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…

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Now or never. You decide your fate


If you’re young and ambitious and driven, don’t run from the challenge, run towards it. If you’re terrified of learning something new, go find a way to learn and master it. When you are a student and young you have loads of energy and enough time for learning as much as possible. You won’t stay young for ever and student life won’t stay with you for ever. You spend so much time having fun during college that you miss this vital point, that once you are out of college you are on your own to find a job and succeed in career. Campus interviews may give a job for some but that is the worst job with low pay and high pressure to handle.Those students who are smart enough realize the value of time and work towards their goals early on and once they are ready they also look for jobs they like to do in LinkedIn , twitter and Facebook other than campus interviews.

Life is full of temptations and distractions. When you are young you will have more opportunities to waste time, money and your youthfulness.

Start using your mind on what matters most for your life and for your family.Fate is not decided by anyone. It is you who can decide what is best for you and your family.  Time is precious and need to be spend wisely.  One of the best practice you need to develop is to check how you spent your day and what value you derived from all the activities you did during the day. Spending time on  Facebook, twitter or games or chatting or going to movies should be restricted otherwise it will  only add more junk in to your precious mind.  Networking with professionals , spending time to know yourselves , your strengths, your weaknesses and becoming mindful of all your activities will give you enough mental strength, knowledge and courage to find what you love to do for your career. Positive habits help you with clarity of thoughts when you need direction and guidance to succeed in life. Think of your parents, teachers and friends who you should trust for guidance and work hard to learn skills needed for you to succeed.  You may not love it while you’re going through the learning phase, but you’ll carry that learning and success with you  for ever. Once you achieve what you are aspiring for then you will have wonderful life. May be you will be  visiting exotic places and working on some wonderful and challenging assignments.

In order to have quality life, good food and good life you need to work for  it and  prove that you are eligible for good life.

I worked for that and I succeeded and i want you to succeed too.

You can start with small positive actions such as reading for a hour a day something new, doing yoga /meditation for a while etc and as days pass by they become your habits and you will be in a position to control your life and lead a life rather than living a life.

Similarly for getting rid of bad habits you should start with small attempts and then slowly  get rid of that bad habit  completely after some time.

Please do comment your feedback and suggestions.

“I” or “Me”


The below is from Oxford Dictionary.  http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/i-or-me

Please visit the above site for more details.

‘I’ or ‘me’?

The two personal pronouns I and me are often used wrongly, usually in sentences in which I is being used with another noun. Here are some tips to help you get it right:

  • Use the pronoun I, along with other subjective pronouns such as we, he, she, you, and they,when the pronoun is the subject of a verb:
He went to bed.
We waited for the bus.
Clare and I are going for a coffee.
 
In the last example, the pronoun I, together with the proper noun Clare, forms the subject of the sentence, so you need to use I rather than me.
  • Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them,when the pronoun is the object of a verb:
Danny thanked them.
The dog followed John and me to the door.
In the last example, the pronoun me, together with the proper noun John, forms the object of the verbfollow, so you need to use me rather than I.
  • Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them,when the pronoun is the object of a preposition:
Rose spent the day with Jake and me.
Me, together with Jake, forms the object of the preposition with, so you need to use the pronoun merather than the pronoun I.
Another good place to checkout for new words that got added is here
Need more training on softskills?   Contact me at skillsnest@gmail.com

Cheers, tears and Campus life


Academic year is in full swing.  The exciting campus interviews are happening, bringing back cheers,tears nervousness and tension for getting that dream job right away. There are several seminars, events and speakers like us who come to university and colleges to give insight into various subjects to prepare you to ever changing corporate culture. These needs to be balanced between fun, frolic, movies and gossiping and enjoying student life to it’s fullest.

Busy student life, right?

While these and many events that happen in campus and other colleges are part of your life, one important thing is missing in all these actions.  That is analyzing, collecting and grouping the knowledge and experiences gained and documenting them so that you can refer it as needed.  How much did you network with a successful professional who came to your college to speak?.  If you did that once or twice do you think that is sufficient for you to succeed in life. Networking with accomplished persons helps you to reach your goals.

Let me give you some guidelines on how best you can maximize  your cheers while eliminating tears by wasting away time and fighting on petty issues between friends. Ego  and infighting between classmates is a major hurdle in learning and enjoying life to it’s fullest during college days together. Life is too short to do that and college life is very very short to waste in petty things and ego clashes.

  1. Form a student team from various departments.  Teams should focus on gathering useful information from various seminars, making sure their classmates are sent to competitions,help in networking with professionals  and conduct useful seminars successfully themselves. They should also do post analysis of campus interview successes and failures to help themselves and others. For example : What was done differently? What new patterns or innovations did you notice in the campus interview or seminars or lectures from experts etc.  And most importantly, what new ways of learning — individually or collectively — should be continued?   How can you take advantage of technology tools? What skills you all  still need to develop? What else is new in the events?
  2. Identify the most common causes of some of the failures of the candidates who did not get thru the campus interviews and start focusing on that skills sets companies are looking for.
  3. Recently many collages are busy conducting events. One example is recent colors festival in Aditya engineering colleges followed by competitions and power point presentations on various subject matters  Other colleges are also having similar events and many of you participated or enjoyed these events. These events give you valuable lessons on team skills such as co ordination, hosting, communications, website development, marketing, presenting, conducting events successfully, getting media attentions etc. If you are smart there is so much to observe and learn from these events. Did you think of all these or just had fun and now ready for another event?

So Life offers much more than what we experience. What is most important is that you should be more observant and have a keen eye on what you can learn from anybody or anything that happens in your day. We have to hone up our skills of observation and analyzing powers. Imagination is a key factor in bringing the impossible to possibility and there is no boundaries that can stop you from imagining what is best for you , and to our nation.  Working smartly and with focus to reach your goals is a must.  We need to build this nation together to be the best on the planet.

I expect all of you to be smart and different and show to the world that you can be counted to be one among the best.    Good luck to you all.