Archive for May, 2012

To Have Power Is To Experience It

Ever wondered what it feels like to have power? Well, it’s very easy: just plug yourself in to the mains outlet and you will instantly experience what it feels like to have Power. But ofcourse this is just a joke. To know what Power is can also be done on a less intrusive way.

Why not follow Metcalfe’s Law which states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. So if you connect to more users in your own (social) network, chances are your Power will also increase proportionally. I suggest you just give it a try and see if it works for you. Oh, and don’t forget to look this real nice animation about Networks. Happy Power Hunting!

Making Business From Slowlyness

Business is in fact a funny word. Wikipedia says: “the etymology of “business” relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work.” So the state of doing business seems to be in essence about being busy? But why on earth should you wanna be busy in doing viable and profitable work? Suppose you could do viable and profitable work by not being busy (or at least not busy all the time). Would you favor it? Ofcourse you would. Because it’s much nicer to go with the flow of the moment than to ignore the flow. Going faster when the context demands it. Going slower when the context allows.

But it still seems our society doesn’t allow us to slow down when we are “in Business”. It’s some sort of taboo. We have to remain busy otherwise we condemn each other for not making Business. But isn’t it a flawed concept? Based on fear of not being able to explain why you’re not busy all the time? I recommend also reading this article which explains Busy-ness from a different point-of-view: “Much of our busy-ness comes from fear that we should be doing more, that we might be missing out, that we aren’t enough already. But we are enough, and we don’t need more, and we aren’t missing out. So we can let go of a lot of unnecessary activity, and just focus on doing what we love, and give ourselves the space to enjoy a contented life.”  Happy slowing down (when your context allows it!).

To Be Plugged or Un-Plugged, That’s The Question…

Original picture source Want to stay plugged-in? Then read this blog. It’s about being plugged-in. Maybe it’s a strange phenomenon. We people (well, at least the most of us), enjoy having a certain degree of freedom. And thus don’t want to be plugged-in (or in other words: tightly coupled) at forehand. We generally like to plug or bind ourselves to something at a time and place that best fits us. And unplug on moments we want te be disconnected. Or unplug on themes we don’t consider worth connecting to. Or only plug on themes we do like. So we want to be unplugged most of the time.

Looking a bit closer, it seems there are basically two dimensions that makes us want to plug or unplug: timing and synergy. If the time is right, and we think plugging-in can benefit us (“what’s in it for me…”) then we like to plug-in. But how does this story fit to to picture in the bottom? I like the simplicity of this picture because it shows at the same time what duality thinking  (infrastructure VERSUS innovation) and what singularity thinking (infrastructure AND innovation) are able to create. It’s obvious that singularity thinking combines the best of both worlds and is the most synergetic approach. Where both the infrastructurist and the innovator are co-creating the innovation. Whereas in duality thinking you tend to separate the best of both worlds, giving you more design freedom. The downside is this will make it tougher to land your innovations on a larger scale.

So in the end you might be better of not developing an innovation only from a duality point-of-view. You could benefit from developing with the bigger end-in-mind picture, from a singularity point-of-view. So that your innovation can be plugged at the time and place it is necessary. Preferably on a standardized infrastructure, which maximizes your innovation freedom ánd gives you a larger installed base to design for. So in the end, being plugged or un-plugged is not a question but more a timing aspect. Happy plugging!

Sharing Creativity Will Make Our World A Better Place

There are a lot of creative souls out there. And yet it’s hard to really unleash the total creativity available. Part of this “problem” is that many institutions still tend to bind their creative souls so they become more or less dedicated for their institution. Helping create Intellectual Property. So that the institution can compete against others. Red Ocean Strategies prevail in this scenario. And often make institutions put profits inside own pockets. And share the benefits with a minority. Maybe a better strategy would be to share creativity. So that with this share creativity we can create a better world for all of us much faster then we can do now. So let’s start sharing world’s creative power more and more. Happy creativity sharing!

We Need To Break The Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Loop And Replace It With A Reuse-Recycle-Renew Loop

At first hindsight, there seems in general to be nothing wrong with following a solid reduce, re-use, recycle lifecycle strategy, right? And yet, when examined more closely, the “re-use” part of this lifecycle strategy might just be cultivating the mindset that in fact creates counterproductive measures to the lifecycle as a whole. Consider the following example: in the previous century, Ford created the industrialized car.  He kinda reduced redundancies in the manufacturing processes and automated them a lot. He re-used repetive tasks where possible. I don’t know if he already did a lot on recycling. The result was highly industrialized products (cars) but he delivered only one taste: the standard. So he really didn’t renew a lot in his design. Because he re-used a lot. In his mindset, this was oke. And it was oke, but it was not a real sustainable strategy.

It is exactly this type of mindset (re-use before re-new) that might have been a catalyst for many of our current crises. For example, if we keep on saying to each other that we should reduce our expenditures, then the chances to really renew will be reduced, real improvements will be postponed and at best we maintain the status quo of our crises by constantly executing this strategy.

The next part in the cycle is reuse: if we keep on re-using the things in our society that we have already built (for example because we don’t want to spend on renewal or we are afraid to renew), than again, this strategy at best will maintain the status quo of our crises.

And to close the loop: if we keep on cultivating this lifecycle strategy by never leaving the loop and going from recycle to reduce, we again at best maintain the status quo of our crises.

So we need to break this circle somewhere. Instead of the traditional, fear-based Reduce-Reuse-Recycle loop, we should make it a Reuse-Recycle-Renew loop. Then we will have a chance to really get out of the negative spiral and transform it into a positive one. The new never-ending loop will toggle from reuse to renew to reuse to renew etc. And this strategy  might just help society to transform to, who knows, a new Golden age. Happy new recycling!

The Sky Is The Limit

This blog was inspired by the many discussions on the net about Cloud Computing. As many of you out there already know, Cloud Computing is a term that is hyped a lot but is creating increasing interest and traction. And in my personal belief, it can grow into a catalyst for societal transformation. But then it has to be unhyped, made real and made useful. There are potentially many use cases but we still have to bear in mind that the world is full of traditional technology that is also still working and will be keeping working for many years if we all want to. But then we would not take the chance for (radical?) renewal and we could more or less hinder real innovation in this area. So what’s to do? Look at the picture of the ant. It says it all. If you are motivated, you can outperform your own thought strengths. I am already motivated in my personal “quest” for societal transformation, towards a better new world, or who knows, maybe even towards a new golden age. I like to add my own little mini tiny value to that. If I don’t, I have only to blame myself for not having given it a chance. And I don’t want to blame myself. So I take my own responsbility by believing this can be done if we are willing to believe in it and are motivated to make it happen. Happy limit searching for those who are willing!

We Need To Move The World Into Our Brains

We Humans (ofcouse not you and I but all the others) are accustomed to putting our own brains central in all our decisions. And even though we are trying to think of our world of the most central theme to take care of, in practice we rather take care of our own concerns first, the rest is not really our problem, is it? We call this separation of concerns. We are concerned about the world, but in the end this is not our concern, it’s somebody else stupid fault if something goes wrong. We tend to blame things on everyone but ourselves. But what if our brains could accomodate (complex) thinking about (complex) world-scale problems like all the crises? Would this make a difference in our separation of concerns strategy? Or would it make us true cosmopolitans, knowing what needs to be done to make our world better? Perhaps global consciousness, fueled by free knowledge distribution over channels like the Internet might give us a hand. And the will not to blame things from the past on humans, but blame it on the systems we invented. Reinvent them if this helps us getting into a new (golden?) age. Rewind our brains and move the world into them. I am willing to take my own (little) part in it. And you?

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