I had a training course today on leadership. I was shown the following video clip. Enjoy!
I added a new mindmap on my website. This one covers the first chapter of a book on the nature of the information business. It shows some interesting aspects that everybody has to keep in mind when developing a business model on information. Why only the first chapter? Because it is the overview chapter. If you are interested in more on a specific topic, just read the according chapter.
Key lessons that got reinforced on the conference:
- The problems are always the same, and it is never a hard problem, but always a soft problem (TROPICS).
- BPM is very close to Organisational Development (OD).
- EA and BPM are similar in many ways and very political. Governance, strategy, measurement and incentives are key concepts for both.
- Don’t boil the ocean. Better stay with a specific approach/activity and stick with it than starting everything at the same time.
One of the most interesting things in life for me is to understand myself better. How do I react to my environment? And why do I react the way you do? Since I started thinking about myself I am able to work on myself. Patterns arise and understanding grows. Knowing myself allows me to playing to my strengths and therefore improves my personal happiness.
One of the things that I enjoy are self-assessments. A good self-assessment explains some facets of your personality. The most interesting for me was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). In case you are interested: I wrote my personal result on my webpage. The quickest assessment so far was a PI assessment that I had to provide prior to my interview for my current job. HR draw a very precise picture of me just on the base of a few selections of mine. Stunning! I found another interesting test a couple of days ago. It is called PersonalDNA. I quite enjoyed it and realised that the results are quite consistent with what I know about myself. I quite like as well the Johari Window. Make your own Johari Window here.
Good luck on your own journey to yourself. Clearly, assessments are only a small step on the way. But nonetheless, please let me know if you know good assessments.
I currently think a lot about the automation of workflows. Therefore, it is not surprising that I read about the topic. And as usual, I try to create a mindmap to be able to remember what I read. Depending on my time, more mindmaps will result from this book. This mindmap is capturing (what I think) are the essentials for the first model (Level 1) of the method of the author. The mindmap can be downloaded from my webpage.
I just read a blog entry from Gretchen Rubin on common happiness mistakes (http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/11/10-common-happiness-mistakes.html) and suggest that you read it as well.
In general, I can recommend to look around on her site. The web side is a resource full of interesting thoughts. Have a look at her “Happiness Project” book. It contains a structured approach to happiness! Further interesting reads are her secrets of adulthood (http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/secrets-of-adulthood.html) or her twelve personal commandments (on the left side on the page)
Did it ever happen to you that you said: “I have read something about this in the web?” Where you ever curious what it was? Let me tell you: in the last year I was always able to find it again. How? I no longer rely on bookmarks to find pages I was interested again. Bookmarks can become outdated. I store the whole page content!
I added a new gadget to my blog. The Evernote Site Memory button allows you to store my blogs quickly in your Evernote account.
What is Evernote? Evernote became my searchable memory, my external brain. If you are a knowledge worker like me you would often like to remember the content of the page you’ve once read. A friend at work wanted to tell me something about the a specific IT topic. He went and looked up all the bookmarks he had tagged with the topic. Of five pages one was still accessible. He was only able to provide me with a 5th of what he thought was worth remembering on the topic. I would have been able to provide all five pages.
Evernote allows you to store any webpage (in fact any data) into a repository. Right from the browser. Once set up you only click the Evernote button and the page is saved. You can than search within Evernote and find it again. You can browse or search search for a word within the content, like “GTD”. Evernote does even an OCR scan on your pictures, recognising text in the picture. Next time you want to find a picture of a mindmap, I hope you put it into Evernote. If it says “Crucial Conversation” on the mindmap Evernote will find it for you. Evernote can be accessed in a web only manner, or with a client on your computer.
Actually, Evernote does more than storing web content for me. I scan in my paper stuff nowadays. Since I pay for the premium account (45$ a year), Evernote does OCR on my scanned PDFs. Looking for an old bill? Thames Water? I just type in “Thames Water” and it comes up. I use it with a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300M. The combination is fantastic: scanning of several pages takes only seconds. Within a minute, I can start searching within the document. At home. And through the web if I am currently on holidays.
Are you interested? Well, just click the green remember button with the Evernote elephant logo and start memorising. Enjoy!
[Update 30/09/2010]: Now I get my personal results included in every of my Google searches: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EvernoteBlog/~3/Q3kxfLvda8s/
John Cleese on creativity on YouTube:
Key lessons for me:
* The unconscious mind is working in your favour – if you let it.
* We don’t know where our ideas are coming from.
* You need boundaries in time and space to be productive/creative
* “To know how good you are at something requires the same skills as it does to be good at that thing.” And this has implications…
From time to time you come across ideas that make a strong impression on you. Often enough, it takes a while to fully understand that the information took such an important role in your life. But you realise that you come back to the idea and find it useful. Useful to interpret certain aspects of your life.
One of these ideas in my life is the elephant and rider metaphor. I nearly missed this great blog entry of JD Meier, because it happened that I only got aware of the metaphor by reading a follow-up blog entry the other day. I strongly recommend these two entries. (And I do recommend to follow the blog of JD Meier.)
To describe the idea in my own words: An elephant rider is generally able to direct the much larger elephant. But s/he won’t be able to do that against the will of the elephant. In such a case the elephant will follow its own needs, leaving the rider in a helpless position. This relationship can be used to describe your rational mind (rider) versus your feelings (elephant). Did you ever try to change an unwanted behaviour? How often did you give in to your feelings and gave up on your (new year’s) resolutions?
You won’t be able to succeed in your personal goals if you can’t bring your emotions in line. If it is your will against your emotions you will loose. You will have to influence your emotions if you want to change yourself, ie change unwanted behaviour. You might be able to get your elephant on the road with will power, but you will were out, eventually.
Why is this idea so interesting to me? Because it suddenly helps you to understand the world better. Why a positive attitude is paramount for changing a behaviour. It tells me what I did wrong so many times.
Take Change or die! from Patrick Mayfield. I saw his presentation a while ago and it made an impression on me. He referenced the work from Alan Deutschman and took bypass patients as an example. According to his statistics a shocking 90% of patients are not changing there unhealthy behaviour (smoking!) after an bypass surgery, ensuring the next life-threatening situation in a few years. Why? Rider vs. elephant! The fact that you will die soon can’t be translated into the language of the elephant. The patients knew they had to change but they didn’t do it. A second study showed a far better rate of behavioural changes after focusing on positive emotions. For the second study people were given positive attitude to a behavioural change by connecting the change (give up smoking) with things they would like to do: playing with grand-children, being able to walk for an hour, etc. Being able to do things that create positive emotions does the trick. This is the language of your elephant, and is therefore influencing the elephant! This approach aligns your emotions with your abstract thinking and gives your rides the tools to stay on track. Focus on the positive aspects of the change.
Did you ever realise that people are not acting in a logical manner? I think I know why. The elephant is stronger. People do what feels right, not what they know is right. And if you want to do what is right the metaphor might be able to help you. Please let me know if you have more examples.