"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, August 31, 2010


"The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists."

~ Charles Dickens;


... and market trends, companies have to become much more innovative in the way they listen to their customers. Each time an answer comes back, they need to ask themselves, 'Does this suggests ways that we can change and deliver more value in the future?' And they need to ask this question about all the four dimensions of value ~ speed, quality, price and convenience.

~ innovation strategist Stephen Shapiro, writing in '24/7 Innovation: A Blueprint for Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Change';

HUMOUR IS SERIOUS BUSINESS: Wisdom from Children through the Medium of Jokes

[continued from the Last Post]

[to be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Monday, August 30, 2010


I have stumbled upon an interesting article, entitled 'Leadership Principles to Live By During Times of Change', by executive coach Bea Fields, also co-author of 'EDGE: A Leadership Story', in

Here are my quick takeaways of her timely exposition:

1. Radical Innovation

Is your business or organization really designed for innovation? Are you sure?...

... If your business or company is truly an innovative one, your doors will be open for debate, and your culture will be designed to make it psychologically safe for both employees and customers to voice not only their suggestions, dreams and goals but their concerns, complaints and frustrations.

2. Intellectual Horsepower

... Intellectual horsepower includes not only IQ (many people believe that an IQ of 130 is needed today to be a top player) but includes transferable skills, the ability to understand and break a complex situation into logical steps and being super sharp, agile and a quick study.

Intellectual horsepower also includes being able to embrace paradox and ambiguity and being adept at functioning effectively in the midst of opposing ideas or forces...

3. Employee Development

... As a leader, your job is to build a true learning organization, one which provides your employees with ongoing customized training and coaching so that they can step in and run your company at a moment’s notice...

4. Strategic Agility

... By fine tuning your strategic thinking, you will be able to anticipate future consequences and trends, create competitive breakthroughs and paint a vision of what your company will look like tomorrow (which always infuses a sense of inspiration and optimism into a company).

One of the best ways to strengthen strategic agility is to move your team from working on details to a place of curiosity and imagination.

5. Technological Savvy

... I believe that Generation Y holds the key to your ability to build a tech savvy organization, so don’t discount what they can bring to your company. They are our future, and it’s time to start welcoming them and allowing them to teach us what they know so that we can leverage their knowledge for our future success.

Generation Y will provide you with a terrific opportunity to deliberately develop out your company’s capabilities, so embrace them, learn from them, develop them and lead them. You will set the tone for generations to come that you respect young, eager, creative minds.

Readers can go to this link to read the original article in its entirety.

[Readers looking for a foundational understanding - plus, tactical approaches - of the five most important skills as outlined by the foregoing author can go & peruse the following books by Dilip Mukerjea:

~ 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital in a Knowledge Economy';

~ 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems';

- 'Brain Symphony: Brain-blazing Practical Techniques in Creativity for Immediate Application';]


... we, as managers, should ask, 'What do we need to master today, and what will we need to master in the future, in order to excel on the trajectory of improvement that customers will define as important?'

~ from innovation strategists Clayton Christensen & Michael Raynor, writing in their "disruptive" book, 'The Innovator's Solution: Creating & Sustaining Successful Growth';


"Play... is not purely entertainment or a luxury to be given up when things get serious... playfulness is... not only to be enjoyed but to be accorded high value for its fundamental role in the success of all organisms, including humans... "

~ Paul Grobstein, neurobiologist, educator & author;

[Source: Serendip's Playground;]


Sunday, August 29, 2010


“If, sir, men were all virtuous, I should with great alacrity teach them all to fly. But what would be the security of the good if the bad could at pleasure invade them from the sky? Against an army sailing through the clouds neither wall, nor mountains, nor seas could afford any security.” ~ Samuel Johnson;

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ~ Albert Einstein;

“Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” ~ Dale E. Turner;

“Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind.” ~ Louis Pasteur;

“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci;

"Timing is everything!" ~ Author Unknown;

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle;

“If I need a cause for celebration; Or a comfort I can use to ease my mind; I rely on my imagination; And I dream of an imaginary time.” ~ Billy Joel;

HUMOUR IS SERIOUS BUSINESS: Wisdom from Children through the Medium of Jokes

[continued from the Last Post]

[to be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Saturday, August 28, 2010


In continuation of the Last Post, here are four self-portraits, done in water colours, by the maestro Dilip Mukerjea for readers' viewing:

Interested readers can write to Dilip Mukerjea via for more information on how to emulate his artistic virtuosity &/or regarding his 5-Day 'Perceptual Skills in Drawing'.


Do you like to draw like Dilip Mukerjea, whose artistic virtuosity has always been exemplified throughout this weblog?

Dilip Mukerjea went to the United States during the late nineties to fine-tune his perceptual skills in drawing from maestro supremo Dr Betty Edwards.

Our maestro has today created the following 5-day programme on ‘Perceptual Skills in Drawing,’ based on the brilliant work of Dr Betty Edwards.

The objective is to teach anyone who wishes to learn how to draw – in five days!

This seminar is intended to provide participants with the ability to draw. You will learn basic perceptual strategies that will enable you to record what you see.

By the end of the course, you will possess the skills needed to advance in art as well as to improve creative problem solving.

Thus, in addition to learning how to draw, students also learn ways to use mental processes that are often pushed aside in our verbal, analytical society. These new skills will be useful in their professional and personal lives.

The duration of this seminar is 60 hours and the format is either full-time, 5 days x 12 hours per day, or “modular”, e.g. 4 hours per session.

There is an ‘advanced’ course that spans another 20 hours and is a direct follow-up from the preceding one. The material will focus on extending basic drawing skills by means of instruction and practice in some advanced techniques of drawing and composition. The methodology used is applicable to adults as well as to children.

According to the maestro, there is a two-fold benefit for course participants: first, learning to draw well – a skill greatly desired by nearly everyone; and second, learning to visualise – to think visually as an aid to problem-solving.

Interested readers can write to Dilip Mukerjea via for more information regarding his program ~ course fee, scheduling, etc.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I have spotted the following questioning technique - called the 10:10 technique - while browsing various productivity weblogs on the net. [Here's the link to the original source].

I thought it's a great technique for instant rapport building, at least in some ways.

It goes like this:

Pose this question to your colleague or your subordinate or maybe, even your boss:

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate my performance, or response, or solution...?"

If the rating is low, pose a follow-up question:

"What would I need to do for you to rate me a 10?"



I always reckon - likewise, Dilip Mukerjea shares my sentiment - that clever jokes often present unexpected solutions & juxtapose ideas or concepts that normally would not go together.

The best jokes are like good thinking ~ often end up with an unexpected punchline.

So, sit back & reeeeee...lax! Medicine may not be a good joke, but good jokes are certainly welcome medicine!

Enjoy what follows!

[To be continued in the Next Post. Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Thursday, August 26, 2010


"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."

~ Francis Bacon offered this pragmatic advice on reading;

A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO BROTHER JOSEPH MCNALLY & BOB LEWIS: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds..."

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

The foregoing quotation is attributed to The First Lady of the United States (1933-1945) Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962).

For Dilip & me, it serves aptly as our personal tribute to two great minds, Brother Joseph McNally & Bob Lewis when they met at the former Mountbatten Campus (at Goodman Road) of the Lasalle College of the Arts around the very late nineties or early 21st century to discuss one of Bob's pet projects, 'The Museum of the Brain'.

[In the foregoing group snapshot: Immediately on Dilip's right was Bob Lewis, followed by Brother Joseph McNally. The guy in a white vest is yours truly. On my immediate left was my late wife Catherine. The remaining guy was a senior staff member of LASALLE.]

The late Brother Joe (1923-2002) came to Singapore in 1946 as a teacher with the De La Salle Order of Brothers.

In 1984, he set up a small arts education center, with his own personal funds, at a time when Singapore was not ready at all for the creative arts industry.

As an educator & an artist for most of his life, he saw his baby as a place to nurture creative excellence in painting, ceramics, sculpture & music.

The arts education center eventually became today's LASALLE College of the Arts.

Today, LASALLE College of the Arts stands proudly at its swanky new city campus on McNally Street.

More information about the LASALLE College of the Arts &/or Brother Joe can be found at this link.

The late Bob Lewis (1921-2005) hailed from Aspen, Colorado in the United States. He was a hands-on nature-based science teacher, program designer, environmental education innovator, landscape ecologist, international consultant on biology curricula, idea man & dreamer, all rolled into one.

One of his pet projects which didn't take off was a museum about the human brain, actually shaped like a structure of the human brain, that would illustrate its inner workings. He called it 'The Museum of the Brain'.

Dilip has illustrated several pictorial aspects of 'The Museum of the Brain' in his wonderful book, 'Surfing the Intellect'.

More information about Bob Lewis can be found at these two links:

- Aspen Times;

- Aspen Field Biology Laboratory (Bob Lewis was its founder);

I first met the colourful Bob Lewis in the nineties. Dilip met him later through Brother Joe. Details of my initial encounter with him can be found at my 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.

Both Dilip & I had picked up some interesting & unique perspectives from these two gentlemen, especially in terms of creating a learning ecosystem (including learning safaris) as well as designing the proposed curriculum for the Brainaissance University, one of Dilip's newest pet projects.

Suffice to say, the foregoing group snapshot brings back sweet memories of our meeting with two great minds!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Here's the link to an interesting resource - 'The Business Voice: World Leaders at Your Desk' - in association with Big Blue, which I reckon readers should add to your listening post, so to speak. It has great featured programs.

Readers can also sign up to receive valuable content updates & become part of the growing The Business Voice (BVo) community:


"‘Creativity’ is not the miraculous road to business growth and affluence that is so abundantly claimed these days… Those who extol the liberating virtues of corporate creativity… tend to confuse the getting of ideas with their implementation – that is, confuse creativity in the abstract with practical innovation."

~ Theodore Levitt, ‘Creativity Is Not Enough’ in Harvard Business Review (1963);

"Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives... most of the things that are interesting, important, & humans are the results of creativity... when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life."

~ Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi;

"There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress & we would be forever repeating the same patterns."

~ Edward de Bono;

"Creativity does not automatically lead to actual innovation... Creativity without a business plan & an organisational structure to administer the plan (i.e. action-oriented follow-through) is meaningless. At best, creative ideas remain good intentions..."

~ Peter F Drucker;

"Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practised. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes & their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation, & they need to know & to apply the principles of successful innovation."

~ Peter F Drucker;

So, in the final analysis, creativity is just ideation, which is the generation of new ideas by approaching problems or existing practices in innovative &/or imaginative ways.

Obviously, creativity must eventually link to innovation, which is the process of taking a new idea & turning it into a workable reality or preferably, market offering, to generate value, or usefulness in the case of the former.

Hence, ideation is not synonymous for innovation.

Very often, we tend to use 'Creativity' & 'Innovation' interchangeably. They should not be, because, while creativity involves coming up with new ideas, it is the bringing of the new ideas to life, i.e. action-oriented follow-through, that makes innovation the distinct undertaking it is.

Dilip Mukerjea likes to use his favourite expression to delineate the two: Ideas to Cash!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Unfortunately, most of us learned to "act our age" as we grew up.

This meant abandoning some of the most natural & powerful high-energy stimulants available to us.

Learn to let the inner child live & play.

Here's an interesting list of "childhood characteristics" - from creativity consultant Ann McGee-Cooper, also author of 'You Don't Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted!' - that encourage personal creativity, & that frequently get lost in adults:

1. Seek out things that are fun to do;

2. Jump from one interest to another ~ it's OK!;

3. Be curious & eager to try out new things;

4. Try to smile & laugh a lot more;

5. Experience & express your emotions freely;

6. Be creative & innovative in every possible way;

7. Stay physically active;

8. Constantly growing ~ mentally & physically;

9. Risk often - not afraid to keep trying something that you aren't initially good at & aren't afraid to fail;

10. Rest when your body tells them to;

11. Learn enthusiastically;

12. Dream & imagine;

13. Believe in the impossible ~ Impossible is Nothing!;

14. Generally don't worry too much about things around you;

15. Get passionate in all your pursuits;

Food for thought:

"If you want to be more creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity & invention that characterises children before they are deformed by adult society."

~ Jean Piaget (1896–1980), Swiss developmental psychologist well known for his epistemological studies with children;


As I am planning my new home with my wife in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I am naturally on the lookout for innovative ideas with regard to designing my personal library cum home office. My wife takes care of the rest.

Here's one which I have spotted.

[Source: The Bookshelf]


Amidst all the wonderful books within 'The Creative Brain Series' [the other titles comprises 'Building Brainpower', 'Brain Symphony', 'Surfing the Intellect', & 'Taleblazers'], 'Unleashing Genius' is the only one that actually straddles both the educational as well as the corporate domain.

As a result, Dilip Mukerjea says this is a book that has been written for ages 5 to 105.

It has a light-hearted intellectual intensity, & yet it addresses the inherent brilliance of school-going children.

To paraphrase the author, the first wonder of the world is the mind of a child!

More interestingly, it also puts forward sophisticated and formidable skill sets within the grasp of business executives from any discipine.

The primary focus of the book is on anyone learning the fundamentals of brain skills for immediate application: with The World’s Most Powerful Learning Systems... uniquely designed to provide the reader with a panoramic experience of genius in action.

These are basic brain skills that address the needs of anyone wishing to survive and thrive in The Learning Economy.

School-going children and professional adults can learn how to process information with joy and rapidity, once they have learned how to use the excellent material in this book.

Designed in full colour, with fine hand-crafted, computer-enhanced graphic illustrations, and engineered to draw out your personal brilliance, this book is, unquestionably, the only book of its type in the world.

['Unleashing Genius' as well as other titles in 'The Creative Brain Series' is readily available at most of the Kinokuniya Bookstores.]

Monday, August 23, 2010


Dilip Mukerjea is scheduled to conduct the following creativity & innovation programs at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM):


Aug 26 to 27
Nov 3 to Dec 1


Nov 2 to 3


Sep 15 to 17

Building Brainpower:

Oct 27 to 29

For information regarding the relevant program synopsis as well as registration to each of the programs, please visit this link at SIM.

Readers can also visit this link to download the SIM Programs Directory for 2010.


"As I progressed in my career, my roles expanded to give insight into the fact that, for innovation to work & be sustainable, it must be the DNA of the organisation - one with visionary leadership... Innovation is a holistic strategy for building organisational culture, empowering the passion to create, developing creative environments that can execute effectively & creating the potential for market leadership...

Innovation is not just happening in the front end of the business development process - it needs to be pervasive throughout the entire value chain..."

~ Bruce Sauter, a one-time driving force at Atari [a pioneer for arcade games, video game consoles, & home computers] & later at a division of The Kohler Company [well-known for its plumbing products], according to Robert Brands, writing in his book, 'Robert's Rules of Innovation';

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This book, targeted primarily at CEOs as well as entrepreneurs, managers & professionals, provides push-button strategies for turnkey solutions. It enables you to be change-able, makes you creative and recreative, and is your intellectual trampoline. It answers the question:

Are you killing yourself or skilling yourself?

It suggests: Be not a puny candle with flame so ready to be extinguished by the slightest adversity. Instead, be a raging bonfire; burn bright, and dare the world to eclipse your glory.

Enjoy the simple rapture of being alive.

FOCUS: The Human Brain and The Human Heart: How to use them with stunning effectiveness.

THINK: How can we enjoy the Sun’s splendour if we have not experienced the light of a candle?



• is infused with passion and compassion;
• is evolutionary and revolutionary;
• evokes urgency and insurgency;

Once you’ve challenged your mind, you’ll never be the same. The material is designed to expand, extend, enrich. You will engage, evolve, emerge, illuminated with your infinite possibilities. Much like a surfer interacts with the elements of nature, you, the reader, are invited to interact with the elements of this book.

'Surfing the Intellect' is also part of 'The Creative Brain Series', which comprises 'Building Brainpower'. 'Brain Symphony', 'Unleashing Genius' & 'Taleblazers'.

The book is readily available at most of the Kinokuniya Bookstores.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Here's the link to some interesting - but thought-provoking - perspectives about thinking from Dr Michael Hewiit-Gleeson, a one-time protege of Dr Edward de Bono.

Dr Michael Hewiit-Gleeson is the founder of the School of Thinking in New York City with Dr Edward de Bono in late 1979 to teach thinking as a deliberate skill set.

In 1995, the School of Thinking reportedly became the largest virtual school on thinking skills in cyberspace. Readers can enrol the first ten lessons at this link.

By the way, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is also the author of the wonderful book, 'Software for Your Brain' (1989), which offers the fascinating "cvs2bvs" thinking philosophy. [Readers can go & read my earlier blogpost.]

Readers can visit this link to download a free copy of the foregoing book, as well as to this link to learn more about the "cvs2bvs" thinking philosophy.

Enjoy your exploration!

Friday, August 20, 2010


The following slides were extracted from my presentation materials, under the tail segment or epilogue of 'Understanding Your Brain', which I had often used in my strategy & innovation workshops for entrepreneurs, managers, & professionals throughout the nineties till the early 21st century.

[In the class, besides short lectures & debriefings, participants played a lot of vision games & do a plethora of self-discovery exercises, some of which I will share with readers in this weblog.]

Specifically, I had used the slides to summarise the pertinent key points in terms of understanding the intricacies as well as idiosyncrasies of the human mind, & also how they could affect our peak performance & what we could do to use what we know & our resources to make our life better.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


'Want to Stay Ahead?' is certainly a catchy title, which explains why it piques my personal attention in the first place, while browsing the book shelves leisurely at the Harris bookstore in Jurong Point.

Since I often like to support local authors, I just bought a copy for my personal library.

Surprisingly, it's a revised & updated book (first published in 2004) from the author, based in Malaysia as a creativity consultant, drawing on his experience in helping organizations implement a creative & innovative organisation.

Hence, its secondary title: 'How to Create a Creative Thinking Organisation'.

I am disappointed to say that the book reads more like a compendium of ragtag stuff from the author's master sifu, Edward de Bono.

All the fancy stuff from the master sifu like 'Lateral Thinking', 'Six Thinking Hats', 'Six Action Shoes', 'Six Value Medals' & 'Direct Attention Thinking Tools' are outlined in the book.

To my chagrin, the entire book also reads like an academic textbook because of its structured page/text layout, that goes 1.0., 1.1., 1.2., 2.0., 2.1., 2.2., 2.3., 3.0., & so on.

As I read further, I become quite "intrigued" about what the author has meant when he writes on page 11, under 2.1. 'Creative Thinking as a Breakthrough Strategy':

"... The ideas must be novel - different from what's been done before - but they can't be simply bizarre; they must be appropriate... "

My immediate response to that is "Why Not?"

Furthermore, the author unwittingly contradicts himself - being a de Bono trainer - when he writes on page 31, last paragraph, ending with:

"... When we apply this (lateral thinking) technique, we can use it in challenging what is out there or what is going on in our mind?... "

Looking back, the author is obviously not walking his talk.

Is it an inkling that the author prefers to "stay within the boundary", so to speak?

Most of the time the author is talking about how his clients are falling in love with all the de Bono's stuff after attending his training. I have no quarrel with that. What irks me most is that I don't get to read about any case studies or even anecdotes of 'aHA' moments.

To compound my displeasure, I don't get to read any of the author's own particular insights on creative thinking, other than rehashing what his master sifu has covered.

Sometimes, I just wonder why authors bother to write their books in the first place when they actually do not have any new ideas or perspectives of their own to share with the world.

Is it vanity at work? Or, is it sheer compunction just to have a book - with their name on it - to go with their professional standing as a consultant?

I don't mean to throw a cold wet blanket, but the harsh reality is that the book is really not up to my expectations of a creativity consultant. Sad to say, & with due respect to the author, there is no originality of thought, as well as no intellectual ballast at all.

The only relatively good points I can gather from the book are the few discussion questions at the end of each chapter in the book, which I reckon are quite useful for reader's reflection & introspection.

The Organisational Creativity Factors (OCF) Survey Questionnaire from the author is not too bad, in fairness to the author, although I must say it's not truly complete. I would venture to add in a sixth element, 'Opportunity Pursuit'.

This is because, in my professional opinion, without 'Opportunity Pursuit' in the final equation, so to speak, the creative thinking organisational culture, which the author has envisaged, is not sustainable.

To put it bluntly, in the long run, it is 'Opportunity Pursuit' as a deliberate systematic process that give true meaning & real value to organisational prosperity.

In the end analysis, should you get the book?

Regrettably, the answer is an affirmative NO!

However, if readers still fancy de Bono's stuff, then it is more worthwhile for readers to go directly to the source materials, rather than dabbling with rehashed second-grade materials.


The tiny bumps on this moth's eye, magnified by 1340x in this scanning electron micrograps, are smaller than wavelengths of incoming light.

A moth's eyes don't glimmer in the light helping these insects stay hidden from predators.

The same technique could be used to make anti-reflective screens for televisions and cell phones.

[Source: The Christian Science Monitor]


Dilip Mukerjea takes meticulous planning & painstaking attention to details, besides flexing his well-toned intellectual muscles & well-honed artistic virtuosity, when it comes to the writing of his many books.

In fact, his level of unwavering dedication & laser focus apply more intensely when designing & crafting his book covers, as he wants to get the essence of what he has written in the book to be captured visually - & metaphorically - by the front, spine & back cover, for first impressions of the browser.

In reality, the foregoing personal initiatives on his part do not preclude the design & crafting of page layout, tapestry of contents, graphic illustrations, book or section dividers, colour schemes for different segments of pages to denote different categories of ideas within the book.

That's why each & everyone of his books is a masterpiece on its own, not only in terms of originality of thought & intellectual ballast, but also from the standpoint of visual aesthetics.

'Surfing the Intellect' is one very good example, as you can see in the foregoing snapshot.

To help you understand the mechanics of his thought process behind the design of the front cover, I will let Dilip tell you the story, which is already outlined in his book, if readers are attentive.

Here's the recap:

Life emerged from water; eventually, our species evolved into its present form. The sea’s deep blue, the turbulence of her waves, impelling energy spraying upwards, represents this truth. It also connects up with the ‘surfing’ metaphor.

Moreover, the deep blue, contrasting with the cover’s paler colours, and ultimately, the white, represents the flow of life from darkness into light. When we surf the intellect, we emerge enlightened.

However, today, we are witnessing a marriage of the carbon brain (human) and the silicon brain (computer); this is shown in the metallic right and fleshy left sides, respectively, of the composite image.

The image is ‘completed’ by the back of its head contoured as a light bulb, suggesting an infinite fount for ideas birthing from nebulous stimuli.

The face is feminine; intentionally so, to acknowledge the yin, the yoni, the creative wellspring of all life. We are essentially feminine, regardless of gender.

“Woman is the creator of the universe, the universe is her form; woman is the foundation of the world, she is the true form of the body. Whatever form she takes, whether of a man or of a woman, is the superior form.” ~ from the Shakti Sangama Tantra

Gear wheels in the skull represent engagement, interlinking, meshing, of the machinery of thought, the mechanism of mind. It is an industrial metaphor no doubt, but one that links us to our breakaway from an agrarian past, and our breakthrough towards an intelligently evolving future.

The word ‘intellect’, is in bright magenta, and edged with a golden glow, to represent a passion for learning, a vibrancy of intelligence, an indomitable lifeforce that is our birthright!

By the way, 'Surfing the Intellect' is targeted primarily at CEOs, as well as entrepreneurs, managers & professionals. It's readily available at most of the Kinokuniya Bookstores.


I have assembled the facts for the following real story - with a valuable lesson to learn from the creativity standpoint - following a lead from a business friend, Philip Merry, via Dilip Mukerjea.

The Changi International Airport in Singapore is recognised as one of the best airports in the world, with 80 airlines serving 200 cities in 60 countries.

Today, the international airport has established itself as a major aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific region. I understand it handles an annual passenger capacity of more than 70 million a year.

Interestingly, the international airport owes its genesis to a decision that was made back in the 1970's, when our then Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew (from 1953-1990) chose to shift Singapore's international airport from Paya Lebar to Changi. [At that time, Changi was a military airport, a legacy from the British.]

Paya Lebar during that period was already facing capacity constraints, & the easy way out would have been to build a second runway at the old airport. Building another runway would mean lower land acquisition costs & fewer uncertainties.

On the other hand, relocating the airport to Changi would cost S$1 billion.

There were also engineering challenges to building a new airport at Changi.

Moreover, when our then Prime Minister gave the go-ahead signal for Changi in 1975, Singapore was still reeling from the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis & also the fall of South Vietnam to the communists insurgents from the north.

What actually convinced our then Prime Minister to pick Changi?

Mr Lee Kuan Yew, now Minister Mentor, revealed his side of the story during the recent SNEF's 30th Anniversary Employers' Summit @ Resort World.

He was talking about the importance of living, learning & venturing overseas for our younger generation.

He related that he himself gained new ideas from spending time in Britain as a young man in his twenties & later in the United States.

For instance, he had noticed, at the Logan International Airport in Boston, that planes took off & landed over water, & hence created no footprint of sound of the aircraft over the city.

So, against the recommendations of the British aviation consultants, he opted for a major policy decision to reclaim land in Changi for a new airport, where planes would take off over water, instead of building a second runway at Paya Lebar.

According to Minister Mentor, that policy decision in 1975 to write off the S$800 million Paya Lebar Airport and build the S$1.5 billion Changi International Airport was 'one of the best investments' Singapore has ever made.

In a nut shell, & looking from a creativity standpoint, isn't that piggybacking on an already proven idea, or more specifically, ideas built on ideas?

Naturally, there are other contributing factors too, like overseas exposure to new stimuli or new environment, the power of observation, bringing forth past knowledge & experiences to converge on resolving a problem, & not forgetting the moral courage & political will to push ahead the decision despite the uncertain prevailing conditions.

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