Creativity , Innovation Life Rings


While doing the MOOC course on Creativity , Innovation and change we are asked to prioritize the 5 most important life activities to cover all our responsibilities. The course expects us to be creative while presenting our solutions Here i created life rings and a Poem to describe what matters most to me. Let me know your thoughts.

life-rings

A poem on my Life Rings.

The new career choice in imparting knowledge and skills

The Life ring of new career switch is a thrill.

 

The ERP software gave me a wonderful career tapestry.

This life ring fulfilled my life’s dreams and fantasy

 

To work in the community service is a challenging affair

This life Ring reminds me to have a dedication to fulfill kids who aspire.

 

The Entrepreneurship is a reflection of my business needs.

The Life ring will stands as the memory of fulfilling the same with concrete action deeds.

 

The family is dear to me and all my efforts finally merge to   keep them hale and healthy.

This Life ring is a conclusion of my life’s meaning which is always remains as plenty.

 

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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…

The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. —Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

 

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

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

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.

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..

Let’s not do it better , Let’s do it different


“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

― Albert Einstein

Recently I started paying attention to connect different comments posted on Facebook to see if I can come up with a different insight and experiences that are different than routine. On Facebook I saw postings of joy and relief when exams are completed and students planning different activities to enjoy holidays before next semester starts. One was excited to go to Mumbai and some going back to their native cities and towns to hit the malls and cinema theatres. I saw posts from professionals who are planning of having trips to exotic places. I watch comments, likes flowing into photos posted on the face book. One of my friend posts about the songs he likes, another posts photos with beer cup in his hand.

My observations is that when we go to a farmers market we ask our mind questions related to food and when we are watching cricket game   in stadium we ask questions about the game to our mind such as where the fielding players are standing and what the scores are and who might win. We don’t usually think asking our mind  how to cool our tension with a nice and fresh fruit from a vegetable market when we are in a crowded cricket stadium or how to prepare for our next exams.

Our mind is processing thoughts and giving us answers to questions that we ask. The questions that you are asking are what drives your behavior and is the key for your success in getting better at everything you love to do. By combining the fun and excitement of game with a healthy drink of fruit juice instead of junk food makes your experience more memorable and keeps you healthy from nervous breakdowns but you did not ask you mind how to do that before going to the game.

We can maximize our fun, experiences, find new possibilities and enrich our lives if we can think of different things that can be done by asking the right question to our mind.  So if you are having holidays and want to have fun or great experience ask your mind what are the new options you have other than the predictable things you do during a holiday.   This is what is called an innovative mind set is. This kind of asking the mind, the right questions enriches your life with better experiences and may lead you to more opportunities that you have never imagined possible. I always ask this question myself at the end of the day “What is that one thing that you did differently today?”  The key to innovation is to connect unrelated dots from different things to come up with new experiences, new possibilities and new opportunities.  Good luck for a “ better life with best practices” (My company’s tag Line and vision)

Dyson award for innovative products


This year’s award went to Edward Linnacre, a student at Swinburne University, in Melbourne for building a system of collecting moisture from dry air. He learnt the technique from the behavior of the Namib beetle, which collects droplets of water in the desert by outstretching its wings into the early-morning fog. wish our students also thinks some innovative ideas. There are many funding agencies in India and abroad like Dyson who encourage innovation and creativity that helps the society and environment. More details about the winning entries and their invention can be read here

Home

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Projects/Project.aspx?ID=2006&RegionId=0&Winindex=0

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Projects/Project.aspx?ID=2044&RegionId=25&Winindex=0

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Projects/Project.aspx?ID=1862&RegionId=5&Winindex=0

Got Ideas but need help? Then read this.


Other day I read in a newspaper about engineering students making a solar operated car. I was thrilled to know that our students are creative and enthusiastic to do something new. What we may not know is what kind of challenges they faced to build the car. They might have felt frustrated or helpless regarding some design challenges while they are building the car.

“How to do“ videos or pictures offer great ways to learn about science and engineering. But the joys of making a electric car or small robot or a crystal radio set are difficult if we don’t know what are the right steps to follow to build them.

If you have an idea about building something,  you now have a chance to learn how to do it step by step or post your problem so you can get answers from the world audience.  That’s because Web-based instructions — often designed by hobbyists for other hobbyists are now available for you. So go ahead and check these websites and start inventing products that people can use.  Your product invention may make you an entrepreneur one day and help society to overcome a problem they face everyday.   Remember “every problem is a opportunity for entrepreneurs, the bigger the problem the bigger the business opportunity for you if you can solve it”  (This quote is by Mr.Vinod Khosla, the most famous venture capitalist on planet earth)

Bloggers who tinker are creating interactive tutorials, descriptive videos and step-by-step series of photographs that make it easier for all of us to confidently use the methods to overcome our challenges. Here are the links to some websites

http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/HomopolarMotor

http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37&zenid=47e70654df482b27486f725e3a435271

http://www.ifixit.com/

http://makezine.com/

http://www.bigshotcamera.org/

http://quake.tokyohackerspace.org/index.php/Dome_Kits

An example of how to make a Pot that makes it easy to transfer a potted plant from one pot to other is here.

http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/01/13/the-business-of-re-potting-plants/

A student has made a Bicycle using bamboo. Check the details here

http://www.boobicycles.com/world/index.html

To find whether a patient had Pancreatitis researchers from Texas University came  up with this cheap detector  of the disease check this information here  : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425173846.htm

There has been a recent explosion of interest in using terahertz (THz) radiation to investigate questions in chemistry, biology, physics, medicine and materials science. Simultaneously there has been a rapid development of a broad array of experimental tools for working with THz radiation. Check this link if interested   http://thznetwork.net/index.php/about

You can also post your problem in the form of a Video to Youtube asking for help. There might be somebody who can solve your problem. You just need to be smart enough to use technologies to your benefit.  As always I’m there to guide you in the process of triggering your inner creative ideas and making your dreams come true.

Here is a challenge to students.  Try and your efforts will give you valuable experience if not the prize of $25000 Dollars from Ingersall Rand Corp.

“Ingersoll Rand has put up >>$25000<< for prizes and scholarships to a
prototyping workshop. Tell us how you would design the $300 House –
submit your ideas, sketches, and videos >>”

If you got an Idea of how to build a $300 Dollar house click the SUBMIT Idea button on the Link below.

http://www.jovoto.com/contests/300house/ideas    Good luck and contact me for guiding you on the project.