Sunday, December 29, 2013

On creativity, solitude, and team work.

On creativity, solitude, and team work.

ImageRemember Stephen Wozniak? In his memoir, he offers his advice to kids who aspire to great creativity:

Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me – they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t think anything revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you’re the rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you are working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.

What do you think? Is agility of development and team work important at the cost of creativity? What kind of projects do you think can be run in teams, keeping the teams engaged too?

As a side note, here is an interesting bit of new research on correlation, if any, between the degree of extroversion of a leader, and her team’s performance:

Extroverted leaders enhance the group performance when team members are passive (i.e. conforming, ready to follow the explicit lead by authority). On the other hand, introverted leaders are more effective with teams whose members are proactive, and take initiative (self managed, thinkers?). (Reference: Adam Grant’s work, Wharton).

Interesting, hmm? Think the efficient and extroverted organizational chains will be challenged enough before creative teams start to get ambiverted or introverted leaders? How about Agile teams – where there are no explicit leaders? :-)

 


When the wars are over …

When the wars are over …

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"… and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful." 

― Ruskin Bond, Scenes from a Writer’s Life


[Quotiquette] When nobody notices …

[Quotiquette] When nobody notices …

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“When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the Sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps."

— John Lennon.


From a culture of character, to one of Personality.

From a culture of character, to one of Personality.

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A popular 1899 manual called Character: The Grandest Thing in the World featured a timid shop girl who gave away her meager earnings to a freezing beggar, then rushed off before anyone could see what she’d done.

In next few years – the times of glorious industrialization and urbanization – America had started to shift to a culture of personality. People found themselves working no longer with rural neighbors but with urban strangers. “Citizens” morphed into “employees”, facing the question of how to make a good impression on people to whom they had no civic or family ties.

A 1922 print ad for Woodbury’s soap read:

Strangers’ eyes, keen and critical. Can you meet them proudly – confidently – without fear?

This journey reflected a cultural evolution that reached a tipping point around the turn of the twentieth century, changing forever who we are and whom we admire, how we act at job interviews and what we look for in an employee, how we court our mates and raise our children.

- Transcribed from “Quiet” by Susan Cain.


Quiet. Are you living overwhelmed by a blabbering world?

Quiet. Are you living overwhelmed by a blabbering world?

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Reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”.

Do you feel obliged to act outspoken to conform to the society’s norms?

Do you think the modern work and social place defines success by how ‘much’ and not how ‘good’?

Are you comfortable with who you are?

On page 5, waiting to find answers …


Seeing Race Through a Child's Eyes

Seeing Race Through a Child's Eyes

Reblogged from ashleywillismusings:

As a parent, I have always tried to teach my children to be colorblind. I have seen difference in race, ethnicity and culture being distorted in such a negative way that I want my children to look past outward appearances. So, I have made an effort to expose them to different cultural practices and to people from different ethnic backgrounds. It seemed to be working, as my children never gave an indication of shyness to different cultural or ethnic boundaries.

Read more… 825 more words

Loved this post. "Because his hands were beautiful" will forever echo in my mind now, whenever a little kid with an unchained heart walks past me:-) Thank you.

[Teaser] An unfinished, burning story

[Teaser] An unfinished, burning story

Image“You are the only couple I know that walks like an unfinished, burning story, etching a new chapter every day. You do not complete each other in a monotone way. You inflame each other. You quench each other. You guys are real.”

- The Eyes that Drowned Uyuni.

Coming in 2014!


Efficiency v/s Engagement: A clear divide that seldom works.

Efficiency v/s Engagement: A clear divide that seldom works.

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The best strategists, executors, and leaders stand up and say, "I'm responsible for it" even if it isn't in their job description. It's doubly powerful when both strategists and executors do this, meeting in the middle. That's true collaborative leadership. When these spots go unwatched, un-owned, and unaddressed, they bring down projects and eventually whole companies.

Read more here.


Loyalty.

Loyalty.

ImageLoyalty can never be imposed by force, fear, insecurity or intimidation.

It is a choice that only strong spirits have the courage to make.

And because it is a choice, it will never tolerate betrayal, but will always be generous with mistakes.

And because it is a choice, it withstands time and passing conflicts.

- paulocoelhoblog.com


Darkness.

Darkness.

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"I will not talk to my own darkness anymore, I promised myself, closing the door on the Other. A fall from the third floor hurts as much as a fall from the hundredth.

If I have to fall, may it be from a high place."

― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

[Holiday Thoughts] Giving.

[Holiday Thoughts] Giving.

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A child, even with an unbound imagination, million distractions, and an unchained mind, knows how to be content with what is simple. She knows not of obsession, or of ambition.

Here’s hoping we can instill healthy and humane meanings of success in the next generation. Meanings that define success not as milestones, but as a journey, a journey of giving and sharing and not just taking away from the surroundings.

Here’s hoping kids will grow up with a sense of harmony, and not just a rat race to prove themselves on a scale of success someone else put next to them that they don’t even understand.

Happy giving. Happy happiness!


Are you happy – right here, right now?

Are you happy – right here, right now?

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Do you have just enough material sufficiency to meet the basic needs?

Are you in good physical and mental health?

Do you have life goals, and a value system to achieve them?

Do you have an engaging work?

Do you have a loving social life (discount Facebook and twitter)?

Do you ‘give’ more than you ‘take’?

Do you have a positive attitude for tomorrow?

Do you know the meaning of your life?

Are you satisfied with what you have today?

Is your sense of ‘subjective well being’ full?

Are you happy – right here, right now?

Are you?

Happy holidays:-)


[Quotiquette] The Greatest Lie.

[Quotiquette] The Greatest Lie.

“It’s this. That a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie. “
(Paulo Coelho)image