Posts in ‘Innovation’

Week In Review : Feb 13 – Feb 19, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 20, 2011

Social Media and Tribes #29: The new BLINK!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 14, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, FaceBook is not a distraction. This is true at least for people who can use it in moderation like everything else in life. Glancing at the news feed once in a while helps you be connected. It happens in a split second and you see something that doesn’t register at the conscious-level but provides a gut-feel about the thing. Just like what Malcolm Gladwell states in his popular book BLINK: The power of thinking without thinking. more…

Project Reality Check #9: Tyranny of the “Truth”

by Gary Monti, Feb 15, 2011

Everyone sees their version of the “truth” and this can cause tyrannical behavior. This happens if the person’s “truth” limits the available options for action. Or it could be because of the rigidity in the system or bureaucracy. A great example is the comparison between the Brits and the Germans in WWII. Even though both of them has the technology for a similar artillery piece, the Germans were adept at improvising whereas the Brits were more concerned about maintaining status.  more…

7 Key Strategies for designing an Analysis based Company

by Linda Williams, Feb 16, 2011

In today’s fast changing environment being an analysis based company is critical to survival and profitability. Different industries will have different needs for analysis but there are some key components of an analytical strategy that are foundational to the majority of businesses. In this article, Linda lists the top 7 strategies for designing an Analytical Strategy. more…

Flexible Focus #41: Your 100 year life span

by William Reed, Feb 17, 2011

Irrespective of what ages determine the boundaries of each stage, the truth is that there are stages to life. And you cannot see some things clearly until you take the 100 year perspective. The 100 Year Life Span Mandala Chart can help you gain clarity. It takes a while to thoughtfully fill it out, but that is a small investment of time compared to the perspective it gives you. Think of it as climbing a mountain to the summit of your life, and getting the view of everything below. You owe it to yourself to go there at least once, and if possible at least once a year. more…

Leader driven Harmony #12: 4 P’s to get your !deas moving – Part 1

by Mack McKinney, Feb 18, 2011

The four Ps to move your ideas are be Pleasant, be Professional, be Patient and Promote like crazy. But very often you may not be able to find the traction in your organization. If that’s the case, Mack suggests some ways to rectify that. more…

Week In Review : Feb 6 – Feb 12, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 13, 2011

Developing Organizational Bench Strength

by Sean Conrad, Feb 7, 2011

Identifying your core, differentiating competencies, and then developing them in your entire workforce, but especially in your high potential employees helps to ensure your organization has the bench strength it needs to compete and succeed. Developing bench strength is about developing pools or groups of employees, not just individuals. It’s vital that you identify these high potential employees. If they’re valuable to you, they’re likely also valuable to your competitors and to companies in other industries. more…

Project Reality Check #8: Project Execution – Fantasy vs. Reality

by Gary Monti, Feb 8, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished” is a common project reality. It happens in spite of the best of intentions because of the disconnect between the various truth systems. One of the project manager’s jobs is working the interfaces between all those truth systems and doing so in a way their integrity remains intact. more…

Brilliant advertisements = Phenomenal Sales. True or False?

by Vijay Peduru, Feb 9, 2011

Don’t expect your product to sell more with brilliant ads and average product. 1984 Superbowl commercial for Macintosh computers is a great example. This strategy does not work in the Industrial age anymore. A product has to be first really useful to the customers before advertising helps. Now we need remarkable products or remarkable ideas, which can spread virally. more…

Flexible Focus #40: The 8 frames of life: Society

by William Reed, Feb 10, 2011

In today’s world, your place in society is not longer controlled by birth, circumstance or fortune. The amazing impact of technology to connect people and facilitate communication is firmly put you in control of your personal identity. There is plenty of good and generous advice searchable on the Internet about personal branding through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, and many other popular social networks. The challenge is not so much how to get online but rather why, knowing your role, mission, and purpose in engaging in Social Media. Download a Social Media Mandalato help you think about which aspect of social media you might want to include or improve. more…

Leader driven Harmony #11: Know your Boss’s job and Your Replacement’s Name

by Mack McKinney, Feb 11, 2011

Succession planning in some organizations happen more methodically and maybe only for key positions. But in most cases, it may not be thought out or planned for. And when circumstances arise, you may be in your boss’s shoes… soon. You never know. Learn about how to get ready to take your boss’s job. more…

If you have an average product , but if you can create brilliant ads, will the products sell more.  Look at this superb Ad from Apple aired during the 1984 Superbowl introducing the first Macintosh computer.

Almost anyone who watches this will think that Apple would have had phenomenal sales for the McIntosh after this ad.. In fact, Steve Jobs thought so too, but what really happened was sales were dismal and the MCintosh was not at all usable in real life.  Yes, it was looking cool, but people couldn’t use it. (Hard to believe now that Steve would have thought like this). In fact, the dismal sales of Mcintosh was one of the major reasons Steve was fired from Apple in 1985.

Steve learnt one of the most important lesson in his life… that a product has to be first really useful to the customers before advertising helps.  Having average products and following up with great Ads  worked in the Industrial age but not anymore.  Now we need remarkable products or remarkable ideas, which can spread virally.

Week In Review – Jan 30 – Feb 5, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 6, 2011

Pop-up retail, meet pop-up office

by Marc Watley, Jan 31, 2011

Pop-up retail stores is a recent concept that’s enjoyed immense success. This is applicable to B2B focused organizations too. For example, consider a SaaS company in Dallas needing exposure in Silicon Valley in order for the new product to succeed. They should consider setting up a pop-up office in University Avenue in Palo Alto or Castro Street in Mountain View, for example, which are both hotbeds of Valley activity – with everyone from Googlers to Facebookers to VCs constantly rushing along these thoroughfares to coffee/lunch/dinner meetings. Despite the recent corner-turning of the economy, most cities’ central business districts like these still have plenty of empty storefronts and ground-level offices. Right now is a particularly good time to consider a pop-up office. more…

Project Reality Check #7: Cage Wrestling – Project vs. Operations Management

by Gary Monti, Feb 1, 2011

Inherent conflict between projects and operations might be called white-collar cage wrestling. Participants are focused, strong, and may carry the belief – winning means dominance of their approach. Who’s right? They both are. What is at stake is delivery of a product that performs well and is sustainable. more…

Social Media and Tribes #28: Social Media on the GO!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 2, 2011

In today’s world, we are no more rooted to our computer for staying connected. This is largely because of the advent of smart phone and mobile apps. If you have an iPhone and a friend of yours complains about your delay in responding to his/her email…you better NOT say, “I was away from my computer”. Similarly, if you are a smart phone user and you say to someone “I don’t have time to Tweet or FB”; most likely they are wondering if you are using any smarts of the smart phone! more…

Flexible Focus #39: The Principle of Gratitude

by William Reed, Feb 3, 2011

One of the hardest lessons of flexibility is letting go of the ego’s attachments. Pride prevents you from achieving flexibility, because it insists on being right, being first, or being better than others. It’s companions are alike, inflexible, stubborn, righteous, and condescending. The ancient Greeks called it hubris (hybris), excessive ambition or pride leading to a fall, or to total ruin. There is away to flexibility, based on a Mandala Principle from Buddhism, the Principle of Gratitude (慈悲喜捨 Jihi Kisha). You can download the Mandala of Gratitude, and start using it in your daily life. more…

Leader driven Harmony #10: Don’t Be a Baby Bird (Part II)

by Mack McKinney, Feb 4, 2011

You can spend an (enjoyable) lifetime in anything, if you get all the way IN IT. Business, retail, real estate, banking, dentistry, chiropractic, farming, nursing, appliance repair, EVERY FIELD can provide you with a lifetime of thought and involvement if you will just dive in and commit to being the best at it. Do you have a “fire in the belly” to stop being a baby bird? more…

Week In Review : Jan 23 – Jan 29, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 30, 2011

The Origin of Leaders #5: Habits. Routine sets you Free!

by Conor Neill, Jan 24, 2011

Aristotle says “we are what we habitually do”.  Who I am and become is directly related to my daily habits! For instance, you are not a smoker if you smoke 1 cigarette.  You are not a smoker if you smoke 2 cigarettes.  You become a smoker at some point where it becomes a daily thing! As the routine is repeated more and more regularly it takes less and less effort or self-discipline to begin and complete the routine. more…

Project Reality Check #6: Shall we Dance? Managing Change Orders

by Gary Monti, Jan 25, 2011

Over the years, PMI® has shown in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® more and more acceptance of the need to address change as the project progresses. Why? Stakeholders rarely understand everything needed to address their needs. Regardless of the level of detail and planning brought to a situation there always is some variance in performance present. This is where change orders come into play and why they are so important. But remember, it is dangerous to believe enough change orders will compensate for vague contracting, lack of planning, and little or no discipline. more…

Social Media and Tribes #27: Gen Y changes TV viewing experience

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 26, 2011

Gen Y watches over 3 hours of TV a day, but it’s not a couch potato experience. They’ve turned TV viewing itself into social media. If you see them watching TV, do not assume that that is ALL they are doing. Check how they are texting, commenting and tweeting. They don’t just watch a movie, they are sharing, collaborating, distributing and connecting. more…

Flexible Focus #38: Flexibility without Forcing

by William Reed, Jan 27, 2011

When your body is stiff, then physical stretching can feel more like pain than gain. A similar thing happens mentally when your values or beliefs are forcibly stretched beyond their limits. The key to expanding your comfort zone is to have more degrees of freedom. When you have more degrees of freedom in your mind and movements, then you experience flexible focus in action! more…

Leader driven Harmony #9: Don’t Be a Baby Bird (PartI)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 28, 2011

As the parent bird swoops in, the baby birds open their beaks and the parent plops a juicy worm or insect right into junior’s gaping mouth.  The baby just sits and eats.  The parent does all the work. Are you one of those?. more…

Week In Review : Jan 16 – Jan 22, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 23, 2011

Still busy? – Even with all the productivity enhancing gadgets

by Vijay Peduru, Jan 17, 2011

A recent article in NYT  talked about how kids are wired for distraction by always being online . Every Gadget they use is connected to the internet and the kids are always distracted. It is not just the kids even we grown-ups do this. Each one of us wants distractions and these tools are just another avenue for our distractions. We want distractions because we want to escape from things which are bothering us. Choose to face the problem and use the time previously used for distractions for more enjoyable tasks. more…

Free eBook: Freedom, money, time and the key to Creative Success

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 18, 2011

In Mark McGuinness’ own words: Creative people are those who work hard, but because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. Your key to success doesn’t cost a dime… Get your FREE copy of Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success by clicking here OR by going directly to the download page. It’s a light read – 34 pages in all. And it’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation. more…

Project Reality Check #5: The Devil is in the Details

by Gary Monti, Jan 19, 2011

Expected Monetary Value (EMV) connects the customer with the team. This tool is very powerful. At the core, an EMV calculation comprises probability times impact to get a weighted number. The EMV model is a great way to connect with stakeholders and work rationally while keeping relationships intact. more…

Flexible Focus #37: Navigate with Nanba!

by William Reed, Jan 20, 2011

Earlier in this series in an article called Mobile Mandala, we introduced an exciting new iPad Application called theMandalaChart for iPad, which is available in the iTunes Store. We are proud to announce the first of these templates, a set of 30 Mandala Charts for the iPad application called the Nanba Diary. These pages explain how the MandalaChart and Nanba Diary work for you. more…

Leader driven Harmony #8: Get a FIRE going in Your Belly!

by Mack McKinney, Jan 21, 2011

Let’s pretend you have a major, life-threatening disease and are seeking treatment.  Do you want to be treated by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse who just kinda likes their job?  Who just muddles through the day?  Who is about as good at the job as most other physicians?  OF COURSE NOT! Same applies to you if you are providing some service or product to someone. In this article Mack tells you how do you get to be the best and how you can rise past the others in your field and become the “go-to” person?. more…

Before I talk you into shelling out $1,000 for this e-book (just kidding – it is Free to download!), a little bit on what this book is about:

  • Creative Success and
  • More Freedom, Money and Time for you.

Being Creative

Are you a creative person? Well, before you answer that question, it stands to reason we first define what being a “creative person” means. In the author’s (Mark McGuinness) own words:

“By creative people, I mean people who take creative approach to work and life. People who work hard, but because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work.

They may be artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, coaches, scientists, cooks, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals – or tackling complex, meaningful, inspiring challenges in other fields.

If this sounds like you, read on.

Why do creative people need Freedom, Money and time?

Creative people need three things to be happy.

  1. Freedom – to do what you want, when you want and how you want it. Not just in holidays and spare time – but also doing meaningful work, in your own way.
  2. Money – to maintain your independence and fund your creative projects. Of course you want a nice place to live, but you’re not so worried about a bigger car than the guy next door. You’d rather spend money on experiences than status symbols.
  3. Time – to spend as you please, exploring the world and allowing your mind to wander in search of new ideas.

Usually, you’re lucky if you get two out of the three. But if one of them is missing, it compromises the other two.

Without money, you don’t have much freedom, because you have to spend your time chasing cash.

Without time off, money doesn’t buy you a lot of freedom.

And if you’re doing something you hate for a living, it doesn’t matter how big your salary is, or how much holiday you get. You still feel trapped.

Surely there must be a more creative solution?

If this still sounds like you and you’d like a little more freedom, money and time in your life, read on.

What I got from this book?

In one word, Plenty! Here’s a list of the top 10 things I learned:

  1. Am I creative?: Creativity is not just a fancy label that only artists with long hair and thoughtful expressions carry – even though you might think you are not creative (or not creative enough), after reading the book, you might change your mind.
  2. It’s about Quality of Life: I want Freedom, Money and Time. Why? Simply to improve my quality of life.
  3. Don’t Compromise: It is OK to be Unreasonable about having all three – Freedom, Money and Time. Just one or two out of the three will just not do!
  4. Being skillful does not guarantee you money – Yes, you need to be skillful to make money, but, as Mark found out in his 2nd business, it’s not guaranteed.
  5. Your first love and the Market: In Mark’s own words – “Your market may be next door to your first love”. With poetry being his true love, he found “market-love” when he looked next door!
  6. Sharing adds; not subtracts: In today’s “knowledge based” marketplace, the more you share, the more you increase your chances of success. Why? Because it depicts your knowledge and people trust knowledge sources.
  7. Sales without Marketing is like surgery without an anesthetic:  Mark’s suggestion. Don’t try either. It’s way too painful.
  8. Your biggest enemy. Is sometimes (ok, most of the times), Ready?… YOU! Let go of your prejudices that limit your capacity. These usually start with thoughts like “I don’t think I can do that” OR thoughts that contain sentences that have the words “never” or “always”, in them.
  9. The wrong business model can crush you. Yeah, I know you knew this already. But, it’s these simple things that we neglect and overlook… until it’s too late. Mark shares his story about how this one got him!
  10. Never Give Up! – Well, before you take this too literally and rush to make some 2011 resolutions (you’re 17 days late!), there are some things that you should give up (like smoking?) … and then there are some that you should Never give up. I am talking about the latter – like pursuing your dreams. Persistence does pay! Keep creating and innovating!

About the e-Book

A few quick points about the e-book:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It’s a light read – 34 pages in all.
  • Describes Mark’s unconventional career journey, as a poet and creative coach, and the lessons he’s learned the hard way about finding the right combination of freedom, money and time.
  • It’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation, if you want to earn a living from your creative talent, or if you’re a freelancer or small business owner and want to make your business less stressful and more profitable.
  • Mark and his partners have also prepared an in-depth training program to accompany the e-book, and I’m pleased to be an affiliate partner for the launch. But the e-book itself is free to download, with no need to even give your email address.

Get your copy of Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success by clicking here OR by going directly to the download page.

Also, please feel free to share the e-book with anyone who you think would find it helpful.

Week In Review : Jan 9 – Jan 15, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 16, 2011

Project Leadership #4: Trust is bidirectional

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 10, 2011

Trust is a key ingredient for a project’s success. Establishing bidirectional trust with the stakeholders – Client, Management and Team, lowers the cost of transaction and improves the quality of your projects. This happens only if you care for the stakeholders – all of them. Project that operate in this mode will flow smoothly and be phenomenally more successful! more…

Project Reality Check #4: Know the Business, Gain Power

by Gary Monti, Jan 11, 2011

Project managers (PMs) have to deliver; yet power to get the job done can be elusive. But PMs can take care of themselves and the team knowing they are lower on the food chain and get some power. How? By understanding and communicating in the language used by those with more strategic positions and power. This language also needs to provide a portal through which the PMs can express project concerns. The language is risk management.  more…

Social Media and Tribes #26: Social Media in 2011. Are you still in the GAME?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 12, 2011

By the end of 2010 the concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”. You may have just scratched the surface of social media…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? more…

Flexible Focus #36: Charting New Territory

by William Reed, January 13, 2011

It is time again to look back and gain some perspective on where we have been in the last eight weeks. Revisiting these articles will help you re-explore the territories where we have been, and see also how they fit together. And also reflects the amazing range of topics possible to address with the Mandala Chart. more…

Leader driven Harmony #7: Failure is required (Part II)

by Mack Mckinney, Jan 14, 2011

In the previous post Mack discussed the danger of not experiencing enough failure in life and how well-meaning people who shelter us from failure can rob us of the mental toughness that we need to get through life. Now a days, people who have tried and failed are much more attractive to most employers than people who have led sheltered lives, protected from failure, with teachers and parents hovering over them and protecting their increasingly brittle self-images. So, push yourself hard enough that you sometimes screw-up. more…

Week In Review : Jan 2 – Jan 8, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 9, 2011

ROI for Business Intelligence

by Matthew Carmen, Jan 3, 2011

There are many other direct and indirect efficiencies and benefits that can be realized through the proper planning and implementation of BI tools and systems.  The more end-user groups that participate in the planning of a company’s BI system, the easier it becomes to change the ultimate corporate culture. Once the buy-in from the users is attained, the real savings begin, and a platform to accelerate corporate growth now exists. more…

Project Reality Check #3: Hangman – The Triple Constraint

by Gary Monti, Jan 4, 2011

Project management has a lot in common with the game “Hangman” in that the project manager is expected to figure out what the stakeholder(s) in control want without them telling the PM directly. But project managers also have to ensure sufficient time and money are left to implement the scope. This is the triple constraint. more…

Keys to a successful Strategic Planning Process

by Steve Popell, Jan 5, 2011

Marrying the Vision and Mission statements is essential, because it helps to get across to your employees how truly important each of their jobs is in the grand scheme of things. You want your employees to make the connection between them. If your strategic planning group crafts meaningful Vision and Mission statements, you will create an environment in which this kind of connection will be a small step, not a leap. more…

Flexible Focus #35: Move less, Attract more

by William Reed, Jan 6, 2011

The abundance mentality is a shift in mindset, a broader and more generous view. It is also the realization that you are not stuck with what you start with. Regular practice with the Mandala Chart gives you the ability to take any idea and quickly multiply it by eight to generate new ideas, applications, perspectives, or connections. more…

Leader driven Harmony #6 : Failure is required (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 7, 2011

It is important that you fail in order to succeed. When learning a new skill, you have to be allowed to fail. If not, you will not be prepared to face situations in real life and you may panic in those situations. more…

Week In Review : Dec 26, 2010 – Jan 1, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 2, 2011

Harnessing the power of your Workforce with Goal Alignment

by Sean Conrad, Dec 27, 2010

Is your entire workforce committed and pulling in the same direction? Traditional method of setting up top down cascading goals takes along time to setup and could also cause divided loyalties between groups. Organizational goal alignment is a methodology where every employee sets their individual goals in collaboration with their manager, and directly links each of their goals to one of the organization’s high-level goals. more…

Project Reality Check #2: Being a Rainmaker

by Gary Monti, Dec 28, 2010

“Rainmaker” is a title that fits with a lot of project managers. It sets the bar high requiring a great deal of skill and political savvy to bring about the deliverable as if almost by magic. The reality is quite different. What makes a project manager a rainmaker is the ability to achieve integration between the nine areas of project management. It is reflected in commitments within the stakeholder community. more…

Flexible Focus #34: Projecting your Future

by William Reed, Dec 30, 2010

The problem with setting goals, deadlines, or landmarks is they cause tunnel vision that makes us lose sight of the whole and the why. Frameworks such as the Mandala Chart and Goalscape provide an alternative view that is both innovative and ancient, timely and timeless. more…

Leader driven Harmony #5: How to make your writing Crisp, Flavorful and Satisfying (Part III)

by Mack Mckinney, Dec 31, 2010

In this series Mack has discussed Purpose, Audience, Contentand Style and how each works with the others to determine the utility and readability of any document you write. This post closes this series with a discussion of writing “Mechanics” in the form of a simple list of annoyances readers complain about most often. more…