masses, the sky darkens, leaves twist upward, and we know that it will rain. We also know that after the storm, the runoff will feed into groundwater miles away, and the sky will grow by tomorrow. All these events are distant in time and space, and yet they all connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, an influence that is usually hidden from view.

You can only understand the system of a rainstorm by contemplating the whole, not any individual part of the pattern.

Business and other human endeavours are also systems. They, too, are bound by invisible fabrics of interrelated actions, which often take years to fully play out their effects on each other. Since we are part of that lacework ourselves, it’s doubly hard to see the whole pattern of change. Instead, we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get solved.

Systems thinking is a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools that has been developed over the past fifty years, to make the full patterns clearer, and to help us see how to change them effectively.”

Thursday, March 25, 2010


"Creative thinking is the ability to connect to what is outside the box when you are inside it."

~ Dr Ekaterina Khramkova, Russian Design Research Consultancy, Lumiknows;

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It is quite refreshing for me to read that "creativity is enhanced when it is organised, systematic and based on highly structured processes", which serves as an interesting counterpoint to "the common belief that lack of structure and randomness enhances creative output".

Here's the link to the original article by management consultant Kal Bishop. I certainly like his exemplar from George Lucas' Star War movies.

Somehow, the author's energising ideas remind me of two great works:

1) 'The Houdini Solution: Putting Creativity & Innovation to Work by Thinking Inside the Box', by Ernie Schenck [principal premise: more focused & powerful ideas come from accepting the constraints instead of being controlled by them];

2) 'Get Back in the Box: How being Great at What You Do is Great for Business', by Douglas Ruchkoff [principal premise: the secret of success lies inside the box, by looking at your core competencies, work environments & customer landscapes];

Actually, there is a third book - just came in from Amazon - which I have yet to read.

It's 'Creativity Unlimited: Thinking Inside the Box for Business Innovation', by Prof. Micael Dahlen. I have bought it because of it's catchy structure around three key steps:

- Expanding the box: so that the pieces of the puzzle in it can move around more freely;
- Filling the box: with even more knowledge, and how to get these new pieces of the puzzle to connect with the existing ones;
- Shaking the box: so that the pieces fall into new places and form new patterns;

Please stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Here's another wonderful collection of conceptual symbols - all hand crafted & digitally enhanced - from Dilip Mukerjea:











[All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea. Digital image libraries are available for outright purchase from Brain Dancing International. Sales enquiries are welcome.]

Monday, March 22, 2010



"If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."

~ Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War';

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The following expert tips to training your brain, as a long-term strategy to ward off dementia, come from Dr Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine:

1. Join clubs or organizations that need volunteers:

If you start volunteering now, you won't feel lost and unneeded after you retire.

2. Develop a hobby or two:

Hobbies help you develop a robust brain because you're trying something new and complex.

3. Practice writing with your non-dominant hand several minutes every day:

This will exercise the opposite side of your brain and fire up those neurons.

4. Take dance lessons:

In a study of nearly 500 people, dancing was the only regular physical activity associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease..

The people who danced three or four times a week showed 76% less incidence of dementia than those who danced only once a week or not at all.

5. Start gardening:

Researchers in New Zealand found that, of 1,000 people, those who gardened regularly were less likely to suffer from dementia.

Not only does gardening reduce stress, but gardeners use their brains to plan garden they use visual and spatial reasoning to lay out a garden..

6. Buy a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day:

Walking daily can reduce the risk of dementia because cardio vascular health is important to maintain blood flow to the brain.

7. Read and write daily:

Reading stimulates a wide variety of brain areas that process and store information. Likewise, writing (not copying) stimulates many areas of the brain as well.

8. Start knitting:

Using both hands works both sides of your brain. And it's a stress reducer...

9. Learn a new language:

Whether it's a foreign language or sign language, you are working your brain by making it go back and forth between one language and the other.

A researcher in England found that being bilingual seemed to delay symptoms of Alzheimer's disease for four years.

(And some research suggests that the earlier a child learns sign language, the higher his IQ - and people with high IQs are less likely to have dementia. So start them early.)

10. Play board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly:

Not only are you taxing your brain, you're socializing too.

(Playing solo games, such as solitaire or online computer brain games can be helpful, but Dr Nussbaum prefers games that encourage you to socialize too.)

11. Take classes throughout your lifetime:

Learning produces structural and chemical changes in the brain, and education appears to help people live longer.

Brain researchers have found that people with advanced degrees live longer - and if they do have Alzheimer's, it often becomes apparent only in the very later stages of the disease.

12. Listen to classical music:

A growing volume of research suggests that music may hardwire the brain, building links between the two hemispheres.

Any kind of music may work, but there's some research that shows positive effects for classical music, though researchers don't understand why.

13. Learn a musical instrument:

It may be harder than it was when you were a kid, but you'll be developing a dormant part of your brain.

14. Travel:

When you travel (whether it's to a distant vacation spot or on a different route across town), you're forcing your brain to navigate a new and complex environment.

A study of London taxi drivers found experienced drivers had larger brains because they have to store lots of information about locations and how to navigate there.

15. Pray:

Daily prayer appears to help your immune system. And people who attend a formal worship service regularly live longer and report happier, healthier lives.

16. Learn to meditate:

It's important for your brain that you learn to shut out the stresses of everyday life.

17. Get enough sleep:

Studies have shown a link between interrupted sleep and dementia.

18. Eat more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids:

Salmon, sardines, tuna, ocean trout, mackerel or herring, plus walnuts (which are higher in omega 3s than salmon) and flaxseed. Flaxseed oil, cod liver oil and walnut oil are good sources too.

19. Eat more fruits and vegetables:

Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables mop up some of the damage caused by free radicals, one of the leading killers of brain cells.

20. Eat at least one meal a day with family and friends:

You'll slow down, socialize, and research shows you'll eat healthier food than if you ate alone or on the go.

[Thanks to Dilip for forwarding the email containing the foregoing information.]


Here's another collection of conceptual symbols - hand crafted & digitally enhanced - from Dilip Mukerjea.

In line with the axiom, a picture speaks a thousand words, conceptual symbols can readily help to drive home the communication message quickly & efficiently, especially during a presentation.

Complex Tasks

Grab Big Picture

Ideas Galore

[All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea. Digital image libraries are available for outright purchase from Braindancing International. Enquiries are welcome.]

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have found the following interesting anecdotes from the book, 'A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future', by researcher Daniel Pink, which gives a quick understanding about a fundamental aspect of creativity:

In the 1970's, Hershey Food Corp ran a series of goofy TV commercials that inadvertently contained a crucial lesson in creativity.

In the ads, a person walks along dreamily while munching a chocolate bar. Someone else, equally oblivious, strolling about while eating peanut butter. The two collided.

"Hey, you got peanut butter on my chocolate," the first person complained.

"You got chocolate on my peanut butter," the other person replied.

Each person sampled the result. To their surprise, they discovered they had created a masterpiece: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Hence, the new tagline: "Two great tastes that taste great together!"

Lesson learned:

Sometimes, the most powerful ideas come from simply combining two existing ideas nobody else would have thought to unite.

Take John Fabel, an avid cross country skier. He loved the sport, but his backpack straps always bruised his shoulders. One day on a trip to New York, he passed by the Brooklyn Bridge - & saw the solution to his problem.

Fabel combined the structure of a suspension bridge with the components of a traditional backpack - & invented a new, easy-to-tote, & new popular backpack called EcoTrek.

Cognitive scientists Gilles Fouconnier & Mark Turner calls this phenomenon 'conceptual blending', as outlined in their book, 'The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending & the Mind's Hidden Complexities'.

It reminds me of Arthur Koestsler's 'bisociation of matrices'.

No wonder, management thinker Margaret Wheatley once said:

"Creativity is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines."

Closer to home:

When Singapore embarked into the designing & planning of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in the early seventies or so, designers were confronted by the need to air-condition all the underground stations in light of our hot & humid climate.

One designer drew inspiration from having seen the practical usefulness of automated sliding doors at the entrances of shopping complexes & office buildings, which were air-conditioned in town.

Singapore's MRT became the first in the world to have fully air-conditioned underground stations.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here's the link to a belated news release pertaining to the results of a six-year study by three prominent business scholars, Jeffrey Dyer, lead author on the study & a professor at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, Hal Gregersen of INSEAD, & Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School.

In a nut shell, & according to the findings, the most innovative CEOs spend 50 percent more time practicing the following five specific innovation skills the rest of us don’t:

1) Questioning

2) Observing

3) Experimenting

4) Networking

5) Associating

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CREATING A LEARNING PLANET [19 & 20 of 20]: A Storyboard Interpretation

[continued from the Last Post.]

Appended below please find the final panels from Dilip Mukerjea's storyboard interpretation on the intermediate objective of creating a learning culture.

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


Here's an interesting definition for 'innovation' from David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways:

"Innovation is trying to figure out a way to do something better than it's ever been done before."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CREATING A LEARNING PLANET [18 of 20]: A Storyboard Interpretation

[continued from the Last Post.]

Appended below please find the eighteenth panel from Dilip Mukerjea's storyboard interpretation on the intermediate objective of creating a learning culture.

[To be continued in the Next Post. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]


Today, I have picked up a new phrase, while surfing the net for 'killer innovations'.

It's 'Creative Failure Methodology'. In a nut shell, it involves the concept of "embracing failure" with the "trials & errors" or "hard knocks" approach.

One author wrote about "creative accidents". Another, about "planned serendipity".

The surfing led me to a belated blogpost by creativity expert Michael Michalko on the Amazon website.

He related that the term was first described by physicist William Shockey, who was credited for the invention of the transistor in the mid-40's, which introduced the world to the Electronic Age. [As a result, he won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956 with two of his colleagues.]

This is what William Shockley and a multi-disciplinary Bell Labs team did. They were formed to invent the MOS transistor and ended up instead with the junction transistor and the new science of semiconductor physics.

These developments eventually led to the MOS transistor and then to the integrated circuit and to new breakthroughs in electronics and computers.

William Shockley described it as a process of “creative failure methodology.” In fact, he commented further:

"A basic truth that the history of the creation of the transistor reveals is that the foundations of transistor electronics were created by making errors & following hunches that failed to give what was expected."

John Wesley Hyatt, an Albany printer and mechanic, worked long and hard trying to find a substitute for billiard-ball ivory, then coming into short supply. He invented, instead, celluloid— the first commercially successful plastic.

Roy Plunkett set out to invent a new refrigerant. Instead, he created a glob of white waxy material that conducted heat and did not stick to surfaces.

Fascinated by this “unexpected” material, he abandoned his original line of research and experimented with this interesting material, which eventually became known by its household name, “Teflon.”

The author gave an interesting corollary:

"In principle, the unexpected event that gives rise to a creative invention is not all that different from the unexpected automobile breakdown that forces us to spend a night in a new and interesting town, the book sent to us in error that excites our imagination, or the closed restaurant that forces us to explore a different cuisine. But when looking for ideas or creative solutions, many of us ignore the unexpected and, consequently, loose the opportunity to turn chance into a creative opportunity."

I recall that corporate strategist Tom Peters once called it "unplanned interruptions" as a prelude to entrepreneurial discoveries.

So, well-known behavioural scientist B.F. Skinner was right when he advised people that "whenever you are working on something and find something interesting, drop everything else and study it".

Come to think about it, I reckon, "Creative Failure Methodology" is, in some ways, analogous to the 'Intelligent Fast Failure' methodology put forward by innovation educator Jack Matson. I have written about it in this weblog.

Monday, March 15, 2010


[Source: Systemic Logic]

CREATING A LEARNING PLANET [17 of 20]: A Storyboard Interpretation

[continued from the Last Post.]

Appended below please find the seventeenth panel from Dilip Mukerjea's storyboard interpretation on the intermediate objective of creating a learning culture.

[To be continued in the Next Post. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]


"Ideas without execution is a hobby."

~ from the 'Winning in a Creative Economy' presentation by innovation strategist Phil McKinney, who is better known as 'Mr Innovation' in Silicon Valley;

Sunday, March 14, 2010

CREATING A LEARNING PLANET [16 of 20]: A Storyboard Interpretation

[continued from the Last Post.]

Appended below please find the sixteenth panel from Dilip Mukerjea's storyboard interpretation on the intermediate objective of creating a learning culture.

[To be continued in the Next Post. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]