Posts in category: Human Nature

Trust and happiness

“Trust is a prerequisite for happiness. … Several studies, in fact, have found that trust – more that income or even health – is the biggest factor in determining our happiness.” From Eric Weiner’s book The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search For The...

Look-down vs look-up consumers

The current generation of consumers are more likely to be looking down on an interactive handheld device, and not up at a television or a billboard (or even down at a magazine or newspaper). And yet, most ad agencies still seem to be focusing on “above the line”...

The value of inappropriate ideas

In a brainstorming session, authenticity, immediacy, free-association (without censoring), and a general willing and open atmosphere to entertain all (and I mean ALL) possibilities are essential. Here’s a real life example: I was in a brainstorming session with a pet...
Breakable glass

Breakable glass

I saw this unfortunate shopfront last weekend. It was a brand new CD shop in a brand new shopping centre on Orchard Road in Singapore. The “Breakable Glass Pls Do Not Sit” sign jumped out like the sore thumb. The funky but hard-to-read word “Titanium” (I think) does...

Playfulness

“Playfulness is the hallmark of any great human activity; it inspires innovation and change, and it nourishes the mind as well as the body.” From The Think Big Manifesto by Michael Port. The biggest killer to play is (fear of) judgement and disapproval. External and...

“Them” and “us”

Imagine if there is no “them” and “us” in projects. That’s a radical thought! No separation, just real togetherness, true collaboration. Where we actually treat other as we would like to be treated in return. And we work towards a singular vision. Without bean...

Integrative thinking

I have come across this phrase for a while now. It is another way of saying “the power of AND”. Integrative thinking is part and parcel of design thinking: “What if we combine this AND that?” Etc. Integrative thinking requires individuals who are comfortable with gray...

Reactive vs proactive thinking

De Bono points out “one of the major limitation of [traditional] judgement system of thinking is that it is REACTIVE rather than PRO-ACTIVE. This means that you criticise ideas rather than create them.” Criticise = pass judgement = evaluate = analyse = play...

Kia-su economics

“Kia-su” is Hokkien (the Chinese dialect commonly used in Singapore) that literally means “fear of losing”. According to the unkind, this “fear of losing” is allegedly a Singaporean trait – though I would postulate that it is more of a universal trait when it comes to...

World in transition

Here are my thoughts from reading the Tellus Institute’s Global Futures (their terms in italics). Which outcome do you want? Scenario A: Conventional World ? minor improvements, more of the same, increasingly insurmountable problems ? Fortress Worlds Scenario B:...
Tax office thank you

Tax office thank you

I spotted this rather nice (genuinely so) message printed on my Singapore tax return recently. “Thank you for your contribution towards nation building” Printed just under the total amount of tax owing. One part of me says I should be scoffing cynically at this. But I...

Crisis-driven change

Why does change always have to be crisis-driven? Is this simply another way of saying necessity is the mother of change? That necessity is driven primarily by crisis? Because we simply don’t feel a necessity unless it is actually hurting us? Is the average human...

Social media and the porn industry

How does the porn industry currently leverage social media, given its somewhat underground, brown paper bag nature, to service its needs? The likes of marketing, enabling and supporting tribes, etc. I am assuming the industry already uses social media to some extent....

At Poznan, no one is listening

“At the world climate change summit, few delegates paid attention to the tale of oil’s inevitable demise” writes Jeremy Leggett of The Guardian. Of particular interest: Here is the bottom line. At oil prices below around $70 a barrel, producing oil becomes...

Two insightful and fun gems

From Kate Carruthers’ blog: MBAs, ethics, pledges and virginity – “as those young people mature and obtain hostages to fortune, how will they resist the forces of conformity in the workplace? How will they resist those little daily compromises that...

Hyper-stimulated patrons at … the ad:tech keynote!

Further to my post about hyper-stimulated cinema patrons in Singapore – patrons who felt the uncontrollable urge to talk and text incessantly during movies – I have now discovered the exact same behaviour during a keynote speech at a conference! At the ad:tech...
Business is personal (in Arab culture)

Business is personal (in Arab culture)

A walk-by pickup at a bookshop: Spotted in Understanding the Arab Culture – a practical cross-cultural guide to working in the Arab world by Dr Jehad Al-Omari. Most Westerners have a tendency to divorce and separate their personal lives from business imperatives. The...

Transmitter and receiver orientations in communications

In reading about Geert Hofstede’s Dimensions, I came upon the following interesting proposition: Western communications has a “transmitter orientation” – the responsibility is on the speaker to make him/herself understood. Asian communications has a “receiver...

Nature versus nurture

Many industrialised societies today suffer from a poverty of desire – for excellence, quality and craftsmanship. Their citizenry value cheap-and-plenty seemingly over every other considerations. Can you desire what you don’t know? Is it still poverty if you...
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