Category Archives: Work

Breakthrough creativity

Breakthrough creativity

breakthrough_creativity.jpgBy Lynne C.Levesque (2001)

The author define creativity as the ability to consistently produce different and valuable results. There is no one right or best way to be creative.

Creativity takes many forms and manifests itself in many different ways. By defining and identifying your talents, you can then figure out how to be more consistent, purposeful, and effective in producing your creative results.

One method for discovering how you are creative is to determine how you recognize information, define problems and challenges, and then go about producing creative responses and solutions.

Levesque uses C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological patterns for gathering information and making decisions about it. Her explanation of the theory and how we can use it is clear and easy to understand. She presents a method for self selecting our creative talents (we all have them) and then creates eight interesting, attention grabbing profiles. The profiles give us something to identify with as individuals and team members. Breakthrough Creativity makes it clear that all people are not pegged or pigeon-holed in only one area of creative talent. With exercises designed to help us learn more about our own creative processes and the barriers and blocks associated with them, we have the freedom to seek to expand our talents and capabilities.

There are 8 creative talents :

  1. Adventurer
  2. Navigator
  3. Explorer
  4. Visionary
  5. Pilot
  6. Inventor
  7. Harmonizer
  8. Poet

Example of

Results and Contributions
– Provocative questions that challenge the group to find profound answers and solutions.
– New designs and solutions through unusual connections.
– imagination full of hard to describe images and futuristic possibilities
– multidiscipline perspectives.
– Penetrating, far reaching insights into future trends.
– Ability to integrate, synthesize and move the group forward.

Maximizing their contributions
– Structure the right environment.
– Provide focus and limit
– Provide space and time.
– Work with their ideas to ground them.
– Help them share their thoughts and ideas.
– Help them with managing conflict.
– Encourage the use of their decision making talent.
– Work on development plans.
– Encourage time out and play.


Results and Contributions
– An aesthetic appreciation for grace and elegance in solutions.
– Building an environment of trust, respect, support and a safe place for testing out new ideas and solutions.
– independent and thoughtful perspectives on the challenge, addressing people related values, content and circumstances.
– serving as the team’s ethical backbone.
– Generation of new possibilities and options through reflection and incubation.
-Articulation and portrayal of values, feelings and perspectives, often through writing.

Maximizing their contributions

-Check to be sure structure is needed.
-Provide time and space needed to be most creative.
-Make sure they are engaged and motivated.
-Recognize their sensitivity and show them uniqueness.
-Allow them opportunities and show them uniqueness.
-Help them build their conflict management and communication skills.
-Help them define objectives, set boundaries, prioritize and plan.
– Encourage critical thinking
– Build objectives for improving new skills into their performance plan.
– Watch for symptoms of stress.







How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

howtolearnShortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast by Tansel Ali (2015) 

The author list out a 7 step guide to learn anything in 48 hours.

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (3 hours)

2. Develop memorization strategy (2 hours)

3. Organize / prioritize materials (1 hour)

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour)

5. Memorize (30 hours)

6. Review (spaced repetition) (1 hour)

7. Practice and apply (10 hours)

Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN SCOPE and bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can visualize.


S : Senses / Sensation
M : Movement
A : Association
S : Sexuality / Self
H : Humor
I : Imagination
N : Numbers

S: Symbolism
C : Color
O : Order
P : Positive images / negative images
E : Exaggeration

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how you can create memorable mental images and link the story. There is a 4 step guide to make something memorable.

  1. Abstract – identify abstract thing.
  2. Image – Need to convert abstract to image example the word “creativity” is abstract, but we can use the image of a light bulb or even Albert Einstein to convert the abstract nature of the word to an image we recognize and understand.
  3. Association  – use physical connectivity to make a strong association.
  4. Communication -consider ways to craft info that others can understand.

When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve your comprehension.

When linking numbers, make sure you don’t mix up the order of the numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story, you will recall wrong numbers.

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection makes for stronger memorisation. The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. Create as many loci as you can so you don’t get your stories mixed up by repeatedly using the same location.

Create a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helping when using the Dominic system.

Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your mind from everyday routine. Don’t ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and changes in the world.

Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data.

For languages, make sure you memorize the pronunciations before memorizing the phrases. It will make learning much more effective.

The best way to promote 21st century skills is to embrace Art of Memory techniques.

Real life examples of high speed learning exist. One competitor at first World Memory championships, Bruse Balmer taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then went on a talk show in that language.  These individuals have nothing special about them. Rather, they all employ a small set of simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. The Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost universally practiced by the thinkers of the ancient world.

The Innovator’s Cookbook


innovationcookbook.jpgThe Innovator’s Cookbook : Essentials for Inventor’s What is Next (2011)
By Steven Johnson

Its unbelievable that this book was published in 2011. The contents of it are still very relevant as of today in year 2017. The author gives many real life examples to state what he thinks are essential for innovation.

He talks about old buildings and innovation. What kinds of old buildings are most freeing? These buildings are usually shabby and spacious. Any change is likely to be an improvement. They are discarded buildings, fairly free of concern from landlord or authorities : “Do what you want. The place can’t get much worse anyway. It’s just too much trouble to tear down.

Example in MIT, there is a temporary building called Building 20. Its a 250,000 square foot three storey wood structure. Because its an old building, it puts on the personality of the people in it. The alumni of the building got feedback of the building “Windows that open and shut at will of the owner! The ability to personalize your space and shape it to various purposes.”

Only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or highly subsidized can afford to carry the cost of new construction. Chain stores, chain restaurants, and banks go into new construction. But neighbourhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings. Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do. The unformalized feeders of the art – studios, galleries, stores for musical instruments and art supplies, backrooms where the low earning power of a seat and table can absorb uneconomic discussions – these go into old buildings.

Old ideas can sometimes use New buildings. New ideas must come from old buildings.


Cities and regions that attract lots of creative talent are also those with greater diversity and higher levels of quality of place. That’s because location choices of creative class are based to a large degree on their lifestyle interests, and these go well beyond the standard “quality of life” amenities that most experts think are important.

Talented people seek an environment open to differences. Many highly creative people, regardless of ethnic background or sexual orientation, grew up feeling like outsiders, different in some way from most of their schoolmates. They want a place that reads “Nonstandard People welcome here”

Creative-minded people enjoy a mix of influences. They want to hear different kinds of music and try different kinds of food. They want to meet and socialize with people unlike themselves, trade views and spar over issues. Creative-class people value active outdoor recreation very highly.


Do not go after the affluent segments, wage cost differentials, but to serve the mass market. Only there will you be forced to innovate in the ways required to succeed in future.

Over the years, consumer packaged-goods companies have reduced their products’ unit size in emerging markets to unlock demand among consumers who can’t afford bigger portions. Coco-cola for example began selling 200ml bottles of coke in india in 2003, Britannia launched Tiger Biscuits in 20-gram packages in 1999.






The Achievement Habit


achievementhabit.pngBy Bernard Roth (2015)

This book gives ideas in area of design thinking to control our intentions to create habits that make our lives better.

Idea of design thinking principle :
1. Empathize : Whether you design, you are not primarily doing it for yourself. You are doing it with other people’s needs and desires in mind. Figure out the user’s experience and how to help.

2. Define the problem. Narrow down which problem you are going to solve or question you want to answer.

3. Ideate. Generate possible solutions using any means you like – brainstorming, mind mapping, sketching on napkins… however you work best.

4. Prototype. Without going crazy to make anything perfect (or even close to it), build your project in physical form, or develop the plans for what you’re going to enact.

5. Test and feedback.

Some other areas of thinking :
1. Nothing is what you think it is . You give everything its meaning.

2. Reasons are bullshit. You need to have bias towards action.

3. Getting unstuck. If you get stuck, try putting it aside for a while. Or take the time to explain exactly why you can’t solve the problem. The author’s friend created a handout, listing 22 things to try if you find yourself hitting the lamp post.





4. Find assistance. If you want people to assist you, you should ask them and be a decent human being.

5. Doing is everything. Notice the difference between intention and attention, between trying to do something and actually building it.


6. Watch your language. Successful communication takes both intention and attention. It requires the explicit intention that the meaning be shared and also it takes the explicit attention to be sure it has been shared. Acknowledge other people’s issues. People want to know you heard them.


7. Group Habits. An effective group icebreaker is to divide class into pairs in which each tells the other what type of person she is; this provides good experience in both talking and listening. The more you reveal about yourself, the more people like you. It is ironic that we hide aspects of ourselves because we fear rejection. It is the hiding, not the revealing, that leads to rejection.

Apply these same ideas in a private conversation. Next time you are having a leisurely conversation, tell your acquaintance what type of person you think you are and then ask her to tell you about herself. Then go on to share the last time you could not sleep all night and ask your partner when that happened to her. From there start trading stories about the last time you had a good laugh, the last time you made a bad mistake, and so on. At the end notice how your relationship with the other person has been altered by the details you shared.

8. Self image by design. Make a list of your attributes. Ask yourself “Who are you”
Who am I in terms of what I have?
Who am I in terms of what I do?
Who am I in terms of my being?

You can use guided fantasy to assist you in examining who you are really are. Imagine getting off the plane and making your way to a bus. Take a short bus ride, and then imagine getting off the bus. Now, imagine a house in the distance, and walk towards that house. When you get to the house, explore the outside and then the inside, examining the details carefully. In speaking for the house and its possessions, you are describing yourself. This is an excellent way to look at yourself, because it is nonthreatening. It produces candid insights that might otherwise not be available from examination of one’s own self image.


9. Big picture – Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.


10. Make achievement your habit – The next time you are asked to do something, don’t spend too much time thinking. Simply charge ahead. Do this by taking the first idea that comes into your head and make a quick prototype.






Innovation is Everybody’s Business: How to Make Yourself Indispensable in Today’s Hypercompetitive World


innovation.jpgBy Robert B.Tucker  (2011)

In this book, the author mentioned about mastering the 7 essential I-Skills you need to become indispensable. You need to understand the 4 I-Skill Principles :

1. Innovation isn’t about something you do after you get your work done. It’s how you do your work.

2. Innovation is about more than inventing new products. It’s about figuring out how to add value where you are .

3. You can innovate in any job, any department or any organization.

4. Innovation is about taking action.

You need a strategy to develop your innovation. Here are 4 critical components to design that strategy :

  1. Identify where you are and where you want to go.
  2. Learn the business side of your organization.
  3. Understand your company’s culture.
  4. Pull it all together.


These are the 7 I-Skills
1. Embrace the Opportunity Mindset
– You add value to every task and every project.
– Noticing is essential to opportunity discovery.
– What would it look like if you did the reverse? When you do this on purpose, you embrace what I call the opportunity mindset. You make it a point to notice not only what is but what could be.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Learn to consciously shift your perspective.
2. Think small.
3. Listen for “there’s got to be a better way” mutterings.
4. Pay attention to happy accidents.
5. Look for problems customers have that aren’t being solved.
6. Look for opportunities to eliminate non value adding work.
7. Think big.
2. Become an Assumption Assaulter
– Blast away at personal, organizational, and industry notions that block progress.
– Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him. The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

How to invoke this skill?
1. Remember that innovation often begins where assumptions end. So talk back to the voices in your head that emerge out of defeatist, sustainer, and dreamer modes of thinking. Cultivate a questioning mindset. Asking questions is the most powerful spur to jump-start new thinking.

2. If you don’t like the choices on the table, ask yourself (and others) what a third or fourth choice might look like.

3. Cultivate a Passion for the End Customer
– Everything you create is your product and every product has a customer.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Understand the business you are in.
2. Develop empathy for the customer.
3. Strive for a big picture perspective.
4. Take on the customer’s problem.
5. Treat your boss like a customer.

4. Think ahead of the curve
– Notice trends, anticipate threats, and discover hidden opportunities.

How you need to think ahead of the curve?
1. Audit your information diet.
2. Think of yourself as the eyes and ears of your organization.
3. Build your information and support networks.
4. Seek out forward-thinking, idea oriented people.
5. Master the art of deep dive.
6. Develop your point of view on key issues.
7. Connect the dots.
8. Give people permission to give you bad news.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Monitor trends close at hand.
2. Learn to separate fads from trends.
3. Don’t wait for senior management to come to you and explain how they think you and your department can help them invent the future or implement a new culture.

4. Start observing trends and applying them to your life and work with penetrating questions.


5. Become an idea factory
– Scarcity creates value ; value creates indispensability.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Take the time to inspect your idea factory now. Do it now and periodically in the months and years ahead. Look not just the ideas you are generating, but at what is happening with those ideas. If you’ve gotten bogged down by the minutia of tactical execution, shift consciously into Innovator Mode. Reread your personal innovation strategy and coax yourself to come up with ideas to move you forward.
2. Become conscious of when an issue you must deal with, a decision you must make or an opportunity you wish to maximize would benefit from unitasking.

3. Know yourself in terms of the time of day and specific locations that often produce a flood of ideas.

4. Do plan to take a Doug day. Put it on the calendar and take it seriously.

6. Become a standout collaborator
– Galvanize teams and departments to get new initiatives done.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Have an eye on the bigger picture. Keep an eye on reputation, results and residuals.

7. Build the buy-in for new ideas.
– You need to have powerful methods to build buy-in for new ideas example by doing your homework, let others think it was their idea, customize their communication style, make it safe for buyers to say yes, focus on benefits and overcoming resistance, use the power of stories, cross boundaries to build support for your idea, be persistent.

How to invoke this skill?
1. Try to anchor your idea in as many places inside the company, and with as many customers that are important outside the company.
2. Ask yourself whether
– your idea is aligned with sphere of influence, track record and overall reputation?
– Is timing right?
– Have I sown plenty of seeds and educated influential people on the merits of making this change?
– Who has actually used this idea and what have the results been?
– What info or expertise do I need to obtain to accomplish this goal?

Mark Twain once said, “I’m all for progress. It’s change that I don’t like.” Learn to enjoy the journey from idea to implementation because your idea quest will almost always end up someplace that you didn’t quite expect.


Dare to be different


DaretobedifferentBy Sandro Forte (2008)

When you want to present, you can consider the “Two Jobs” Presentation.

Job A
1. $19,000 pa
2. Company car

Job B
1. $18,000 pa
2. Income protection (50% of salary)
3. Death in service (2X salary)
4. Critical illness (2X salary)
5. Personal pension
6. Private medical insurance
7. Company car.

Which of the 2 jobs would you consider more attractive?


Dare to be different Part 1


Daretobedifferent By Sandro Forte (2008)

We live in an ever-changing environment and nothing changes more than life itself. To cope with this change and to capitalise on it, we must, above all else, be consistent and persistent.
-> Understand the nature and art of being consistent.

-> Being able to deflect any thought that’s likely to make you stop being consistent.

-> Having “inside” knowledge around the best tools and techniques needed to make being consistent easy to achieve.

-> Having an all-consuming passion to be consistent about your primary goal That is often the number one reason why you are alive.


You need to have a specific and credible Primary Goal. You need to adopt MindChangers, which is a set of tools emerged from the world’s number one business associated with winning- the World of Sports.

MindChanger tool called Fast Forward

I’d like you to talk to yourself. In a moment, set this book aside and talk to yourself. Talk about what you expect to achieve. Do this now for a couple of minutes before reading on..

This time, I want you to do the same thing but assume it’s a year into the future and you’re looking back, reminding yourself what’s already happened – as if it has. So put the book down and do this again but now talk in the past tense..

If you were to do fast forward regularly – and it’s more fun with someone else- you would start to change your beliefs automatically.

  1. Write down your primary goal
  2. Write down a list of other goals – short, medium and long-term
  3. Commit at least 10 of these goals to Mindchanger flip cards and read them briefly each day. Create one Mindchanger flipcard for each goal.
  4. If you don’t already have one, design an introductory script format which you will use at every first meeting. Learn it by heart.
  5. Make 10 calls using the Dynamic Phone Path and make every third call a social call to a friend, old client or contact.dynamic.jpg

    Step 1 : Apology
    Hello, is that Michael? Michael Turner?
    Hello.. I’m so very sorry to be ringing you out of the lue like this.
    (Who is it?)
    My name is Sandro, Sandro Forte from the Forte Group. Is this a good time to speak with you?

    Step 2: Promise
    I’ve recently taken on Mary West as a client and your name came up in conversation a couple of times, hence the promise to call to offer you my help, given I make it a professional business practice to work with the friends and families of my clients before anyone else.

    Step 3: The Message – core reason for the call.

    “I am currently helping individuals to improve their personal wealth in ways which realise more disposable income. Would more funds for you to spend or retain as you choose to be useful?” It’s useful to note the phrase ” That’s exactly why I am calling” when faced with any objection.

    Step 4 : “Meeting place” Do you know the Axis Office building? May I suggest we meet there next week so that I may have the opportunity of introducing myself and sharing some beneficial ideas as I have already done with your friend Mary? What time of the day suits you best?

  6. Find out the best credit card, loan and mortgage offers available and carry a few application forms with you. Hand them to your clients where appropriate. Better still, build relationships with a bank manager, lawyer, accountant and the other professionals who could add value by offering discounts on their services, without committing you to any work.
  7. Call your top 20 clients and ask them to help you build your business by introducing you to other people like them.