How to innovate over and over.

Most of us, when we hear about “innovation” tend to visualise staff retreats, having fun and been creative by expressing ideas. Then come up with that ‘aha’ moment, and go and work on it. Once in a year routine, may be twice a year.

Far from it. Innovation in reality is loads of hard work, an emotional drainage, and a creator of many awkward and uncomfortable moments. If not driven well, it can derail even the most honest intentions.

Right now, in this age, if the head of organization is not leading innovation process, nothing will happen differently. Discussions may happen, but changes won’t be there. From next week, it will be back to old stuff.

So, then what is the role of the leader? Instead of thinking I have to give the grand vision and inspire people to follow, a leader must co-create space that people on their own generate new ideas, test, get it right, fail, generate ideas again, repeat.

Renew protection.

Having a good insurance policy might be a subtle encouragement to eat junk food and not exercise. ( “I am protected by hospital cover, might as well I should use my insurance”)

Having a good job now might be an excuse to not to learn new skills. ( “I made it, I can now settle”)

Having a few years of success can make one trust his/her instincts more, and not to listen to others.

Protection makes us stable in the short term, vulnerable on the long run. We should renew our protection.

Is giving tabs/smartphones an answer ?

Someone asked me “Do you think giving smartphones and tabs to school teachers , students and government officials, a good answer ?”

My answer was ” It depends on the answer you are seeking ”

Yes, you may solve the accessibility problem. May be that will help the receiver be more connected. But with out training on content and tools ( let’s say apps) most of them will drift off to the vast ocean of interesting stuff like social media. Desired things like productivity and creativity doesn’t come easy. Internet is full of easy stuff.

Judgment and knowledge on hygiene while on internet are crucial. May be we all need it.

Upgrade interviews.

An interview is a matchmaking process. Usually, employer is hunting for skills, candidate is selling skills.

Skills can be acquired. Internet can be used to what schools and universities deliver. Of course, a basic education is essential: a school education, a diploma, a degree. Also skills are now renewing, refreshing, and revamping every 6 months or so.

Things like hunger, commitment, good judgment, motivate people, delegate, follow up, excitement through getting things done and passion are extremely hard to acquire. It’s a mindset. The earlier you have it, the better. With that mindset, skills can be acquired quickly, effectively.

So, hunting for mindsets, and selling mindsets is an upgrade to interview process.

Underdogs can win.

Yesterday Sri Lankan fans threw water bottles on the play ground during final moments of a ODI played between India and Sri Lanka. This is not the first in the history of cricket in Sri Lanka. It happened in 2015 too.

“It’s only a few people, not all Indians”

~ Indians, 1996

“It’s only a few people, not all Sri Lankans”

~ Sri Lankans, 2017

Frustration in universal. I’m not condoning the act, yet hey, welcome to reality.

No body wants to cheer a side that is losing continuously. No body wants to work in a company that is making losses year after year. Shareholders leave.  Staff jump ship. People invest to win, they take bets on winning. At least fans need to see the hunger in their team to win.

Damage is done. Reputation is lost. Frustration is out. It’s ok.

What is not ok is to keep things shabby and rudderless. Fans cannot be asked to keep calm. Fans are fans because of what they do. They cheer.

The team needs to show their hunger to win on the field, not in press conferences. There will always be politics. That’s the case in every country. Players need to play. A captain needs to lead. For the cricket board, well, they need to bring sanity in to the structure.

Way forward is to win. To win a few matches. Sri Lankans are not the first underdog, would not be the last. Sometimes, been the underdog is a blessing, if they can seize the moment. That moment is now, when they are at the bottom of the most darkest of pits of all time.

There’s always a peculiar reason.

In a forum discussing on violence against children, I got to know that more than 80% of child abuses are done by the family members or the immediate relatives. ‘Why?’ my heart cried.

Then the answer came. Children are warned about the outsiders: Do not get in to vehicles, do not talk with people you don’t know. But, family and relatives are assumed to be trustworthy. Because they are assumed trustworthy, children have no doubts about what they do to children. Children even think that is how they are treated. So they do not raise the question. They offer the least or no resistance. And the abuse may go on for a long time, before it is uncovered.

One solution came up is teaching children about ‘good touch and bad touch’. Schools in Europe educate the children about it. It’s a good thing. Children can make up their own mind. They are educated. They can decide.

There’s always a peculiar reason for weird things. But isn’t it the most obvious reason?

Why we fail to see is our assumptions about the world. In this case the wrong assumption was : family and relatives are protectors, keep away from outsiders, they can harm you.

Think of a peculiar reason, when confronted with problems and assumptions.

More Pictures and Videos is AR and VR.

Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR)  will transform humans in to smartphone addicts. Make no mistake, it will make humans super addicted, most of the time to something not real. Marketers and sellers would decide what should be your bubble. Though you may think  you have access to all the information in the word, in truth what happens is the feed that you get is tailored based on your likes and views. If you like ‘samsung’, you will get more of them. More and more of them. If you don’t like ‘Trump’ you will get more of anti trump news. And that creates your bubble. You are served inside your bubble. And you like it because you obviously like it, and you will think that world is what you think it is.

AR and VR will layer a digital film on top of the realness you see in the world. You see something, you click on them, and you’ll get what marketers want you to see. You will consume more. Tech founders are excited about this new phenomena ” this will make people connected and help build communities”. Yeah ? we have mostly become self obsessed with selfies, digging for gossips to kill our creative time, and become slaves to e-commerce. That’s what has happened up to now, with these wonderful connectivity.

‘Building communities’ is to be sold. That’s what social media has achieved wonderfully well so far. And if you think that new layers of tech, diving in to your cameras to make more pics an videos more interactive, will build communities? . Think about it. How many hours of your day is sucked in to social media now ? Will it get less ? Will AR and VR reduce your fear of missing out ?

 

We are so connected.

2017:

I am traveling in a Leyland bus ( Fort to Anuradhapura). I looked at everyone seated. All had their necks tilted, scrolling the world through facebook and chat apps.

Internet and mobile phones are so common now that we do not even think of “offline”.

2007:

I was in a workshop.  I heard ” if we can get more people online, the better the world would be”.

I thought rise of social media will help us to solve problems. I thought the more we are connected, the more motivated we will be to solve problems.

After 10 years, we are connected so dense, in a manner we did not imagined. We are connected to gossips, selfies, games and shopping. We want to show we are better than others. That’s how dense we are connected.

committed to succeed.

In interviews, a person with elite education and good grades will look more appealing than an average IQ person with a fierce determination to get things done.

Because it is hard to assess a person’s ability to execute -the person with education and interview winning skills gets the job.

A doers’ CV might not show qualities like good judgment, motivate people, delegate, follow up or excitement through getting things done. We may not see these during an interview either.

Only way to spot these qualities is by observing. That is the challenge.

Breaking point

Every single human being has a breaking point.

Whatever the situation, hygiene of the mind is important. Whatever we put in to our mind, it takes hold of us as the reality, if we feed too much of the same.

If you scroll through FaceBook, every moment you get a chance to look in to your phone, you will be very much conditioned by your feed. Your ability to be in the moment will be compromised.

If you watch too much crime/war drama, your ability to see humans as peace loving will be very low.

If you have abusive, bullying friends, your ability to treat other people with goodness will be less likely.

If you have low trust with in your team, your next action better be trustworthy. Every action you take otherwise will be another step towards the breaking point. Everyone has a breaking point for everything.

Gossip brewed in news channels, pushes audience to their breakpoint of critical thinking. May be that’s what media channels want, yet hygienically not good for our minds. It makes us to be caustic and skeptical about even good things, even good people. People will start doubting the ability of humans to be human. They will stop believing that a human can help another human with no expectation of a return. People will love gadgets more, and would want robots to get things done. Singularity* seems a great tipping point in human evolution. May also be the breaking point.

Singularity * – The technological singularity is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial super intelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilizations (Wikipedia)