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Hi Folks,

This column has been set up on specific requests from members on Lateral Thinking & Creativity.

I devote 20% of my free time in teaching this subject in Colleges & Institutes about lateral thinking and would like to share my thoughts with you all through this column.

Am sure you must be thinking Creativity & Lateral thinking ...ME? surely you must be joking Rajat..it's okay for Sales & Marketing guys..Advertising fellows..right..

Read on..

If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.

— Orville Wright, 1871-1948, American Co-Inventor of the first practical airplane

About Creativity at Work

Creativity at Work is a rich resource for developing personal creativity and organizational innovation in the workplace.

What is Creativity?

“Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create–to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.”

— Webster

“A product is creative when it is (a) novel and (b) appropriate. A novel product is original not predictable. The bigger the concept, and the more the product stimulates further work and ideas, the more the product is creative.”

— Sternberg & Lubart, Defying the Crowd

“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being...creativity requires passion and commitment. Out of the creative act is born symbols and myths. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness–ecstasy.” — Rollo May

What is Innovation?

The dictionary defines innovation as the introduction of something new or different. Innovation is the implementation of creative inspiration.

The National Innovation Initiative ™ (NII) defines innovation as "The intersection of invention and insight, leading to the creation of social and economic value."

Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren't there before.

—Margaret J. Wheatley

Innovation requires a fresh way of looking at things, an understanding of people, and an entrepreneurial willingness to take risks and to work hard. An idea doesn’t become an innovation until it is widely adopted and incorporated into people’s daily lives. Most people resist change, so a key part of innovating is convincing other people that your idea is a good one — by enlisting their help, and, in doing so, by helping them see the usefulness of the idea.

— Art Fry (Inventor of 3M post-it notes)

Myths about Genius

Beliefs that only special, talented people are creative–and you have to be born that way– diminish our confidence in our creative abilities. The notion that geniuses such as Shakespeare, Picasso and Mozart were `gifted' is a myth, according to a recent study at Exeter University. Researchers examined outstanding performances in the arts, mathematics and sports, to find out if “the widespread belief that to reach high levels of ability a person must possess an innate potential called talent.”

The study concludes that excellence is determined by:

• opportunities

• encouragement

• training

• motivation

• & most of all–practise.

”Few showed early signs of promise prior to parental encouragement.” No one reached high levels of achievement in their field without devoting thousands of hours of serious training. Mozart trained for 16 years before he produced an acknowledged master work. Moreover many high performers achieve levels of excellence today that match the capabilities of a Mozart, or a Gold Medallist from the turn of the century. (The Vancouver Sun, Sept.12/98)

Psychological Perspective

“Behavior is generative; like the surface of a fast flowing river, it is inherently and continuously novel... behavior flows and it never stops changing. Novel behavior is generated continuously, but it is labeled creative only when it has some special value to the community... Generativity is the basic process that drives all the behavior we come to label creative.” — Robert Epstein PhD, Psychology Today July/Aug 1996

• Generative research shows that everyone has creative abilities. The more training you have and the more diverse the training, the greater potential for creative output.

• The average adult thinks of 3-6 alternatives for any given situation.

• The average child thinks of 60.

• Research has shown that in creativity quantity equals quality.

• The longer the list of ideas, the higher the quality the final solution. The highest quality ideas appear at the end of the list.

• Creativity is an individual process. Traditional brainstorming has been proven ineffective because of fear of social disapproval.

• Groups are best for idea selection rather than idea generation.

More in next posts...

Cheerio

Rajat

Cheerio

Rajat
From India, Pune
*Cite.Co Support Sponsors - Talentedge / Kredily

Hi Folks,

The next question is are we creative? ...

Creativity is inherent in all of us ..how many of you remember your childhood days..such carefree days and we all experimented various things...one common thing is we didn;t have FEAR as such for the things we did in our childhood days...

What happend to our creativity of childhood?....obviously it is socialised out of us by do's & don't's...

Creativity is closely linked with Risk taking ability and here below is a great article for reference..

Cheers

Rajat

You are a Natural Born Risk-Taker!

by Lisa Jimenez, M. Ed.

Think of the little child who sees a set of stairs for

the very first time.

What goes through that little one's mind when they

look up at that amazing sight?

If you know children, then you know they would think,

"Wow! I've got to get to the top!" They wouldn't say,

"I've got to get to the top!

But, wait. It might be too risky. What would my mom

say? I might get in trouble.

What would my friends say back at the sandbox?

They might judge me.

What would happen if I fell?

I might get hurt. No. It's too risky. I'll just stay

right down here where it’s safe."

Yeah, right. Like that would ever be said by an 18

month old!

A young child would see the staircase. Look up to the

top.

Say, "I've got to get to the top!" And he would begin!

Well, my friend, you know this little child. This

little one is YOU! You were once 18 months old. You

once had all the bold, daring, imaginative zest for

life! Ask your parents what you were like when you

were young. It is in your very nature to risk.

So, what happened?

And how do you get this abandoned excitement back?

Well, I believe LIFE happened. And somewhere along the

way you lost your natural, risk taking ability.

However, the truth is, if at one time you had it, then

you can get it back!

Call on your inborn risk-taking ability and take the

first step of your staircase of success!

You are a Natural Born Risk-Taker!

Have a great day!

Lisa Jimenez

"Helping people break through hidden fears and

self-limiting beliefs to live a more outrageous,

faith-filled life."

Conquer your hidden fears of prospecting and create an

unstoppable mindset! Lisa Jimenez has helped thousands

of top salespeople shatter their self-limiting beliefs

and finally get the success they want. When it comes

to personal productivity and creating unstoppable

momentum - there is no one better for you than Lisa.

Lisa penetrates the hearts of your audience when she

reveals her own experience of how she broke through

self-limiting beliefs and turned them into the driving

force behind her success. Then used these new beliefs

to sign a six-figure consulting contract just 9 months

later.

To order Lisa's best-selling 'Conquer Fear! Ending

Procrastination and Self Sabotage to Achieve What You

Really Want' package go to <link no longer exists - removed> or

call 800-929-0434.

Do preserve yourself & others while evolving continuously...
From India, Pune
Dear Rajat,
Regarding this topic I share with you a book that helped me a lot to develop creativity in me and train others. This is "Fourth Eye -Excellence through Creativity" by Pradip N.Khandwalla (Publisher:A.H.Wheeler and Co.Allahabad.) The Mental Gym in this book is very helpful. Theoretical, Psychological, experiential and experimental aspects of creativity is exposed excellently in this book.
regards,
gervase

Thanks Shooonya , psyched & Ricky for encouragement...

Gervase..thanks for informing us about Pradip Khandwalla's book on Creativity..am surprised to note that IIM-A workshops on creativity don't take any reference to this book...can i get the link on web? Surely would get the book..

Dear all,

Creativity and innovation are important keys to success in today’s rapidly changing world. Process improvement, problem solving, recruiting, retaining and motivating employees, decision making, dealing with limited resources, satisfying customers, and rapidly changing technology are all examples of business realities that require creative solutions.

Why Creativity?

If a survey were to be conducted on the wish list of CEOs - the Creative ideas from Employees would be among the top five! Creativity is today the buzzword for professionals who want to climb the Corporate Ladder.

Also due to Globalization the customers have become more demanding & sophisticated due to availability of information on Internet and wide range of choice of products. The companies have no alternative but to be innovative to cater these markets & products or face the peril of being out-marketed!

Therefore the employees have to align themselves to the Company’s Competitive Advantage in order to fulfill their own career aspirations. Creativity isn’t just for the Marketing Team but for any departments like Finance, Operations, Human Resources etc that wants better solutions to whatever they are working on and get better solutions/ideas which are as practical as possible.

Unfortunately this subject is not taught at schools and Colleges because its importance has not yet been recognized in the Institutes. A lot of people learn about this while on the job or by chance. Was priveleged to work the top Managers in my early career stages which gave me the chance to probe their minds and their thought process..

More importantly - Competency of Creativity is a pre-requisite for the Manager as per The Lancaster Model of Managerial Competencies in Level Three (Meta Qualities) of Successful Manager.

Can anyone relate Creativity to HR?

Look forward to your views/comments...

Cheerio

Rajat Joshi
From India, Pune
Hi Rajat,
Thanks for another informative piece.
Let me admit it, i am a novice in HR matters. But after joing this site i am learning several things some of which were possibly obvious to me but which i never considered as important. I am convinced that the learning is helping me to understand myself first, identify my own weak areas and also helping me to get on with my responsibilities in a better way, understanding my colleagues better etc.
I think i can relate "creativity" very much with HR. It is HR through creative thinking and methods implement change management in the organisation, enhance the environment, morale etc and last but not the least - productivity in any organisation. The HR has to be creative, innovative etc to aid the organisation growth.
Thanks once again, but please keep posting such informative pieces
bala
From India, Madras
Dear Mr Rajat
Your contributions are the right one looking for
Kindly also let me know how to teach the lateral thinking subject effectively
I had conducted some mock tests but failed to impress the class
your expert guidance solicitated
karunadasp
From Oman, Muscat
Dear all,

Thanks...

Psyched - thanks..yes you have very rightly pointed it out that through creative thinking & methods - WE implement change management...more importantly provide innovative solutions in advisory capacity to Management..

Thanks ...

To Teach subject lateral thinking & creativity effectively? am afraid i have no ready made solutions/template for you...

I would suggest the following:-

Read up the available material on this subject - read a book on this by Edward De Bono - he's considered the Father of Lateral Thinking..

Edward De Bono's profile:-

Born in 1933, Edward de Bono attended St Edward's College, Malta, during the war, and then Malta University. Having obtained a degree in Medicine, he then proceeded as a Rhodes Scholar to Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained an honours degree in psychology and physiology and then a D. Phil. in Medicine. He also holds a Ph.D from Cambridge and has held appointments at the universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard.

Dr Edward de Bono is widely regarded internationally as the leading thinker about thinking. He has written over fifty (50) books, with translations into twenty-seven languages.

What is unique about Edward de Bono is that he works with school-children, senior executives in major corporations and with governments. His ideas are based on an understanding of the mind as a self-organising information system.

Techniques

Dr de Bono has provided such thinking methods as ...

Lateral Thinking

PO - The Provocative Operation

Six Thinking Hats

Water Logic (and flowscapes)

CoRT thinking for teaching thinking in schools

Books

The Use of Lateral Thinking (also published as New Think) (1967)

The Five Day Course in Thinking (1968)

The Mechanism of Mind (1969)

The Dog Exercising Machine (1970)

Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step (1970)

Technology Today (1971)

Practical Thinking (1971)

Lateral Thinking for Management (1971)

Children Solve Problems (1972)

Po: Beyond Yes and No (1972)

Eureka: A History of Inventions (1974)

Teaching Thinking (1976)

The Greatest Thinkers - 30 minds that shaped our civilisation (1976)

Wordpower (1977)

The Happiness Purpose (1977)

Opportunities (1978)

Future Positive (1979)

Atlas of Management Thinking (1981)

Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve Them

de Bono's Thinking Course (1982) Reissued 1994

The CoRt Thinking Program

Tactics - The Art and Science of Success (1984)

Six Thinking Hats (1985)

Letters to thinkers (1982 - 1987)

I am Right, You are Wrong (1990)

Sur/Petition (1990)

Handbook for the Positive Revolution (1991)

Six Action Shoes (1991)

Serious Creativity (1992)

Teach Your Child How to Think (1992)

Water Logic (1993)

Parallel Thinking - From Socratic Thinking to de Bono Thinking (1994)

Teach Yourself to Think (1994)

Mind Pack (1995)

Textbook of Wisdom (1996)

de Bono's Code Book

Why I Want to be King of Australia

Why So Stupid? More information at the Why So Stupid site, and a section of de Bono's site www.edwarddebono.com

Creativity and its effects…

Blended Learning: It Improves Your Productivity

One of the most commonly used terms in advertising “Creative” types develop ads Ad agencies gain reputations for their creativity The challenge of developing a marketing message is considered creative So

what is creativity?

n. (kre-a’tiv i te)

Having the ability to create (give rise to; cause to exist) things Characterized by expressiveness and originality; imaginative Combining 2+ elements with imagination & technical skills that have never been combined before (Levinson)

How does Levinson define creativity?

The Power of the Meme

Self-explanatory symbol (words, action, sounds, picture) that communicates an entire idea

Lowest common denominator of an idea Alters human behavior (motivates, persuades)Its simplicity makes it easily understandable in seconds

How does marketing creativity differ from creativity in the arts?

Creativity in the Arts

Enlightenment

Entertainment

Self expression

Stirs emotions

Subject to interpretation

Artist is a focal point

Creativity in Direct Marketing

Aesthetic appeal

Originality, freshness

Clutter-cutting ability

Relevant for target audience

Clear message/informative

Campaign communication goals is the focal point

Causes people to change their minds

Why a Creative Approaches Class?

Knowledge

Discipline

Patience

Courage

Knowledge

Theories, formulas & checklists

Understand the components of successful direct marketing campaigns There are steps that help the creative process along The ‘science’ of direct marketing

Discipline

Great DM campaigns do not magically happen Appreciation, respect & attention to the details

Become an information junkie The bodybuilder mentality

Patience

Creativity develops with practice & time You must understand “the box” before you can “think out of the box” Let yourself be a novice

Courage

Obstacles always seem big the first time Persevering to get over the plateaus You WILL make mistakes! You are not alone Enjoy the process

Cheers

Rajat
From India, Pune
Dear all,

Where does creativity come from?

How can one person be so creative and another person appear to be uncreative?

The source of creativity really stems back to the brain.

Prior to the beginning of the twentieth century little was actually known about the brain. In the late 1950's and early 1960's some significant research was conducted by Roger Sperry. Sperry's work, which later earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1981, clearly showed that the brain is divided into two major parts or hemispheres, the right brain and the left brain.

His research also identified that each of the parts of the brain specializes in its own style of thinking and has different capabilities.

The Left Brain

The left brain is associated with verbal, logical, and analytical thinking. It excels in naming and categorizing things, symbolic abstraction, speech, reading, writing, arithmetic. The left brain is very linear: it places things in sequential order -- first things first and then second things second, etc.

If you reflect back upon our own educational training, we have been traditionally taught to master the 3 R's: reading, writing and arithmetic -- the domain and strength of the left brain.

The Right Brain

The right brain, on the other hand, functions in a non-verbal manner and excels in visual, spatial, perceptual, and intuitive information.

The right brain processes information differently than the left brain. For the right brain, processing happens very quickly and the style of processing is nonlinear and nonsequential. The right brain looks at the whole picture and quickly seeks to determine the spatial relationships of all the parts as they relate to the whole.

This component of the brain is not concerned with things falling into patterns because of prescribed rules. On the contrary, the right brain seems to flourish dealing with complexity, ambiguity and paradox.

At times, right brain thinking is difficult to put into words because of its complexity, its ability to process information quickly and its non-verbal nature. The right brain has been associated with the realm of creativity.

Our educational system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.

How often you were encouraged to think differently?

What happened when you did something different ?...

..invariably you were asked to conform to the accepted social norms & mores..beliefs...

Balancing a Checkbook

Take the activity of balancing your checkbook. The left brain engages in a very systematic, sequential and exact approach to getting the job done.

The left brain strives for accuracy in making sure the balance balances. If the right brain were in charge of this activity, the right brain would probably be content to round up or down to the nearest rupee amount: an approach that is unacceptable to the left brain.

Driving in Traffic

Now let's consider another activity: driving on the busy road.

This is clearly the domain of the right brain: spatial relationships, the ability to process information quickly, and to see the whole picture from all of the parts.

If the left brain were in charge here, you would probably hear something like this: "Now the truck is approaching on the right entrance road at a speed of approximately 40 kms per hour, while the white zen car is approaching in the left lane, at 70 kms per hour, swerving slighting in and out of the right lane, and up ahead is a slowly moving car, traveling about 20 kms per hour, that keeps putting on its break lights every ten or fifteen seconds……"

As you can tell, this style of processing information is too slow..and would paralyse you for a minute..

The right brain takes over and quickly assesses what has to be done and reacts accordingly.

This is significant because many times when a person drives a car, the left brain basically checks out and the right brain emerges as dominant. The left brain is "suspended."

When this happens, many people experience some of their most creative thinking. Or how about when you take a shower?….or shaving, or jogging, or swimming? Basic repetitive actions "suspend" the left brain and "release" the right brain.

Tell me did you think of ideas while having a bath this morning..something may have just popped in your mind..from nowwhere..and it went out...chances are we may have forgotten what it was in the first place by the time we go through the motions of getting ready & commuting to office..

The Whole Brain

As we develop our creative skills we must also develop our ability to suspend the left brain and to release the right. The ultimate goal for all of us is to approach our life and our work using a "whole" brain approach. We can't make the mistake of thinking that the left and right brains are two totally separate entities within our bodies. They are connected and do have areas of overlap. An integrated "whole" brain approach begins to maximize the untapped potential of the human brain

Left Brain Right Brain





Words (verbal) Images (non-verbal)

Logical Intuitive

Black & White Color

Numbers Rhythm

Sequence Imagination

Analysis Daydreaming

Lists Dimension

Critical Thinking Creative Thinking

So Creativity is closely linked with your RIGHT BRAIN !!!...

Look forward to your comments ....

Cheerio

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hello rajat,
i don't know if i am right now using my left brain or the right one,
but definitely have a request, can u tell me how HR managers react n which part of the brain they use more n also which part are they suppose to use more .
With regards
vivarna
From India, Hyderabad
Hi Vivarna,
In normal situations HR Managers use left brain...based on the experiences learnt while growing up..based on 3 Rs - reading,writing & Arithematic...a taught concept which is learnt without questioning or debating...
Look back on your career...on the instances on which you have taken a decision..would have been different from any other person in your place?..the chances are.. nay probably it would have been the same..
In today's everchanging world..it's advisable that they use right brain to deal with ever-changing complexties & situations faced in the organizations...
Cheers,
Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Folks,

Thanks for overwhelming responses on my mail boxes..indeed it's gratifying to know that you all appreciate & enjoying this ..

Coming to next point...

[u]Child & Creativity-[/u]

Children & creativity are closely linked!!

According to the experts, most theories of child development view young children as highly creative, with a natural tendency to fantasize, experiment, and explore their physical and conceptual environment.

Do you recall as how you played with soil & plants...

Ghost stories you made up & truly believed in !!

Exploration of the world..your garden became became the secret place ...

Your mind was pure & free from do's & don'ts..made friends easily..

However this high level of creativity is not necessarily maintained throughout childhood and into adulthood. The level of creativity declines when they start the kindergarten and peaks again when they reach early teens.

Creativity is essentially a form of problem solving. But it is a special type of problem solving--one that involves problems for which there are no easy answers: that is, problems for which popular or conventional responses do not work. Creativity involves adaptability and flexibility of

thought.

Before i go further we invite your views on your childhood & creativity..it;s a reflection of self...as what were your memorable memories of your childhood?

Do you recall how you saw the problems then & then..what ideas you had in mind..

We look forward to your views ..experiences..

Cheerio,

Rajat Joshi
From India, Pune
Hi Rajat,
Really thought provoking articles... wishing we cud keep the childlike nature in us....
For all those who want to check up the dominance of the brain can take up the test at
<link no longer exists - removed>
need not say that be truthful while answering....
From India, Pune
Hi Rajat,
Your article kindled the old memories in me.
My sister and myself, during the school vacation (which was 2 months), used to build thatched hut inside our compound, put curtains(old sacks), shift some old broken cot, chair etc into the hut and really set up a house. Those times we had independent houses with pretty spacious compound with lots of space to do such things. This had become a regular exercise every year. We used to find it pretty difficult to get dried coconut leaves to be used for the hut because of frequent rains. We used to take the fallen wet leaf and wipe it dry, try and keep it under the only fan in our house for hours together to dry it before using.
Wish i could go back to those days when life was much simpler and not so complicated!
Thanks
Bala
From India, Madras
Thanks Bala!!
For sharing your experience...
Your article kindled the old memories in me.
How many of us actually recall those happy days?...just take a minute and transport yourself to those days..
With this may i invite others to share the same before we proceed to next level...
Cheers,
Rajat
From India, Pune
Children and Creativity

Everybody is creative. Without creativity, we could not adapt to new situations or change the way we view the world. When people identify someone as "creative", they mean something about the degree of creativity displayed. Not everyone will be delighted by the way a creative child thinks.

Development

The personality traits which some creative children develop are often viewed by others as strange or unproductive.

Free Thinking: When creative children toy with ideas, they may appear undisciplined and lacking in goal orientation;

Gullibility: Creative children get excited about "half-baked" ideas and may not see the drawbacks or flaws that an adult would easily see;

Humour: Creative children find humour in ideas which adults consider to be very serious. This ability to question and see other perspectives may be interpreted as mocking and obnoxious;

Daydreaming: Creative children learn through fantasy and solve many of their problems through its use. Letting one's mind wander can help the imagination form new connections but may be seen as being inattentive or spacey;

Aloneness: Creative thinking develops from delicate, unformed ideas. Children need to be alone while their ideas emerge, but society's emphasis on togetherness makes this difficult;

Activity: Ideas often come at times of "doing nothing." But once the idea comes, the creative child will become absorbed in the activity.

What Can You Do?

Set an Example: Honour your own child-like curiosity, enthusiasm and "crazy" ideas. Keep yourself open to new experiences, share your own creative interests and take delight in the interests of your child.

Examine Your Attitudes: Children who feel loved and trusted gain the confidence to be different and the courage to create. Over-concern for societal convention or sex-role stereotypes can inhibit creativity.

Encourage Your Child: Encourage experimentation and exploration. Practise listening to your child without being judgemental. Edit, criticize and question your child's ideas with caution. Allow for and support your child in failure. Avoid "empty praise" for every production and show your enthusiasm when you really feel it!

Enrich the Environment: Unstructured play materials encourage imagination and enable children to create their own ideas. Old magazines, books, newspapers, games, old clothes, discarded jewellery can be precious treasures of unlimited possibilities. Take trips. Talk with people. Provide experiences that stretch the imagination.

Structure the Environment: While it may be true that creative children's uniqueness might cause problems, it is not true that all children with problems are creative. Rules should be as few as possible but must be clear and consistently applied with obvious consequences for misbehaviour.

Watch TV: And watch out for TV! Used responsibly, television can enhance visual imagery and imagination, and increase one's knowledge. However, creative people are producers of new ideas, not simply consumers of the ideas of others.

Encourage Your Child to Record Ideas: Children love to paint and draw from a very early age. This is an excellent creative problem-solving medium. Before they begin to write, they can dictate their ideas to adults or other children. Later, you may encourage your child to keep a diary or journal.

Teach Your Child about Creativity: The creative process never runs smoothly and children get into "bad moods" when they are frustrated. Let them know it's okay to daydream, pretend, have imaginary friends, think things other people don't think, and not be interested in everything that interests other children. Deep satisfaction can be gained from participating in unlocking your child's creative potential, kindling within the lifelong fire of artistic and intellectual enthusiasm.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hai Rajat,
Thanks for your feedback.
Your "What can yo do?" was very correct. We got to follow those as much as possible and as sincerely as possible. I am sure anybody can see, experience the positive in this case.
Thanks Rajat once again
Bala
From India, Madras
Hi Folks,

Lateral thinking & decision making process in closely interlinked which normally is largely is common sense..

Came across this article..check it out..

We Need a Severe Outbreak of Common Sense

by Rick Sidorowicz

I could be taking all this revolutionary stuff too seriously but it

seems that you hear and read more and more of all the admirable

intentions and nice rhetoric but see very little of it applied.

It might have something to do with some of the extraordinary

neurophysiological mechanisms operating in the mosaic of the minds of

executives - but then again it might just be case of insecure egos

and a fear of the unknown. Is it really so %$# complicated?

What on earth would we do if it were indeed - more simple.

We need a serious outbreak of common sense.

What on earth is so complicated and complex about treating people

with dignity and respect, providing information so they can make

informed and intelligent choices, giving people the tools, resources,

and authority to do their jobs, and trusting them to get it done

right and on time
?

And is it really that much of a leap of faith to see that if you treat your employees that way - they will tend to treat their customers that way too?

Is it really that obvious and simple? Anita Roddick, founder of The

Body Shop has this to say about her success, "............................... what's so hot-shit about putting up products that are good and visually exciting and effective and having staff well trained and loving the

product?" "It's not extraordinary. It's obvious!" Is it really so

simple? Absolutely! We need a severe outbreak of common sense - and

perhaps a `common sense revolution.'

Want to solve your multi million dollar `positioning' problem? Ask a

group of eight year olds what they think of shopping in your

store. "Boring," was the response I got and they were right on the

money. Mega bucks on media advertising?

How about a critique from an eleven year old that the ads were quite dumb and not at all believable - not even funny. The creative talents of an agency and $1.2 million later to discover what a bunch of kids from around the corner could have told you in a five minute conversation. But still we need focus groups and more research to guide our thinking.

(because it's so complicated!)

Where does all this complexity and clutter come from?

Are the minds of senior managers and executives just so complex that they can no longer grasp fundamentals - the simple truths - the basics? Is it because it just has to be complex to appear to be important, or

astute, or executive? Can simple co-exist with exalted ?

The answer must be to simplify and apply ... our common sense; to stop strangling ourselves with information, research, statistics and

superfluous jargon. Solving any problem requires stripping away all

of the extraneous information - the clutter - and getting to the

heart of it - the meat - the fundamentals. And believe it or not,

those with less experience in the complexities of the executive suite

often have the clearest perspective. So do your customers - (if you

asked them) - and your suppliers (if you asked them too.) It's really

not all that complicated!

Jack Welch - mega value creator at GE gets to the heart of it in the

following quote:


"Insecure managers create complexity. Frightened, nervous managers

use thick, convoluted planning books and busy slides filled with

everything they've known since childhood.

Real leaders don't need clutter. People must have the self-confidence to be clear, precise, to be sure that every person in their organization understands what the business is trying to achieve. But it's not easy. You can't believe how hard it is for people to be simple, how much they fear being simple. They worry that if they're simple, people will think they're simple-minded. In reality, of course, it's just the reverse.

Clear, tough minded people are the most simple."

Thanks Jack...you are RIGHT...

Cheers

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi all,

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound

ourselves." -

Thomas Alva Edison

Just how powerful is the Subconscious Mind and how can we use it to

help our self improvement? It’s almost impossible to overestimates the

power of the subconscious mind.

Most of our brain’s activity does not occur consciously. It is our

subconscious mind that controls all the organs that makes our bodies

function, It’s our subconscious mind that allows us to drive our car, listen

to the radio and eat an apple without really paying much attention to

any of these activities. It’s our subconscious mind that never sleeps,

and takes in and stores everything that we see hear or experience, even

the things we pay no attention to. It’s our subconscious mind that

makes our daily living possible by allowing us to do hundreds, if not

thousands of actions every day without even thinking about them.

Why is this important for Self Improvement?

Whether we are aware of it or not, most of the instincts and gut

feelings that we have, or voices we hear, come from our subconscious mind. It is also our subconscious mind that, if we allow it to, can give us

invaluable insights and solutions to problems and can help us in every area of our lives. But we can go much further. If we learn how to actively

use our subconscious mind and feed it with the right input, it can be

our greatest ally in life. It can ensure we achieve our goals and desires

and allow us do more with our lives than we ever thought possible.

The subconscious mind is so powerful that to there is absolutely

nothing ‘sub’ about it, and has also been called, more accurately, the

super-conscious mind or the creative mind.

Just a couple of questions to you all..it just takes a few seconds to ponder..

Today morning..

Did ideas pop in your mind while..

* Having a bath

* Shaving

* While getting ready to office

* While commuting to office in a car or train....

What has happened to these ideas when you once reach office?...

Where & how these ideas come through..which comes like a flash & go away?..

Await your inputs!

Have a great day!!

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Folks,

Some just messaged me

well..i was thinking for the suitable answer..my colleage forwarded this link which was published in rediff.com sometime ago..

For your information please...

B-schools wake up to the real world

Samyukta Bhowmick | August 03, 2005

If there's one thing that Donald Trump's hit reality TV show The Apprentice has taught us, it's that your MBA won't always bail you out in a real life business crisis. By all accounts, acquiring an MBA is a gruelling process.

But could it be that students are so busy discussing textbook problems, writing papers and taking exams, that they've forgotten how to handle the real world?

Business schools in the US obviously think so. They're redesigning their business courses to "get real" (in some instances actually using Donald's show in classrooms). And recently, they have started to move towards the arts, and in particular, design. Schools such as Stanford, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon have all introduced design courses into their business curricula to teach their students how to think creatively.

This trend is beginning to crawl into India. Although most B-schools still keep strictly to their business curricula, some are offering arts classes, or introducing a creative element -- beyond the classic "lateral thinking" (a la Edward de Bono) -- into the curriculum that allows students to apply what they learn in the classroom.

The Indian Institute of Management at Bangalore, for instance, has a class called "Tracking Creative Boundaries", introduced to it by the India Foundation for the Arts. Artists teach students about the history of art and the lives of artists.

"A professor," explains the executive director of IFA, Anmol Vellani, "once said to me that management education is all wrong. It only teaches technical competence, whereas management is about other things as well -- soft skills, ethics and, above all, creativity."

The value is clear. "Artists are naturally suspicious of accepted idioms," says Vellani. "They're constantly reinventing themselves. Entrepreneurs need to be inventive too... they need to recognise real world constraints, have the imagination to adapt to them, and be creative."

Other schools, in their quest to lend vibrancy to an entrepreneurial culture, are also focusing more closely on 'creativity' in business.

For instance, the Faculty of Management Studies at Delhi University is facilitating an entrepreneurship competition, involving around 500 students from 20 B-schools and 20 undergraduate colleges, where students have to come up with a business plan.

The 'ROI'? Relevance, originality and impact -- before you get any return on investment. FMS students also have the option to take arts electives in separate schools at DU, but are so busy, says a student, that no one has taken a single one.

Gurgaon's Management Development Institute, meanwhile, has a course on theatre technique incorporated into the communications portion of the MBA program. Theatre is widely acknowledged as a laboratory of audience response, invaluable to any business person who must work out how to address and engage a market.

"Classes like this help students to put themselves in real world situations," says Gita Bajaj, an assistant professor of Business Communications at MDI-Gurgaon, "With exercises like public speaking and role playing, we put students on the spot and this forces them to adapt quickly and make practical decisions."

To be sure, Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats remain handy tools available to B-schools trying to make students break their mental moulds and think anew in varied ways. But the difference now is that actual works of art -- both 'high art' and popular -- are beginning to infiltrate the otherwise sheltered environs of B-school campuses.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hello Rajat,
Yes , u r rite!!
The ideas did up pop as you said but i forgot them as i reached the workplace.
Trying to recall them but can't as dey were unique & innovative!!
How do we retain or remember these ideas?
Regards,
Ricky

Hai Rajat, You are right. All the thoughts and bright ideas that come during early morning shower etc get dissolved in the daily rut once you reach office. Bala
From India, Madras
HI HR profession
The Baloon Seller and the Curious Boy
There was a man who made a living selling balloons at a fair. He had
all colors of balloons, including red, yellow, blue, and green.
Whenever business was slow, he would release a helium-filled balloon
into the air and when the children saw it go up, they all wanted to
buy one. They would come up to him, buy a balloon, and his sales
would go up again. He continued this process all day. One day, he
felt someone tugging at his jacket. He turned around and saw a little
boy who asked, "If you release a black balloon, would that also fly?"
Moved by the boy's concern, the man replied with empathy, "Son, it is
not the color of the balloon, it is what is inside that makes it go
up."
The same thing applies to our lives. It is what is inside that
counts. The thing inside of us that makes us go up is our attitude.
Cheers
Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi all,

Would like to share the example of Lateral thinking & creativity in workplace..one of the best examples and recent one is Greg Chappel & Cricket Team...

Inside Greg’s mind...

Greg Chappell’s concept of cricket coaching is scientific and clashes directly with the Indian culture of stardom, says Vaibhav Purandare

THE SCIENCE

Structured learning environment is a term Greg Chappell, still the Indian team’s coach, uses. It is best explained through Chappell's cricket coaching methods.

Chappell says that if a batsman plays a particular shot 10,000 times, his hand-eye co-ordination, backward/forward movement, footwork and timing are so refined and fine-tuned that the shot becomes almost a natural reflex.

( Shouldn't HR focus on the same on ensuring that the best employees keeping the best and not become complacent...)

The same is true of catches and fielding practice. Take a chest-high catch in the awkward fingers-skyward position 5,000 times, and the ball will likely come and stick the 5001st time.

Then, assume you’ve scored a hundred in a day’s play. If you’ve been batting in the nets for an hour every evening, you have to continue with the regimented practice this evening too. If not for an hour, at least for half-an-hour. Taken five wickets in an innings? Good, now bowl some more in the nets. There is room for flexibility, but no compromise on discipline.

( It's time to relook at our current practices as well..)

Put a system of training in place, and follow it strictly. That’s structured learning, according to Chappell, and it works best when it is supported by a milieu where learning is also done in an unstructured form — that is, through casual meetings and interactions, lobby talks and written communication.

While you’re at all this, look into the game’s complexities.

Biomechanics will tell you how elements of the body work, how the structure and rhythm of movement and the coiling and unweighting of the body will make a certain stroke effortless and another a pain, why a front-on or side-on action for a bowler will bring less/more injuries, and why batting, bowling, fielding and catching will be poor if the body moves out of sequence or balance.

Examine the mental processes. Chappell believes in a ‘mental system of success’ which a player has to internalise to be ‘in the zone’ all the time, or most of the time.

( How true...internalise the success in our mindset..a good work..it can be still done in a better way..)

Maintain a workbook to note how all processes are working (Chappell is happy at least one person, Sachin Tendulkar, does this).

Above all, keep the training rigorous, at times even punishing, for yourself.

This is the scientific method of coaching.

This is also the reason Chappell has been driven to such exasperation over the ways of Indian cricket.

STAR CULTURE

The Indian approach to cricket training is largely unscientific and star-oriented. The clash between Ganguly and Chappell is thus the clash between the culture of science and that of stardom.

While Chappell asks how many catches a player will take, an Indian player is likely to argue why he should take so many.

While Chappell will think of how many runs a player could score in the next game, a “star” who’s just got a hundred will want to relax in the belief that his place in the side is secure for another three games. While Chappell will want to help a player clear his mindspace for cricket, so that other subjects fighting for space in his head are defeated, many of our players would prefer diversions. While Chappell may want to examine body structure and movement, the players might wonder what the fuss is all about.

Most Indian cricketers — let’s face it — are not mentally programmed to think in terms of the team, while the Australian cricket ethic has zero tolerance for egos. For instance, if a player gets all puffed up with pride over individual success or a swift increase in accomplishment and popularity, Chappell has a reason not to appreciate what’s going on.

His entire family is a line-up of accomplished cricketers — starting from grandfather Victor Richardson, Australia’s wicket-keeper in the 1930s — and has gone about its cricket in a no-nonsense fashion for nine decades. He himself was one of top three batsmen of his era; he naturally can’t take Princely self-indulgence even after repeated failures.

The excuse many Indian cricketers, and the not-so-different media and followers (who helped them develop big egos) offer for not following Chappell’s way is that an Indian cricketer can’t be as fit as an Australian. That’s a cover to hide the truth. A coach coming in from abroad is aware of the Indian mental and physical constitution and would make room for it.

The fact is that the average Indian cricketer is loath to adopt the scientific method and go a step further than what he’s been doing for years. The resistance is because an assertive coach would necessarily put an end to player Dadagiri and the sheer ad hocism that allows mediocrity, patchiness and incompetence to thrive in Indian cricket.

This is the reason, when India played Australia in the World Cup final of 2003, the difference between winner and loser was that between the world’s number one and the world’s number seven team.

CHAPPELL GURUJI MUST STAY

Chappell was brought in with the specific purpose of inculcating the Australian work ethic into the Indian players. Now that he’s doing that, we protest that our sensibilities are being hurt, our national character is being trampled upon, our physical limitations are being ignored, and our basic cricketing character is taking a beating.

Countries that don’t learn from their history repeat it. Our feudal character and unscientific outlook made us a subject nation; today, the feudal nature of Indian cric0ket (we truly have a Prince and a war-mongering finance machine at the helm) has made us a weak and defeated cricketing nation.

We have a clear choice ahead: science or star culture. For the survival and growth of Indian cricket on the world stage, science must win; and for that to happen, Chappell Guruji must stay.

(Vaibhav Purandare is the author of Sachin Tendulkar: A Definitive Biography, published by Roli Books, 2005)

* The resistance to his scientific method is because an assertive coach would necessarily put an end to player Dadagiri and the sheer ad hocism that allows mediocrity, patchiness and incompetence to thrive in Indian cricket

* We HR Professionals have to learn a lesson from Greg Chappell on his methods..don't you think so?..

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
dear rajat
i happen to be a soft skills trainer as well and my pet topic is lateral thinking . nice to know that u have a separate forum for this topic. will share my knowledge as often as i can .
Shaista

Hi Shaista,

A grand welcome to you...great to know that you too share my passion on this subject!!...and of course look forward to your valuable comments & views on the same...

Bala & Ricky ..thanks for your participation..

Why do we forget these IDEAS..which seems to be the paneacea to our problems at work?..Just like Eureka of Archimedes..who jumped out of the tub and ran on the streets..of course we can't even step out of the bathroom like that...

The fact of matter is when we are having a bath..or shaving or riding in bus/train/or driving the car...the ideas pop in your mind like a flash for a few seconds..go away..

The ideas come as the right brain dominates your mind which is associated with the Lateral Thinking...

The right brain looks at the whole picture and quickly seeks to determine the spatial relationships of all the parts as they relate to the whole. This component of the brain is not concerned with things falling into patterns because of prescribed rules.

Its time to get on with the theory....

What is Creativity?

An Ability. A simple definition is that creativity is the ability to imagine or invent something new. As we will see below, creativity is not the ability to create out of nothing (only God can do that), but the ability to generate new ideas by combining, changing, or reapplying existing ideas. Some creative ideas are astonishing and brilliant, while others are just simple, good, practical ideas that no one seems to have thought of yet.

Believe it or not, everyone has substantial creative ability. Just look at how creative children are. In adults, creativity has too often been suppressed through education, but it is still there and can be reawakened. Often all that's needed to be creative is to make a commitment to creativity and to take the time for it.

An Attitude. Creativity is also an attitude: the ability to accept change and newness, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities, a flexibility of outlook, the habit of enjoying the good, while looking for ways to improve it. We are socialized into accepting only a small number of permitted or normal things, like chocolate-covered strawberries, for example. The creative person realizes that there are other possibilities, like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or chocolate-covered prunes.

A Process. Creative people work hard and continually to improve ideas and solutions, by making gradual alterations and refinements to their works. Contrary to the mythology surrounding creativity, very, very few works of creative excellence are produced with a single stroke of brilliance or in a frenzy of rapid activity. Much closer to the real truth are the stories of companies who had to take the invention away from the inventor in order to market it because the inventor would have kept on tweaking it and fiddling with it, always trying to make it a little better.

The creative person knows that there is always room for improvement.

Cheers & have a nice day!!...

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hello Saista, Good to see your experience taking wings. Nice to have you on this platform. It generates new ideas and thoughts on every day on new thread.
From India, Delhi
Dream Big Dreams

By Andrew Wood

When Walt Disney sought financial backing to open a theme park in Orange County, California, no one was interested in lending him money. They thought he was crazy. "Mickey Mouse!" Are you kidding?

You can bet that IBM didn?t feel threatened when Stephen Jobs, of Apple Computer, began to compete with them, working in his garage.

Ross Perot started a billion dollar company with $1,000.

Richard Branson developed Virgin Airways and a global media empire in just ten years, starting with under $10,000.

Ray Kroc was a paper cup salesman when he decided, aged 54, to buy a hamburger stand owned by the MacDonald brothers.

Everybody laughed at Fred Smith when he founded a company called Federal Express that would deliver letters and packages overnight.

The moral for any leader, salesman, manager, executive, or entrepreneur is clear. It's not the money, it's not the age, and it's certainly not what others think can happen. The foundation for leadership success, be it in sports, business, or life in general is dreaming big dreams and turning those dreams into a vision.



As Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it you can do it."

When a business starts without big dreams and a vision to go with them, it has no direction, no vitality, and none of the driving force needed to achieve success in the marketplace. Just as when a business achieves success and then fails to dream bigger dreams, it soon becomes bogged down in mediocrity. Legendary Leaders are by nature big dreamers, goals setters, planners and action-oriented.

They take their dream, find their message and boil it down to its essence so it?s easy to repeat, comprehend and get others to buy into. Because of this, they act with a sense of destiny that helps build some of the other factors necessary for Legendary, including confidence and decisiveness. This in turn contributes to their communication skills, charisma and trust.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Folks,

The next issue is ...

How do I know if I am, or could be, creative?

Every living, breathing human being has the potential to be creative. Each of us is a unique individual capable of creating...it comes with the human territory. We are, simply, quite a creative species.

All people can be creative but those who are recognized as being creative have an awareness that others don't. Creative people seem to be able to tune in more to their thought patterns and glean great ideas. People who do not use their creative potential don't know how to do this or aren't even aware it is possible. Creative people can start thinking about something, then forget it.

Meanwhile, their brains are still thinking about it. Later on, the person will start thinking about whatever it was again and their brain will say, "Excuse me, I've been thinking about this while you were off doing other things and I have a few ideas. Care to hear them?" Non- creative people don't know that their brains are working for them off- shift -- they don't know what they don't know!

There are many components that influence the creativity of individuals. This is not to say that people tremendously fluctuate in their creativity day to day and hour to hour; the opposite is often believed - that some individuals are generally more creative most of the time than others. The reasons why some people are more creative, however, are many.

a) Without the abilities needed to do the creative act, it is highly unlikely the individual will do the act. Just because a person has the ability to do something, however, does not necessarily mean that the person will do it. This is why researchers examine people's motives.

b) Without the motivation to do so, it is unlikely that a person would complete an act, regardless of the person's abilities.

c) Lastly, opportunities in the environment can affect the creativeness of individuals and groups of individuals.

d) If you've ever generated a novel response to a problem or challenge then congratulate yourself as being creative. If you do this on a regular basis, say every day, then put the "creative person" badge on yourself. With, practice, your ability to generate novel and useful responses to problems and challenges will greatly improve.

One aspect of a creative personality is the fluency with which he/she generates a number of new ideas. Not only does the creative person think of good ideas, but he/she can think of many ideas, explore them, and record them. If you feel a need to quantify your creative ability, go to a local psychologist and ask about taking a test to measure your creative ability. If you live near a college or university approach their psychology department with this request. But recognize that creative ability can be learned, improved upon, and increased over time.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Ricky,

How are you?..infact am starting the series now on creative methods..hope you find it useful...

Have a great day..

Cheers,

Rajat

Who Are You?

This method explores problems at a ‘deeper’ almost subconscious level. Problems that frequently give a vague sense of disquiet, a sense of things not going in quite the direction you had planned however, you have no clear thoughts of what the ‘right’ direction might be.

The techniques below help to explore these deeper levels angled more towards the personal perspective (‘what do you or your team want to do or be?’) rather than the external perspective (‘what business area might offer the most prospects for success?’)

Exploring the question directly

Working Solo, Write ‘who am I?’ (or ‘who are we?’ if it is for a team) at the top of a sheet of paper, followed by as many answers as you can generate. After the first few quick, straightforward answers, stay with it and try to pursue more deeply thought out answers. Continue making notes on your thought and try to push the boundaries of your normal thinking.

Working with a Partner, the above method actually works better with a partner. Sitting opposite each other for an agreed amount of time (say 5 – 10 minutes), several rounds of question and answers sessions take place. In the first round person A asks the question while person B comes up with the answers. In round 2 the roles are reversed, you can continue for as many rounds as you feel beneficial.

The questioner asks the set question (‘Who are you?’, ‘What is the team?’), if necessary it may be repeated, if prompting is required. The questioner should not comment, nod, smile, frown etc.; but just listen attentively, not evaluating.

Life Review

This exercise follows an idea suggested by St Ignatius Loyola (some 500 years ago). He suggests using your imagination to look back at decisions from your deathbed as a basis for trying to make a current decision.

Begin by relaxing in a calm, quiet environment then:

Imagine your infancy, in your imagination think back to when you were a small, helpless, dependant, infant born into a particular environment

Imagine being 5, imagine you are now 5, how did it feel to be 5? Can you picture images and memories from that time

Imagine being 12, 25, 40, 65, after a few minutes, project your imagination to what you were like when you were 12, did you worry?

What was important to you? What was your world like? Using the same method of thinking ask yourself the same questions for age 25 and 40 and 65.

Imagine being very, very old; imagine looking in the mirror when you are very old. What do you see? How you feel about yourself? Who are you?

Take a retrospective look over your whole life – what really mattered?

What would you have like to have done differently? Are you ready to die?

Imagine your death, what are your thoughts as you imagine yourself dying? Imagine your closest friends and relatives, what would they be thinking about you?

Imagine being reborn, after a few, or when you feel ready, imagine you are going to be reborn. You can be reborn, anywhere at anytime as anything you desire. What would your choices be?

Return, When you feel ready to open your eyes, gradually look around you as if seeing everything for the first time.

Have a great day!!

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Organizations large and small, in their quest for productivity, effectiveness and bottom-line results, are killing innovation, and in so doing, killing their chance for effectiveness and success in the long-term.

Larger bureaucracies, both public and private sector, are crying out in pain at the lack of budgets, and pleading for more money to deliver basic services. Yet, whatever they receive is never enough. These organizations have become risk-averse, and have built bureaucracies and death by policy manuals. There is no tolerance for risk, no tolerance for failure, and thus no tolerance for true innovation.

Ironically, many smaller organizations, while free of bureaucracies, enforce similar restrictions. One of the common characteristics of an entrepreneur is that (s)he likes to keep his/her hands in every part of the business – it’s their passion for the business that establishes their initial success. However, as they grow, they need to learn to let go and allow members of their team to own pieces of their ‘baby’. That means that some solutions and innovations may not be what the entrepreneur would have done, and that can be too much for him/her. The restrictions they lock down can be as stifling as any bureaucracy or policy manual.

At its core, the common thread for both types of organizations is holding on to what’s familiar. Many people call this the ‘comfort zone’, but it’s not always comfortable, so we call it the ‘familiar zone’. It’s what we know, and one of the greatest barriers to innovation is the need to hold on to what’s familiar – we want to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done.

We hear of all the difficulties health care institutions and schools are having delivering their services. Generally, these bureaucratic monoliths seek money to continue working the way they have always delivered them. The problem is, most of the processes that they are trying to perpetuate are riddled with inefficiencies and outdated policies trying to deal with concerns that no longer exist. Nobody has the courage to wipe the slate clean, throw out the way it’s ‘always been done’ in order to create a way that truly works today.

Army budget being slashed by 40-60% in people and budgets, the support side of many military bases had to start bidding for their jobs against private sector firms in order to keep their jobs (with half the resources they had before). In base after base, they went back to ground zero and reinvented the way they did business to actually deliver better services than before the cuts and be cost-competitive with private-sector firms. What they had to do was let go of all of the old ways of thinking and doing business. The cuts and the threat of no jobs if they weren’t competitive provided all the motivation they needed.

Unfortunately, it can take extreme measure such as that to move these types of bureaucracies to change. Today’s way of business drives short-term, immediate results in the familiar zone. It doesn’t allow for failures or experimentation or new vistas, and so kills innovation.

This is nothing new. As I understand it, the computer mouse and today’s all-too-familiar windows-type computer interface were developed by Xerox’s R&D teams. However, the organization didn’t see or support their potential, so they were cast out and adopted by Apple, and organization that lived and breathed innovation.

Outside of challenging the familiar zone, there are three huge barriers to innovation created by traditional organizations: no tolerance for failure; no tolerance for dreaming; and no tolerance for incubating ideas.

fail and succeed

The only thing that you are guaranteed if you innovate more is more failures. If you’re not failing, then you’re simply not trying anything new – you’re living solidly in the familiar zone. Not every innovation succeeds. In fact, it is only through the preceding failures that the ultimate innovation is born.

Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the first incandescent light bulb, but to him, those weren’t failures. Each one taught him something new that led him to the next experiment, and the next and the next, until he succeeded. It’s not failure – it’s feedback. Those who don’t have the courage to fail never succeed.

be silly

Modern society seems to have no patience for impracticality, silliness, or flights of fancy. Everything has to be practical and workable and able to deliver results – now. Unfortunately, if you use ideas that make sense and that are practical right away, all you’re doing is more and more of the same old, same old familiar zone. Nothing will produce significantly greater results.

To truly innovate, you need to step away from the practical and get into the impractical and impossible and even the silly. I’ve never been a part of any real innovation that was born out of practicality. And the fact is, if you don’t somebody else will. Change isn’t a choice any more – your only choice is whether you create the changes that wreak havoc with your competitors, or they will do it to you. That’s your only choice.

Look at all of the latest breakthroughs in technology and service. Not long ago, most of those would have seemed impossible or ridiculous, and now they’re everyday (remember Bill Gates infamous comment that nobody would need more than 64k?).

Simply put, we get practical too fast. In my experience, investing a short amount of time (and it never takes long) to get totally impractical and silly always generates returns far beyond what you would have gained by staying practical. The second article in this series will present some tools for this type of divergent thinking.

to innovate – take a break

One of the keys to effective innovation is incubation – leaving an idea or problem be for a short time and focusing on something else – either some other work or relaxation. Yet what happens when we see someone just sitting back daydreaming? They’re goofing off and inefficient.

Our unconscious minds need time on their own to work through problems and find solutions we wouldn’t have discovered logically or linearly. A simple example of this is when we can’t think of someone’s name. We can drive ourselves silly with no results, and then we get on with our lives. Then we wake up at 3 in the morning with that person’s name. That’s our unconscious working for us – it just needs to be left alone while it does so! The Stress Buster! in this issue deals with a similar approach for beating stress – one used by Winston Churchill himself.

Bottom line: To succeed and move forward in life today, we need to innovate. If we hadn’t as a species, we’d still be running around with stone knives and bearskins. It’s part of our nature. It’s who we are. We’re seeing the results of not innovating all around us – organizations, large and small, that have been around for years and years are disappearing off the map. The asteroid has landed, and the dinosaurs are passing on.

The good news? We can all learn to innovate. First step: Invest the time to get impractical and try out new things that may seem silly. Then get practical and make it workable.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Rajat,

One of my favourite site: tells me nothing is impossible...

Here's a few quotations to use when people oppose

your innovative efforts:

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

--Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

--Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."

--The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it good for?"

--Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

--Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

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

--Western Union internal memo, 1876.

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

--David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."

--A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service.

(Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

--H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper."

--Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in

"Gone With The Wind."

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."

--Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."

--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."

--Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."

--Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"

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

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

--1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.

"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training."

--Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil?

You're crazy."

--Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."

--Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."

--Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

--Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction".

--Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".

--Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

-- Bill Gates, 1981

So the next time anyone ridicules for a new idea they think as absurd, go ahead...there's nothing to lose!

Regards,

Anuradha Zingade
From India, Pune
Hi, :o Forgot to give the source of the above: The "Eat Your Words" Department Innovation Network Regards, Anuradha Zingade
From India, Pune
Hey Anuradha,
Thanks for sharing these lovely examples...
These clearly elucidate two things:-
1. What is considered not today or impossible may become a reality tomorrow!!
2. Even you have a great idea or dream..stick to it irrespective of what the world or people say!!
Can you imagine what Beatles felt when they were told the following comments!!
It can be disastrous on one...but they stuck to their dreams & made it a reality...
Many others cowed down ..who are nowwhere in the history...one of those could have beens..but time has clocked by..many live a life ..should have done that or that.n they realize their time on this earth is up..!!..
May we request you to share more examples of those could have beens with us?...
Cheers,
Rajat
From India, Pune
Dear all,

Subject: Focus on Problem or Solution?

The Difference between Focusing on Problems and Focusing on Solutions

Case 1

When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that

the pens wouldn't work at zero gravity (ink won't flow down to the

writing surface). To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12

million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside

down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a

temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.

And what did the Russians do...??

Guess....

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.think hard!!...

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They used a pencil.

Case 2

One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan 's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem.

Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with

high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap

boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No

doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee

amount to do so.

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but

instead came out with another solution.

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He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Moral

Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution

that solves the problems.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Rajat Ji,
Thanks for the post.
Look for simple solutions!
All Innovations and Strategies are breathtakingly SIMPLE
like A FLUTE . Think how simple a Flute is and haven't you heard the beautiful music which comes out of it?
Thanks
Bala
From India, Madras
Hi, Time for right brain workout.... try these... simple answers Regards, Anuradha
From India, Pune

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Hi Rajat and Bala,
I have a load on Lateral thinking... Rajat, can i compliment it with your theory and concepts?
BTW, if any of you dont know the answers, you can ask me... i know them all.... but will answer on individual basis.
But please make an attempt, who knows you may get one of them in the bathtub!!!! just dont run out shouting "Eureka"... instead try something original...
:idea:
Regards,
Anuradha
From India, Pune
Hi Anuradha,
Hey thanx ..thats very sweet of you..sure y not!! we all would be happy to recieve some inputs from you..
Am trying ..shall send you my answers...for sure we won't act like Archimedes...
Cheers,
Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Anuradha, Go ahead, give me your concepts and theory on the subject. It will definitely help me in learning. More than me it will help all of us to learn. Thanks
From India, Madras
Hi Anu..

It's tough one..nevertheless am taking some time off - n wud attempt to solve again this weekend..it's really good one..

Look forward to your more inputs..

Accidental Inventors



Stories of creativity and problem solving for accidental inventors



As a potential inventor do you think of an invention?

Many inventors report stories of every day events that triggered them to think of some problem in a new way.

The inventor of VELCRO® reported that he thought of the invention while removing burrs from his pet's fur after walking in the woods.

You may recall Eli Whitney's story of watching a cat pull feathers through a cage -- it was how he thought of the invention now known as the cotton gin.

A less well-known story involves Catherine Ryan, who invented locking nuts to hold bolts in place. Her inspiration was how her own wedding ring kept getting stuck on her finger. She saw that if something in the nut could expand after a bolt was placed inside a nut, it would hold the two together

Other inventions come about when their inventors try to think of uses for things - vulcanized (heated) rubber for tires came about that way.

Have you heard of "yellow stickies" ( PostIt®)? They were the result of a "failed" adhesive experiment which was too weak to market, until the chemist figured out that a weak adhesive had good uses too.

Many times you can come up with a solution for a problem (or find a problem that fits your solution!) by either "turning a problem around" or selecting two or more things at random and using them to "seed" new ideas.

What does "turning a problem around" mean? It means looking at it from a different angle or thinking about it in a new way.

Example 1 - instead of thinking of shoes as protecting your feet from the ground, think of using something to protect the ground from your feet.

Example 2 - instead of thinking about how you can carry kumquats home from a store, think of how they can come to you - by delivery or growing your own - or do you need kumquats at all?

Carefully define a problem. Focus on what you are trying to do in the first place - instead of simply how to do things. If you focus on methods, " i.e . "I need a way to use a computer to count apples", you may not to count apples?

Try changing the question - start it with a different word - who, what, where, when, why, how, etc. Change your perspective on a problem - looking for something is not at all the same as finding it, and putting something away is very different from getting rid of it.

Think about something in an unexpected and way that expresses your creativity. Describe doing something in words for something entirely different - search and rescue your toys; turn your closet into a menu of clothes; or feed a thought.

Identify a more basic problem - "I need to have about 1000 apples to sell every week" and miss a better solution.

Of course many patents issue on novel uses of things so don't just throw away an idea because it doesn't fit the rules.

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
some of them tricky and would be dificult whose is unfamilar with structured lateral thinking practices. do n’t we need some clues please.. umalme
From India, Delhi
Hi,
Just one clue.... don't think the way you normally do... as mentioned by rajat... look at it from a different perspective...
Come on!! they are easy... just don't be logical... it wont work otherwise. Take your own time. This is not a one minute test :lol:
Anuradha
From India, Pune
Hi Folks,

Just came across a Book A whole New World by Daniel Pink.

According to him the future of work belongs to the right brained!!...all those who are passionate,creative ,avant-garde thinkers and innovators are poised to dominate the world!!..

Excerpts of the book

Lawyers. Accountants. Radiologists. Software engineers. That's what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. The era of "left brain" dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which "right brain" qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. That's the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.

In the tradition of Emotional Intelligence and Now, Discover Your Strengths, Daniel H. Pink offers a fresh look at what it takes to excel. A Whole New Mind reveals the six essential aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment now depend, and includes a series of hands-on exercises culled from experts around the world to help readers sharpen the necessary abilities. This book will change not only how we see the world but how we experience it as well.

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.

This book describes a seismic – though as yet undetected – shift now underway in much of the advanced world. We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age. A Whole New Mind is for anyone who wants to survive and thrive in this emerging world – people uneasy in their careers and dissatisfied with their lives, entrepreneurs and business leaders eager to stay ahead of the next wave, parents who want to equip their children for the future, and the legions of emotionally astute and creatively adroit people whose distinctive abilities the Information Age has often overlooked and undervalued.

In this book, you will learn the six essential aptitudes — what I call “the six senses”—on which professional success and personal satisfaction increasingly will depend. Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These are fundamentally human aptitudes that everyone can master—and helping you do that is my goal.

****

A change of such magnitude is complex. But the argument at the heart of this book is simple. For nearly a century, western society in general, and American society in particular, has been dominated by a form of thinking and an approach to life that is narrowly reductive and deeply analytical. Ours has been the age of the “knowledge worker,” the well-educated manipulator of information and deployer of expertise. But that is changing. Thanks to an array of forces—material abundance that is deepening our nonmaterial yearnings, globalization that is shipping white-collar work overseas, and powerful technologies that are eliminating certain kinds of work altogether—we are entering a new age. It is an age animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life—one that prizes aptitudes that I call “high concept” and “high touch.” High concept involves the capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new. High touch involves the ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning.

As it happens, there’s a convenient metaphor that encapsulates the change I’m describing—and it’s right inside your head. Your brain is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, textual, and analytical. The right hemisphere is simultaneous, contextual, and synthetic. Of course, we enlist both halves of our brains for even the simplest tasks. And the respective traits of the two hemispheres have often been caricatured well beyond what the science actually reveals. But the legitimate scientific differences between the two hemispheres of the brain do yield a powerful metaphor for interpreting our present and guiding our future. Today, the defining skills of the previous era—the metaphorically “left brain” capabilities that powered the Information Age—are necessary but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous—the metaphorically “right brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning—increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families, and organizations, professional success and personal fulfillment now require a whole new mind. ”

Reviews

"Thought-provoking moments abound . . . Since Pink's last big idea (Free Agent Nation) has become a cornerstone of employee-management relations, expect just as much buzz around his latest theory."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Long on readable analysis and exercises to build [right brain] skills. For soon-to-be liberal-arts grads, it's an encouraging graduation gift."

-- Newsweek

"An audacious and powerful work."

-- Miami Herald

"Pink . . . has crafted a profound read."

-- Booklist

"Right on the money. . . If Daniel Pink is correct about the 21st-century workforce, then all those college majors that cause parents to grimace (art history? philosophy?) will gain newfound acceptance."

-- US News and World Report

"A breezy, good humored read . . . For those wishing to give their own creative muscles [a] workout, the book is full of exercises and resources."

-- Harvard Business Review

"Well-researched and delightfully well-written . . . laced with humor and profound insights . . . Pink has done a masterful job using both sides of his brain."

-- Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

"Will give you a new way to look at your work, your talent, your future."

-- Worthwhile magazine

"Guides readers with memorable anecdotes, convincing dollops of research and a slew of practical tips."

-- Globe and Mail

"This book is a miracle. On the one hand, it provides a completely original and profound analysis of the most pressing personal and economic issue of the days ahead -- how the gargantuan changes wrought by technology and globalization are going to impact the way we live and work and imagine the world. Then Dan Pink provides an equally profound and original and practical guidebook for survival -- and joy -- in this topsy-turvy environment. I was moved and disturbed and exhiliarated all at once."

-- Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence and Re-Imagine!

"A very important, convincingly argued, and mind-altering book."

-- Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?

"Brilliant! Left brain, right brain, whole brain -- I love Dan Pink's brain. Read this book. Even more important, give this book to your children. They need to learn to think like Pink!"

-- Alan Webber, Founding Editor of Fast Company

"Wow! This is not a self-help book. It's way more important than that. It's one of those rare books that marks a turning point, one of those books you wish you read before everyone else did. Once again, Dan Pink nails it."

-- Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside

Get a copy fast ...

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hi Friends
This article is really worth reading.
Thanks Rajat.
Please find an attachment on Lateral Thinking Presentation by EDward DE Bono. I came across this ppt on the website, found useful.
Vikrant


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Brain researchers explain why old habits die hard

---------------------------------------------------------

Habits help us through the day, eliminating the need to strategize about each tiny step involved in making a frothy latte, driving to work and other complex routines. Bad habits, though, can have a vise grip on both mind and behavior. Notoriously hard to break, they are devilishly easy to resume, as many reformed smokers discover.

A new study in the Oct. 20 issue of Nature, led by Ann Graybiel of MIT's McGovern Institute, now shows why. Important neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain change when habits are formed, change again when habits are broken, but quickly re-emerge when something rekindles an extinguished habit -- routines that originally took great effort to learn.

"We knew that neurons can change their firing patterns when habits are learned, but it is startling to find that these patterns reverse when the habit is lost, only to recur again as soon as something kicks off the habit again," said Graybiel, who is also the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS).

The patterns in question occur in the basal ganglia, a brain region that is critical to habits, addiction and procedural learning. Malfunctions in the basal ganglia occur in Parkinson's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and many neuropsychiatric disorders.

In the Graybiel experiments, rats learned that there was a chocolate reward at one end of a T-maze. When the rats were learning, the neurons were active throughout the maze run, as if everything might be important. As the rats learned which cues (audible tones) indicated which arm of the maze led to the chocolate, the neurons in the basal ganglia learned, too.

After the rats had thoroughly learned the cues, the neurons interested in the task fired intensely at the most salient parts of the task -- the beginning and the end. But these neurons became quiet as the rats ran through the familiar maze, as if exploiting their knowledge to focus on efficiently finding the reward. Other "disinterested" neurons became quiet during the maze run, perhaps so as not to bother the critical neural signals.

Then the researchers removed the reward, making the cues meaningless. This change in training made everything in the maze became relevant again, and the neurons reverted to chattering throughout the run. The rats eventually stopped running (gave up the habit), and the new habit pattern of the brain cells disappeared. But as soon as the researchers returned the reward, the learned neural pattern, with the beginning and ending spikes, appeared again.

First author Terra Barnes, a BCS graduate student, and BCS research scientist Dan Hu led the animal training. Dezhe Jin, an MIT affiliate and an assistant professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University, led the data analysis along with Graybiel and Yasuo Kubota, a research scientist in Graybiel's lab.

"We tried to simulate the learning and forgetting of a habit," Kubota said. "If a learned pattern remains in the brain after the behavior is extinguished, maybe that's why it's so difficult to change a habit."

"It is as though somehow, the brain retains a memory of the habit context, and this pattern can be triggered if the right habit cues come back," Graybiel said. "This situation is familiar to anyone who is trying to lose weight or to control a well-engrained habit. Just the sight of a piece of chocolate cake can reset all those good intentions."

Graybiel speculates the beginning and ending spike patterns reflect the nature of a routine behavior: Once we start, we run on autopilot -- until we stop. Certain disorders hint at the potential importance of those spikes. Parkinson's patients, for instance, have difficulty starting to walk, and obsessive-compulsive people have trouble stopping an incessant activity.

"We are hopeful that this may be a key to understanding how to treat bad habits like addiction, and also how to encourage good habits that benefit health and happiness," Graybiel said. "We think that these patterns will also help researchers to understand the fundamental problems in disorders such as Parkinson's disease, OCD and Tourette syndrome."

The National Institutes of Health and the Office of Naval Research supported this research.

Thanks

umalme
From India, Delhi
Hi Vikrant,
Am glad that you liked the article.
We appreciate your contribution on Edward De Bono's ppt on creativity..
Look forward to more such contributions from all...
Hi Umalme,
Thank you for sharing the article on Brain researchers explain why old habits die hard ...
It's first disheartened me...though am optimistic that habits change notwithstanding the validity of the tests conducted on rats..doesn't this contradict Pavlov's test on dog?...Have seen my friends chain smokers quitting smoking as well..
Furthermore..once individuals realize the importance of certain priniciples..they do imbibe them for their own growth n personal development..
Thanks..
Rajat
The other day i was discussing about innovation with a lawyer..he gave an interesting example of how law places itself in innovation..
Who is an innovator in Law?
According to him the person "Who violates the law and gets the certificate of not guilty is an innovator"
Cheers,
Rajat
From India, Pune
Dear Rajat
That was a nice one. :D
Thanks for your encouragement.
Please find the attachment for Six Thinking Hats from Edward De Bono.
Please put your views on each HAT.
I found it worth for Individual and Organizational development.
Regards
Vikrant
93230887631


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Hi Vikrant,

Yes, you are right Six Thinking Hats is one of the most powerful tools for thinking!!! Edward De Bono ought to be awarded the nobel prize..

For your information he is considered one of the 200 people who have made substantial contribution to mankind..also he has a planet named after him as well..

It's akin to utilising the brain power of the individuals present in the meeting to arrive at the decisions..

Infact i used this method in my company last week and the Managers were floored with ideas..n MD got so ideas in a short span of time which normally you don't get in normal meetings..

In normal course of meetings ..am sure you all have attended the same ..what was your role or rather your contribution in decision making?....

Normally what happens is that is we tend to take one sided approach towards the problem & stick our beliefs ..also meetings sometimes land up in ego clashes as well..

Before i share the ideas on this..

We invite the members on this forum to share their experiences about attending meetings?...

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
Hey Folks,

Got a private message that how it is relevant to Indian context?..is it that am talking keeping in mind the Western concepts?...

Before we get carried away, the key question here isn't one of trying to copy American practices into Indian circumstances. Nor it is a move to suggest that innovative ideas in India, must look like those in the United States.

The question is a much deeper one. Without resorting to large-scale changes that need huge political capital, how can we start institutionalising innovation in India?

What are the small steps that reachable people like Non-Resident Indians, Indian industrialists and some open-minded politicians can take on?

Where can we best focus our attention to get measurable forms of success in the short term, while relentlessly moving us forward towards the long term?

But first, we must understand what India is doing today towards institutionalising innovation.

Rural and Indigenous Innovations

One style of innovation that really works in a country as large and diverse as ours, is grassroots innovation: this includes inventions for a milieu that is quintessentially Indian.

These inventions are probably difficult to migrate from our culture, traditions and environment to that of other countries, but they are critical to how Indian ingenuity can be directly used to transform our circumstances, in ways that elite corporate research laboratories never can.

These rural and indigenous innovations come from two sources: first, farmers, semi-literates, illiterates, slum-dwellers who have managed to change things by marrying their own innate genius to their inherent understanding of ground conditions; and, second, innovations taken from more traditional sources such as universities and independent engineers that are then adapted back to suit Indian traditions and conditions.

Some key examples from the BBC and rediff.com include:

• Balubhai Vasoya, from Ahmedabad in Gujarat has developed a stove that uses both kerosene and electricity. A six-volt electric coil heats the kerosene, converting it into gas which burns with a blue flame. It saves 70 per cent on fuel compared with conventional stoves running on LPG. 'One litre of kerosene lasts for eight hours; and in 20 hours, the stove uses one unit of electrical power. So running it for an hour costs one-and-a-half rupees in total. No smell, no smoke and it burns like LPG.'

• Anna Saheb Udgave, a 70-year-old farmer from the Sadalga village in Karnataka's Belgaum district, developed a low-cost drip irrigation system to fight water crisis in his village. He improved upon his innovation and turned it into a mega sprinkler, and called it Chandraprabhu Rain Gun. Other impressed farmers of the same village slowly started using Anna Saheb's rain gun in their farms. Now, the farmers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka are also using it successfully.

• Deepasakhti Pooja Oil, a blend of five different oils in a ratio prescribed in the Indian shastras does not produce any soot but gives a bright flame. It lasts longer and the fumes produced repel disease-causing bacteria. It is now being commercially manufactured by KP Castor Oil Works in Coimbatore.

• A banana stem injector developed by Manoharan, a lathe owner of Batlagundu in Tamil Nadu, is similar to a syringe which can be used to inject pesticides into the psuedo-stem of the banana that is diseased. 'It helps manage indiscriminate pesticide application in banana cultivation, leading to a 20 percent cost saving in farming operations'

• A manual milking device -- J S Milker -- is another innovation that has found acceptance in the rural areas. J S Milker is manufactured and marketed by J Support Industries headed by Joy John of Pothanicad, Kerala. J S Milker is a simple vacuum driven portable machine, which can be used to milk cows effortlessly. J S Milker is so successful in South India that RIN (see below) is planning to market it in Gujarat, where there are several milk co-operatives.

• A solar water harvester conceived by Deepak Rao of Chennai has received a grant of Rs 190,000 from the Techno entrepreneur Promotion Programme of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It uses solar energy to convert non-potable water into potable water. The product is still going on, and we are yet to commercialize it. From a 1 square metre model, we can have 5 litres of pure water per day. We are looking at it from a domestic point of view, especially in Chennai, where water scarcity is a big problem.

But, who is making sure that these innovations see the light of the day and help these innovators shed their cloak of obscurity?

Two key organisations are doing yeoman work in this direction:

• The National Innovation Foundation, set up initially under Dr Mashelkar, is 'building a national register of grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge; it has set up a micro-venture innovation fund for individuals who have no bank account and who cannot produce any balance sheet and yet have innovations that warrant investment of risk capital.' NIF has set up a national innovation competition, for which the winners have included an eighth standard dropout, who developed a complex robot, the farmer who developed a unique cardamom variety and 'an illiterate individual, who had developed a disease resistant pigeon pea variety.'

• RIN, Rural Innovation Network, is the brainchild of Paul Basil from Moovattupuzha in Kerala. The organisation focuses on promoting rural innovation-based enterprises and is a business incubator that turns grassroots innovations into commercial enterprises. 'RIN uses multiple points like Chennai's engineering colleges, agricultural universities, research institutions, patent offices, local fairs, exhibitions and banks to identify innovations. Once identified, RIN does a market research of the product to find out whether the idea is commercially viable. Then, they refine the products by making the innovations market-friendly, which means a lot of engineering work and overhauling.' In most cases, the innovator passes on the technology to an entrepreneur or a company for a royalty. So what is the role of RIN in this? 'We are just enablers,' says Basil. "We basically provide consulting inputs to, both, innovators and entrepreneurs. Our job is to tie the loose ends. There are several private entrepreneurs out there who want new products. We also help the entrepreneurs develop markets.' RIN now has 11 innovations that it is working on and wants to increase the number to 20 in the next one of two years.

The most successful product marketed by RIN till date is the rain gun, created by Anna Saheb. When RIN found the marketability of the product, they brought in the Chennai-based Servals Automation Pvt Ltd and the company signed a technology transfer agreement with Anna Saheb. Anna Saheb got a fixed royalty for his innovation, and RIN filed for a design registration (and marketing rights) of the rain gun.

Mumbai-based Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund made an investment of Rs 800,000 to pick up a 49 percent stake in Servals Automation. According to RIN, this is the first such micro venture investment of its kind in India, if not the world over. So far, 60 rain guns worth Rs 200,000 have been sold.

Request you all to share your inputs/ideas..please..

Cheers,

Rajat
From India, Pune
nice post.

when we see these indeginous innovations as they do enlight us.

but all the marketing factors do apply as for any electronic gadget. But still it does make sense and fit in regional cultures.

The ultimate goal for any invention or innovation is to meet need and enjoy of our comfort for the good of community.

Any statistical data may reflect trends for the same and can give us the better path to adopt for or which direction to take. Here comes the life project management skills comes into picture in hetrogeneous environment management.

Like given an option an electro-oil stove make sense where electrification is due and in still in infancy stage. The resource, demand and supply factor is always a major factor and play important role and skilled management of all.

In our country which has a vedic culture still people totally neglect and oppose western culture but an isolation does leads to alienation on same path from both ways and results becomes negative.

Colloboration on humanitarion ground which leads to upliftment of society as whole should be the mutual goals for upcoming civilization in past, future and present.

Hard job to do in a 24h in a day when there is qustion of survival too ?
From India, Delhi

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