- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear (6)
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown (5)
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs (2)
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG (14)
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative (11)
- Collaboration vs. Silos (8)
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement (6)
- Creative Arts & Innovation (10)
- Creative Genius among Staff (8)
- Creative Problem Solving (8)
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises (11)
- "In a Nutshell" Notes on IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Survey:
- A Key to Creativity? "Entertain Thyself!" Part 2 of Podcast Interview with Jennifer Blaine
- Actress Jennifer Blaine & "Dr. Amir" Share Tips for Stimulating Creative Thinking, Podcast Part I
- CORRECTION: Curiosity Did NOT Kill the Cat!
- Creativity and a Shared Failure to Communicate
- Fear of the Unknown?
- Get Smart -- Like Einstein!
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
- Leonardo da Vinci’s CV:
- Looking More Closely at How and Why We Believe as We Do
- Some Great Short YouTube Videos on Creativity & Innovation!
- Creativity/Innovation (2)
- Critical Thinking (3)
- Curiosity & Asking Questions (14)
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking (5)
- Employee Engagement (10)
- Fun and innovation (2)
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation (4)
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci (7)
- Innovation & the Economy (1)
- Innovation in Government (2)
- Innovation in History (5)
- Integrity; Following own drummer (7)
- Langdon Morris (6)
- Leadership & Management Best Practices (15)
- Learning from Mistakes (8)
- Lifelong Learning and innovation (3)
- Mentoring and innovation (4)
- Model Innovative Organizations (9)
- Podcasts on innovation (2)
- Processes and Structures for Innovation (5)
- Redefining Innovation (8)
- Scenario Planning (2)
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation (2)
- Social Change and Innovation (2)
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation (2)
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation (8)
- Types of Innovation (6)
- Weirdness and Creativity (2)
- What-iffing (5)
- Whole Brain Thinking (6)
- YouTube Videos (3)
Get Smart — Like Einstein!
I promised that our next post was to be on ideas on how to foster the creative collaboration that is foundational to innovation in organizations. I also had some other posts lined up for some logical progression.
However, my time will be very limited for the next several weeks because a U.S. government training project for our returning military personnel is calling upon my creative skills. Imagine that! 😉 — Did I mention that I design and deliver training programs?
In the meantime, I will share a couple of articles that I find of interest that tie directly into what we're exploring together in this forum, which, in simple mathematical formulation can be summarized as:
Curiosity + Creativity
x Good Management (Respect + Support)
(Yes, I actually made that up on the spot, and math isn't even my strong suit. 😉 )
Look for themes below that tie back to previous posts. Again, it can all tie back to our earlier posts on the 2010 IBM CEO report on best practices for organizations that want to thrive and key points we reviewed from How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci:
- Einstein never squelched the innate curiosity that we all were born with. He just loved to learn and explore; that was his primary drive.
- He didn't grow up in a family who's main preoccupation in life was looking good and fitting in. Modus operandi such as that does not generally foster original thinking. Integrity does.
- He wasn't afraid to experiment and (gasp!) fail as a means of learning what didn't work, so he could ultimately uncover what did.
- He used "whole brain thinking" with the music; let his mind wander with daydreaming and unrelated things while his subconscious continued to problem solve; he was suspicious of the convergent "single answer" thinking encouraged in many of our schools and organizations; and, I like this one, he believed we could learn about the spiritual realities (or, for those who prefer, God) by paying attention to the world around us. — A very worthwhile pursuit.
|How Einstein Got So Smart – 10 Learning Hacks|
|How would you feel if many people thought you were the smartest person in history? How might your life be different if you actually were that intelligent? Although we often think of Albert Einstein as one of the smartest people ever, we don’t investigate what it was that made him so. People who speak highly of him often attribute his genius to some mysterious gift. They don’t believe his smarts came from a certain attitude about learning. I believe you can recreate some of his habits to get smarter and find more rewarding work.
Before you get the list of Einstein’s learning habits, consider some interesting facts about his early life. These things set the stage for appreciating his educational philosophy a little more.
These things represent just a taste of the irony about his early life. Looking back – in light of his eventually recognized genius – these facts even seem humorous.
10 Things Einstein Did to Get So Smart
From what I can find, no one has compiled details about how Einstein actually studied. I doubt that his true genius was even observable to the eye anyhow. The real accomplishments went on inside his mind. I suspect his brain looked no different than ours; and genetically, nothing seemed remarkable. So, to benefit from his example, we need to look as much at his character and philosophy about learning.
The "stand-out" leaders cited in the 2010 IBM Global CEO survey (those who had successfully capitalized on the increasing complexity of the global markets through creative thinking and innovative practices) encouraged other leaders to similarly increase their comfort with ambiguity and ongoing experimentation. They also advocated letting go of command-and-control management styles in order to foster more mutual trust in organizations.
“Sfumato,” which translates to “going up in smoke,” is a “willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty,” and is the fourth of the da Vinci habits recommended by author Michael Gelb. He writes, “As you awaken your powers of Curiosità, probe the depths of Dimostrazione (experience), and sharpen your senses, you come face to face with the unknown. Keeping your mind open in the face of uncertainty is the single most powerful secret of unleashing your creative potential.” This ability does not come to those who rely solely on their left-brained, analytical thinking capacities.
Gelb writes that the ceaseless application of these practices led da Vinci to many great insights and discoveries, “but they also led him to confront the vastness of the unknown and ultimately the unknowable. Yet his phenomenal ability to hold the tension of opposites, to embrace uncertainty, ambiguity, and paradox was a critical characteristic of his genius.” The theme of the tension of opposites grew in his work over the course of his lifetime – we can see this in even a cursory look at the maestro’s Mona Lisa.
Gelb writes, “In the past, a high tolerance for uncertainty was a quality to be found only in great geniuses like Leonardo. As change accelerates, we now find that ambiguity multiplies, and illusions of certainly become more difficult to maintain. The ability to thrive with ambiguity must become part of our everyday lives. Poise in the face of paradox is a key not only to effectiveness, but to sanity in a rapidly changing world.”
In his self-assessment on the strength of our own Sfumato, Gelb invites us to rate ourselves on a scale of 1-10 on each point, with one being a "maniacal" need for certainty at all times, and ten approximating that of an enlightened Taoist master.
- I am comfortable with ambiguity.
- I am attuned with the rhythms of my intuition.
- I thrive with change.
- I have a tendency to “jump to conclusions.”
- I enjoy riddles, puzzles, and puns.
- I usually know when I am feeling anxious.
- I spend sufficient time on my own.
- I trust my gut.
- I can comfortably hold contradictory ideas in my mind.
- I delight in paradox and am sensitive to irony.
- I appreciate the importance of conflict in inspiring creativity.
He then offers a variety of good exercises that help participants to explore the various aspects of their own Sfumato and ways to increase ability in this area.
In closing, the author points to a study conducted by the American Management Association in the 1980’s that concluded that “the most successful managers were distinguished by ‘high tolerance for ambiguity and intuitive decision-making skill.’” In the The Logic of Intuitive Decision Making, Dr. Weston Agor reported his findings from extensive interviews conducted of senior executives who overwhelmingly concluded that their worst decisions had resulted from not following their own intuitions.
Among the more interesting questions in the author's self-assessment for “Dimostrazione” or experiential learning are:
- Do I seek out new experiences every day, or pursue different perspectives and fresh insights?
- Have I changed a deeply-held belief due to practical experience?
- Would my closest friends say that I am willing to acknowledge my mistakes?
- Do I ever practice cynicism and call it independent thinking? — Now, that's an interesting one! …And unfortunately, I would have to admit, "Guilty, as charged!"
I. Examining Impactful Experiences:
This exercise involves reflecting on the most influential experiences of our lives, what we learned, how we apply them, how any conclusions we have drawn from them may color our attitudes or perceptions… and whether there are any that we might now reconsider?
II. The Sources of Our Beliefs:
Here, we are invited to write down beliefs we hold in at least three areas such as human nature, ethics, spirituality, or politics. We are asked what the source of those beliefs were: media, books, other people, or our own direct experience? Whether there are beliefs that we hold for which we have no experiential verification, or if there are any we might be able to test now through experience?
III. Three Points of View:
Just as Leonardo tried to look at everything he sought to understand or draw from three perspectives, this exercise asks us to take the statement of belief (above) that generated the strongest emotion and try to examine it from various other angles outlined by the author.
IV: Learning from Mistakes and Adversity:
Here, we are encouraged to reflect on what we learned about making mistakes in our childhoods, what we learned from our biggest mistakes, which mistakes we repeat, and the role that the fear of making mistakes may continue to play in our daily lives at work and at home.
In an especially useful twenty-minute stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, we are asked, “What would I do differently if I had no fear of making mistakes?”
V. Learn from Role Models and “Anti-Role” Models:
We can learn a tremendous amount from paying attention to others demonstrating what not to do. Also, some of our anti-role models may be our positive role models for us in other ways. This exercise invites us to look at what we have learned from our positive and less positive role models.
VI. Practice Internal Anti-commercial Martial Arts:
We are asked to consider the impact that some commercials may have had on our worldviews.
Subscribe to receive new blogposts below
- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative
- Collaboration vs. Silos
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement
- Creative Arts & Innovation
- Creative Genius among Staff
- Creative Problem Solving
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises
- Critical Thinking
- Curiosity & Asking Questions
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking
- Employee Engagement
- Fun and innovation
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
- Innovation & the Economy
- Innovation in Government
- Innovation in History
- Integrity; Following own drummer
- Langdon Morris
- Leadership & Management Best Practices
- Learning from Mistakes
- Lifelong Learning and innovation
- Mentoring and innovation
- Model Innovative Organizations
- Podcasts on innovation
- Processes and Structures for Innovation
- Redefining Innovation
- Scenario Planning
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation
- Social Change and Innovation
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation
- Types of Innovation
- Weirdness and Creativity
- Whole Brain Thinking
- YouTube Videos