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Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  follow-up_questions  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  Philip_Mudd  power_of_the_pause  problem_definition  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
Always seek out novelty — even at home
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.

* The search for new experiences should not just be for our holidays.
* Japan: 10 days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But why?
* Actively searching for new experiences --whether on holiday abroad or within your daily routine at home!!
* Novelty isn't just about mental stimulation. It also exposes you to opportunity.....Variation also reshapes the mental categorisation of experiences, so that freshness can be found within routine activities.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
While on an adventurous holiday, many people experience that strange sense of time having slowed down in the most pleasurable way, and of conversations that begin, “Was it really only yesterday that we . . . ?”

Ten days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But what is behind this phenomenon?

Claude Shannon,in 1948, published one of his two profound contributions, A Mathematical Theory of Communication,.....a message can be compressed to the extent that it is predictable. ....(e.g. Ritualised conversations (“How are you?” “Very well, thank you. How are you?”) can be heavily compressed.....A movie can be compressed because, between cuts, each frame tends to resemble the previous one....Although the parallel is not exact, much the same thing seems to be going on with our memories of life. The brain is not a video recorder; we recall the gist. Sometimes the gist is very brief. If I get up in the morning at the usual time, eat my customary breakfast and catch my usual train to the office, why should my brain trouble itself to remember this day two weeks after the fact? The diffs are barely worth bothering with. In contrast, fresh experiences defy compression: the diffs are too big........Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human, a book about conversations between humans and computers, speculates that if we’re seeking advice we should ask the person of whose answer we are least certain. If we want to understand a person, we should ask them the question to which we are least sure of their answer.
algorithms  compression  creativity  creative_renewal  economists  experience_economy  fresh_eyes  habits  holidays  insta-bae  Japan  mybestlife  novelty  non-routine  Slow_Movement  Tim_Harford  travel  unpredictability  vacations 
april 2019 by jerryking
Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.
March 28, 2019| The New York Times | By Adam Grant.

The better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.

Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments........E.B. White once wrote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” But in my research, I’ve found that productive people don’t agonize about which desire to pursue. They go after both simultaneously, gravitating toward projects that are personally interesting and socially meaningful........instead of focusing on how quickly I wanted to finish this article, I asked why I agreed to write it in the first place: I might learn something new when synthesizing the research; I’d finally have somewhere to point people when they ask about productivity; and it might help some of those people......productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.

But how do I stay on task if I’m not worried about time?
Attention management also involves noticing where you get things done.....a series of studies led by Julia Lee (now at Michigan) show that bad weather is good for productivity because we’re less likely to be distracted by the thought of going outside....My favorite part of attention management is the when. Most of our productivity challenges are with tasks that we don’t want to do but that we need to do. ....there's something called attention residue: Your mind keeps wandering back to the interesting task, disrupting your focus on the boring task. ...if you’re trying to power through a boring task, do it after a moderately interesting one, and save your most exciting task as a reward for afterward. It’s not about time; it’s about timing.

Of makers and managers
If the goal is not just to be more productive — but also to be creative, then the stumbling block is that productivity and creativity demand opposite attention management strategies. Productivity is fueled by raising attentional filters to keep unrelated or distracting thoughts out. But creativity is fueled by lowering attentional filters to let those thoughts in.

How do you get the best of both worlds? In his book “When,” Dan Pink cites your circadian rhythm as help to schedule the right time to do your productive and creative work. If you’re a morning person, do your analytical work early when you’re at peak alertness; your routine tasks around lunchtime in your trough; and your creative work in the late afternoon or evening when you’re more likely to do nonlinear thinking. If you’re more of a night owl, you might be better off flipping creative projects to your fuzzy mornings and analytical tasks to your clearest-eyed late afternoon and evening moments. It’s not time management, because you might spend the same amount of time on the tasks even after you rearrange your schedule. It’s attention management: You’re noticing the order of tasks that works for you and adjusting accordingly
Adam_Grant  attention  attention_spans  circadian_rhythms  creativity  Dan_Pink  filtering  intrinsically_motivated  motivations  priorities  productivity  sequencing  time-management  timing  willpower 
march 2019 by jerryking
How the modern office is killing our creativity
March 14, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Pilita Clark.

Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley, the design guru, have published "How to Steal Fire", ....a book on one of the most eagerly sought qualities in the business world: creativity. Companies buffeted by a storm of digital disruption and competitive pressures have embraced the need for creative thinking with gusto in recent years, which marks a turnaround......CEOs have talked ....about the importance of innovation (i.e. the implementation of new ideas), but far less attention has been devoted to figuring out how to foster creativity itself.....“The first thing that helps creativity is solitude,” “Creativity is essentially an individual rather than a collective activity.” Sir Isaac Newton was a case in point....The great thoughts that helped him go on to formulate the theory of gravity came after the Great Plague closed his university (Cambridge) and he spent nearly two years shut away in his home in Lincolnshire......When he was running Microsoft, Bill Gates used to head off by himself to a secluded hideaway twice a year for what he called Think Week.....Mavity says: “If you need to produce an idea, isolating yourself can be enormously beneficial.”......“How you do that in a big open-plan office with 100 other people trying to be creative at the same time?.......Solitude is in hopelessly short supply at a time when companies are captivated by the financial allure of the open-plan office and its evil twin, hot-desking. ....The idea that great creative thoughts come from teamwork, brainstorming and the ever-present away day is one of the “great myths” of creativity......the Ringelmann effect, named after a French engineer, Max Ringelmann, who first observed that individual productivity falls as group size increases. Away days can be useful for helping people get to know each other better, but not for generating ideas, said Mr Mavity. As his book puts it: “Brainstorming produces, at best, a light, irritating drizzle of complacent mediocrity.”....smart companies understand the need for focused concentration....what should executives be doing to foster creativity?....“They have to walk the talk,” ....leaders need to set clear goals and then give people doing creative work the time, resources and autonomy to achieve them....Managers must be genuinely open to new thoughts and make sure good ideas are fostered. “None of it is rocket science or brain surgery,” “But you have to pay attention on a regular basis to whether people have these things.”
advertising  billgates  books  brainstorming  creativity  disruption  ergonomics  ideas  innovation  Isaac_Newton  myths  open-plan  pay_attention  solitude  teams  workplaces 
march 2019 by jerryking
How to keep creative geniuses in check and in profit
March 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

The story of how Eastman Kodak invented a digital camera in 1975 but failed to develop it is one of the most notorious misses in the annals of innovation. (It’s more complicated than that, but never mind.)

Polaroid, the instant-photo pioneer, took a slower path to the technology: its first digital camera appeared only in 1996. It filed for bankruptcy in 2001, 11 years before Kodak.
Polaroid’s founding genius, Edwin Land, could, though, have been first to the digital party. In 1971, as part of a secret panel advising the US president, he advocated digital photography, which the US eventually adopted for its spy satellites.
But Land was blind to the promise of digital cameras for the consumer.

This tale of failures of leadership, innovation and organisation is well told by Safi Bahcall, a physicist, former consultant and biotech entrepreneur, in Loonshots. There are four types of failure:
(1) Leadership failure. Edwin Land was guilty of leading his company into a common trap: only ideas approved by an all-powerful leader advance until at last a costly mis-step trips up the whole company.
(2) Innovation failure. Bahcall distinguishes between product-type and strategy-type innovation. Classic P-type innovators are the folks at innovation conferences conversing about new gadgets with less attention being paid to the analysis of innovative business models. Indeed, at some forums, P-type innovations also crowd the lobby. Delegates line up to try the latest shiny robot, electric car, or 3D printer.

(3) Organizational failure. Loonshots is based, refreshingly, on the idea culture does not necessarily eat strategy for breakfast. In fact, bad structure eats culture. Bahcall gives this a scientific foundation, explaining that successful teams and companies stagnate in the same way water turns to ice. A perfectly balanced innovative company must try to keep the temperature at the point where free-flowing bright ideas are not suddenly frozen by bureaucracy. How? Since the success of Bell Labs, companies have been told they should set up “a department of loonshots run by loons, free to explore the bizarre” separately from the parent. The key, though, is to ensure chief executives and their managers encourage the transfer of ideas between the mad creatives in the lab and the people in the field, and (the culture part) ensure both groups feel equally loved.

As for the assumption companies always ossify as they get larger, that risk can be mitigated by adjusting incentives, curbing office politics, and matching skills to projects, for which Loonshots offers a detailed formula.

Success also requires a special type of leader — not a visionary innovator but a “careful gardener”, who nurtures the existing franchise and the new projects. Though not himself an inventor, Steve Jobs, in his second phase at Apple, arguably achieved the right balance. He also spotted the S-type potential of iTunes. Even if Tesla’s Elon Musk is not losing that balance, in his headlong, top-down pursuit of loonshot after loonshot, he does not strike me as a born gardener.

Persuading charismatic geniuses to give up their role as leaders of organisations built on their inventions is hard. Typically, such people figure out themselves how to garden, as Jobs did; or they are coached by the board, which may install veteran executives to help; or they may be handed the title of “chief innovator” or “chief scientist” and nudged aside for a new CEO.

(4) They may find themselves peddling a fatally flawed product.
Bell_Labs  books  breakthroughs  business_models  creativity  digital_cameras  Edwin_Land  Elobooks  Elon_Musk  failure  genius  howto  incentives  innovation  inventors  Kodak  leaders  moonshots  office_politics  organizational_failure  organizational_innovation  Polaroid  product-orientated  Steve_Jobs 
march 2019 by jerryking
Inter Ikea’s Torbjorn Loof: making the vision clear
February 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne.

Internal politics had supposedly never played much of a role in the tangled web of companies that makes up the world’s largest furniture retailer. But when Inter Ikea, little-known owner of the brand and concept, acquired the product range, design and manufacturing businesses in 2016 from its more famous sister company, Ikea Group, Torbjorn Loof was struck by the infighting.......The 53-year-old is running a franchise system that decides everything: from which products are on offer and what the stores look like, to the famous catalogues and flat-pack design. But rather than use his new-found power and influence, Mr Loof took a different approach..........Mr Loof is now engineering the biggest transformation Ikea has undertaken by changing its famed business model that has brought it so much success. Having giant out-of-town warehouses, where shoppers pick their own furniture and then build it at home, underpinned Ikea’s solid profitability for seven decades.

But now it is looking increasingly at city-centre stores, online shopping, home delivery and assembly, and more radical ideas such as leasing furniture and selling on websites such as Alibaba. Mr Loof says that challenging such a successful status quo is tricky, especially as the company does not have all the answers on what the new retail landscape will look like.....“We made sure that the vision and the purpose were very, very clear. Not spending too much time on what sometimes is in the middle of things — all the strategies and plans, and all of that had to come later.”......Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad said it was important to be long term and “think about where should we be in 200 years?” The managers smiled at his exaggeration and asked him if that wasn’t too much. “Yes, of course”, he said, “but then you make the short-term plan: that means the next 100 years”.....the toughest tasks is encouraging the entrepreneurship that characterised the company’s early days. He concedes that the decade-long period of growth in the early part of this century stifled Ikea’s creativity and recalls going to see Kamprad a few years ago when sales suddenly hit a bump. “I was a little bit worried. I said to Ingvar: ‘sales are not growing’, and then he looked at me and just smiled and he said: ‘wonderful! Crisis!’ So, there is this kind of [attitude] to love the crisis because the opportunities in the crisis are that you get more creative,” he adds. Ikea has experimented more with what Mr Loof calls the “phygital” — the place where the physical and digital worlds of shopping collide (e.g.an augmented reality app visualization of Ikea furniture in situ at a customer's home, as well as a virtual reality kitchen). ...Ikea will do numerous trials in the next few years: “Even if we would be the best planners, we hire brilliant business analysts, the best strategists, I think we would not make it. So, we have to be the fastest learners . . . daring to test things and make mistakes, but also again correct them.”
CEOs  clarity  Ikea  vision  mistakes  Communicating_&_Connecting  creativity  crisis  cyberphysical  transformational  coopetition  city-centres  Alibaba  leasing  e-commerce  home-assembly  home-delivery  Torbjörn_Lööf 
february 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Genius of Insomnia -
Jan. 5, 2019 | The New York Times |By Marina Benjamin
Ms. Benjamin is a writer and an insomniac.

Lean in to your sleeplessness and discover its creative potential.
creativity  insomnia  sleep  sleeplessness 
january 2019 by jerryking
Little black book: six tips for creativity
December 24, 2018 | FT Property Listings | By Alice Hancock.

People start in unusual places. The lighting designer Lee Broom was an actor before he — literally — saw the light. Environmental artist and activist Porky Hefer worked in advertising. Tom Dixon, renowned for his gold-plated teaware, only started in design because he had a motorcycle accident.

After two years of interviewing designers, gardeners, architects and gallery owners for the FT’s “Little black book” slot, nothing surprises me. The wonderfully louche French designer Philippe Starck told me the strangest thing he had ever been asked to make was a coffin. Antiques dealer Will Fisher proudly told me about his (real) antique head of a giraffe.

What they all have in common is a unique take on the world.

Here are six things I have learnt about the creative process:
creativity  creative_renewal  tips 
december 2018 by jerryking
The Freshest Ideas Are in Small Grocery Stores
July 31, 2018 | The New York Times | By Kim Severson.

Most North Americans still buy their food at the classic supermarket, with its wide aisles and seemingly limitless choices. But stores like Kroger, the nation’s largest chain with more than $105 billion in sales in 2017, are being cannibalized by a host of discount competitors like Dollar General and Aldi on one side, and by the growing dominance of Amazon and online delivery on the other.

“By and large, supermarkets are kind of behind the eight ball” in responding to changes in how people shop, said Diana Smith, the associate director of retail and apparel for the market research company Mintel.

Customers, especially younger ones, want stores that offer what some industry analysts have come to call “food experiences,” with craft beer on tap, meals to go and vegetable butchers. They tend to shop only when they cook, visiting more than one store to collect ingredients, rather than making a weekly trip to stock the pantry with toilet paper, chuck roast and gallons of milk.

Large chains are throwing everything they can at the problem, planning smaller stores customized for different demographics. Kroger, which already sells clothes at some of its stores, has developed a grab-and-go fashion line called Dip, and is testing driverless delivery. The Midwestern chain Hy-Vee is adding medical clinics and spa-inspired bath boutiques to its stores.

But some of the most radical reinvention is happening at the local level, in both cities and small towns, where a new breed of small community stores use the grocery aisles to fill cultural niches and address social needs.
creativity  ideas  grocery  small_spaces  supermarkets  Kroger 
august 2018 by jerryking
Daring rather than data will save advertising
John Hegarty JANUARY 2, 2017

Algorithms are killing creativity, writes John Hegarty

Ultimately, brands are built by talking to a broad audience. Even if part of that audience never buys your product. Remember, a brand is made not just by the people who buy it, but also by the people who know about it. Fame adds value to a brand, but to build it involves saying something that captures the public’s imagination. It needs to broadcast.

Now, data are fundamentally important in the building of a market. “Big data” can provide intelligence, gather information, identify buying patterns and determine certain outcomes. But what it cannot do is create an emotional bond with the consumer. Data do not make magic. That is the job of persuasion. And it is what makes brands valuable...... Steve Jobs or James Dyson did not build brilliant companies by waiting for a set of algorithms to tell them what to do.

Persuasion and promotion.

In today’s advertising world, creativity has taken a back seat. Creativity creates value and with it difference. And difference is vital for giving a brand a competitive edge. But the growing belief in “data-only solutions” means we drive it out of the marketplace.

If everything ends up looking the same and feeling the same, markets stagnate.
advertising  Steve_Jobs  creativity  human_ingenuity  data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  brands  emotional_connections  persuasion  ingenuity  daring  algorithms 
february 2018 by jerryking
Review: New biography Leonardo da Vinci examines the archetypal Renaissance Man - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL HARRIS
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 3, 2017

Da Vinci was the archetypal Renaissance Man, ignoring the borders of science and art. His promiscuous curiosity was – well, the stuff of genius......Isaacson argues that da Vinci is history's greatest creative genius and, given the evidence amassed in this 600-page work, one would be hard-pressed to argue.....da Vinci's genius springs from his disregard for categories. Whereas a visual artist today would be encouraged by a hundred confounding factors to "stay in her lane" and pursue visual art for its own sake, da Vinci would have been disgusted by such constraints. Science was no distraction; in fact, science fed his paintings.....da Vinci had a reverence for the wholeness of nature and a feel for the harmony of its patterns, which he saw replicated in phenomena large and small."......Da Vinci's was a world where life held knowable patterns. Dig deep enough, expend enough honest curiosity, and the mysteries of the universe began to unfurl. .....The book – as approachable as it is enlightening – achieves something similar; it inspires the reader to become more curious about the patterns underlying its subject – just as da Vinci was curious about the patterns underlying everything else.
biographies  books  book_reviews  creativity  genius  Leonardo_da_Vinci  Medici  patterns  pattern_recognition  polymaths  Renaissance  Renaissance_Man  transgressiveness  Walter_Isaacson 
december 2017 by jerryking
Biographer Walter Isaacson explains what made Leonardo da Vinci a genius - The Globe and Mail
RUSSELL SMITH
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2017

What we can learn from Leonardo constitutes the peculiar last chapter of this otherwise sober and cautious biography. At its end Isaacson moves from his role as historian into something closer to self-help guru. He lists a set of Leonardish attributes for us to emulate that sound a lot like advice to tech startups: "Retain a childlike sense of wonder… Think visually… Avoid silos… Collaborate…" Add this to repeated comparisons to Steve Jobs, a previous biographee of Isaacson's, and one is reminded that this is a very American biography (Isaacson was managing editor of Time magazine for years), one that sees "creativity" as primarily a corporate asset.
Russell_Smith  books  biographies  genius  Leonardo_da_Vinci  Walter_Isaacson  Steve_Jobs  polymaths  foxes  hedgehogs  renaissance  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  generalists  curiosity  creativity  collaboration  silo_mentality 
december 2017 by jerryking
Lost Einsteins: The Innovations We’re Missing -
DEC. 3, 2017 | The New York Times | David Leonhardt.

societies have a big interest in making sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to become scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. It’s not only a matter of fairness. Denying opportunities to talented people can end up hurting everyone.

.....Raj Chetty....is a Stanford professor who helps lead the Equality of Opportunity Project.... considered among the most important research efforts in economics today.....The project’s latest paper, out Sunday, looks at who becomes an inventor — and who doesn’t. The results are disturbing....The key phrase in the research paper is “lost Einsteins.” It’s a reference to people who could “have had highly impactful innovations” if they had been able to pursue the opportunities they deserved.....children who excelled in math were far more likely to become inventors. But being a math standout wasn’t enough. Only the top students who also came from high-income families had a decent chance to become an inventor.

This fact may be the starkest: Low-income students who are among the very best math students — those who score in the top 5 percent of all third graders — are no more likely to become inventors than below-average math students from affluent families:

....“There are great differences in innovation rates,” Chetty said. “Those differences don’t seem to be due to innate ability to innovate.” Or as Steve Case — the entrepreneur who’s now investing in regions that venture capital tends to ignore — told me when I called him to discuss the findings: “Creativity is broadly distributed. Opportunity is not.” [or life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.]
innovation  equality_of_opportunity  Steve_Case  Albert_Einstein  achievement_gaps  affluence  high-income  low-income  mathematics  capitalization  human_potential  inventions  inventiveness  inventors  creativity  quotes  unevenly_distributed 
december 2017 by jerryking
Prepare for a New Supercycle of Innovation - WSJ
By John Michaelson
May 9, 2017

Things are about to change. Consider information technology. Today’s enterprise IT systems are built on platforms dating from the 1970s to the 1990s. These systems are now horrendously expensive to operate, prone to catastrophic crashes, and unable to ensure data security. The cloud only made this worse by increasing complexity.

Corporate CEOs complain that they are unable to get the data they need. These rickety systems cannot easily accommodate data mining and artificial intelligence. Evidence of their deficiencies is seen daily. The New York Stock Exchange stops trading for hours. Yahoo acknowledges the compromise of one billion user accounts. Airline reservation systems go down repeatedly. The pain level for users is becoming intolerable.

Each decade for the past 60 years, we have seen a thousand-fold increase in world-wide processing power, bandwidth and storage. At the same time, costs have fallen by a factor of 10,000. Advances in these platforms, in themselves, do not produce innovation. But they facilitate the development and deployment of entirely new applications that take advantage of these advances. [jk: The Republican intellectual George F. Gilder taught us that we should husband resources that are scarce and costly, but can waste resources that are abundant and cheap] Amazing new applications are almost never predictable. They come from human creativity (jk: human ingenuity). That is one reason they almost never come from incumbent companies. But once barriers to innovation are lowered, new applications follow.
10x  artificial_intelligence  CEOs  creativity  cyber_security  data_mining  economic_downturn  flash_crashes  George_Gilder  Gilder's  Law  innovation  history  human_ingenuity  incumbents  IT  legacy_tech  Moore's_Law  NYSE 
may 2017 by jerryking
China gifts luxury a reprieve
29 April/30 April 2017 | FT Weekend | by Harriet Agnew and Tom Hancock

Chinese consumers, the drivers of global luxury for more than a decade, once travelled overseas to the European fashion capitals of Paris, London and Milan to take advantage of lower prices. Now they are increasingly inclined to spend at home. Last year Chinese consumers made two-thirds of their personal luxury goods purchases domestically, compared with roughly a third in 2013, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
.............In an era of lower growth, brands are trying to adapt to changing consumer demands and the disruption of digital while keeping the creative process at the heart of it. “Creativity and audacity is what allows you to elicit desire [and therefore sales] over the long run, telling a story that people want to discover, chapter after chapter,” says François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering.
......Yet brands can no longer rely on opening lots of new stores to fuel growth. Instead they have to keep costs down, revamp their existing stores to make them more profitable, and seek new customers through avenues like digital.

“The business model of luxury has completely changed,” says Erwan Rambourg, global co-head of consumer and retail at HSBC in New York. “Either brands understand that and make the changes themselves, or they don’t and they leave themselves open to activism or M&A.”
.......Compared with other consumer brands, luxury has been late to the digital party. Phoebe Philo, the then creative director at fashion house Céline, told Vogue in 2013 that “the chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google”. But that view now looks unsustainable.

Six out of 10 sales are digitally influenced, says BCG, which estimates that online commerce will grow from 7 per cent of the global personal luxury market today to 12 per cent by 2020.

Within digital, the holy grail is so-called omnichannel — the ability to offer a seamless experience to customers that blends digital and bricks-and-mortar stores, and includes initiatives like click-and-collect. “Blending the physical and the digital is the future of the online flagship stores,” says Federico Marchetti, chief executive of the YOOX Net-a-Porter Group.

The emphasis is on the customer experience. Net-a-Porter is launching a same-day delivery service in September for its top clients in London called, “You try, we wait.” Customers will be able to try on their online order at home or in the office while the delivery van waits outside.
......As e-commerce gathers steam and groups collect more and more data on their clients, the next stage is machine learning and artificial intelligence, believes Mr Marchetti. In this vision of the future algorithms will act as virtual shopping assistants, suggesting items that the customer might like, “enabling us to speak to each customer on an individual basis rather than to the whole customer base”, he says.

Luxury brands are also increasingly using blogs, online “influencers” and social media platforms such as Instagram to generate visibility and lure potential buyers.

All of this is happening at a time when the definition of what constitutes luxury is expanding beyond physical possessions to include experiences both as a competitor to, and opportunity for, the traditional houses.

“Luxury brands are now competing with the plastic surgeon and the luxury travel agent,” says Mr Rambourg. “For a similar price you can have a Louis Vuitton handbag, a facelift or a trip to the Maldives.”
....“Our pulse is the Chinese customer,” says LVMH’s Mr Guiony: “It made the sector worse a couple of years ago and it has made it better now. We have to be aware of that. Trees don’t grow to the sky.”
/
luxury  brands  China  Chinese  China_rising  consumers  digital_disruption  e-commerce  travel_agents  BCG  growth  LVMH  watches  noughties  Yoox  customer_experience  WeChat  Burberry  digital_influencers  creativity  audacity  storytelling  omnichannel  artificial_intelligence  machine_learning  virtual_assistants  same-day 
may 2017 by jerryking
Dancing with Disruption - Mike Lipkin
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By Mike Lipkin
#1. Become someone who knows.....a secret is a formula or knowledge that is only known to a few. If you own a secret, you have the power to share it so you can turn the few into the many. Secrets are everywhere – hiding in plain sight. The difference between someone who knows and someone who doesn’t is the willingness to do the work, find the information, talk to the people and formulate one’s strategy. Be a source of joy and not a source of stress!! Disruption begins long before.....Mastering other people's emotions....Add in a way that thrills and delights others!! Prospective of Personal Mastery....industry connection + internal influence.
# 2. Have an audacious ambition. If you want to be a disruptor, you can be humble, but you can’t be modest. You have to dream big....dream bigger than anything that gets in its way.
#3. Be simultaneously analytical and creative. There may be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap? ...Disruption demands left and right brain firing together. Your intuition may alert you to the opportunity but it’s your intellect that builds your business case. That’s why you need wingmen or women to complement your capacity. Fly social not solo.
#4. Be prolific. The more you lose, the more you win. 1.0 is always imperfect. You will hear the word “no” hundreds of times more than the word “yes.” The best way to get ready is to do things before you’re ready. The best you can do is get it as right as you can the first time [i.e. "good enough"] and then get better, stronger, smarter. Disruptors try a lot more things than disruptees. They fail fast and they fail forward. [Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.
#5. Communicate like magic. If you want to be a disruptor, you must be a great communicator. ... the right words generate oxytocin – the love hormone, whereas the wrong words generate cortisol, the stress hormone. .... tell your story in a way that opens people’s hearts, minds and wallets to you. Create a vocabulary.
#6. Be a talent magnet. Disruption demands the boldest and brightest partners....The best talent goes where it earns the highest return. Reputation is everything. [What would Mandela do?]
#7. Play like a champion today. Disruptors may not always play at their best but they play their best every day. They bring their A-Game no matter who they’re playing....you feel their intensity and passion. How hard are you hustling on any given day? Everything matters. There is no such thing as small. They’re all in, all the time.
disruption  personal_branding  uncertainty  hard_work  Pablo_Picasso  creativity  intuition  intensity  passions  talent  failure  partnerships  reputation  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling  thinking_big  expertise  inequality_of_information  knowledge_intensive  imperfections  audacity  special_sauce  prolificacy  affirmations  unshared_information  good_enough  pairs  Mike_Lipkin  CAIF 
april 2017 by jerryking
To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old - The New York Times
Pagan Kennedy APRIL 7, 2017

Pagan Kennedy is the author of “Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World”

it’s easy for us middle-aged folk to believe that the great imaginative leaps are behind us, and that innovation belongs to the kids.

On the contrary, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that late blooming is no anomaly. A 2016 Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study found that inventors peak in their late 40s and tend to be highly productive in the last half of their careers. Similarly, professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University in Japan, who studied data about patent holders, found that, in the United States, the average inventor sends in his or her application to the patent office at age 47, and that the highest-value patents often come from the oldest inventors — those over the age of 55.....The more I talked to Dr. Goodenough, the more I wondered if his brilliance was directly tied to his age. After all, he has been thinking about energy problems longer than just about anyone else on the planet.....“I’m old enough to know you can’t close your mind to new ideas. You have to test out every possibility if you want something new.”

When I asked him about his late-life success, he said: “Some of us are turtles; we crawl and struggle along, and we haven’t maybe figured it out by the time we’re 30. But the turtles have to keep on walking.” This crawl through life can be advantageous, he pointed out, particularly if you meander around through different fields, picking up clues as you go along. .... The tapestry reminds him of the divine power that fuels his mind. “I’m grateful for the doors that have been opened to me in different periods of my life,” he said. He believes the glass battery was just another example of the happy accidents that have come his way: “At just the right moment, when I was looking for something, it walked in the door.”
physics  batteries  energy  creativity  biases  patents  midlife  genius  aging  late_bloomers 
april 2017 by jerryking
Life’s Work
May 2915 | HBR | Alison Beard

"In the business of storytelling, you're looking for originality in the subject and point of view....which ideas feel authentic and new?"

Can curiosity be taught? Some people have more than others, but to use it as a tool takes work. You have to assault a topic kind of like a scientist and ask endless questions.

"But I still had to do what Lew Wasserman told me: Start manufacturing ideas"

"When people look at you, you have a chance to be a leader"
HBR  Brian_Grazer  curiosity  storytelling  films  movies  ideas  idea_generation  Hollywood  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  self-actualization  creativity  creative_renewal  studios  producers  questions  originality  perspectives  authenticity  pitches  independent_viewpoints  personal_accomplishments  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
april 2016 by jerryking
Five habits that helped Joshua Jackson bulk up his acting resume - The Globe and Mail
COURTNEY SHEA
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 12:00PM EST
Last updated Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015

To be creative, you have to be prepared

How to be a real man (on camera)

The trouble with the trappings

It’s okay to dress like a grown-up

Throw yourself in front of the (figurative) train
habits  actors  television  HBO  creativity  playing_in_traffic  preparation 
november 2015 by jerryking
Social Ad Platform 140 Proof Says People Aren't Always Honest About Their Locations | Adweek
March 14, 2014 | Advertising Age | by??

As a marketer, you’ve mastered location-based marketing. Your pizza is hot, it’s lunchtime, and you’ve pinpointed those smartphone-carrying consumers who are in spitting distance of your store. But what if your target consumers aren’t where they claim to be?
consumer_behavior  advertising  marketing  creativity 
october 2015 by jerryking
When Big Data Isn’t an Option
May 19, 2014 / Summer 2014 / Strategy + Business | by David Meer
When Big Data Isn’t an Option
Companies that only have access to “little data” can still use that information to improve their business.

Many companies—probably most—work in relatively sparse data environments, without access to the abundant information needed for advanced analytics and data mining. For instance, point-of-sale register data is not standard in emerging markets. In most B2B industries, companies have access to their own sales and shipment data but have little visibility into overall market volumes or what their competitors are selling. Highly specialized or concentrated markets, such as parts suppliers to automakers, have only a handful of potential customers. These companies have to be content with what might be called little data—readily available information that companies can use to generate insights, even if it is sparse or of uneven quality....the beverage manufacturer developed an algorithm based on observable characteristics, then asked its sales professionals to classify all the bars and restaurants in their territories based on the algorithm. (This is a classic little data technique: filling in the data gaps internally.)

. Little data techniques, therefore, can include just about any method that gives a company more insight into its customers without breaking the bank. As the examples above illustrate, mining little data doesn’t mean investing in expensive data acquisition, hardware, software, or technology infrastructure. Rather, companies need three things:

• The commitment to become more fact-based in their decision making.

• The willingness to learn by doing.

• A bit of creativity. ...

The bottom line: Companies have to put in the extra effort required to capture and interpret data that is already being generated.
small_data  data  analytics  data_driven  market_segmentation  observations  call_centres  insights  data_quality  data_capture  interpretation  point-of-sale  mindsets  creativity 
september 2015 by jerryking
LET'S REINVENT THE BOOKSHOP | More Intelligent Life
Rosanna de Lisle asks four firms of architects and designers to create the bookshop of their dreams

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2014
architecture  design  e-commerce  retailers  creativity  reinvention  bricks-and-mortar  booksellers  bookshops 
august 2015 by jerryking
In business and government, think differently - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL SABIA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 16 2015

here’s the paradox. At a time when creativity is relentlessly driving change in so much of our world, many would limit governments to managing their way through, rather than working with others to solve problems.

It started in the 1980s and ’90s, when we decided governments needed to become “more like businesses,” adopting the metrics – and vocabulary – of corporations. Citizens became “clients.” Compliance replaced creativity.

The job of government was defined in terms of its “efficiency,” and the emphasis was placed on the minimal “must do” instead of the aspirational “can be.”

Of course, governments have to demonstrate good stewardship of public resources. But if all they do is count change, it limits their ability to effect change. The fact is when big problems arise – whether it’s a financial crisis like 2008 or a tragedy like Lac-Mégantic – people’s first instinct is to look to government for a solution.

Yet opinion researchers tell us that people are increasingly disappointed with our collective response to the issues that matter most: income inequality, health care for the elderly, climate change and so on....It’s about different government. This is about government moving away from a manager’s obsession with doing things better to a leader’s focus on doing better things. Think of fostering innovation, being open to new ideas, encouraging experimentation, rewarding risk-taking. And, frankly, accepting failure as a condition precedent to success.
Michael_Sabia  CDPQ  thinking  CEOs  innovation  leadership  experimentation  risk-taking  failure  trial_&_error  government  public_sector  open_source  disappointment  business  stewardship  compliance  replaced  creativity  efficiencies  effectiveness  think_differently 
may 2015 by jerryking
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
MAY 2, 2015| NYT |By ALEX PEYSAKHOVICH and SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ.

If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.

The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice. For this reason, the key question isn’t “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”...So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data....For one thing, many teams ended up going overboard on data. It was easy to measure offense and pitching, so some organizations ended up underestimating the importance of defense, which is harder to measure. In fact, in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com estimates that the Oakland A’s were giving up 8 to 10 wins per year in the mid-1990s because of their lousy defense.

And data-driven teams found out the hard way that scouts were actually important...We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.

==============================================
From Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics ☑
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [Warning of the danger of overquantification) Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.
human_ingenuity  data  analytics  small_data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  information_overload  dark_data  measurements  creativity  judgment  intuition  Nate_Silver  expertise  datasets  information_gaps  unknowns  underestimation  infoliteracy  overlooked_opportunities  sense-making  easy-to-measure  Albert_Einstein  special_sauce  metrics  overlooked  defensive_tactics  emotional_intelligence  EQ  soft_skills  overquantification  false_confidence 
may 2015 by jerryking
Take a page from Hemingway for your next meeting - The Globe and Mail
SHIRLEE SHARKEY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 16 2015
Do it. Creating great art or innovative business solutions is about discipline and hard work. Effort and commitment are needed to cultivate the environment for that magic beanstalk to take root.
Work with your team to schedule creative time and stick to it.
Clock it. Similar to routines, specific time constraints can also allow creativity to blossom. Ernest Hemingway set aside each day, from 7 a.m. until noon, to write between 500 and 1000 words. Even with such a creative and vivacious personality, he knew discipline was a key element of artistic expression.
Be it. bringing that kind of energy into your organization takes commitment and devotion to the outcome. I am certainly not suggesting crash diets or extreme behaviour, but I think we can learn from these techniques to foster a better focus.

Be creative.Change the environment and embrace new situations. Take your team on a field trip to meet a competitor; go to a movie together; have your meeting in a fast food restaurant – or a gallery.
Blow it. Actors who don’t perform well on auditions; writers who can’t find a publisher; artists who can’t sell their work – failure, followed by the long crawl back to the drawing board – is a vital step to creating great things.
inspiration  meetings  leaders  failure  creative_renewal  art  discipline  creativity  Pablo_Picasso  routines  focus  hard_work 
february 2015 by jerryking
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 10 2015,

The stability of property and its transference by consent were thus rightly deemed by the great Scottish philosopher David Hume as two of the three rules that underpinned truly civilized societies (the third was the keeping of promises). Strong, reliable and consistent property rights unlock prosperity because they reduce conflict, promote stewardship and reward investment..... A strong IP regime therefore unlocks creativity, surely one of the keys to prosperity in a society increasingly dependent on intangible services for its wealth creation. Ultimately, all wealth is created by human knowledge, and increasingly the wealth of societies such as Canada takes the form of the fruits of our fertile minds, in software, design, film, fashion, engineering, disease control and more.
capitalism  intellectual_property  rule_of_law  Congo  Zaire  property_rights  abuses  impunity  intangibles  patents  wealth_creation  think_tanks  counterfeits  creativity  digital_economy  protocols  David_Hume  knowledge_economy  prosperity 
february 2015 by jerryking
Corporate sponsors of the arts missing creative opportunities - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 16 2015 | The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH.
...the necessary bridge between creativity and innovation is collaboration – the act of allowing someone else’s experience to change the way you see the world....
It’s time to entirely rethink corporate sponsorship of the arts. Forget the silly logo on the back of the program or the complimentary tickets to the play. What artists can offer is much more valuable: a chance to peer into the mind of a choreographer, a singer, a set designer, a writer. How do they solve complex problems? And what insights can this bring to corporate leaders who are trying to solve problems of their own?

In the end it comes down to something neurologists know very well. If you want to become a creative person, you have to force your brain to see new patterns, unfamiliar terrain and uncomfortable situations. Sitting in a boardroom full of people with the same university degree and the same clothes (think dull blue suits and boring shoes) will do nothing to foster creative, innovative visionaries.

Why don’t artists offer those corporate suits something really valuable? The pitch should be: “Give us $100,000 and we’ll show you how we solve problems and design solutions. You’ll think we’re crazy – and quite possibly we are – but if you allow yourselves the chance, you’ll start to change the way your brain operates. Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be developed.”

Companies can transform the way their leaders think.
Todd_Hirsch  arts  philanthropy  branding  creativity  artists  critical_thinking  skepticism  problem_solving  sponsorships  art  creative_renewal  ideality  collaboration  rethinking  missed_opportunities  heterogeneity  crazy_ideas  radical_ideas  creative_types  neurologists  complex_problems 
january 2015 by jerryking
How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2 - NYTimes.com
APRIL 19, 2014 | NYT| Thomas L. Friedman.

(1) “The first and most important thing is to be explicit and willful in making the decisions about what you want to get out of this investment in your education.”
(2) make sure that you’re getting out of it not only a broadening of your knowledge but skills that will be valued in today’s workplace. Your college degree is not a proxy anymore for having the skills or traits to do any job.

What are those traits? One is grit, he said. Shuffling through résumés of some of Google’s 100 hires that week, Bock explained: “I was on campus speaking to a student who was a computer science and math double major, who was thinking of shifting to an economics major because the computer science courses were too difficult. I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. That student will be one of our interns this summer.”

“What you want to do is say: ‘Here’s the attribute I’m going to demonstrate; here’s the story demonstrating it; here’s how that story demonstrated that attribute.’ ” And here is how it can create value. (Apply this also to cover letters).
howto  job_search  Google  Tom_Friedman  Lazlo_Bock  attributes  cognitive_skills  creativity  liberal_arts  résumés  new_graduates  coverletters  hiring  Managing_Your_Career  talent  grit  interviews  interview_preparation  value_creation  Jason_Isaacs  Asha_Isaacs  Jazmin_Isaacs 
april 2014 by jerryking
As Iceland shows, the arts can be a valuable business asset for Canada - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH
As Iceland shows, the arts can be a valuable business asset for Canada Add to ...
Subscribers Only

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Mar. 27 2014
Todd_Hirsch  Iceland  art  artists  culture  arts  cultural_institutions  creativity  prosperity  creative_class  funding  fine_arts 
march 2014 by jerryking
Creativity vs. Quants - NYTimes.com
MARCH 21, 2014 | NYT | Timothy Egan

"Creativity remains so unquantifiable, it’s still getting shortchanged by educators, new journalistic ventures, Hollywood and the company that aspires to be the earth’s largest retailer, Amazon.com.

An original work, an aha! product or a fresh insight is rarely the result of precise calculation at one end producing genius at the other. You need messiness and magic, serendipity and insanity. Creativity comes from time off, and time out.
Amazon  contemplation  creativity  creative_renewal  genius  insanity  insights  messiness  quantitative  quants  sabbaticals  serendipity  slack_time  timeouts  under_appreciated 
march 2014 by jerryking
The damaging legacy of discovery learning - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 05 2013

The 2012 math rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, in which Canada slipped to 13th place, are based on average test scores..... it’s important to distinguish between what Canada’s notable drop in international student rankings can and can’t tell us about how our kids our doing.

First, some context: The two most damaging developments to hit public education have been the power of teaching fads and the proliferation of standardized testing. Fads are dangerous because they are often based on shaky hypotheses about how children learn, and are blindly embraced by impressionable teachers keen to make a difference but lacking in the experience and training needed to transmit knowledge or the talent to light the spark in their students.

Standardized testing is not bad in itself. But education policy has become hostage to testing data. The result is a disproportionate focus on raising the average scores of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and less emphasis on producing top students, regardless of income....As education historian and influential U.S. testing critic Diane Ravitch blogged after the latest PISA results were released, “what we cannot measure matters more. The scores tell us nothing about students’ imagination, their drive, their ability to ask good questions, their insight, their inventiveness, their creativity.”....[ Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.]. The decade-long drop in math scores among students outside Quebec corresponds with the spread of “discovery learning” in the classroom. The idea that students must be free to solve problems based on their unique learning styles popped up in the education literature in late 1960s and went mainstream in the 1990s. But there was a huge revolt when U.S. parents discovered Johnny couldn’t multiply; the pendulum has since swung back to teaching the basics.

Yet most English-Canadian school boards embraced some version of discovery learning even after it was being questioned south of the border. It fit with the “equity” mantra that permeated the jargon of education bureaucrats and ministers. “Reaching every student” became the theme of education policies aimed at bringing up the bottom with “student-centred learning.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  education  high_schools  rankings  PISA  STEM  mathematics  test-score_data  standardized_testing  metrics  students  imagination  drive  questions  insights  inventiveness  creativity  discoveries 
december 2013 by jerryking
Creative partnerships are CBC’s new norm - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 28 2013 |The Globe and Mail | Hubert Lacroix

In the public interest, we are partnered with no fewer than four companies that some might consider our fierce competitors. Together, we will bring Canadians closer to their athletes, closer to the Games than ever before. We’ll be there in Rio too, not to mention the FIFA World Cup and the Pan American Games.

The media landscape is increasingly dominated by conglomerates with very deep pockets that both produce and distribute content. Let’s be honest, CBC can’t put a $5.2-billion bid on the table because we don’t have the specialty networks, pay-TV and mobility platforms to monetize those rights. So, we need to change our mindset. We look for how and where the public interest can be served by collaborating with those giants, in this case Rogers, to share national consciousness and preserve Canadian heritage.

Change has become something that CBC/Radio-Canada relishes. It represents an opportunity to renew our relationship with Canadians in novel and surprising ways. We now offer more services than ever before – 30 in all, up from 19 a decade ago – and in recent years have made the public broadcaster more Canadian, more regional and more digital.
creativity  partnerships  CBC  NHL  hockey  digital_media 
november 2013 by jerryking
Lee Kai-Fu, China's Innovation Idol
August 22, 2013 | Businessweek | By Lauren Hilgers.

“I know what I can’t say, so I don’t go over the line,” Lee says. “Of course, if you don’t push the line sometimes, the line will never change.” He says censorship is not his overriding concern. His chief goal is to get Chinese entrepreneurs to think creatively. He insists that incremental innovations will open more doors and, over time, change more people’s thinking. Other innovation watchers, such as Segal at the Council on Foreign Relations, doubt that the formula will work outside China’s domestic market. “Some companies are managing to get close enough to the line and managing to innovate. When they move abroad, however, there will be more competition and increasing demand for transparency and good corporate governance,” Segal says. “The barriers are incredibly high.”
China  creativity  entrepreneur  innovation  incrementalism  Kai-Fu_Lee 
september 2013 by jerryking
What’s an Idea Worth? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 29, 2013 (think about this for WaudWare)

Companies like G.E., Nike and Apple learned early on that the real money was in the creative ideas that can transform simple physical products far beyond their generic or commodity value....we have no idea how to measure the financial value of ideas and the people who come up with them.
fees_&_commissions  invoicing  intangibles  billing  transformational  GE  Nike  Apple  fees  goodwill  professional_service_firms  branding  metrics  time-management  productivity  knowledge_economy  creativity  pricing  value_creation  ideas 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Enemies of Invention | Psychology Today
By Art Markman, Peter Gray, Sian Beilock, Christopher J Sprigman, Kal Raustiala, Peter Bregman, published on May 07, 2013 - last reviewed on May 07, 2013
creativity  innovation  inventions 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Internship - Not the Movie - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 8, 2013

Internships are increasingly important today, they explained, because skills are increasingly important in the new economy and because colleges increasingly don’t teach the ones employers are looking for. Experience, rather than a degree, has become an important proxy for skill, they note, and internships give you that experience. So grab one wherever you can, they add, because, even if you’re just serving coffee, it is a way to see how businesses actually work and which skills are prized by employers.... Since so many internships are unpaid these days, added Sedlet, there is a real danger that only “rich kids” can afford them, which will only widen our income gaps. The key, if you get one, he added, is to remember “that companies don’t want generalists to help them think big; they want people who can help them execute” and “add value.”

But what, they were often asked, does “add value” mean? It means, they said, show that you have some creative flair — particularly in design, innovation, entrepreneurship, sales or marketing, skills that can’t be easily replaced by a piece of software, a machine or a cheaper worker in India.
job_search  tips  internships  HireArt  Managing_Your_Career  value_creation  new_graduates  experience  thinking_big  value_added  creativity  imagination  execution  Tom_Friedman  non-routine  in-person  special_sauce 
june 2013 by jerryking
Playing it safe puts the economy at risk - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Thursday, Apr. 11 2013

Risk management is now a quasi-science, with positive and negative consequences. The positive is that companies are now better equipped to gauge the level of risk associated with any particular investment. But the negative is that, too often, risk management hampers innovation and creativity.

What should be a tool to make better decisions has sometimes led companies to make no decisions at all. Risk management should liberate companies. Instead, it has enslaved some.
risks  risk-management  innovation  economy  creativity  Todd_Hirsch  risk-aversion  risk-avoidance  playing_it_safe 
april 2013 by jerryking
America the Innovative? - NYTimes.com
March 30, 2013 | NYT | By EAMONN FINGLETON.

How do we explain America’s sudden mid-20th-century ascent to technological glory? The credit goes not to freedom but to something more prosaic: money. With World War II, the United States government joined corporations in ramping up spending on R&D, and then came the cold war and the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, which gave further impetus to government-funded research. One result was Darpa, which helped develop the Internet.

Throughout history, rich nations have gotten to the future first. Their companies can afford to equip their tinkerers and visionaries with the most advanced materials, instruments and knowledge.

This raises an epochal question: as China becomes richer, is it destined to pass the United States as the world’s most inventive nation? The question is all the more pertinent because many experts contend that America’s inventive spirit is already flagging. As the Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel put it to me in an interview, American innovation in recent decades has been remarkably narrowly based. “It has been confined largely to information technology and financial services,” he said. “By contrast in transportation, for instance, we are hardly more advanced today than we were 40 years ago. The story is similar in treating cancer.”
China  U.S.  competitiveness_of_nations  innovation  creativity  China_rising  patents  DARPA  Cold_War  America_in_Decline?  post-WWII  Peter_Thiel  inventiveness  visionaries  abundance  state-as-facilitator  tinkerers 
april 2013 by jerryking
Why Innovators Get Better With Age - NYTimes.com
By TOM AGAN
Published: March 30, 2013

Less gray hair sharply reduces an organization’s innovation potential, which over the long term can greatly outweigh short-term gains.

The most common image of an innovator is that of a kid developing a great idea in a garage, a dorm room or a makeshift office. This is the story of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple. Last week, Yahoo announced that it had bought a news-reading app developed by Nick D’Aloisio, who is all of 17.

In reality, though, these examples are the exception and not the rule. Consider this: The directors of the five top-grossing films of 2012 are all in their 40s or 50s. And two of the biggest-selling authors of fiction for 2012 — Suzanne Collins and E. L. James — are around 50. ....But there is another reason to keep innovators around longer: the time it takes between the birth of an idea and when its implications are broadly understood and acted upon. This education process is typically driven by the innovators themselves....Let’s assume that with company resources, it will take a corporate innovator 10 years instead of 20 to educate others about the nature, implications and applications of a new idea. If that’s true, a reasonable target retention age for attaining an average level of innovation would be at least 50....If an organization wants innovation to flourish, the conversation needs to change from severance packages to retention bonuses. Instead of managing the average age downward, companies should be managing it upward.
aging  workplaces  innovation  creativity  late_bloomers 
march 2013 by jerryking
The economic imperative for investing in arts and culture
Mar. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH.

A better reason why the economy needs a strong cultural scene is that it helps to attract and retain labour. This is especially important for cities trying to draw smart professionals from around the world. The best and brightest workers are global citizens, and if they (or their families) are not pleased with the cultural amenities, they won’t come. Calgary, where I live, is a perfect example: world-class fly fishing and a great rodeo will attract some people, but without fantastic arts and sports amenities, the pool of willing migrants would be shallow....The third reason, however, is the most important. To become the creative, innovative and imaginative citizens that our companies and governments want us to be, Canadians need to willingly expose themselves to new ideas. A vibrant arts and culture community is the easiest way to make this possible.

American neuroscientist Gregory Berns, in the introduction to his 2008 book Iconoclast, wrote: “To see things differently than other people, the most effective solution is to bombard the brain with things it has never encountered before.” Living and travelling abroad is a great way to do this, but for most of us that isn’t a practical reality. Arts and culture on our home turf offer us the chance to “bombard” our brain with new stimulus without leaving town.

The important part, as Dr. Berns puts it, is to concentrate on things your brain has never encountered before. If you’re an opera fan, going to see opera season after season will be enjoyable, but you won’t reap the creative benefits that come from exposure to other things. Maybe you need to skip the next performance of Don Giovanni and take in some indie rock. Or if you’re a hockey nut, turn off the game one night and take in an exhibit of contemporary visual art. You’re not required to enjoy an unfamiliar art or sport (although if you go with an open mind, you’ll be surprised). The point is to purposely take it in, absorb what’s going on, and let your mind be bombarded. It gets the brain’s neurons firing in different ways...We have to stop thinking about arts and culture as simply nice-to-haves. They are just as important as well-maintained roads and bridges. By giving us the chance to stimulate our minds with new ideas and experiences, they give us the opportunity to become more creative. Arts and culture are infrastructure for the mind.
cultural_institutions  art  artists  Calgary  creativity  prosperity  creative_class  funding  fine_arts  value_propositions  mental_dexterity  creative_renewal  Todd_Hirsch  imagination  idea_generation  ideas  iconoclasts  contemporary_art  open_mind  economic_imperatives  the_best_and_brightest 
march 2013 by jerryking
Think Like a Career Coach
Nick Sedlet Elli Sharef

Nick Sedlet and Elli Sharef are co-founders of HireArt.com, a marketplace connecting job seekers and employers.

pick a career for which demand will increase as a result of technology, not one that will be replaced because of it.

How do you figure out whether your job will one day be replaced by technology? Jobs that are highly structured and repetitive are the most endangered....What you should pick is a job that requires creativity, interpersonal skills and critical thinking – aspects that machines won’t be able to replace anytime soon – and that is not in an industry that is being diminished significantly by technology.

Updated March 24, 2013,
career_paths  HireArt  creativity  interpersonal_skills  critical_thinking  endangered  job_search 
march 2013 by jerryking
If You Were the Next Steve Jobs...
September 3, 2012 | Harvard Business Review | by Umair Haque.

Imagine, for a moment, that you (yes, you) were the next Steve Jobs: what would your (real) challenges be? I'd bet they wouldn't be scale (just call FoxConn), efficiency (call FoxConn's consultants), short-term profitability (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers), or even "growth" (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers' lobbyists). Those are the problems of yesterday — and today, here's the thing: we largely know how to solve them.

Whether you're an assiduous manager, a chin-stroking economist, a superstar footballer, or a rumpled artist, here's the unshakeable fact: you don't get to tomorrow by solving yesterday's problems.

To solve today's set of burning problems, you just might have to build new institutions, capable of handling stuff a little something like this...
Singularity. Scale is a solved problem. We know how to do stuff at very, very large scale — if by stuff you mean "churning out the same widget, a billion times over". What we don't know how to do is the opposite of scaling up: scaling down an institution, to make a difference to a human life.
Sociality - something resembling the advanced dating stage of the courtship ritual.
Spontaneity - the act of human potential unfurling in the moment — and if it's human potential you wish to ignite, then it's spontaneity you need to spark.
what distinguishes organizations that achieve enduring greatness is teamwork and collaboration — and those are words so overused, they make my teeth ache just saying them. Here's my bet: it's time to drop the fourth wall of the "team" — and go beyond collaboration, to something like what Jung called synchronicity: a kind of uncanny intersection of seemingly unrelated lives.
Solubility. But the biggest lesson — and the one hidden in plain sight — is this: creating institutions capable of not just solving the same old problems, forever.... the greatest challenge for tomorrow's would-be problem-solver renegades is this: building institutions that don't keep solving the same old solved problems, like profitability, scale, efficiency, productivity, and the like. Over and over again, like algorithms of human organization run amok. Institutions that are capable of taking a hard look at unsolved problems around the globe — as big as climate change, sending humans to Mars, and redesigning the global financial system, and as small as Umair's perfect coffee — and then accepting the difficult, often painful, always fulfilling, work of attempting to solve them.
living_in_the_moment  creativity  Steve_Jobs  HBR  problems  problem_solving  umairhaque  political_infrastructure  ideas  value_creation  wealth_creation  threats  scaling  institutions  spontaneity  human_potential  superstars  financial_system 
february 2013 by jerryking
Canada must refuel for cultural creativity - The Globe and Mail
EDGAR COWAN, JOHN HOBDAY and IAN WILSON

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Sep. 04 2012,

culture has since been relegated to “niche” status under successive governments, and the cultural sector as a whole has been relegated to the periphery of policy-making.

Now, as we face the challenges of a highly competitive global digital economy, Canada’s under-capitalized but lively and diverse cultural and creative resources could become important strategic innovation assets....Last October, Innovation Canada: A Call To Action, an influential report prepared under the chairmanship of OpenText’s Tom Jenkins, emphasized the centrality of innovation as “the ultimate source of the long-term competitiveness of businesses and the quality of life of Canadians.”

The mobile digital technology explosion has already transformed many aspects of our daily lives. It has dramatically changed our workplaces. Old business models and habits are being challenged, new forms of expression are emerging and our children, the digital natives, are functioning in new ways.

It has radically altered how we communicate with family and friends, and how we relate to our cultural assets: how we listen to music; how we create and read books; how we distribute and view films; how we find information; even how we experience theatre, opera and ballet.

In order to surf this digital tsunami, we need to understand the broad role of the creative sector in the innovation agenda, and consider how we manage the changes, challenges and opportunities that will be beneficial to us as Canadians....Canada needs a new innovative economic “road map,” firmly linking dynamic creative and cultural sectors with open and welcoming business and technology sectors. This collaboration is essential to our achieving the Canada we want to be. Our innovative arts, culture and heritage sector already generates more than $46-billion for the Canadian economy and employs more than 600,000 people. These figures alone suggest that governments and the business community should recognize the potential of this sector to be mobilized and to play an evolving role in pointing the way to a successful innovation strategy.

Canadians should be made more aware that there is a much broader creative constituency than just those in the traditional visual and performing arts. Creativity is nurtured within many professional sectors: architects, graphic artists, fashion and industrial designers, video game creators, journalists, broadcasters, research scientists of all kinds, health-care professionals, academics, teachers – and many others – particularly among those involved in our dynamic digital technology sector.

One can only begin to imagine the incredible economic benefits for Canada from a “coalition of creators,” encouraging the nimble minds from the vital cultural sector to collaborate with other creative design sectors, and the burgeoning digital technology sector
culture  digital_economy  collaboration  cross-pollination  Canada  creative_renewal  cross-disciplinary  creative_class  creativity  innovation  competitveness  roadmaps  arts  constituencies  cultural_creativity 
september 2012 by jerryking
Oh, those lazy young people
Aug. 24 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Todd Hirsch.

The first thing a young person should do is get an education. Not coincidentally, postsecondary education has been a huge issue burning a hole in Quebec politics this summer. But rising tuition fees or not, there is no single factor more effective in boosting creativity and productivity than an educated work force.

Travelling or living abroad is also important. The human mind needs to see different patterns and systems in order to tap its full creative potential, and seeing how people and economies work in other parts of the world is enormously helpful for this.

Finally, working in the community offers tremendous benefits. By getting involved in an arts group, a not-for-profit charity, a neighbourhood sports league – it almost doesn’t matter what as long as the interests of others are at the forefront – self-awareness and empathy are enhanced. And from this flows innovation and creativity.

Economic productivity isn’t about working longer hours, nor is it about finding a warm body to fill a dead-end job. It’s about tapping human potential. It’s about spawning new industries – ones that perhaps need some risk-taker champions along the way. And it’s about inspiring a new generation of young Canadians to say “this is our economy.”
productivity  youth  creative_renewal  travel  creativity  Millennials  Todd_Hirsch  self-awareness  empathy  innovation  education  new_businesses  perspectives  volunteering  arts  nonprofit  human_potential  young_people 
august 2012 by jerryking
Jonah Lehrer on How to Be Creative - WSJ.com
March 12, 2012 | WSJ | By JONAH LEHRER.

How To Be Creative
The image of the 'creative type' is a myth. Jonah Lehrer on why anyone can innovate—and why a hot shower, a cold beer or a trip to your colleague's desk might be the key to your next big idea.
howto  creativity  innovation  Jonah_Lehrer  creative_types 
june 2012 by jerryking
Arts background opened surgeon's eyes
June 6, 2012 |The Globe and Mail |JAMES MARTIN Special to
creativity  doctors  surgeons  humanities 
june 2012 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Right-brain ideas in a left-brain world
June 6, 2012
Fine arts degrees make ideal drivers for innovation and advancement in the corporate world, business leaders say. 'It changed the way I think'

JAMES MARTIN
creativity  humanities  innovation  automotive_industry 
june 2012 by jerryking
How outsiders solve problems that stump experts
May. 02, 2012 | The Globe and Mail| by ERIN MILLAR Special to Globe and Mail Update.

“Radical innovations often happen at the intersections of disciplines,” write Dr. Karim Lakhani and Dr. Lars Bo Jeppesen, of Harvard Business School and Copenhagen Business School respectively, in the Harvard Business Review. “The more diverse the problem-solving population, the more likely a problem is to be solved. People tend to link problems that are distant from their fields with solutions that they've encountered in their own work.”....“We assume that technical problems can be solved only by people with technical expertise,” writes Jonah Lehrer, who discusses InnoCentive in his new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. “But that assumption is wrong. The people deep inside a domain – the chemists trying to solve a chemistry problem – often suffer from a type of intellectual handicap. It's not until the challenge is shared with motivated outsiders that the solution can be found.
creativity  heterogeneity  innovation  polymaths  problem_solving  InnoCentive  books  Jonah_Lehrer  cross-pollination  interdisciplinary  outsiders  intellectual_diversity  moonshots  breakthroughs  industry_expertise 
may 2012 by jerryking
Grateful Student Returns the Favor - New York Times
By ROBERT JOHNSON
Published: August 7, 2005

Peter A. Georgescu whose "The Source of Success" (Jossey-Bass, $27.95) is being published this month, retired as chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam in 2000. The book aims to explain what Mr. Georgescu views as the two major challenges facing America: economic competition from the emerging economies of China and India and a need to foster more creativity within American companies.

"The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."

===============================
See also Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.

============================================
See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
advertising_agencies  book_reviews  Daniel_Pink  Young_&_Rubicam  CEOs  Tom_Friedman  creativity  competitiveness_of_nations  design  imagination  education  high-touch  innovation  talent  developed_countries  idea_generation  books  high-quality 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Future of the Future
September 30, 2005 |Special to the Toronto Star | By Alan Webber.

From Toronto to Tokyo, from Copenhagen to Chicago, from San Paulo to San Francisco—in virtually every major city in every industrialized country in the world—leaders of business, government, and not-for-profits are preoccupied with the same fundamental question: What do we need to do to compete successfully in the economy of the future?...it’s not hard to locate the source of so much economic soul-searching spread over so many historically prosperous countries. Most observers could cull their list of explanations to two simple words: China, India.

there are four additional revolutions going on that all of us must attend to if we want to shape our future, and not simply watch it shape us.
Briefly, the four are:
􀂗 The convergence of politics, religion, and culture as a powerful force for national and international identity and change.
􀂗 The transformational power of technology, and in particular, bio-technology and the new sciences.
􀂗 The revolution in art and self-expression.
􀂗 The global search for personal meaning.

Some of the operating rules that we can apply as we participate in the creation of our own future.
(1) innovation and creativity are the coin of the realm; talent,
diversity, design, and leadership are the metals that make up that coin.
(2) If we want to see the future, we will have to ask the right questions about it...Leif Edvinsson, the world’s first professor of Intellectual Capital, is pioneering a new field: “quizzics”—the art of asking the right question, the right way, because in every field, the question we ask will determine the answer we get.
(3) The future will be created in the interplay of these five revolutions, and at the boundaries of discrete disciplines. Most of us are trained in one profession, one discipline, one career; most of us are rewarded for our expertise in that one area. And yet, increasingly, the future that is emerging requires cross-disciplinary thinking, the ability to work across categories and at the boundaries of expertise.
asking_the_right_questions  intellectual_capital  future  trends  China  India  rules_of_the_game  innovation  creativity  soul-searching  cross-pollination  interdisciplinary  cross-disciplinary  questions 
may 2012 by jerryking
How to have a creative breakthrough
Apr. 08, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Courtney Shea.

Review of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
book_reviews  breakthroughs  creativity  howto  Jonah_Lehrer 
april 2012 by jerryking
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