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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Quieting the Lizard Brain

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What can be a better way to get over the lethargic status quo and (re)start regular blogging than this video – Seth Godin’s speech at 99% Conference – on Quieting the Lizard Brain.
In this presentation Seth Godin outlines a common creative affliction: sabotaging our projects just before we show them to the world. Godin targets our “lizard brain” as the source of these primal doubts, and implores us to “thrash at the beginning” of projects so that we can ship on time and on budget.

Worth mentioning the mission framework of 99%, which is a quote from Thomas Edison

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

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Written by anol

January 8th, 2010 at 5:27 am

How to be innovator for life: Tom Kelley (IDEO)

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At STVP eCorner, Tom Kelley,the GM of IDEO and author of best-selling books on creativity, translates his thoughts on corporate creativity to a personal level and suggests how a innovator can learn to foster the nature of creativity for life. He urges entrepreneurial thinkers to resist the forces that chip away at creative energy, and encourages an effort toward innovation to remain young at heart.

Listen to the entire talk (MP3, 58min)

Here goes couple of great sound bites from Tom Kelly’s talk –

In his book, “Orbiting the Giant Hairball“, MacKenzie asks school children from kindergarten through sixth grade if they consider themselves to be artists. While the enthusiasm for creative free expression seems to run freely for the youngest children, the author notes some attrition from the idea starting with the second graders, and full-blown shame for artistic expression by the time he speaks to the sixth grade. The take-away from this exercise, says Kelley, is that we are all born with a high level of innovation, but it is the cultural norm to have these aspirations and pleasures flattened at a surprisingly young age.

…attitude of wisdom which is a healthy balance between confidence in what you know and distrusting what you know just enough that keeps you thirsty for more knowledge. Because we’ve all met people in our lives who they get to be an expert, they develop this deep expertise and they want to rest on their laurels. “I know a lot about that. I don’t need to know more.”

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.” And this “know for sure” stuff could be really a problem for lots of people.

More here

Written by anol

February 17th, 2009 at 11:21 am

Visual Thinking : The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam is one of the best books on visual thinking.

Back of the Napkin

Author Dan Roam asserts that that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, but that we — especially in the business world — are never encouraged to develop it. In this video, Roam shows us how anyone with a pen and a scrap of paper can exercise their imagination and work through any business problem by creating pictures.

A short Introduction of the Book By Dan [Video]


A bold new way to tackle tough business problems even if you draw like a second grader. When Herb Kelleher was brainstorming about how to beat the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines, he grabbed a bar napkin and a pen. Three dots to represent Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Three arrows to show direct flights. Problem solved, and the picture made it easy to sell Southwest Airlines to investors and customers. Used properly, a simple drawing on a humble napkin is more powerful than Excel or PowerPoint. It can help crystallize ideas, think outside the box, and communicate in a way that people simply get. In this book Dan Roam argues that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they cant draw.

Drawing on twenty years of visual problem solving combined with the recent discoveries of vision science, this book shows anyone how to clarify a problem or sell an idea by visually breaking it down using a simple set of visual thinking tools tools that take advantage of everyones innate ability to “look, see, imagine, and show,”

“THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN” proves that thinking with pictures can help anyone discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve their ability to share their insights. This book will help readers literally see the world in a new way.

Dan Roam visited Google’s Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book, as part of the Authors@Google series. Here goes the complete video:

From Change This Manifesto download for free : The 10 1/2 Commandments of Visual Thinking: The “Lost Chapter” from The Back of the Napkin

44.03.TenCommandments.pdf (page 1 of 14)

Written by anol

September 24th, 2008 at 4:21 am

Productivity Zen : Accomplishing More By Doing Less by Marc Lesser

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From the Google Tech Talk Coaching Series: Accomplishing More By Doing Less by Marc Lesser


Being creative and successful in business and your personal lives requires that you be responsive and flexible as you move beyond your comfort zones.

Though it may seem paradoxical, all real change and creativity begins by facing and understanding the reality of your current situation.

Learning to see and respond with greater clarity is where the path toward change and growth begins.

What is that you are really doing? What are you doing that is extraneous? How can you bring more ease to and at the same time enliven your work and personal activities?

Learn how slowing down and looking deeply can lead to greater business success and personal satisfaction. Learn key practices that can help you:

  • Be flexible and responsive in the midst of change
  • Act with calm in the midst of intense activity
  • Relax in the midst of exertion
  • Gain clarity and insight in the midst of difficulty and competing demands
  • Increase creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Improve listening and communication skills
  • Improve focus and concentration
  • Increase work satisfaction
  • Lead and build teams

Written by anol

September 22nd, 2008 at 8:32 am

Google Reader in Plain English

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Latest from CommonCraft


Written by anol

August 27th, 2008 at 5:31 am