If you don't like something, just take away its only power: your attention.

What we pay attention to

I posted this aphorism on my Facebook feed a while ago which sparked a discussion with a friend. The following is a summary of the clarity that resulted…

Seeing clearly and mastery

Many of us would have seen this “Game Changers” ad for the Australian government’s Department of Finance by now. It still surprises me that in spite of our…

Details details details

This is one of the monitors in a local McDonald’s. Do you notice anything odd about the display? It has been like this since I first came here…

Four lessons in social manipulation from the 2016 US elections

Black and white thinking. This is the core of simplistic thinking, where we render complexity into easy, yes/no, good/bad, for/against positions. No individual is all “good” or all…

Five self-awareness lessons from the 2016 US elections

Judge others by their actions, not their words. A candidate can say anything they want before the election, then change their mind after. They can even do a…

A body of worth

Create a body of work to demonstrate your abilities and commitment to your craft. Two examples come to mind: This guy who makes a new spoon every day….

$500 census server

QUT students design a $500 cloud-based census server four times better than IBM’s $9 million system. This article about two university students creating a system over a weekend…

Talent-Belief gap

Self-efficacy is the belief that we are able to respond effectively or successfully to a given situation. The Talent-Belief gap describes how well our self-belief (efficacy) tallies with…

The unemployable skillset

Traditional employment methodologies and processes seem to be increasingly falling behind the reality of work. The jobs that are most safe going forward naturally require skills referred to…

Anxiety blocks creativity

“…feelings of anxiety stimulate your limbic system, causing your brain to release stress hormones. The limbic system stops communicating with the cerebral cortex, the part of your brain…

Directly applied learning

This is a learning approach I have found useful: to learn theory/techniques from a book and apply that learning immediately to an actual situation. This is a screengrab…

If you truly feared failure…

This is an interesting reframe: “People who think they fear failure have got it wrong. They really fear success. If you truly feared failure, you’d be very successful.”…

Mechanistic Processes vs Guiding Principles

Mechanistic Processes Processes solve problems by applying predefined reactions/steps to anticipated challenges. A person running the process needs only to know when to execute which step. A typical…

Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism seems to be somewhat undervalued these days. And yet it is a powerful antidote to the plethora of fads and trends promising easy fixes and quick answers…

Watering sustainable behaviour change

Trying to change behaviour with brute force, punitive means is like watering a sandy hydrophobic garden bed with large buckets of water. On the face of it, the…

Optimal anxiety

I found this in one of my notebooks recently. Basically, a level of anxiety is needed for us to perform at our best. Hence “Optimal Anxiety.” Too much…

How to become more innovative

You want to be a doctor? You go to medical school. You spend the specified amount of time and money. And you become a doctor. It is a…

Scanners and divers

“Our culture respects specialists. People aren’t called ‘Renaissance men’ any more; they’re called ‘dilettantes’ or ‘jack of all trade,’”  — Barbara Sher in I Could Do Anything If…

Doing matters

The same applies to business ideas and inventions. If we don’t get off our backsides and do something, our brilliant idea is moot.

Diamond cutting: concentrate distil curate

When a raw diamond is turned into a gemstone, more than 60 to 70 percent of the material is lost in the the cutting process (a 30-40% yield)….

Idea banks and the need for curation

This is Bjercke og Eliassen’s idea bank in the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Bjercke og Eliassen are Norwegian architects who build many of Oslo’s landmark buildings…

Visualising De Waag

I recently had the great privilege of visiting De Waag Society in Amsterdam. I think of De Waag as a modern day art and technology guild (like the…

Thoughts on a Matisse sketch

This is Henri Matisse’ sketch Birdcage on the Terrace 1945. It is good to see even a great artist had “lazy” moments! We see completed works of great…

Curating methodologies

I love models and methodologies. They codify real experience and hard-earned learning, and make them accessible to others. One challenge with models and methodologies is the sheer quantity…

 

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