Flow


After a gap I have gone back accepting global assignments in ERP consulting again. Iám also studying MBA under Andhra University.  I accepted part time work  so that I can spare time for my passion for teaching. I was once a Mentor for MSIT (Master in science and information technology,   under “Center for Higher learning”) course,   in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (USA) at JNTUK campus.  Juggling between global software project work , studying MBA and teaching needs proper time management schedules and I  follow a certain flow  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) for doing my best. I  love getting to my peak performance at anything i take up  pretty quickly. In other word I want to get back to flow. It took a while for me to find the rhythm I needed. But I felt that I should share my experiences with my students and others  who read  my blog. While interacting with students I  found that many are struggling to get the best out of their day  and to find success in whatever they dream of doing.  But many are not able to focus on neither studies nor in other positive actions, that contribute to their success due to lack of willingness to work hard towards their goal, lack of focus ,concentration and the facebook effect  (https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/facebook-or-other-social-websites-are-harmful-to-you/ ) .  If you are building a new machine or developing  software games or you are a software coder you cannot achieve peak performance at your work with just a couple of attempts. It takes some time and good effort to find a rhythm and consistency at your work. If you want to become expert in one area , it takes ten thousand hours of practice to achieve perfection in whatever you do. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/on-luck-success-and-10000-hours.html Here are some ways of getting back to your peak performance of whatever you want to do.

  1. Yoga, Meditation is a proven way of getting back your focus. Try learning the right way of yoga/ meditation and practice it. Yoga improves your health tremendously, and Meditation brings peace and tranquility to a turbulent brain.
  2. Visualization .Imagination.  Many from sports use it. It is mental rehearsal. It enables them to find some way of achieving what they want to. More about it here. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/sport_psych/a/aa091700a.htm
  3. Try doing something that scares you,  for example presenting in front of audience. It is emotional feelings  that have to be controlled to bring the best out of you.
  4. Your study room matters a lot. Keep your table tidy. Remove the mountain of books on the table. The more clutter you find on your table the less you ware inspired to study. Otherwise find a serene place where there is good lighting. Well lit parks are good places for yoga,  studies and physical exercise .
  5. Moods matter a lot in whatever you want to do. If the mood is not good then listening to music and going to gym or parks is a good way of relaxing your brain.
  6. For some,  Coffee gives the relaxation they need but too much of coffee is not good for health.
  7. Visiting temples, church or mosque gives the peace of mind you need so that you can come back with peace and work on your assignments. Try that out.
  8. Finding the best time of the day for studies also helps to prioritize what you want to do at that time.
  9. Everyday exercise , morning or evening walks in parks  helps to tone up your body. Prayer, meditation helps your mind.
  10. Doing what you love the most is what matters. So from early stage of life try finding what you love the most and develop the skills you need and find success.

The new idea to make television channels tune to modern times


With onslaught of internet everywhere and availability of plenty of short story, news, music, drama videos online, there is a bleak future for Television to capture the attention of the audience. On top of it content is also streamed constantly by Netflix, Hulu like companies and that content is top class and attracting the money, eyeballs of the digitally connected audience. So the future of TV shows/channels does not look that great. Part of the problem is the structure of the shows. Everything is timed on the TV. The news, movies, drama and other shows are timed and predictable. People also got the chance to watch the same online either in YouTube or elsewhere. This format of showing news, drama and other shows should be disrupted if Television channels wish to survive. The market dynamics of today’s business is very fluid and sending back business executives, marketing department heads to rethink the strategies. The management principles we learnt in MBA do not come handy anymore. The society’s tastes are in a state of flux and even the deep cultural roots of the nations are shaken and slowly uprooted by the high digital content sharing and massive connectivity of global citizen with one another which is creating a new global culture. The cultural meltdown across the countries and the changing lifestyles have to be considered very seriously for the television channels when they create their content. I propose the following solution for television shows to survive. For television shows or in fact for any business your offerings should not come in the way people live.  That means your offerings should be part of their daily living. If you understand this deeply the solutions becomes easy. When a person happens to switch on the Television he/she should be streamed content that should not look like traditional timed shows for that particular time. That means daily news and all types of content (Drama’s, dance competitions, music shows etc.) should be mixed up intelligently by using some analytics and streamed so the user is always surprised. The idea is to keep people guessing what they are going to watch. This will increase the curiosity and brings in more eyeballs back to television channels. Presently advertisements are slotted as commercial breaks in between the shows. Even that should be eliminated. Commercials should become part of the streaming content. The actors of the commercials might be a news reader or a drama actor. The shows should have short life and dramas, music shows and other content should be made in a collaborative effort to stream the same seamlessly.  For example if there are two different dramas with two groups of artists their story line should mutually consider others story lines and the final content should look like the drama is happening seamlessly between two groups and they are all part of this massive and continues evolution of a streaming little stories. The content is one massive story line of little stories.  The daily news, commercials sprinkled in between as part of actor’s or news anchors (they should be part of the story line) telling the audience that day’s news or talking about a product or service ads. Since news and Commercial breaks are part of the evolving story and same actors or actress are used for the commercials,  nobody will notice the difference between them and regular story and the chance of switching the channels during commercial breaks will be reduced. Ultimately the aim is to give audience a new way of looking at television as part of their daily routine not as something that they have to spare time to watch a particular show at a particular time and switch channels when there is a commercial break. I request readers to comment on this idea and also feel free to suggest new ones. Let’s make our living experience better with best practices.

My life story in Six words


One of the habit I’m developing while at my regular walk during Morning and evening is to keep my mind busy with thoughts that might help me with my work and life. One of the routine is to write blogs on something that could  help/inspire someone who reads my blog. I was thinking of writing a blog for quite some time but was busy with guest lectures and a Coursera course (https://www.coursera.org/ )  “Developing innovative Ideas for a New company” I started this March 3rd. This is a six week course but they allowed students to go ahead and finish the course earlier. It occurred to me that I should attempt to complete all six weeks course in Six days of the first week itself but should be able to target for highest marks possible. Guess what, I completed the course but took Ten days (Wednesday 12/3/2014) taking the last quiz before midnight 12.00 PM. So the result is that by constraining to six days forced me to be creative with my daily schedule.

So the constraint that I made for completing my course in six days made me think creatively and set goals to reach it as much as possible. Constraints should enhance creativity not bog you down to stress and anxiety.

The most common problem college students engage is procrastination, the act of ‘putting off something until a future time – postponing or deferring action’. That means most of them become serious with their exams or career planning in the last minute. This creates stress that leads to anxiety.

They come to me with this problem of stress and anxiety due to lack of time (it’s too late). How do I help them?  This became my challenge for  quite some time during my daily walk.  I read extensively on how to reduce stress and anxiety as listed bellows that helps some of the students or employees to overcome their stress and anxiety.  But I was not sure that this research will solve everyone’s problem.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/02/21/mikaela-shiffrin-takes-lead-olympic-slalom/fBf912OWzecqxe9RY2h9KM/story.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22755446

http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol5Iss2/ClimbingImagery.htm

The only way stress or anxiety can be reduced is to plan ahead and stick with that plan and reach the goals you want to reach.

But that is not easy with the distractions of daily life. So now I thought let’s explore how to use these constraints of daily distractions, mental weakness, and procrastination to reach our goals or reduce the stress.

I started exploring the web on constraints and came across a story of Ernest Hemingway, a story writer who bet with friends that he could write an entire story in just six words. It seems impossible feat but Hemingway did it as follows

“FOR SALE: Baby Shoes, Never worn”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_sale%3A_baby_shoes%2C_never_worn

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18768430

That excited me to write my life story in six words and here is what it is

Fall ,Rise, plan, achieve, Sorrow , splendid –RK

So procrastination , stress , anxiety , tension or what ever it is that is stopping you becoming great should be used for your advantage.  For me planning , setting goals and also sticking with the goals to the best of my abilities is what made me what I’m today. My physical constraint never bothered me reaching to a better life with best practices. So I wish this blog inspires you all to think how to use your constraints for your advantage creatively…

Now I challenge you to write your life story in six words as comments to this blog.

The links below are some extraordinary “creativity under constraint” stories for you. Enjoy and let me know if you liked this blog and make me happy please by expressing your opinion (it’s long overdue from my readers).

https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch03_Embrace_Constraints.php

http://99u.com/articles/5993/reel-back-finding-creativity-in-constraints

http://austinkleon.com/newspaperblackout/

http://vimeo.com/55804669

https://www.attendly.com/exceeding-limitations-is-all-about-the-way-you-think/

My favourite talk on TED must watch http://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?embed=true

http://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/

Don’t forget to give your story in six words as comments… Thanks and I appreciate your time reading this blog..

Food waste. Let’s not contribute to this. How to keep produce fresh.. Read on


Next time you saw food thrown into the dust bin think hard how many resources get wasted such as water, fertilizers, farmers tirelessly working in the fields(labor),Land used for food production,  food storage and the whole supply chain for bringing food to where we live. We waste lot’s of food without any reasons. More food is cooked then required in a family in most of the houses and excess thrown out. Food is also wasted by restaurants, hotels ,in parties and in many other ways.

According to food and agricultulture organization of United nations http://www.fao.org/ (FAO) Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. We all should know that millions of people somewhere on this planet are dying with hunger and on the other hand we throw away lots of food.  We also loose food and meat due to poor storage facilities, improper transportations and bad handling.

Agriculture uses largest amount of water. Food waste leads to water waste. The food thrown into garbage rots and produce methane gas which is much more deadly than carbon dioxide and depletes ozone layer that protects us from ultraviolet rays of Sun and Methane gas contributes to global warming. This whole thing effects food production with no rains or too much rains and leads to FOOD LOSS. Food loss is crop lost to natural calamities or deadly farm diseases whereas FOOD WASTE is a careless act of humans not paying attention to details of how they are getting food to their tables. Inadvertently we are all contributing heavily towards food loss, food wastage leading to global warming and racing towards food crises and water crises.

Other key findings of FAO of United Nations are.

Industrialized and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food — respectively 670 and 630 million tonnes.

Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).

Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.

The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tonnes in 2009/2010).

Food waste is more a problem in industrialized countries, most often caused by both retailers and consumers throwing perfectly edible foodstuffs into the trash. Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.

There is this infograph on how food is wasted globally click on the link for more details http://www.publichealthdegree.com/ 

Read more by clicking here http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ags/publications/GFL_web.pdf

http://www.unwater.org/downloads/Paper_13_Field_to_Fork.pdf

How to keep Fruits and vegetables Fresh…

A group of Scientists from Malaysia found out that if they coat the fruits, vegetables with  gum Arabic, a natural product from the Acacia trees of Sudan, Africa they are able to keep fruits, vegetables from rotting. Also a company has used the rotten fruits, vegetables and extracted a natural chemical and coated fresh fruits , vegetables with that liquid to keep Food fresh. More details about this can be obtained here.  http://apeeltech.com/

I request you to educate your family, friends and others as much as possible to reduce wastage of food and water. Be a part of the solution.  Next time you look at food think of this blog. Please Spread this information to save people from hunger

Competency based education


Time and again I’m revisiting education because there is a seismic change happening in Educating our young population. I have written blogs that focused on the the changes that are happening due to Massive online open course ware (MOOC) movement, big companies such as Microsoft, Wipro, IBM’s investment in this sector, how universities, colleges , students need to re orient themselves to stay relevant  to the present conditions and how to learn smartly using technology tools in the following blogs.

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/classroom-learning-with-concert-of-technology/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/uncommon-sense-and-common-nonsense/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/free-online-resources/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/students-this-is-for-you/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

But most of these practices are still not able to make students employable right away after coming out of colleges. There are still many factors that contribute for  success of new employee other than the core skill that is basically needed to work. Realizing this, below universities along with industry collaborations came up with a new way of imparting skills to students. This approach is considered more relevant to industries needs and is called competency based education. I want students to take a look at the following universities that are providing this education because getting jobs is very much likely.

https://www.brandman.edu/cbeducation

http://www.capella.edu/flexpath-self-paced-learning/

http://flex.wisconsin.edu/

http://pl.nau.edu/

http://collegeforamerica.org/

http://www.wgu.edu/why_WGU/competency_based_approach

I personally feel that time has come to club medicine, engineering , agriculture, life sciences and other fields together, create a course and impart training to solve some of the great challenges of the world.  I wrote about my opinion here. please check http://www.ghdonline.org/innovation/discussion/5-innovations-in-global-health-maybe-not-what-you-/?ref=dashboard#reply-14103

 

So why waiting just start learning. your feedback is appreciated.

Some interesting and useful tidbits for starting your own “startup ” or for your academic project submission


This blog post will be updated with commercial worthy Project ideas for those entrepreneurs and Engineering, Medical students who wish to develop localized solutions that might lead them to start their own company or develop real products as part of their Project work.

Medical technology offers immense potential for new business ideas and I will put some cutting edge information of what’s going on in that field. 

The  innovations of the world can be put to good cause of the society’s needs in Asian countries by localizing and cross implementing the ideas or generating new ones with the gained knowledge.

Cross pollinate the ideas that are presented here with your knowledge and skills and come up with something that can benefit the society in general.

You may use the comment section for floating your ideas to get feedback from international audience who read my blog.

Here is the steps to follow. Read this innovations. Think of how you can localize this ideas for commercial purpose or for your academic real project and work with your friends or teams that post their comments for this blog.

1. Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Group has developed a smart watch that had four micro lasers that are capable of emitting simple icon shapes. These icons can be home button for navigation, to play or pause controls for music, to push notifications for email, to rudimentary up and down arrows. At the same time, infrared sensors watch for when your finger taps a button, effectively turning your skin into a touch-screen display.  The link for more information on this is here http://www.figlab.com/

There are several interesting Projects at Fiblab  so go and check them out for details.

2. During a Doctor’s visit for symptoms like cough and cold we are prescribed antibiotics which do not have much effect in curing the illness but this antibiotics act as a Placebo  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo and by taking Antibiotics and other Medicines indiscriminately (prescribed by Doctors) we also end up developing resistance to diseases and next time that drug does not work on our bodies. So a group of physicians have come up with a number to find out how many times a drug will have good effect on a particular disease and this Number will help us or Doctors to decide whether to prescribe that drug to patient or not. Get more details on this here and pass on this information to Doctors so that they will prescribe the Drugs that are absolutely necessary for our treatments.  http://www.thennt.com/

Also those interested in learning more about high quality health information there is a great website. Here is the details of that site “The Cochrane Library is a collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making, and a seventh database that provides information about groups in The Cochrane Collaboration.”    http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/view/0/index.html

3. Gesture controlling technologies. Smartphones have multiple antennas that can take signals from our gestures. You can learn more about their uses and present state of what is getting developed here but there is no limit to imagination and I wish to see that this technologies are tapped  to come up with products that can be useful in operation theaters for doctors and in other industrial applications. Learn the present here and come up with your own project.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinect   2. http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/09/19/reflected-smartphone-transmissions-enable-gesture-control/   3. http://blog.leapmotion.com/

4.Smart connected Products (Internet of things). This is the next wave of big opportunity for creating new solutions, products by smartly leveraging the information of the products, sensors and other industrial equipment communicating via Internet. (Internet of things). In order to know what products, sensors and services are connected there is a search engine just like google  for that. Here is the link. https://thingful.net/  “is a search engine for the Internet of Things, providing a unique geographical index of connected objects around the world, including energy, radiation, weather, and air quality devices as well as seismographs, iBeacons, ships, aircraft and even animal trackers.”. Using this a company has created a product that helps asthma patients to identify which part of the US cities are causing asthma to them..Learn more here http://propellerhealth.com/   so why wait go ahead and think what else can be done.

5. Big data company Ayasdi is working with several Universities, companies to solve the problems of Brain and uncurable diseases such as Diabetes. Regarding type 2 Diabetes in their own words

“With Ayasdi Cure, Mount Sinai was able to gain new breakthrough insights that can dramatically impact how Type 2 Diabetes patients are diagnosed and treated. Based on the shape of the data, Mt. Sinai discovered that Type 2 Diabetes is not a singular disease. This breakthrough in Precision Medicine can lead to more effective treatment protocols and better patient outcomes for all Type 2 Diabetes patients.”  More here

http://www.ayasdi.com/company/media/pr-ayasdi-named-best-of-show-and-best-practices-winner.html

Come back to this blog for more such interesting posts in coming days