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Isomorphism # 5

Maybe one of the greatest gifts – or the gift – we as human beings have is our isomorphic ability. During the years it has helped us a lot with most of our inventions and to attain profound understanding. Chinese researchers have now made a new breakthrough in how to get clean water in developing nations by figuring out the secret architecture to spiders’ webs. Just awesome and good example of how to make the most out of nature.

Where and with what can I use my isomorphic (corresponding or similar in form and relations) potential?

Apple – It’s all about communication or it’s all about technology…

One can think whatever one would like to think of this company and the products they produce. At the moment in the end of the worst recession since the 30’s the company is at its peak and the stock surges. If the comany just hints about a new product there’s massive speculation and enormous (free) attention from all over the world. According to Google News, as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday January 27 2010, there were more articles associated with the iPad than there were with President Obama’s State of the Union address. Has that ever happened before – the State of the Union speech overrided by a product launch?

What is most extraordinary is that the products themeselves aren’t the pioneering ones – if you look at the technology part of them, But, they’re really user friendly. However everything hasn’t always been successes which you can be reminded of at this page.

What one can notice is that the communication over the decades has been consistent. The famous ad from 1984 is a legend. The man behind the commercial Guy Day died in January 2010. Since 2006 Apple have communicated via the ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC’ commercials where two actors personalises the two products. The commercials have been a success mainly due to the simple format and the intelligent dialogue where ‘I’m a Mac’ all the time chooses the truth he would like to have conveyed. Just brilliant, simple and funny. So, maybe the headline is wrong. It’s not all about communication, technology or design, maybe it’s just all about presuppositions.

Pattern Interruption

Sometimes when we are trying to convey our messages we don’t get all the way. Even though we try and take it from another point of view, it doesn’t help. Then one can try a Pattern Interruption. The teachers at a school In Queensland Australia really did this by recording this message on their answering machine. We don’t know if it’s true, however it’s hilarious and well worth listening. It could also have been an act from Monthy Python in the 70’s…

When will we have a new world economy?

If you ask most inhabitants within the member countries of EU, they’ll definetly know who’s the president of the US and most probably they’ll also know who was his opponent during the 2008 election. Most people will also know the name of the vice president and also Mr McCain’s candidate as vice president.

If you ask people within EU the name of the leaders of the worlds two largest countries, in poulation, China and India you’ll be happy if one per thousand could name them.

In India the president is Pratibha Patil and the prime minister is Manmohan Singh. Mr Singh was re-elected in May 2009 for a second five year period and the prime minister is the head of government while the president is chief of state. In China the chief of state is president Hu Jintao and the head of government is Premier Wen Jiabao. Hu Jintao has been president since 2003 and was re-elected 2008.

In November 2009 there was a TED event in India. Hans Rosling held as he always does an intriguing presentation. He presented a very accurate prediction of when China and India would pass US & UK in income per person, which really will be a watershed. To raise your personal general knowledge, our recommendation is to invest 16 minutes and watch Hans Rosling’s presentation.

When do you think India and China will pass US and UK in income per person?

What do you know about China and India?


To make sense of – sense and sense – in the latter sense…

How often do we hear: “You have to listen to your feelings. What do you feel about that? Hod does that feel? It’s hard to express my feelings, Feelings are the most important in life. You are so rational you must use your feelings when you decide etc etc”. The word “feeling”, our sense of feeling has for a long time had a lot of meanings. The good thing is that we as human beings can use the word in a variety of situations. The bad thing is that people misunderstands and miscommunicates and most often without knowing that we do so. It probably origins from the root of the word where one root is the latin word of ‘sensus’, which amongst other things means: faculty of feeling, perception, sensation, sense; emotion. As you already notice, here’s where it tends to be indistinct or flexible depending on your presuppositions.

Our old friend Aristoteles named our senses, sight, hearing, feeling, sense of smell and taste. Today scientists argue of how many senses there are – and it’s more of a scientific fight – but most people would say that we have at least six senses if we also add the sense of balance. Sense has by the way also ‘sensus’ in its origin. In everyday situations we often mix the word ‘feeling’ with when we experience something with our senses and this can lead to misunderstandings. When we see the blue sea and hear the high sound of the waves when they come ashore, we often tend to say, when we think back to that specific situation: I felt the waves and the sea. You could have felt the waves and the sea, especially if you where there swimming, but more likely you were standing at the shore and the waves and the sea evoked memories which you expressed carelessly and said that the memories, where feelings as if you put equal sign with feelings and sensory impressions.

Feelings have evolved to be an umbrella term for all experiences which makes it hard for us human beings to grasp when we talk about our sincere feelings or when we use the word heedlessly and mean sensory impressions. It also tends to depress the other senses when we express ourselves. Just look in a daily newspaper and you find the inflation of the word. Impressions from the senses causes feelings. Impressions from the feelings are just one way of experiencing.

To put it another way, the prefix ‘syn-‘ means united, acting or considered together as in: synchronise. Maybe we instead of using the word feeling – ubiquitous – we should say ‘synfeeling’ when we recieve sensory impressions which lead to experiences…

So, in which contexts do I use ‘feelings’ and when do I use the rest of my senses to express my experiences?

Presupposition # 11 – To measure, or not to measure: that is the question

The prevailing norm when it comes to improvements or when setting targets is that they have to be measurable. “If you can’t measure – you can’t improve” is a statement most managers or consultants express. A question that comes to one’s mind is; where’s the origin of this presupposition? Most people doesn’t reflect upon it or question the presupposition. Of course it’s valid but to think that it’ll be valid everywhere is where it tends to be dangerous and sometimes also very wrong. One example: at the moment a giant industry; the event industry (which in this case is a wider and larger expression for the MICE-industry and also include educations) tries to find ways to measure the ROI on events. Why?

All people knows that an experience can’t be objective and if you measure things that are immeasureable, what it’s worth? Of course you can measure experiences however the result of such measures you can’t rely on in reality since unconcious processes in the human brain at the moment can’t be measured. As you notice, the last sentence which is absurd, summarise the issue in a good way.

So the questions one might pose to oneself before deciding to measure things is: “What’s the intention behind the measurement, What shall I use the results for & Can the results be valid at all?”.  Another way of describing the issue is the Swedish pop group The Cardigans’ song title “For what it’s worth”. The lyrics is about relations but the title is very valid in this case!

An end has a start… and it’s all about preparations

Most retirements or ends of careers are done by a speech or a press conference. Two fantastic athletes and great sportsmen and two persons who really have influenced their respective sports are Mats Sundin and Andre Agassi. Andre Agassi made a speech directly after his loss to Boris Beckers fellow countryman and namesake, Benjamin Becker in the third round of US Open in 2006.

Mats Sundin held a press conference late september 2009 when he announced his retirement. Please watch the different ways these two fantastic players decided to end their careers. Mats Sundin’s press conference is in Swedish although you can grasp the essence by watching the first minute and reflect upon his body language.

Do they have the same intentions with their speeches?

Why do you remember one ahead of the other?

Presentations

We meet more people than ever. We are in meetings more than ever. We present things more than ever. Albeit these facts there are probably no other area within organisations, where small changes can lead to huge improvements. Cause one thing is for sure; we don’t present better today than we did 50 years ago – although all technical aid we have!

One simple presupposition to start with is what has become a misinterpretation. We call Key Note, Powerpoint and similar programs for speaker aid. It isn’t. It is an aid for the audience to understand the messages the speaker has. If we all start by changing our vocabulary, our mindsets will also eventually change and we might not need to experience all detailed, busy slides with too much information, that we do every day in every organisation – all over the world.

So, what’s the main reason with my next presentation (to inform, to affect, to please)?

What’s the intention of the presentation?

How do I show that?

Presupposition # 10 – The Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome refers back to the robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in the centre of Stockholm. The event took place from August 23 to August 28 1973. The bank robbers held the bank employees hostage and the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day night mare. Since then it’s called the Stockholm Syndrom when the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker.

Wyatt Cenac from The Daily Show traveled in April 2009 to Stockholm to test the hypothesis of  “Sweden – the socialist nightmare” which was based on the presupposition (something tacitly assumed beforehand) that it’s difficult to live in Sweden. Watch the two episodes where he desparately seeks support for his presuppositions. During the first one he amongst others visits Scania Trucks and pop star Robyn’s place. In the second part he meets a former Swedish minister and Bjorn Ulvaeus from Abba.

Great reports and lots of fun.

Isomorphism # 4 – The Mantis Shrimp

It’s not the first time that the human race copy ingenious situations or cases from nature (e.g. velcro), but it’s probably the first time mankind borrow ideas from the mantis shrimp. The mantis shrimp lives on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and it has the most complex vision systems known to science. The eyes of the shrimp can help mankind to make better optical devices in the future using liquid crystals that have been chemically engineered to mimic the properties of the cells in the mantis shrimp’s eye.

Are there situations, cases or phenomenons in my ordinary life where I can mimic things from nature?

The Mantis Shrimp

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