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Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Tricks, Traps and Tips for better Problem Solving

Cost: Nada!
Although you’re more than welcome to send me a note of appreciation and/or order some books as a way to support the costs of providing this service.

Where? Head here for all the details.

Summary:
If you work for a living, then you solve problems of all types.This session will explore some simple PS concepts and explain how we can use formal, and informal, PS techniques in every day Life.

Prerequisites:
Peter believes very much in the idea that we learn by doing, more precisely? That we learn by failing at doing.

So??? This presentation WILL be interactive.
1) Make sure you have a deck of playing cards handy.
2) Peter will take ‘questions’ via e-mail as he presents.

Feedback from a similar live session:
Peter … We reviewed the feedback forms this week – of the 90 collected for the Problem Solving sessions, overwhelmingly the ratings were 5s (highest) We summarized the feedback as follows, included member quotes:

‘Over the top’ successful. Very dynamic, excellent speaker.
Members wanted more from Peter; many felt his sessions were too short.
“..energizing & interesting. Very helpful.”
“..too short – was enjoyable & thought provoking!”
“Fabulous, awesome presentation. Great interaction & exercises.
Could have spent the whole afternoon in his session.”
“Excellent session, extremely dynamic presenter! Useful for any level of team member.”
“Peter was the “BEST” part of the day.”
“Please bring Peter back to talk to us.”

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Don’t fight forces;
Use them.
Buckminster Fuller

Ships sail against the wind, waters behind the dam give it strength, the weight of an arch bestows suspended flight to waves of stone and steel. In all of these, the forces that work against success, are what make it possible.

Physical force has direction and energy, but no motivation or intention. Manipulate what works against you, into working for you.

Our first reaction to any opposing force is to push back, it’s an instinctive, simple, uncomplicated strategy, and this sometimes brings success. We have other options.

In unrelenting heat, ice cold water is scarce, unless you place it in a porous terra-cotta pot. The evaporating droplets create a chill, just as sweat will cool the body. Don’t fight the heat, use it.

The forces we encounter as obstacles to our goals aren’t always physical, sometimes they’re political, spawned of human nature and desire. The advice doesn’t change, don’t fight the forces, use them.

If someone is an expert at finding fault with a project, place them on the project with the task of avoiding fault.

If someone’s ego is in the way of a change, then frame the success to feed the ego.

Make the force be with you…

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My greatest strength as a consultant
is to be ignorant
and ask a few questions.
Peter Drucker

If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of, it’s ignorance. We’re surrounded by it. Saturated with it. Ignorance by its nature crowds out reason, commonsense and understanding.

Yet we seem to accept it as normal. We’re apparently willing to live with it. We fail to seize the opportunity to ask these questions which could dispel it:

Why do we do it this way?
Why do we believe this to be true?
Why can’t we change the rules?
Why must we do this at all?

These are the world wrecking questions. These are the queries that challenge, and can shatter, the Status Quo.

They’re also the simple questions available to anyone (with enough courage) in every situation. They raise the specter that things need not be as we’ve accepted them.

Nor is the question ‘Why?’ beyond our scope. It’s perhaps the only strength we share regardless of upbringing or social standing. From our first days of speech we ask ‘Why?’ … and at some point we stop. Why?

We’re born with the urge to ask ‘Why?’, when we lose it, we begin to die.

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A hunch is creativity
trying to tell you something.
Frank Capra

Creativity is a difficult and contradictory task, because to achieve it we must stop trying to seize it… and just listen to the voices within.

This is gobbledygook to anyone who believes conscious thought will always result in a new idea.

Thinking yourself to creativity is possible. There are enough tips, tricks and techniques to get you to another place, but when they all fail… just shut up and listen.

The mind is forever babbling in the background. Try to sit silent, thoughtless, for a count of five. Allow no stray thought to enter, not even the glee at reaching five.

Try to sleep at night without dreaming. Try not to think of the elusive polka dotted elephant. The mind chortles at containment.

Leave the problem alone… walk away from it… abandon thinking about it, and do something else… but keep listening.

The very source of power in our thoughts, is to see what doesn’t yet exist. To see cats in the clouds, Orion’s Belt in the stars, or a solution where others saw only problems.

The little voice is the child within, forever trying to get our attention.

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To escape criticism –
do nothing,
say nothing,
be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

Pity the poor critic, in our imperfect world, their life is filled with work.

Don’t dare to try and help them, by building something new.
You’ll only increase their woes, by attracting them to you.

And their work is unappreciated, though flawless through and through.
Their only goal? Perfection! And they’ll achieve it when you’re through.

No matter what you build, be it big or huge or small,
it’s filled with imperfections, and the critic finds them all.

Ignoring them is difficult, they’re fast and mean and tiny.
No matter how well intentioned, their words are dark and spiny.

They stick in cracks in ego, they pull down self esteem.
They weaken built up confidence, and disrupt the strongest team.

Avoiding them is easy, under camouflage is best,
crawl inside a deep dark hole and shhh…say nothing – do nothing – that’ll put ’em to the test!

Oh and one more thing? They’ll never like this little pithy ditty…
my, my, my… what a dreadful, awful, pity!

Criticism like lightning, is a fact of life, rise above others and it’ll strike.

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Name the greatest of all inventors:
Accident.
Mark Twain

X-Rays, microwaves, rubber and Velcro, were all accidents waiting impatiently to happen… to the person willing and smart enough to pay attention.

If we agree that nothing happens without a reason, then when something happens unexpectedly it means there’s a particular “reason” we don’t yet understand properly. “Unexpected” is merely another way of saying: “Pay attention now… there’s something here to learn.”

If we knew everything, then the unexpected could not exist. Only the ignorance of something can cause us to stumble over it. Every “Why did that happen?” and “Gee… that’s funny, that never happened before!” is a learning opportunity screaming for our attention.

Invention is mostly discovery. X-rays and microwaves existed long before Curie and Spencer. Mother Nature had the patent on rubber trees and cockleburs long before Goodyear had his cooking accident and de Mestral came back from his country walk.

The pride and strength of inventors, is their use of the words “Why?” and “How?” (and “Oops!)”. The world in its infinite generosity supplies the mysteries.

Accidents happen when we trip over the stones of ignorance… or steps of opportunity… the choice is always ours.

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If you can make a man laugh,
you can make him think
and make him like and believe you.
Alfred E. Smith

Humour is our physical and emotional response to the perverse incongruities of life. Without a sense of humour, we stumble from cosmic incident to comic accident, never seeing the connection. Our belly laughs, are wry detectors.

We laugh at the indignities that befall us, because the alternatives are too depressing.

We chuckle at both the small and large misfortunes ensnaring us, because we have no other choice.

Despite our best laid plans, life sometimes just happens to us. The knack of seeing the hidden irony is a precious gift.

Humour doesn’t come easy. Especially when the humour is in our follies and foibles. To laugh at ourselves is to acknowledge our shared, and all too common, weakness. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who, with the dual, and never dull, scalpels of tact and gentleness expose the humours within.

With every burst of laughter there’s the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve found out.

Our sense of humour is a symptom of our intelligence. Once we laugh, we know enough to pay attention.

When your audience is laughing, they’re listening.

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