Chance favors the connected mind


In the fast moving digitally connected  and complex world-  our beliefs ,skills,  assumptions , our knowledge is constantly  challenged.  Willing to accept that we need to refresh our knowledge, skills and other matters makes us better positioned to take on any kind of new challenges that come across.

RICHARD GREFÉ  :   “You know, a few years ago, whoever had the knowledge had the power. But today, the power resides in those who have a sense of the way that knowledge flows. And that becomes critical because knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. So what does that mean? That means that for any individual to succeed, has got to go beyond just knowing things. They have to be curious, they have to be thoughtful. And that doesn’t come from social media and that doesn’t come form deep-diving in data. That comes from thoughtful conversations.”

We are in a  era and times that requires us to think differently. 19th and 20th century education has built invisible walls around everything. We are trained to see things, learn , watch and use things individually.  Students are trained to learn subjects individually.    Civil engineers focus more on their subject and less on other engineering branch knowledge and similar is the story with all other branches. Computers science students focus more on software and less on industry’s domain knowledge  which is more vital in today’s market place. There is no one course that combines all these knowledge from different fields and provide us the insights of how interconnected everything is and how to acquire the right knowledge to face today’s smart planet’s requirements to stay successful with the right skills for the rapidly evolving nature of corporate work and society’s cultural shifts.  I always used to stress this point to graduate, post graduate and PhD Students of engineering and MBA to come out of their  specific subject knowledge and look afresh by learning how all the subjects knowledge works together to create solutions and products we use everyday. (Think Apple I Phone’s focus on Design more technology less) . Today Technology has erased the boundaries of  all branches of sciences, agriculture, medical and even changed our daily life habits. Why then are we not understanding that we have to have a open mind and inclination to learn something unrelated to our subject matter?

I get inspired when i look at some smart companies combining cross platform knowledge from different industries and come with a radical design and products. One such company is Dyson. James Dyson is famous for inventing something new that we never think possible.  They don’t hesitate to take inspiration and knowledge from different sources to come up with  new product. Here is a Blades less fan they invented using principles or aerospace fans. Click here to know more http://www.dyson.com/Fans/FansAndHeaters/Fans.aspx

For those who have guts to think differently and achieve something Dyson innovation awards is the platform to take on the challenges. Here is the link

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Prize.aspx

Similarly Companies such as Toyota come with some amazing ways of improving quality in their products , minimizing waste in production process and reduce the cost of making high quality products for less.  We already learnt their best practices such as Lean manufacturing, Kan-ban, Kaizan widely implemented in different industries.  They now use a new method called Andon Cord.

” The andon cord is literally a cord that workers can pull – a cord they should pull – any time something in the manufacturing process goes wrong that would compromise the quality of the product or safety of the people. The line stops immediately. Everyone’s attention is turned to the problem. Everyone helps to solve the problem. And the line doesn’t restart until the problem’s been fixed, thus ensuring that zero scrap or defects are allowed to perpetuate.”

http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/qualdex.asp

So innovation don’t need to be complex. we just need to think different.

World’s knowledge levels today (mostly Industry) are so mature that we don’t need PhD’s anymore because industry’s maturity levels are so high that until we think differently and look beyond  PhD’s  knowledge;  sustainable solutions are not possible for the complex problems we face today. Medical field is one such area where sufficient knowledge is not there to solve diseases such as Diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer or parkinson’s etc in spite of having top notch scientists with multiple PhD’s.   The only way to go is look into a different field , combine your subject knowledge with it to create a new idea or a cool product or a new medicine for a deadly disease.

We have different lifestyles than our parents. Youth today are in a constant flux of adopting to new lifestyles with high connectivity to the entire world. Mobile connectivity, social media interactions, crowd sourcing for solving complex problems of the planet,  Internet of things, body connected intelligent sensors, health tracking devices like Nike shoes and many more new technology gadgets allow us to look different , work differently than our predecessors and acquire knowledge differently than what is taught in our colleges today (the good old style).

The reach of internet to every nook and corner of the world allows us to know any kind of information , acquire knowledge and skills needed. Technology as i said above , erased the boundaries of everything and i want you to remove the mental blocks (the artificial silos in your mind)   and train  your mind to look at things differently with a open mind. Today we are connected so closely via social media, tech gadgets that we can collaborate with the world’s  best  on a massive scale that is not possible in a physical form. One of the courses  I’m doing on Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org/course/strategy101)  has 90, 000 students from across the globe. We are learning by doing  , something new but connected to a single platform on coursera No class rooms to go,  only online practicals using technology and internet connection. Cool way of learning something new,  Right?   Colleges and Universities should focus on building Labs to help today’s students to experiment, tinker with tools and gadgets. Otherwise we only produce paper engineers ,  MBA graduates who are just fit to do a service job  , does not provide any competitive advantage to students nor to the country as a whole. Today we should worry that we bring out very insignificant percentage of  cutting edge products to market  in spite of one billion population and large number of PhD’s and Master students.

Do you want to be a listless person or want to impact the world with your knowledge.  Remember the title of this blog  “Chance favors the connected Mind”  That power of Connectivity should become your major weapon to acquire skills needed for 22nd century companies. Many of the problems industry faces will be solved by individuals  from across the planet. This is the future of work. People won’t be working for a single company. There will be problems that need to solved and if you solve it you get paid. That is what will happen in Job markets going forward.

So why waiting. Go get connected with the world’s knowledge. My Previous blogs have several world class resource links to start with . so check them..

As part of this Blog here are some useful links for you to get on the fast track of 22nd century learning… Enjoy and good luck to you..

Learn something new here https://www.coursera.org/  or here https://www.udacity.com/  or here https://www.edx.org/ or from the whole internet which is at your finger tips.

Good luck to you and do not hesitate to reach out to me through your comments in this blog…

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too


“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we’re really not that different, me and you.”- Colin raye

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” – Buddha

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?” – Anonymous

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Who gossips with you will gossip of you” – Irish saying

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” – Bo Bennett

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” – Martin Luther king

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”- Anonymous

“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” -Adlin Sinclair

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – WInston churchill

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle

“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” -Steve Jobs

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise” – Oscar Wilde

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” – Charles M.Schultz

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” -Albert Einstein

“You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it.” — Elon Musk

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” — Peter F. Drucker

“If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story.” —Barbara Greene

“I think failure is nothing more than life’s way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying at all.” — Sara Blakely

“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying

“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake — you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” — Adam Osborne

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

“When you smiled you had my undivided attention. When you laughed you had my urge to laugh with you. When you cried you had my urge to hold you. When you said you loved me, you had my heart forever.” – Anonymous

“You are not your resume, you are your work.” — Seth Godin

“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” — Donald Trump

‘”Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo daVinci

You don’t have to like it but just have to do it.

“However many holy words you read,However many you speak,What good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”- Buddha

“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” – Anonymous

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

“If I never met you, I wouldn’t like you. If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t love you. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t miss you. But I did, I do, and I will.”- Anonymous

“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”

 

Have a great day friend…

Wave powered Boats, Mushroom Plastics


Liquid Robotics is a company that built a boat called “wave glider robot” that uses wave power to propel itself forward. We have many monitoring stations on the ground but this one is on the ocean to monitor water quality for Oil companies like the ones we have in India. The Boats are also equipped with solar cells has zero emissions, requires no fueling, and doesn’t need any power. The company give away the boats for free but sell the data monitoring services. Dept.of Oceanography, ONGC , Reliance and other offshore / Onshore companies should take a hard look at these emerging technologies. More details click here. http://liquidr.com/

Mushroom Plastics

We all know that polystyrene (Plastic materials)  is used extensively, practically non-biodegradable, toxic to marine and other life, and not really recyclable but just reused. The reused material is again thrown away. A New York based company ECOVATIVE came up with a idea of mixing mixing agricultural waste, such as rice husks and oat hulls,  with Mycellium (Mushroom)  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY   in the growth phase by making the mushroom hard enough so that they can use this biodegradable material instead of polystyrene. The stuff is used by companies such as Steelcase, Ford to name a few.

Check more details at http://www.ecovativedesign.com/  Ecovative plans to license its designs, both in the U.S. and overseas.