Wednesday, March 29, 2006 ... Ideas.. and what not...

Are you an optimist?

Sometimes it seems as though our disagreements—over everything from politics to business to the designated hitter rule—are more serious and more divisive than ever before.

People are making emotional, knee-jerk decisions, then standing by them, sometimes fighting to the death to defend their position.

And yet, we’re optimists.

People call the team at Change This optimists because we don’t believe it has to be this way. We don’t believe humans evolved to be so bad at making decisions, so poor at changing our minds, so violent in arguing our point of view. We’re well aware of how split our country and our world have become, but we don’t think the current state of affairs is built into our very nature.

The problem lies in the media.

In the old days, we had the time and inclination to consider the implications of a decision. Everyone wasn’t in quite so much of a hurry. At the same time, most conversations (and most arguments) were local ones, conducted between people who knew each other.

Today, it’s very different. Television demands a sound bite. A one hundred word letter to the editor is a long one. Radio has become a jingoistic wasteland, a series of thoughtless mantras, repeated over and over and designed to fit into a typical commute.

To find out more, please download our ChangeThis manifesto.

ChangeThis was built in the summer of 2004 by Amit Gupta, Catherine Hickey, Noah Weiss, Phoebe Espiritu and Michelle Sriwongtong. You can read their bios in this blog entry. The original idea behind ChangeThis came from Seth Godin. You can read about him on his website.

In the summer of 2005, ChangeThis was turned over to 800-CEO-READ. In addition to selling business books, they keep ChangeThis up and running with their love and tender care. To learn more about 800-CEO-READ, read their daily blog.

How to be creative...

How To Be Creative: Long Version

(NB: The original shorter version is here.)

(NB: The Book Proposal/Outline is here)

(NB: Chapters 1-26: Download the free PDF version here)

So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years:

1. Ignore everybody.

2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.

3. Put the hours in.

4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.

5. You are responsible for your own experience.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

7. Keep your day job.

8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.

14. Dying young is overrated.

15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

16. The world is changing.

17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.

18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

19. Sing in your own voice.

20. The choice of media is irrelevant.

21. Selling out is harder than it looks.

22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

23. Worrying about "Commercial vs. Artistic" is a complete waste of time.

24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

25. You have to find your own schtick.

26. Write from the heart.

27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.

30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

.. and more at

How to be creative..?? Nice article!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Passing Thoughs - Peter Russel

Passing Thoughts

Some years ago I put together a collection of essays and aphorisms I had written and presented it to my publisher. Her response was "collections aren't selling these days, go away and write a proper book".

I, however, had just discovered the MacPlus and Pagemaker (2.0), and realized I didn't need a publisher to tell me what I might or might not write. So I put together a collection of my favorites, and one night laid them out in a small booklet. A printer friend ran off 1,000 copies for me, and over the next few years I gave them away to friends, and to others I met 'on the road'.

Here is a selection from the original book, plus various others that have passed through me. Others will be added as time goes on.

Passing Thoughts
How to be a Wizard
Blind Love
If Peace of Mind is your Goal
New Age Religion
The Essence of Consciousness
My age in Days
Letting Go of Nothing
Why I? - or does God speak English?
Do Not Believe
Ice? - Just Say "No"
The Great Awakening
Last Eclipse of the Millennium
12 Steps in 4
Prayer for Peace

The following are a selection of articles I wrote for the "New Consciousness" column of THE WEAVER -- a web magazine devoted to spirituality and healing.

A Crisis of Consciousness
What is Spirituality?
Science and Spirituality
The Evolving Global Brain
The Nature of Consciousness
Are All Creatures Conscious?
Language and Consciousness
Dolphin School

Innovation - links - web logs - Chuck Frey

Innovation Weblog
The Innovation Weblog is a meta-index of the latest innovation trends, news, technology, resources and viewpoints. It covers topics including innovation research and best practices and strategies, innovation management, business use of Weblogs for ideation and collaboration, and much more! This blog is updated frequently, so be sure to check back here often for the latest updates.
Chuck Frey

> Articles on Creativity
> Enterprise Innovation
> Creativity Software/Tools
> Success Strategies
> Innovation Weblog
> Innovation White Papers

> Mind Mapping
> Innovation Research
> Idea Management
> Brainstorming Techniques
> TRIZ Problem Solving

Innovation tools - wonderful link

Innovation Tools

A growing number of business leaders and entrepreneurs are recognizing that innovation must be embedded into the very DNA of a company's operations and culture, a part of normal, day-to-day operations. In fact, innovation may be one of the only sources for sustainable competitive advantage and enduring success in today's fast-changing business world. This collection of articles explores corporate innovation issues, trends and strategies, including topics such as using innovation as an engine for business growth, strategies for generating and managing business ideas, and innovation best practices. It includes articles from leading innovation experts and authors like Robert B. Tucker (Driving Growth Through Innovation) and Paul Sloane (The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills).

Imagine what you could accomplish in your organization if you were able to learn and understand the foundational principles of innovation. Andrew Papageorge has formulated three such guiding principles that can help you to innovate more swiftly and effectively.

Permission to innovate
Conformity is a powerful force. Over time, through school and our work lives, independent thinking and creativity become so stifled that organizations literally need to give their employees “permission to innovate,” according to Barrie Bramley.

Innovation movement reaches critical mass
According to author Robert Tucker, 2004 was a tipping point for the Innovation Movement, because a record number of companies took their first steps to improve innovation within their firms. Here are some key questions to help guide your organization’s innovation initiatives in 2005.

Empowering innovation
A great leader can turn your team into entrepreneurs who are hungrily looking for new opportunities. The key is empowerment. Learn how to empower your employees to innovate in this article by Paul Sloane.

How to use TRIZ to bring clarity to the 'fuzzy front end' of innovation
Instead of conducting wide-ranging brainstorming sessions so generate hundreds of ideas in search of the one "big one," author Jack Hipple recommends a TRIZ-based approach that focuses instead on clear problem definition and looking at past patterns of invention for potential solutions.


Archived Articles
The ten personas of a brainstorm facilitator 11/23/2004

Imagination: The number one tool for innovation and creativity 11/23/2004

Failure is the mother of innovation 10/13/2004

Six great ways to ruin a brainstorming session 8/23/2004

Innovation strategy: Does your new product idea really solve a customer problem? 7/16/2004

Show me the numbers: A look at innovation metrics 6/23/2004

Innovation strategy: Who killed your business? 6/23/2004

'Golden nuggets' and 'fool’s gold' from the Front End of Innovation Conference 6/1/2004

Innovation strategy: Is ROI the wrong question? 4/30/2004

Innovation strategy: The care and feeding of idea practitioners 3/25/2004

Innovation strategy: To uncover great ideas, generate a large quantity of them 3/9/2004

Spark your creativity to boost your company's bottom line 2/26/2004

American manufacturers: It's time to innovate or evaporate 2/5/2004

Innovation spectrum: The trouble with tribbles 1/8/2004

Ten great ways to crush creativity 1/6/2004

How to survive and make an impact as an innovation champion 11/17/2003

What is TRIZ and how can it be used in problem solving or brainstorming? 10/20/2003

World Creative Forum explores key questions about creativity in business 10/10/2003

Presenting Innovation in a Way That Gets to 'Yes' 10/2/2003

Selling your ideas: A critical executive skill 7/15/2003

Business Weblogs help companies collaborate, share ideas 3/31/2003

Innovation: Creating the best practices of tomorrow 3/11/2003

Seven strategies for generating business ideas 3/11/2003

Sparking growth systematically: How to turn innovation into a discipline 2/12/2003

Innovation vanguard firms show the way to beating the downturn 2/10/2003

Mind maps - Peter Russel

Mind Maps

Before the web came hypertext. And before hypertext came mind maps.
Mind maps were developed in the late 60s by Tony Buzan as a way of helping students make notes that used only key words and images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual quality much easier to remember and review. The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map.

Peter Russell joined with Tony Buzan in the mid-70s and together they taught mind-mapping skills in a variety of international corporations and educational institutions.

Advantages of Mind Maps

Disadvantages of traditional linear notes:

Energy and time wasted writing down superfluous words.

Other information may be missed while noting down one idea.

Take longer to read and review.

Associations and connections between key words and ideas not readily

Attention wanders easily.

Lack of color and other visual qualities handicap memory.

Traditional notes aid forgetting not memory.

Mind maps work the way the brain works -- which is not in nice neat lines.

Memory is naturally associative, not linear. Any idea probably has thousands of
links in your mind. Mind maps allow associations and links to be recorded and

The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences -- try recalling just one
sentence from memory! Mind maps use just key words and key images,
allowing a lot more information to be put on a page.

Because mind maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they
are much easier to recall than linear notes. (For example, although you may not
have studied it in depth, see how much of the Home Mind Map of this site you can
recall in your mind's eye.)

Starting from the center of the page rather than top-left corner allows you to
work out in all directions.

The organization of a mind map reflects the way your own brain organizes

Mind maps are easy to review. Regular review reinforces memory. Best is to try
reviewing in your imagination first, then go back and check on those areas that
were hazy.

We remember what stands out (where were you when John Lennon was shot?). Visual
quality of mind maps allows you to make key points to stand out easily.


Mind Map Software
Advantages of Mind Maps
How to MindMap
Uses of Mind Maps

More information and examples can be found in The Brain Book and Tony Buzan's The Mind
Map Book