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Power of creativity


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Scattered Roses
Writing posts is a sweet challenge. It has its ups and downs. More it is like riding waves you go up and thin sink. The challenge of writing is a self-renewing one because writers keep thinking of new ideas that are worthy of writing about.
An author who puts his/her mind in writing sees them as scattered roses. A new post floats and old down get scattered like roses on running water. The current carries them away.
For this reason I care to collect my posts in e-books so that they may be kept and if they get carried they do collectively. An e-book allows their linkages, staying together, seeing the linkages among the posts, their chronological order and how an idea blossoms into another idea. Their linkages become more evident.

I offer my juice of mind free for the interested reader.
I hope you find the juice to your taste

Published in: Business
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Power of creativity

  1. 1. The power of Creativity
  2. 2. 2 Managing Partner Phenomena Communications
  3. 3. 3 Dr. Ali Anani - Managing Partner Dr. Ali Anani : As General Manager, Dr. Ali Anani heads and supervises a team of talented young professionals, and manages the overall brand strategy - ensuring the cohesiveness and creative parts of each campaign for all Agency clients. Dr. Ali Anani holds a PhD from the UK (1972). He has a wide experience in many fields. His accomplishments include the writing of more than eighty publications in international journals, the writer of three printed books in Arabic and one E-book in English. He has written widely for the media and presented a TV program and many radio programs. Dr. Anani main credit is his creativity thinking where he scored among the top %5 creative people worldwide. Dr. Anani is an invited lecturer for more than fi y international conferences and an author of many business slogans. Moreover, he has travelled to more than fi y countries as an invited speaker and consultant and has consulted for many international agencies including UNIDO, Atomic Energy Agency, UNDP, ESCWA, private businesses and governmental agencies.
  4. 4. 4 index Balancing the Imbalanced Why Put People First? The Greenhouse Effect of Wrong Thinking Growth Cycles Everywhere Market and Social Penetration Reverse Roots of Thinking Unbending Relationships A Letter to a Reader Importing Opinions Show Me How You Write to Tell Who You Are Roasting the Beans of Ideas Throwing away Opportunities Appetite for Work Habits Risk Charts Pumping Creative Ideas To Be Active Is to Exist in a Tense State Chiral Imagination Cooking the Crooked Friend The Illusory wavy Trust Strategy- Is it a False Concept? Evolving Spinning Metaphors Playing with Opposites Ideas Light Bulbs New Concept for Creativity On Imagination, Creativity and Innovation We Go on Sailing Our Life To Sink with Pride Extending Our Senses The Power of Storytelling Our Search for Dynamic Metaphors 6 8 10 12 14 17 19 21 23 25 28 30 32 34 37 39 41 44 46 48 50 53 55 57 58 62 64 66 68 70
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  6. 6. 6 Balancing the Imbalanced One trend drops its shades on other trends. Fast food drops its shadow on fast eating. The problems of fast food transfer to the problems of eating fast and improper digestion. Fast information lead to the same issue with us unable to digest the info and we suffer from «Info indigestion». The problem of «fastness: are experienced in many ways in our lives: Fast growing trees Fast growing bodies
  7. 7. 7 Fast music and songs Fast publishing (as my case is) Fast economic growth Fast reactions (our reactions as well as the tendency of opting for faster chemical reactions) Fast reading Fast times (we want faster downloading, faster processors, faster capacities, …) And the list goes on We seem to forget the wisdom of if you want to go fast, go slowly. Or, the wisdom of fast come then shall go fast. Or, if you want to go fast then go alone. If we stop and ponder on the problems of doing things fast then we discover there are lessons to be shared. Afastgrowingeconomymayleadtounemployment-ifthisisaparadoxthenthejustifications are there. Increased inflation rates shall be experienced. The effects may extend to cause loose banking. Just consider the fast growth of trees and draw the necessary lessons. Fast- growingtreesmaysufferfromstructuralproblems;haveweakwoods,amenabletoattackby pests, invasive roots that block the growth of other plants and a myriad of other problems. Some trees will have weak branching structures causing whole sections of the trees simply splitting away from the trunk during winds or ice/snow events. It is the weakest point in a system that determines its strength. The loose banking sections in the fast-growing economy in a country might fall off like branches of trees do. Attention should always be exercised in fast growing economies to the weak points this fast growth creates. Disruptive surprises may emerge if this fact is ignored. One sure thing is that some trees intoxicate the soil by excreting toxic chemicals. It is what I call the «poisonous greed «of fast growth. Farmers learnt their lesson in that they balance the planting fast-growing trees along with slow-growing ones. They benefit from the fast growth in few ways such as providing shadow for the slow-moving ones. Once the slow growing trees mature then the farmers might reduce the number of fast-growing ones. Farmers plan fast growth for a purpose. Fast chemical reactions admixed with slow ones give different results. «Fireworks» is a clear example of what I mean and serves as a beautiful metaphor. It is rapid volume of production in both fireworks and economy. In fireworks, the solid material turns into voluminous gases rapidly. If «fireworks» have different solid materials that produce gases at different rates then we have different rates of gas production. This variety in producing the expansive gas makes air molecules vibrate at different rates and hearing different sounds accordingly. However; if only fast burning solids are used we don›t hear interesting sounds; rather we hear explosions. It is indifferent to growing fast growing trees with slow growing ones to attain balance. Musicians know that mixing fast and slow music may give better music. Manufacturers of wind turbines know that slow wind will not generate power; however very fast winds will break the wind turbines. It is balancing the imbalanced systems that we seek for all the times. What prompted me to write this post? A friend of mine wrote to me asking me to «slow down» on posting. I know I should, but, as I am nearing my life span I feel it is my duty to share what I know. If the pace of publishing is too fast then I may slow it down by compiling my posts in E-books. Yesterday, I compiled many of my latest posts in an e-book titled «Self Illumination». I only hope you find it illuminating.
  8. 8. 8 Why Put People First? Profit before people is amazingly a distorted concept. It reflected distorted images and blurred ones too. A business makes profit by selling to people. It doesn›t sell to animals or trees. People are the source of revenue and profit and yet some businesses dare to put profit before people. They make the shadow more important than the origin. This is not a reversible action and is soundless and meaningless because it is unreal. People tend to pay for the delight of helping others. Non-profit organizations live on mostly individual donations. There is delight in helping others and high enough to offset the pain of giving money for free. People in general get delight in serving a human cause and alleviating misery of others. I wonder if those people who find delight in helping others are the most hurtled ones to find out they have been robbed by buying an inferior product or service. What makes them delightful to donate shall also make them feel infuriated if bluffed. This works on all levels. If I write a post with a title that has nothing to relate to its content, what do I expect? Readers shall feel painful, disrespected, cheated and possibly raged.What would be their reaction? I expect next time they see my name they shall simply ignore my post. Would their behavior be different to buying irrelevant products or low- quality service? Tobecheatedtheremustbeacheater.Thecheatedpartylikeawifewillloseself-confidence, self-esteem, and self-trust and shall be suspicious of all men. The build-up of negative feelings might reach devastating levels. But how about the cheater and what would be his
  9. 9. 9 reaction? The husband who cheats shall lose the feeling of guilt soon it becomes a norm to cheat.To continue doing the wrong things the husband might say to himself that having sex with others improved my sex life with wife. The paradox here is that the husband justifies his wrong acts by attaching them to goodwill. Businesses that care for profits before people might find similar justification. Employees might even be negatively influenced by saying let us form below standard so that our productivity shall be less and the management shall have to recruit more people. This is great because it reduces unemployment. This behavior of tagging an evil act to a good outcome shall spread and turn values upside down. Genuine caring for people and their feelings does not allow room for cheating them. Filling the cup to the brim with love leaves no room for cheating, lying or misbehaving. Love for people leads to positive actions. Filling the cup with %50 love and %50 with negative feelings is simply a formula for negative actions. Love and hate (or whatever the opposite of love is) is like filling the cup with oil and water and they don›t mix. Oil molecules will stick together because of their bonding to each other and shall float. So, will water molecule will do. No matter how long you shake them the oil layers shall stay on top and water layers below. It is a permanent segregation. It is the illusion that makes some businesses think that by cheating they win customers and shall be able to keep them. This happens when %75 of business ideas come from customers and segregating customers will deprive the concerned business with its main inflow of ideas. We add detergent to remove oily spots from cooking dishes. The reason is that the detergent bonds with both the oil and water and this way oil is removed by the detergent into water. Businesses need to do the same by removing the sticky oily impressions of customers to keep their «reputation dishes» clean. But it is much easier to have transparent and clean water without the sticky oil, if at all possible. Bad reputation sticks. Businesses that don›t care for their reputation shall not care for their customers. It is unfortunatethatbusinessesshowprofitandlossstatementsleavingoutthemostimportant one: the profit of keeping people first and the losses if they don›t do, including the cost of not attracting ideas from customers. Just make a quick scan of companies who lost their reputation for selling a faulty product and what happened to them. Recently, I paid abut USD (300) as a fine of cancelling my internet subscription.The cost of enduring a bad service proved to be much more expensive. IdedicatethisposttomydearfriendSteveChapmanwhomadesomanyfragrantcomments onmyposts.
  10. 10. 10 The Greenhouse Effect of Wrong Thinking One of the greatest ways to creativity is rearrangement. Self-organizing teams are a way of rearranging selves so that a new and resilient structure emerges. Molecules rearrange to accelerate reactions and to have greater structural flexibility and to accommodate more efficiently their spaces. There are aspirations and questions that are attached to them that may be subject to rearrangement. For example, we work to better our products. So, if we produce better products we shall be happy and if we fail we shall be disappointed. This is a dead-end approach. How about rearranging the question from are we in the business of making better products to are we making better things? The scope is much larger one and the center of gravity has moved from focusing blindly on what we currently do to what we should be doing. This small rearrangement of the question creates new possibilities, new thinking, and new ideas and could lead to big wise changes from small actions. Just extend this concept to changing the question of are we in the business of making better profits to are we in the business of making better thing? Focusing attention on profits may lead to dishonesty, cheating, selling inferior products, disconcert for the environment and lots of hidden costs that don›t show on the profit-loss statements. Selling expired products
  11. 11. 11 makes profit, but is this the best thing to do?We could think differently by asking how to do better things? Examples include: how to extend the shelf life of our products? How to keep the environment clean? How to package our products more tightly? How to improve our distribution so that we supply fewer quantities to low-selling zones? It is by serving noble goals that we may produce saleable products and profits may increase accordingly. Limiting our sight to short-term profits shall stress us, make us unhappy and it is the feelings of unhappiness that we shall extend to customers. Make things better for people and profits shall come. Be immersed in grand goals that serve people and enhance their delight while reducing their pain if streams of profits are to continue. It is these small changes in asking questions that create clean profits and the profit-loss statements shall be closer to reality. That is why putting profits before people is a constraining and stressing approach whereas rearranging it to people before profit is relaxing and leads to creative solutions and offers. We complain about polluting the environment. We experience the negative impacts of pollution. For example, we experience the effects of the resulting acidic rain on crops, the elevation of average temperatures, and the negative environmental impact on our health. This is because of the short-term approach to profits that we end up not doing better things, but in making better profits. But worse is the hidden cost of planting the seeds that profits come first. This is what I call «The Greenhouse Effect of Wrong Thinking». Thinking leads to actions and wrong thinking pollutes the environment because of the wrong actions it leads to. We need to eradicate the pollution and greenhouse effect of distorted paradigms. We might be blind to them, but surely not to their toxic shadowing effect. Industry pollutes the environment, and our wrong thinking pollutes many more minds and soon things shall go out of control. Lasting happiness and self-fulfillment are doing the better things. Transient happiness is doing things better to realize quick profits. Profits that hide the negative impacts on the short term are not profits. Whose profit is it? Few owners on the expense of society and soon few people shall own the maximum. When the growth of profits for the few grow rapidly they shall reach their extreme and beyond the holding capacity of the happy few. What comes next is eruption so that new rearrangements may appear. The acidic rain on the brain shall invite for extreme thinking that would disrupt the status quo. As Mark Hamon wrote to me «As always Ali Anani, PhD it›s a pleasure to read your insightful articles. I picked up on your comment: «The biggest non-secret ever may be personal happiness comes from within. Many may never find this understanding and will findthemselvesgoingincircleschasingatailthatcanneverbecaught.»«Happilyachieving» is better than «achieving to be happy» because the later is a flawed concept of chasing our tails until we meet a certain level in life. «Happily achieving» is better than «achieving to be happy» - what a great insight this is! Isn›t this another great example of rearranging our thinking so that new insights might emerge? I dedicate this post to dear Mark Hamon for his comments and private messages prompted me to write this post. His philosophy in life resonates so well with me.
  12. 12. 12 Growth Cycles Everywhere There are so many types of growth that go in cycles. We have the capacity growth cycles, businessgrowthcycles,learninggrowthcycles,braingrowthcycles,societalcycles,adaptive cycles, money cycles, working capital cycles, life cycles and many more examples.There are also short-term, medium terms and long-term cycles co-existing. Are these cycles coupled? Probing into different cycles shall reveal many facts. Let me start with the brain cycles and the scientific discoveries that may shed light on other cycles as well. In the valuable post titled «Growth Cycles of Brain and Mind», by Kurt W. Fischer and Samuel P. Rose, there are some startling facts. This post argues against the growth of learning as a consequential or ladder steps profile. They find that both the growth of mind and learning are coupled and go in cycles that once completed jump to new developmental levels. The capacity of mind and the capacity to learn develop together and the mind developmental contours are inseparable of learning development. So, the understanding of one cycle helps in understanding the other and, more importantly, their connectedness. One great finding is that when a new developmental level emerges, optimal performance shows discontinuous change, reflected in growth spurts and reorganizations. At higher levels, branching of the «roots» of learning, skill development and the like is experienced like roots of trees bifurcating in two or more directions. At every level the mind goes into four tiers of activities, which are: Reflexives, Actions, Representations and Abstractions. So, there are two cycles: one short-term cycle that develops levels and long-term cycles
  13. 13. 13 involving the four actions. Cycles develop so that one cycle is for the development of new forms of action and thought and a second cycle for the development of specific skill levels. The brain builds neuron network to support the levels we are in. These findings require us to reconsider many of our theories.To give one example, teams go infourstages:Forming,Storming,NormingandPerforming.The«MindofTeams»growsand the team mind develops levels of performance and within each level the team undergoes four actions.The growth cycle of teams is not a ladder-type one; it is more of a development which is more variable and flexible and shows complex, dynamic patterns of change with many of the properties described by mathematical theories of complexity, chaos, and catastrophe. Teams are even more complex as each member grows at different rates than other team members. At all stages we shall have different levels co-exist and accordingly different actions. It is not a linear growth skills may bifurcate into different directions. We need the «Mind of the Team» to develop the neuron structure that is supportive of the development of skills. It is not enough to grow skills without expecting sudden bursts of their development. Building skills needs building the brains to support the appropriate actions based on the newly-acquired skills. If teams are learning bodies then are aren›t different from children who develop skills at different levels and with repeated cycles of actions at each level. Developing skills and developing brains take time to reach their top level performance. We needtoallowenoughtimeforteamstodevelopandforlong-termcyclestoemerge.Shortlife spans of teams may not allow for the emergence of long-term cycles and the reinforcement they get from the corresponding short-time cycles. We may need to reconsider the lifetime of teams by extending them to longer life spans. Living organizations are learning ones. The more they learn, develop skills and acquire knowledge the higher levels they shall reach. It is when they reach those upper levels that bifurcation takes them into different directions. But not all skills shall be learnt at equal level. We shall always have skills occupying different levels. This variety may add to the resilience capacity of organizations. Those members occupying higher levels may extend help to those members occupying lower skills levels. I wonder if the cycles of growth and learning may coil as a snake coils itself up a tree. Does cycling lead us to be self-reinforcing to climb the tree of success as well? One cycle shall not do it alone. It is the presence of flexible and resilient cycles that enable us to move up faster. Brainy organizations need to emulate the brain. They need to allow growth to take cycles similar to those of our brains. When we pollute the mind with greed and allow for people at higher monetary levels to act differently from those occupying lower levels societies shall grow with much less efficiency.Therefore, I find the work of Neil Raymond Sperling on Thrivalism worthy of great considerations.“We need to stop making such a huge deal about manufacturing «things» and we have to start making a big deal about building character. Build a new man from the inside out. No longer running from who we are inside» and I agree. This is the way to our self-reinforcing.
  14. 14. 14 MarketandSocialPenetration Business growth may go in stages as shown in the figure below. It must be noted that these stages need not be separate and may overlap. Of particular interest for this post is the first stage (first dung on the ladder), which is market and social penetration. I added social penetration because this is of growing importance. The first step if correct makes life much easier for any business and hence this post is devoted to the study of market and social penetration. InordertocreativelyaddnewideasanddimensionstothestudyofpenetrationIambuilding
  15. 15. 15 ontheuseoftwometaphors:thesocialonionmetaphorandtheplantrootsmetaphor. Social Penetration: Social penetration is perhaps best known for its onion analogy. Personality is like a multi- layered onion with public self on the outer layer and private self at the core. The closer we are to the core, the greater social penetration shall be. Onions have roots and roots penetrate and spread. Are the roots of onion suitable as a metaphor for market penetration? Or, other type of roots may offer new insights so as to get to the core and not stay on the outside layer? Penetration of Roots: The root onions are all tangled up. Onion roots develop pink color either at the seedling stage or mature onion. The differences in growth habits of the root and the shoot result from their fundamentally different roles in acquisition of resources for the plant.1The shoot grows in air practically unhindered by any physical obstruction, except for competition with neighboring plants, primarily to fix carbon via photosynthesis. The root grows in the soil to obtain mineral nutrients and water, and also to provide firm anchorage to the plant.2 Social penetration is analogous to the shoot penetration whereas market penetration is closer to the penetration of roots in the soil. The roots have many more obstacles to face so as to penetrate the soil. It is interesting if we could learn from the penetration of the roots of onion and other plants how to penetrate markets. Onewayofpenetratingtosoilarerootstogroweitherwiththegravity(gravitropism) or to grow at a skewed angle referred to as plagiotropism? Some plants roots have sensory cells at the root cap to sense obstacles and to help the plant circumvent obstacles to its soil penetration. The cells of the root cap are in a dynamic state of flux as the root cap continually sheds these cells and replaces them with new ones, to make a smooth passage through the soil. Sensing is a continuous activity and market penetration is indifferent. The
  16. 16. 16 «soil of marketing» is like the soil for plants and as composition and texture varies. The cells of root cap secrete mucilage which lubricates the passage of root through the soil. Therootsthendoadoublefunction:tosensetheunderlyingobstaclesandtolubricatethem so as the roots may penetrate the soil. Finding the obstacles is one thing; «lubricating» them is another. Roots modify themselves to carry out some special functions. Some tap roots are fleshy to store food. They act as a reservoir for «dried-up» times. Marketing penetration is equally likely to go through such hardships. Some roots penetrate the soil by enriching it. These roots bear small nodule like swellings. The root nodules contain nitrogen fixing bacteria. These bacteria convert free atmospheric nitrogen into organic compounds of nitrogen and thus increasing the fertility of the soil. Marketpenetrationmayconsider«enriching»thesoilofmarketingusingsimilarapproaches. When roots are fibrous they stay close to the surface and form clusters. Small businesses that are unable to go deep in soil may consider forming clusters as well. It is very important that market penetration has the rightly-structured «roots» to cope with its challenges in penetrating the soil of marketing. It is amazing how some plants found creative ways to do that. One astonishing fact is the Tanada effect. The Tanada effect refers to the adhesion of root tips to glass surfaces. Root tips stick to glass surfaces because they acquire a positive electrostatic charge from exposure to red light. It was found that the electric charge is generated by the trace element boron. The glass has a negative charge because it has the phosphate ions. Opposite charges attract. The roots may act this way as means of penetration using subtle methods in initiating attraction. Market penetration is a creative game. It needs to penetrate through attractions. The use of text mining in extracting negative and positive segments may help finding boron-like attractions to enhance both social and marketing penetrations. I am very glad that this post inspired dear Rod King, Ph.D. to develop the image below, which is self-explanatory. I thank dear Rod for permitting me to incorporate this image in the post. I hope you find the presentation below to reinforce your understanding of this post.
  17. 17. 17 Reverse Roots of Thinking I expressed many times the value of reverse thinking. It is as important as wind reverses its direction. Thinking in one direction can be dangerous. It assumes linear thinking when life isn›t so. I tend to think that we produce more ideas if we develop «zones of thinking» with fuzzy borders. One way is thinking in reverse so that new ideas may emerge. If reversing direction a natural process? Does it offer any advantages? Are there examples of reversing direction? The answer is yes. And we begin our journey of finding answers to these questions. Ideas are like roots of plants they start small and then grow. Roots may go deep in soil or may prefer to extend horizontally at shallow depths. The roots serve three major functions. These are: to affix the plant to a substrate, (2) to absorb water and dissolved minerals, and (3) to store food reserves.We may think similarly when we produce ideas.We want the ideas to grow their roots by anchoring them to a solid idea and then we need them to grow by absorbing new ideas, approaches, examples and suggestions. If the idea is a living body then it must grow. The question becomes why do plants generate aerial roots- roots that grow in the air
  18. 18. 18 instead of the soil? Why do these roots grow either downwards towards the soil or upwards away from it? When we develop «airy ideas» do they have their roots hanging in the air? Like aerial roots they anchor to a wall, another plant to help them grow. Aerial ideas shall need to decide to which direction to grow- towards the ground or away from it. They need to attach to a solid believer first and to have the ability to get support from unusual sources like aerial roots, which absorb water directly from the humid air. Unusual ideas need unusual resources. This is the challenge and destiny of pioneer thinkers. Those pioneers might benefit from the adaptive strategies of some orchids.The roots of those orchids have a white spongy material that prevents water loss. However; when the orchids find a source of water they stop produce the sponge in the parts of the plant that absorbs water. When we come with radical ideas that don›t sound familiar it would be best to expose them only once a source of «watery support» is identified. Aerial roots display some very vicious behaviors. A seed of the strangler fig tree is sufficient to grow and commit crimes. Once the seed grown the fig tree develops aerial roots that grown downwards and meanwhile thickening and tightening their grip on the trunk of the host tree till it dies. How many of us have been suffocated by an idea that seemed innocent only to tighten the grips on our minds? Aerial plants have discovered the value of Blue Ocean Strategy before we did. Plants living upon plants like the strangler tree do so to avoid the crowded space on the ground. They moved to a new space (air) to grow and once their root become strong they can force their way back to the ground. They compete when they have the muscles to do so. Growing a unique idea might require «flying it up in the air» till it gets strong away from competition. Only when it has enough strength we bring it down to the ground. Humans are now growing business in the air. Cloud storage is one example of emerging ideas that have aerial roots. Jenna Stone shared a beautiful post as is shown in the image below. I wonder what she would say to roots hanging in the air and not below the ground!
  19. 19. 19 Unbending Relationships Just look at the image below and see how the tree after bending it tends to grow almost vertically. Likewise; look at a tree on a slope and see how it grows vertically and not with the slope. The tree senses gravity and grows accordingly. Do relationships grow in a similar fashion? The tree has roots that grow downward with gravity and the trunk growing upward against gravity. Two opposing forces that co-exist in harmony and make the trees live long lives. Even though the roots and trunks grow in opposite directions; still the trees live in harmony because they «understand» their differences. Building and growing relationship and friendship are not different. They need to have a «rooted» structure in the soil and then a solid trunk to build on. We build friendship with customers and the stronger this friendship is, the longer the relation shall stay. A great comment that dear friend Edward Lewellen wrote on Reena Saxena post recently is so eloquent that I copy and paste it here.The comment says « Dear Reena,V.S. Ramachandran, world famous neuroscientist from San Diego University, says that the invention of the newer technology used by neuroscience has revealed that humans go beyond just the intellectual and emotional connections with others. He states, ‹we now know that there is an underlying element that connects us all.› I have observed that all humans feel others to some degree. Those who allow their «intuition» to be nurtured feel others more. This is beyond body language, eye movement, and the teachings of corporations who attempt to create a
  20. 20. 20 algorithmic process from something that is heuristic. The next step in the relationship is about intent. This is where questions can be important. Do the people ask questions with the intent of eliciting gain from the other? Or, are the questions to elicit information to build a foundation for a long-term relationship? As long as the relationship is put before any personal gain from either side, then it can grow to the extent both parties allow it. An example is Ali Anani, PhD and myself have a strong relationship even though we have never met. We have mutual respect, even though we don›t always agree. We have yet to find anything that separates us, even though we come from very different backgrounds. Why? It is our intent and desire to continue to build the relationship. What Edward Lewellenis saying is that we need first to feel others and allowing intuition to work gravity is the basis for starting a lasting relationship. I find this ideas very sound. Is it different from trees? The answer is no. The roots feel or sense their way by using different mechanisms so as to avoid obstacles such as rocks that would inhibit the growth of roots. Building friendship requires us to probe the feelings of others to avoid obstacles preventing the growth of the roots of friendship. Having established a solid root sensing, it is important also that the architecture of the roots be considered. The architecture determines how efficiently a plant can capture water and nutrients from the soil. The roots of friendship or strong relationship should have root tips as the roots of trees have. The process of exploring the soil depends on the behavior of large numbers of individual root tips at different orders of branching. Each root tip is equipped with a battery of sensory mechanisms that enable it to respond to a range of environmental signals, including nutrients, water potential, light, gravity and touch. Having «senses» for others to attend for different needs will ensure that the friendship shall grow healthily. It is not a one-time feeling; it is a multi-probing of feelings that shall strengthen the roots of any friendship. I agree fully with what Dr. Edward Lewelln highlighted in his post «As long as the relationship is put before any personal gain from either side, then it can grow to the extent both parties allow it». The roots sense the soil to help the plant and not for their own interest. It is the opposite. Two people who enrich the soil with their knowledge, expertise and culture will make it easier for the roots to sense the available food and make the tree of friendship grow healthier. If you want to develop relationship with customers build genuine sensors of their feelings first.
  21. 21. 21 A Letter to a Reader One of the faithful readers of my posts sent me a message asking if I have any secret dealings with the Put People First Group because I wrote few posts about them.The reader repeated twice that he expected an honest answer from me. I affirm first that I promoted the concept of people first. I even changed «what is in it for me?» to «what is in it for people?» What benefits people stay; what harms them shall disappear like froth. Before I reveal how and what I answered my friend I need to highlight few points. Honesty is hard won; easy lost. It takes time for people to think of a person as an honest one, but very easy to decapitate this honesty. If one loses his reputation as an honest person this person has much to lose. Just watch the video below to see the effect of honesty has on people and businesses. You can›t afford to lose one point on a scale of honesty. It has terrible effects. For example, if you buy a car from a car dealer and you rate him ten on a scale of ten then the likelihood that you would recommend this dealer to your friend is %79. However; if this evaluation drops to 9 down from 10 the likelihood you would recommend the dealer drops to %14. Honesty has a butterfly effect wherein a little drop in honesty causes huge negative repercussions. It is either you are honest or not. It is interesting what the American proverb says «Honesty is like icicle; if once it melts that is the end of it». This is very true. Just look at the image below and how beautiful the icicles are!
  22. 22. 22 If they melt and freeze the melt again the same icicles shall never be back. But there is still a missing part.What if the icicles are dirty and once they melt they drop on an expensive mat and stain it. The cost is higher and the loss of the mat might be greater if it has memories attached to it. Dishonesty does the same. It is more like dirty and staining icicles melting and dirtying the reputation of a person and staining it forever. Honesty means trust and without trust people›s reputation becomes like rust. I have discussed this in one of my presentations. We experience this on LinkedIn. If somebody requests to connect with you without having a picture and/or recommendations from honest people whom we trust then we might feel the request is fake and most likely we shall reject the request. Any question mark on honestly will lead to negative responses. Honesty means trusting people and trust only comes if at least four pillar elements are satisfied. These are: sincerity, willingness, competence and reliability. Honesty means reliability, willingness to work with, and sincerity. Three major components of trust shall be missing in the absence of honesty. Again, it is too costly to be dishonest. So, in view of above facts I guess you figured out my response to the leader.To say that I was not approached to join formally the Put People First (or, People-before-Profit) is dishonesty. I chose not to for many reasons. One main reason is I like to be a free person and I don›t wish to confine myself to rules. If the need arises and I have to criticize I can still do it freely. In fact, I have had no direct conversations on phone or video with any member of the group. I defended the concept of people first and still do so. However; I did this upon my own choice. I did not work for the group or got paid. I say this loudly and in public because I am perfectly honest. As a matter of fact, I pulled out from the speakers› list few days ago for different reasons. That was the only formal attachment I have had.
  23. 23. 23 Importing Opinions My last post on «A Message to a Leader» brought few comments urging me not to care for the opinions of others. In contrast, few comments valued my stand in responding to the opinion of others. These comments drove me to inspect what are the overall impressions about opinions. In majority, quotes on opinions are negative ones in the sense that they reflect negative attitudes. Just Google for «opinions are like» and you shall find so many negative quotes. This issue isn›t trivial as when we comment on posts we also may express opinions. If opinions are lowly-graded then why comment? We always say «in my opinion» and we made it sound like onion with pi added after the first O letter. I found myself saying «opinions are like onions». Is that true? Or, is it our bias that we made them sound so? Are opinions the products of their environment as fruits are? Exotic fruits appear in different certain environments and may be also exotic opinion formulate in similar environments? Asian fruits are different from fruit produce in the Amazon. «Opinion fruits»mayalsoappearindifferentcultures.Havingdifferentopinionsislikehavingdifferent fruits and not all may be to some peoples› tastes, but agreeable to others. Do opinions and fruits have commonalities? May be a good start is considering the Durian fruit, known also as «The King of Fruits». Are there opinions that may be considered as «The King of Opinions»? For a comment to qualify for this status they have to satisfy the characteristics of the Durian fruit. These opinions will take years to come to fruition, require unique mental conditions and may look thorny from outside, but are great from inside. Appearances of great opinions might be offensive from the outside, but their inner
  24. 24. 24 values are worthy and should appear after patience times. It is our tendency to make fast judgments might lead us to discard opinion for their low and immediate facial values. This is reflected in although boiled seeds of the Durian fruits can be eaten safely, many people discard them. We may discard some opinions even though they are nice and describe them as bad in the process. Durian fruits are high in energy, vitamins and minerals. Likewise; some opinions are rich in stimulating ideas and energizing the mind. I am writing this post because of expressive comments that carried the fruits of opinion. The fruit is soft, easily digestible and is free of harmful ingredients. Some opinions are easily digestible and they are filled with safe intentions and yet we ignore them or even discard them for no good reason. Wemightbelivinginclimatesthataren›tpermissibletogrowcertainexoticfruits.Weimport them.Why not then import exotic opinions and use them wisely?We are on LinkedIn doing that by exchanging opinions across the world. Opinions depend on where they come from and what their seeds shall produce. Great ideas coming from specific environments might not grow. This doesn›t mean they are useless; it just means they aren›t in the right space to produce. We use some trees not for their beauty, but as a source of wood. There are opinions of different colors, but we don›t build on the joy they provide us; instead we abuse them by using them as a source of wood. One example is the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. We need beautifying opinions to relax us instead of abusing them. The fruits of some plants such as Cannonball Tree are so heavy and they kill if they hit somebody while falling from the trees. Some opinions are so «heavy» and they fall on us to kill us. The way we express opinions and the tone of them might kill the intended intention of offering them. This could be one reason why we hate opinions. There are fruits that have opposite names such as Sweet Apple and Sour Apple. It is upon us and our tone of expressing our opinions to make them taste sweet or sour. As we have The Brix Number for measuring the sweetness of fruits. We may be in need for developing the Brix Number for comments. I fully concur with the great comment Magdalena-Maria GROSU wrote on my last post «Honesty involves being prepared to hear and say things that make you uncomfortable with respect». I couldn›t say it better.
  25. 25. 25 Show Me How You Write to Tell Who You Are Writing a post or a comment reflects heavily on the author. I may derive several indicators from the style and content of writing. Quality writing has a high readability score and authors with certain characteristics achieve that. Clear Writing equals to clear understanding of subject High readability texts come from authors who care for their readers. Focused authors don›t sideline important issues Good authors avoid using passive verbs often Good authors avoid using week verbs «Soft writing» calls for using easy words Good authors avoid using double negatives (such as: don›t forget not to speak while eating). Good authors don›t confuse their readers. To clarify above points, I selected the comment of Debasish Majumder on my previous post on «Importing Opinions». Being a faithful reader of my posts it is my acknowledgement for
  26. 26. 26 him. The comment reads as follows (with minor corrections such as replacing a small letter with a capital one). Lovely post sir. Precisely the example of cannon ball tree! Opinion could be fatal too, as it may transform or navigate one to a direction, what he may not intend for. So the external condition or force play a significant role to us, as, unlike tree, we are human and social beings, and our act or vision, as well opinion can make impact to others too, as their opinion may impact us. Instead of consuming fruits, we can appear as fruits to others too, and we equally seldom heed to our approach or appeal towards others.We are prone to act according to our approach and whims and vision. How many times we ponder about our renditions and how it is going to impact others? However, lovely thought provoking post sir. Enjoyed reading. Thank you very much for sharing the post. Quality of the Comment There is much software available to measure the quality of writing. yourWinWord software has one under the review section. Let us review the results: The comment has %0 passive words. He writes what he knows confidently. He takes accountability for what he writes. The Flesh Reading Ease (higher is better) is in the opposite of the Flesh-Kincaid Grade level (lower value is better). The value of 67.1 is average. The Flesh-Kincaid means 7th grade students can understand it. The comment is easy to understand. Going further in the analysis shows the count of word length breakdown. Readers prefer simple words with few syllables rather than complicated ones. There is also the Lexical Density Test. The lower the density, the more the readability of the text is. Density values around %50 -%40 are great. The comment has a value of about %60. There is room for improvement.
  27. 27. 27 There is a visual and advanced method of measuring the readability of texts by using the Raygor Graph. The graph below is of Debasish›s comment The art of simple writing takes effort. The art of writing is re-writing. I still need to improve thispost.ThescreenshotfromStyleWritersoftwareshowsareasofstrengthandweaknesses. Visually, I know what to improve.
  28. 28. 28 Roasting the Beans of Ideas Two of my female university students walked in my office complaining about their grades in the mid-term exam. One of them surprised me that even she got an A grade and was still complaining. She later explained this paradox by saying «I studied four hours only and got A. My friend studied for twenty hours and got C. This is unfair». Pondering on the story brings back the question: which is more important the process or the end product? To answer it I found that the roasting of coffee beans makes a fitting metaphor. Fresh ideas are the green coffee beans. These beans are spongy to the bite and are devoid of aroma. Roasting coffee beans brings out the aroma that is locked in the beans. Roasting sets the aroma free. The processing of coffee beans is both an art and science. It takes long times to decide when to stop roasting the beans. Few seconds can make a huge difference between a good roast and a bad one. The end product may vary in four categories. These are: light roasts, medium roasts, medium dark roasts and dark roasts to cater for the tastes of customers.The video below shows what goes inside a commercial coffee beans roaster. You have raw ideas and you need to roast them. You have different units (beans) and you need to roast them to get the flavor out of these units. You need to experiment to get the right product(s). Here is the paradox: you need an appealing product for the customer without scarifying the need to learn and improve the process. Understanding this paradox is of prime importance. If we focus our attention on the product we may become «Product Blind». Kodak got this blindness by focusing on digital cameras and improving the process of making them. They ignored that they needed different idea beans to process to make an
  29. 29. 29 entirely new electronic camera. Focusing on a product might stress us. Stressed mind may perform below their normal level. We encounter many similar situations in the course of our lives. Imagine you are on a diet and you are resisting the temptation of eating food that you love eating. You have worries that you shouldn›t eat it. Your obsession by fear gaining weight has already taken away the aroma of the beans. You have over-roasted them. The end result could be eating the lousy roasted food and gaining weight. The feeling of guilt may stay inside you and feelings of regret pile up. The process of roasting is wrong. The output is wrong. Two wrongs don›t make them right. Let us go back to the female students to elaborate more on their story.The student who got C grade stressed herself for fear she wouldn›t do well at the exam. This fear overwhelmed her and distracted her from noticing that she over-roasted the beans. By the time she realized she did that the beans were already burnt. The wrong output stressed her even further. Now, she had to do better in the next exam, but starting with a lower quality beans. She was stressed to observe the roasting process (study process). This is a big dilemma that we encounter in our lives. The wrong output negatively feedback on next trials making both the process and output worse than before.We need to accept that we learn by relaxed experimenting if we are to move forward. I hope you enjoy roasting your ideas.
  30. 30. 30 Throwing away Opportunities Digesting food, digesting lessons and digesting work share many common attributes that are worthy of detecting. They share similar roots. Imagine this scenario. A farmer is adding the seeds of a marketable produce. The farmer is worried that the wind might blow off his crop. He is working, but doubts cloud his mind. A second scenario- a student is studying hard for his exams. He is worried if he can pass the exam.The student suffers from stress of bad expectations. In both scenarios the farmer and the student shall suffer from stressful anxiety. They both may lose their appetite to eat. Loss of appetite and incomplete digestion of food cause constipation, bloating and other problems. Anxiety depletes the stored sugar in our bodies and this in turn further complicates the digestion process. The trouble in the digestive sub- system extends to other body sub-systems. Focusing our attention on the output has other negative consequences. We bond to each other and to our goals like a paint bonds a substrate. The strength of bonding depends on twofactors:thecohesionofthepaintanditsadhesionpowertothesubstrate. Stressreduces the cohesion of a person like it reduces the cohesion of paint to a substrate. Stressed paint may develop small voids, which promote the formation of more voids. When these voids connect they form a crack, which develops fast leading to the fracture of paints. Stressed people may behave similarly and crack.
  31. 31. 31 When we set goals such as volume sales to reach few million dollars in three months the goal may turn into a stressor. We become like the farmer who worries if the wind would blow off his crop. Instead of focusing his attention on improving the processes of soil preparation, the selection of quality seeds and how best to distribute them in the soil to learn, his attention turns to issues beyond his control. Who can control the blowing wind? Trying to control the uncontrollable causes stress and all the consequences I discussed earlier. Following this approach will weaken the cohesion of employees and cracking them eventually. Organizations die because of self-fracturing. There is a hidden cost as well. When organizations focus their attention on profits by making certain products they might get better products, which have high-value value than what they are currently selling. I experienced this when I was doing my post-graduate research. I needed to prepare a known compound, but I kept getting different ones. Only later I discovered that I got different compounds that have higher values than the intended one. Small changes in the synthesis procedure opened the eyes to new phenomena and a simpler procedure for preparing commercially-known compounds. The blindness of focusing on outputs might lead us to throwing huge opportunities away.
  32. 32. 32 Appetite for Work We lose our appetite for food for different reasons. Are these reasons extensible to our appetite to work? What lessons may we draw from this analogy?This post builds on my two previous posts (this and this) to conclude appropriate lessons. We mainly lose appetite for food when we get sick. This is for a reason. Losing appetite during these periods allow our bodies to pool its energy to fight off sickness. We also lose our appetite when we lose the sensory to smell food. Good smells increase our appetite to eat. One other main reason is, goodness no, is when a person suffers from cancer. Fatigue may also lead to losing our appetite for eating. Fatigue is a term used to describe feelings of tiredness, drowsiness, and lack of energy. Fatigue is thus the symptom of a disease that should be treated. Loss of appetite is in most cases temporary. One example, fatigue in the early periods of pregnancy. Many pregnant women lose their appetite during the early months of pregnancy.This fact makes me wonder if organizations that are «pregnant» with many new ideas would lose temporarily their appetite to work. It is then only natural that creative organization may feel fatigue for a while, but only to deliver months later new products and services. Chronic diseases may call for using drugs that cause loss of appetite. Cancer in which cells
  33. 33. 33 divide and grow rapidly may lead to chronic loss of appetite. Are organizations who seek escalating profits different? Organizations those are greedy for increasing profits. Greed means the desire to acquire more profits, with the simultaneity that quick profit schemes may be cancerous. This is going to lead only to organizations suffering from fatigue and employees equally suffering of the same. Greed leads to the loss of appetite to go to work. The paradox here is that those organizations drive for increased profits when they deprive their employees from their appetites to work! Profits come in the future and being obsessed by them only leads to not enjoying the present times. Greed asks for accelerating rates of making profits. Let me show by example. Profits of %10 annually will double in 10/72, which equals 7.2 years (this is in keeping with the Rule of 72).If a company wishes to make the annual profit %20 then it shall double its profits in 20/72, which equals to 3.6 years. If the profits are one million dollar today they shall mount to two million dollars after 3.2 years. Why not increase the profit percentage and shorten the time period? Greed creeps in with all its fatigue symptoms. Greed initiates the desire to acquire on the expense of the consumer and thus a vicious cycle initiates. Rapid growth schemes or «cancerous profit-growing schemes» leave the consumer and employees devoid of their appetite to work and consume. You shall find relevant slides in the presentation below on how to use the Rule of 72 to double your experience CityVP Manjit wrote a great comment on my last post «Throwing away Opportunities», in which he wrote «The CEO that rose to greatness on the low hanging fruit and whose tenure is written for the ages, now leaves the stage just as their cycle of success is ending - when we enter stage right on a play that is in its downturn, the opportunity is no longer ripe, no longer vital - it is like buying the farmer whose land has lost its vitality but we have rushed and not done our due diligence - anytime we arrive too late, the opportunity will sour quickly». This great comment prompted the writing of this post.
  34. 34. 34 Habits Risk Charts Habits have their stories and I share two stories on how to build habits. My kids were not in favor of eating fruits. No matter how hard I tried to instill this habit in them they resisted eating fruits. It was obvious I needed a different approach to build (grow) the habit in them. One reason they avoided fruits was their laziness to peel them when needed. So, I started to peel fruits, cut them into small portions and arrange them nicely in a plate. While watching TV, I used to bring the plate of fruits and eat them while showing my appetite for them. Slowly, my kids got tempted to try a slice. Sooner than later, they went for two slices and gradually to eating the whole plate of fruits. Now, if there are no fruits at home they complain. They converted their rejection habit to a demanding one. Building (growing) the habit started slowly, but then the buildup was fast. My father tempted me and my brothers to read books during summer holidays.The «carrot» for reading a book and summarizing it concisely became two carrots for good work. The carrot was a new shirt, ice cream, ticket to a «sponsored» movie and the like. Later, we complained strongly if there were no new books to read regardless if offered a carrot or not. The habit of reading was instilled in us. The habit developed into a need to read and became very strong. Repeated behaviors become habits and habits become needs. The stronger the needs are, the more difficult it is to break them or to substitute them. Unfortunately, this is also true with bad habits such as smoking. People start with a cigarette a day, but gradually become regular smokers. How good or bad a habit is? Is there a way to explain their impact over time?
  35. 35. 35 There are habits that some people do frequently, but without noticeable harm. One example is nail-biting. There are risks involved in that those people with this habit may also bite the dirt below the nails. Socially, nail-biting is not acceptable. However; the harm is not as much as that of heavy smoking and drinking, for example. These two bad habits have terrible consequences over time. The above two examples are in support of the value of caring for the process more than the output. The process of building the habits slowly till it becomes self-igniting removed the stress on focusing on ending the habit. This led to success. In emulation of risk charts, I suggest the development of habit charts. The frequency of a habit, the impact of a habit and the growth of benefit or harm of a habit over time are the key factors to consider. This way we sort out habits so that we may manage them differently. I want to focus on bad habits for now because they merit special attention. Smoking cigarettes is an extremely bad habit that smokers do frequently and effortlessly and its harmful impact grows exponentially with time. We extract toxic chemicals from tobacco plants to kill weeds. Smokers plant toxicity in their bodies by smoking. Cigarettes have chemicals that negatively affect the brain and almost every organ in the human body. It affects non-smokers who inhale the smoke from smokers. Cigarettes have more than 7000 chemicals and many of them are harmful. This means this habit has a high impact, high frequency (chain smoking) and the harm grows with time. Smoking cigarettes is a form of suicidal act. Heavy smokers may experience sadness after quitting because early withdrawal leads to an increase in the mood-related brain protein. So, it is far better to prevent the habit rather than treat it. Prolonged bad habits may lead to developing other bad habits and thus compounding their harm. In the Middle East, smokers tend to drink lots of Turkish coffee while smoking. Smokers tend to smoke while driving, which is hazardous. Bad habits give birth to bad habits and a chain of them forms. We find that we need to manage what I call «entangled habits», further adding to their harm and cost of treatment and withdrawal.
  36. 36. 36 There are other bad habits that deserve our attention. Procrastination is one of them. This habit leads to doing things in the neck of time. This is a stressful habit and may harm our bodies, besides our works. The frequency of procrastination is limited, but the harmful impact may increase rapidly. So, procrastination is less severe than smoking, and we may counter-effect it by building slowly the habit of doing important things on time. Some habits like turning lights on, but lazy to turn them off, eating fast and sleeping with TV on may seem of low impact. Their frequency is limited because we don›t turn lights on during day and we sleep once a day (unless we do it at work). The frequency is low, the immediate impact is low, but it could become impacting over time. These habits require different management approaches than the previously mentioned habits. Medical studies show that eating fast can be very harmful to the stomach and the digestive system over time and as short as six months. Again, the present harm doesn›t reflect the possible future harm. Great marketers know how to root good habits and give birth to other good habits. The challenge is how. If interested, the two SlideShare presentations below are for you. Do we need to covert to the habit of explaining things visually? I hope we do, besides making the habit of giving our feedback. These are great habits whose value compound over time.
  37. 37. 37 Pumping Creative Ideas You start with an idea. You focus your attention on it. You pool your resources and start working on it. You are half way through and work is progressing well. All of a sudden a creative idea sparks in your mind. It sounds better than the one you are working on. What would you do? Continue with what you are doing? Carry on with what you are doing while testing the new ideas as an alternative solution? Drop what you are working on and start experimenting with the new idea? There are mixed feelings. If you continue with what you are doing your mind shall be clouded with the new idea. You lose focus and the feeling of guilt might prevail. You find yourself asking «how could I drop such a promising idea?» If you start working on the new idea then the risk having wasted your resources may be alarming. The complexity may increase if one of your staff comes up with a new idea. A second bifurcation point appears. You have now more options. Would you drop all previous work and start working on the new idea? Creativity creates possibilities and the paradox that as we create possibilities we find that we are entangled in their ropes. The more creative ideas we create, the more intense the paradox gets. To keep pumping ideas is desirable, but also may lead to confusion. I found myself attracted to the metaphor of «pumping» creative ideas. The human body has many types of pumps. There is the proton pump. A proton pump is an integral membrane protein that is capable of moving protons across a biological membrane. Mechanisms are based on conformational changes of the protein structure. There is the heart pump. This deserves a special attention and you may find a wealthy reference here that merits your attention. Our bodies have
  38. 38. 38 more than ten trillion cells working in harmony. I consider social media members as cells and billions of human «cells» are interacting in the body of social media. Like cells in human bodies, they have four basic needs to attend for. These are: Access to oxygen Access to glucose A balanced fluid environment in and out of cells, and Removal of wastes. We are not different from the cells that constitute our bodies. We need energy source, we need to breathe oxygen, we need to drink water enriched with minerals to keep the fluid in cells and their surroundings in balance and we need to get rid of the wastes our bodies generate. Creative ideas provide us with fresh air to breathe, new energy to keep us going, the fluidity that fills the cells with charged ideas and the need to flush out old ideas. Creative ideas need a pump similar to that our heart uses to circulate blood in our bodies. It is not enough t bring oxygenated ideas into the human body, more importantly is circulating them throughout the body. Ideas diffuse first and then they get pumped around. Do we need to diffuse ideas first and then pump them around? This will only happen if we have oxygen carriers (idea carriers) so that ideas may circulate. It is amazing how the human body performs this task using millions of air sacs in the lungs as a first step to turn the gaseous oxygen into a liquid that may bond to hemoglobin ready for pumping to circulate. Ideas are possible to circulate if they are fluid. I concur with the beautiful post that Sophie Mill published today. In her post Sophie wrote and I combine two ideas from her terrific post» Shared ideas that are well distributed expand our humanness and force us to explore different pathways to find new ways of thinking. Ideas need to remain fluid and by allowing change to take its natural course, you instantly forget about being ‹academic›. Indeed, if ideas are not fluid then how could we pump them around? There are other pumps in the human body such as the potassium/sodium pump. You may see great animations here. The ways they works are fascinating. The issue here is that it is not enough to generate ideas; it is more important to pump them in our businesses and societies. Could the pumps in the human body be the right metaphors for pumping ideas in our businesses?
  39. 39. 39 To Be Active Is to Exist in a Tense State Probing in nature teaches us a lot. Studying the human body reveals lots of interesting facts. One observation that captured my attention is hemoglobin in our blood.This protein exists in a tense state and hence ready to react. Its non-planar conformation qualifies it to do so. Upon reacting with oxygen it relaxes and triggers neighboring molecules to do the same. To be active is to exist in a tense state. Hemoglobin relaxes only when it reacts. But there is a risk, as some toxic molecules take advantage of the readiness of hemoglobin to react. For example, carbon monoxide, which is an extremely poisonous gas, bonds more readily with hemoglobin than oxygen. Instead of carrying oxygen, hemoglobin carries great risks to lives. Relaxation is the bonus we get for being tensed. But we need to figure out with whom we relax with for fear we might be used as carriers of toxic materials to our connections.We face similar situations when dealing with angry people. They are tensed. They are energetic and ready to react. If we allow them to breathe out their anger and be ready to inhale oxygen then we send them on the right path. We could react to their anger and make them react with the toxic anger and send them on the wrong path. Anger is an incomplete burning process meaning that it produces carbon monoxide, the deadly gas. It is ready to react with hemoglobin and cause real damage to people who get angry quite often. People tend to become tensed with new ideas because people like to stay in their comfort
  40. 40. 40 zone.Ifyouwantpeopletoreactthenmakethemtense.Iwasreadingwithgreatinterestthe paradigm that Neil Raymond Sperling is advocating onTHRIVALISM. Neil coined this term. I guess he wishes people to thrive on this new paradigm. Isabella Wesoly FRSA BA Hons Dip. IRIS commented on my last post by writing «All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident». It shall be great if people create a tensed state of an idea because it shall then propagate. Will it propagate carrying oxygen or carbon monoxide is for us to determine.The godfather of the idea, Neil Raymond Sperling describes the need for Thrivalism by writing «We need to stop making such a huge deal about manufacturing «things» and we have to start making a big deal about building character. Build a new man from the inside out. No longer running from who we are inside». I agree as I wrote a post on «Character Quotient» and the importance of building solid human characters.Thrivalism extends Power to the people and freedom to be an individual yet contribute to the whole of society is in my opinion possible.The concept is worthy and it shall receive more interest if the initiator may get people more tense about it to share their views. Yes, not all sharing shall be oxygenating ones and some toxic opinions shall infiltrate. This is life as we don›t get an thing for nothing. We always have this risk. It is a formidable risk. Carbon monoxide bonds more strongly with the the carrier hemoglobin and toxic ideas might run in our blood if we aren›t careful enough. I have written posts and received quite invigorating opinions. I also received very few intoxicating opinions. These opinions only noticed the thorns in the flowers and the flowers were deprived of their smell.Those opinions kept me tense and I continued my way. However; these opinions didn›t make me angry because anger will only make me a loser. It is sad when we discover that we promoted a great concept and only to find out that we were «used» to promote it. The «concept carriers» carried intoxicated hemoglobin without their realization.They carried a great concept with due support, but underneath the iceberg were toxic intentions.Those people who «used» others must remember that it is poisonous hemoglobin that is running in their bodies. They are stressed for fear of being found out. Being stressed, they are ready to react. However; they shall find no oxygen and only carbon monoxide waiting for them. There is nothing worse than stressing self with fear resulting from cheating people and fearful of being found out. Stressed yes, but shall only lead to self-intoxicating actions. This is my self-illumination.
  41. 41. 41 Chiral Imagination Chiral compounds are asymmetric in such a way that the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable. These compounds show optical properties with one form rotating polarized light to the right and its mirror image turning same light to the left. Do we rotate thelightofcreativeideastotherightorleftandwhatimpactdoesthishaveonmanagement practices? Imagination is a great power and I quote Einstein «Imagination is more important than knowledge.Forknowledgeislimitedtoallwenowknowandunderstand,whileimagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Sowhatischiralimagination?Howmaywecreateittotakeadvantagesof?Whatapplications maywevisualize?Iamtryingtostretchmyimaginationinansweringthesequestions. A molecule is chiral if it has an asymmetric atom that is attached to four different atoms. The mirror image is not superimposable on the origin of it. These compounds show optical activity as discussed earlier. Now, suppose w have an issue we are addressing. The main issue will have four different questions to address as in the figure blow.
  42. 42. 42 The mirror image of the questions is not superimosable with the origin. We may this way generate optically active questions that rotate our minds right or left. The light bulb is the creative ideas that we generate. This might sound theoretical, but in life it has great differences. I may call this phenomenon «The butterfly effect of questions chirality». Chiral compounds may differ greatly from each other even though they have the same structure. One known example is a compound extracted from two different plants. The compound has the same structure, but differs in how it turns light.The compound extracted from mint leaves is different from same compound extracted from caraway seeds. Different aromas for same compound resulting from changing its special structure. Is it possible to extract different aroma from employees? The same analogy extends to teams. Four team units might be engaged in four different activities: planning, organizing, executing and controlling work. Again, we have four different activities linked to a central issue. Will be observe chiral properties? This brings the issue of delegation. In the above figure let us change the shape of the organizing team unit. When we delegate this shape might not lock into the previous shape of same unit. Delegation fails. Do we have to take into consideration the spatial effect of
  43. 43. 43 managerial issues? I say yes. In a presentation that I wrote on «The half Lemon Creative Metaphor», I explained that a lemon will only give juice if pressurized on. Now I wonder what juice do we get in view of the realization that lemon has optically active compounds? The two seemingly identical compounds, called limonene, smell differently. One of them smells of lemon while its mirror image compound smells of oranges. What smells are we getting from our employees? I wonder if week and weak have more differences than we know of. Weak has four different letters and it could be a chiral word. Week is not. I dedicate this post honorably to Massimo Scalzo who is a great thinker and promoter of souls. His comment on my previous post kindled me to write this post and dedicate it to him. Dear Massimo- I am grateful to you.
  44. 44. 44 Cooking the Crooked Friend There is a know concept in pharmacology called «The Therapeutic Index», which measures the margin between effectiveness and toxicity. If the margin is narrow, the adverse effects of a drug become a concern.This concept is extensible to friendship and I suggest introducing the «Friendship Index» to be aware when friendship may be in fact a hidden enmity. Like we measure the side effects o a drug we may measure the side effects of a friendship. I suggest again the metaphor of plants for friendship. I explore this metaphor below. Let me start with a known example: tobacco plant. It has beautiful pinkish flowers. Not only the flowers, are inviting to the eye, also the extracts of the plant are relaxing to the body. Nicotine is both a relaxant and stimulant. It also leads to the release of dopamine in the bodies of smokers and make them feel contented with their well-being. However; as soon as a smoker becomes addict, The Friendship Index of smoking tobacco gets narrower till it becomes fatal. There are friends like that they know how to calm you with their sugar- coated words till they make you addict to them. But beneath the surface they intoxicate your life. You become dependent on them for short joys that eventually become costly to get rid of even though with your growing realization that they harm you.
  45. 45. 45 There are friends like the Elephant›s Ear plant. This plant is a major source of food in many countries in spite of being toxic! They are the metaphor for having to be friendly with a toxic friend! The way we get rid of the toxicity in this plant is by boiling it before eating it. The plant has toxic crystals and boiling the plant rather than eating it raw breaks the toxic crystals and the plant becomes safe to eat. There are friends like that. They are toxic as they carry the crystals of bad habits and bad intentions. We need them even if they are crooked. The only safe to feed on them is by cooking the crooked. Expose them to difficult environments so that you change them before dealing with them. There are plants that have seemingly one compound when in actuality they are more than one. They are like a drop of ink that may separates into different colors. Some plants give one extract and you think it is safe, only to discover the extract is in reality more than one compound. Worse, if some of the separated compounds are toxic to the body. There are friend who come to you in one color, but in reality they have many colors. They show you the color that appeals to you. On the surface these friends are great, but beneath it they are intoxicating your life. The worst types of friends are those who may change color, shape, behavior and whatever you may think of to reach their nasty goals. They are sneaky and snaky friends. They know how to hide, use emotions, play with words, coat their intentions and give you poison all encapsulated in the package you like. They are like cabbage plants that produce mustard oil. The plant keeps two chemicals separated from each other and only allows the two chemicals to mix and produce mustard oil if attacked by insects. The mustard oil is toxic to the insects. There are «friends» who show you two nice ideas and you think they are of enough sweetness to trust them. They promote great new concepts and grow their «aerial roots» on the cyberspace and only to find they intended to mix the concepts to draw your passion, your support and your money and run away. Some friends have their «hairy» intentions. The way to do with them is wash them and boil them--- and they may become a good animal fodder. Beware of them as they have the skills to «fish in your waters».
  46. 46. 46 The Illusory wavy Trust There is a know concept in pharmacology called «The Understanding emotions and how they affect decisions is a subject that keeps gaining momentum. We trust (or not) ourselves and others. We may trust the financial markets. If we do, we buy more stocks and vice versa. Thinking deeper about trust we find that it is not only trusting oneself, but also trusting others. If an investor trusts himself and decides that he has no trust in the movement of a stock market mostly he shall not invest. However; if the same investor finds that his self-trust in investing is compounded with making huge profit then trust might become a «granted» thing as greed may become the dominant emotion. Are we experiencing a substitution of dominant emotions? I believe so.Trust is both an emotion and logical act. As we reach high enough level of its emotional component the role of logical act subsidizes. Let me give an example for further clarifications. Somebody approaches you over the cyberspace. He wants to connect with you. You know nothing about this person. However; he is connected to some of your most trusted friends. Slowly, he gains your trust, but still not high enough to act on financial offers from him. He then approaches you with a great concept to work on. You believe in the concept and start writing about it and defending it. Notice that you are promoting the concept and not the person. After a while, this new friend asks you to work for the concept by devoting some of your time writing about it. He gains more of your trust and now comes the great offer: buy a share in a new company. Because your trust level reached a high point you may act and buy the share. All of a sudden you discovered that you bought smoke in the air. I was approached by someone recently this way to buy shares, but flatly refused. Unfortunately and here is the paradox, I was right because sadly some of my best friends invested in a concept that never was.
  47. 47. 47 The recent experience reminded me of a SlideShare presentation that I published on «BuildingHealthyMediaRelationship»,inwhichIshowedhowwhetherweinvestinfinancial markets or in people we go into two major phases. Phase 1 is trust building and Phase 2 is for business building. That reflects reality as happened in the investor›s story. I also showed that these two phases follow an -8wave structure similar to that we experience in the stock market. In both cases we build trust and then turn this trust into business. The building phase has -5steps and the investing phase has -3steps structure as the figure below shows. If we review the case I presented on the «illusory investor» we find that he started with collecting information about authors and their areas of interests. He moved on to connect with them directly and through their contacts. He then classified his new contacts and created a lovely concept for them to share and promote. Having done that, he continued his path by getting them committed in buying shares. And the rest is a story to remember. For more details you may refer to this presentation: I feel strongly that the emotional side of trust deserves far more attention from us so as the wave would not repeat again. When we overlook trust other emotions move in to fill the vacuum. Greed and acting freely become the candidate emotions to fill the space. We need new perspectives on trust.
  48. 48. 48 Strategy- Is it a False Concept? Strategy has many definitions. One definition is: knowing where to go. It shapes our vision for the future. We set interim goals (objectives) to achieve so as to reach our grand vision. We hear a lot about planning and that if you don›t plan then you plan to fail. Or, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll Strategistsstronglyrecommendthatwesetobjectivestomeasureourprogress.Thewisdom is that what we can›t measure we can›t manage. Coupled to this is setting objectives means focusing our efforts and resources so that we may realize our objectives. The world is changing fast. We witness the death of time and geography. It takes seconds for the news to travel globally. There is nothing permanent, but change. The world is coalescing into a small village. Main resources such as fertile land and water are insufficient and increasingly we experience their dwelling supplies. Will strategies of yesterday be suitable for today? Plants which suffer from water shortages and lack of light underneath the soil don›t have long-term goals.They explore the situation and adapt accordingly.They build their strategy on current facts. Plants and their roots actively sense light and analyze both the spectrum and intensity of light using several photoreceptors, to integrate the development of organs growing aboveground and underground. Information is the light we have with different wavelengths (information) and we need to have the photoreceptors for these lights and
  49. 49. 49 act accordingly. The complexity of the world we live in and the presence of many feedback loops make extrapolations to the near future a rough task indeed. A small error in our measurements may result in hugely different outcomes. How could we then control the system even with the finest measurements? We can›t manage what we can›t control.Yes, but we shouldn›t forget that what we measure might be completely the reason for making wrong assumptions. Measure to manage, but we can›t manage the accuracy of what we measure or on which path it shall lead us. We can›t predict the weather forecast and for the same reasons we might not be able to forecast the business environment, no matter how accurate our measures are. Plants finding it hard to locate water have an adaptive behavior that is worthy of studying. The side of the roots closer to water grows much faster the side away from water. This discrepancy in the rate of growth in the roots make the roots bend. Not only that, the roots branch out following the ability of plants to sense water and to branch out towards water. Bending and branching of roots don›t follow a pre-determined strategy; rather the strategy bases itself on the current moment. Plants don›t assume and keep sensing water availability and adapt spontaneously. Focusing on future goals might be stressing and very rigid to stop we of bending when needed rather than going up the «ladder of strategy». Too much focusing on goals may lead to adopting a «hedgehog-like strategy» that leads to the failure of business. One more point is that reaching a growth point may require adopting a different strategy than before. Look at the exploding cucumbers and how they burst violently to spread their seeds once the growth has reached maturity. The seeds go in what I call «fuzzy directions» and not in one direction to enhance the chances of seeds to survival. Adopting fuzzy strategies might be worthy of consideration. One last thought is the fact that some fruits have short life span and must be eaten while very fresh to benefit from their beneficial values. Some opinions are like that and if you find the opinions in this post unacceptable may be best are to store them to keep their value. That is what we do with fruits and so why not with fruity ideas that could be sour today, but sweet later on?
  50. 50. 50 Evolving Spinning Metaphors The big and small, the active and inactive, and fast and slow are examples of opposites. We see them opposing each other as two poles with different charges. Is this the reality? If not, why do we hold this perspective, and what to do about it to change our habitual perspectives to «opposites»? Two recent events prompted me to write this post. Miroslav Pelikan shared an image post on LinkedIn that read as follows: This thinking is in line with Lao Tzu›s philosophy. Be strong when you are weak. Strong mentally and emotionally when you are weak is a challenge-isn›t it? I asked myself a
  51. 51. 51 question: when do we rub our hands? It is when we feel cold to warm up. Yes, we act when we are cold. Emotionally, we do it lovingly because we know it is to our benefit. But, are we always consistent in acting when we feel cold? No, as we witness businesses freeze their works, lay off workers and cut costs, just to give few examples. Business don›t «rub their hands» when they need to warm up. More likely, they tend to hibernate. The book «The Alchemy of Opposites» it offers a similar explanation. It relates the paradox of acting in the opposite direction of the needed one due to «thoughts dissociated from emotions». I wished to dig deeper into this paradox. A post on «Unity in theWorld of Opposites» offered great insights. One main insight is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries».We create boundaries between strength and weaknesses. Because businesses focus so much on their weaknesses they lose their strength. Also, same businesses focus on the chilly weather environment they may even think it is chillier than it is. It is going to one extreme and living it with complete negligence of the presence of the other opposite that creates the distorted reality. We forget opposites co-exist and it is not possible to have one without the other. You have maximum joy when you kid recovers from a painful experience, to give one example. Pain and pleasure come together.They spin together. As companies grow and excel, their worries also grow for fear their business may slow down. Success turns into unhappiness and worries.We succeed to become less happy! The fear of losing fills these businesses and they tend to live in fear with all its horrible consequences. The tendency of going to one extreme opposite is an imbalance that causes problems. Let me give two examples that we all experience. If you close one eye and only use the other eye what would happen? The two eyes shall weaken. If you chew food on one side of the mouth all the time what would happen? We weaken both sides of the mouth and our chewing efficiency drops. It is the same when we focus on one opposite and in the process we weaken both. Theearthmovessofastthatwebelievedforagesitwasstandstill.Areourviewsonopposites similar? We separate space and time and now we say spacetime to reflect their unity. If we present the two in aVenn diagram we have the following shape: The sweet zone is spacetime. Opposites have a sweet zone, but why do we fail to feel it? If opposites are the two opposite sides of the coin, why don›t we see both and see one
  52. 52. 52 opposite only? Is it only because our perspective limited to seeing one side, or is it due to other reasons? For example, the time and space in the above figure are in fact two spinning coins. A spinning object is in reality a bunch of small weights spinning around each other. Time and space are spinning around each other and so are opposites. This fact produces some strange behaviors. For example, if a gyroscope is turning forward, gravity is trying to pull it to the right, and as a result the gyroscope’s plane of rotation itself rotates. Are we rotating the plane of our perspectives without realizing the plane itself is rotating? Watch thegreatvideobelowtoseeacoinspinning.Expandyourimaginationtotwocoinsspinning together (time and space, or any two opposites as spinning coins). It is not the other side of the coin; more it is the two coins spinning together. I commented on a post yesterday as follows: Simply, I love this post. Robin Hills- you wrote «Resilience, as a metaphor, in the context of human psychology and behaviour works for all these reasons but the metaphor has serious limitations. What about too much resilience? What about learning, growing and developing through stress? What about adapting to situations and environments?» I agree, but have a question. Don›t you believe the metaphor has helped us realize our limitations? In other words, we may adopt a metaphor, but we may also evolve it because of the limitations the metaphor made us aware of? Most likely this issue is my next post. Thank you for writing such an inspiring post. I ask here again: do we need to evolve our metaphors? My answer is simply yes. I call for the use of active metaphors such as the spinning metaphor in this post. If we do, we evolve our thinking as well. We also shall see opposites as a unity rather than two separate domains. I may even need to evolve my e-book on this subject:
  53. 53. 53 Playing with Opposites I responded to comments on my previous post by two great minds as follows: Thank you Sara Jacobovici for indeed it is the movement that enables the individuals to pull him or herself out of that «stuck» place.» So, I believe very much now in adopting moving rather than static metaphors. Static metaphors represent objects stuck in one place whereas moving ones are more realistic. Again, the word movement opens many windows of thinking for us. What kind of movement? Linear, spinning, curly, wavy, spiral and the scenarios evolve even more. Dear Muhannad Ramahi stories and the books you referred to are great examples of movement. You wrote «Rising above their limitations and pushing boundaries outside their comfort zone was the main reason for them to be able to unshackled their potentials and go extreme sideways». The above exchange of comments prompted me to look for applied examples of opposites and their movement. One example that came to my mind is heads and tails. I found myself repeatedly saying «The head is head and the tail is tail». Is this correct? If they are so, movement isn›t possible and something must be wrong. How about linking the head and tail? Snakes do it and so dogs do. I feel new perspectives shall emerge. Watching the video shows the movement of the opposites head and tail in creative ways. Humans tend to prefer to think of heads and tails as two separate domains. The Noble Prize laureate Hermann Staudinger was the first chemist to suggest the presence of polymers and that the repeated head to tail bonding between active monomers gave long polymeric
  54. 54. 54 chains. At his time it was difficult to prove the existence of polymers and Staudinger used his powerful imagination to suggest their existence. Prominent scientists opposed him to the extent that one famous scientist is reported to have said to Staudinger that if it was not for the success of his previous work he would have called him mad.The opponents trapped themselves to one fixed approach: the need for of experimental proof. Fixed opinions have no movement and are wrong. They need to couple with imagination. It is spinning the two together that make new thinking emerge. Not only dogs link heads to tails; some molecules do. These molecules do show exceptional properties. The dance of imagination and experiments together makes a big difference on how we think. One interesting example in agriculture is the use of sand and clay. Clay absorbs water and stores heats. In contrast, sand allows water and heat to pass through. It is by mixing the two opposites that opened many opportunities to produce fruits in new soils. During a visit to Pilsen and the ILO Lab in 1986 I had the opportunity to visit farms producing exceptional- quality oranges from soils with the proper portions of both sand and clay. The water flow (movement) improved a lot because of having the two opposite behaving materials work together. This game of playing on differences makes the difficult easy. The human eye has photoreceptors in the shapes of rod and cones. The rods are more numerous, some 120 million, and are more sensitive than the cones. However, they are not sensitive to color. The 6 to 7 million cones provide the eye›s color sensitivity and they are much more concentrated in the central yellow spot known as the macula. In the center of that region is the «fovea centralis», a 0.3 mm diameter rod-free area with very thin, densely packed cones. The rods and cones collect the information that is fired to our brains. They act as one unit in spite of their differences.They move together in harmony. Opposites may work together. Questions are «mind-eye» openers only if they work in a form that human eye works. Questions can›t be all rods or cones to fulfill their functions well. Open and closed questions need to move together to collect information. They need to flow like the rods and cones do. It is not opposite attract or not as much as it is if opposites may spin their movement together and great things shall happen.
  55. 55. 55 Ideas Light Bulbs Creative ideas are mostly symbolized as a light bulb. The greater the illumination of the bulb, the greater the intensity of the idea is. More important in this context is ideas causing another idea to lighten up. I experienced this week as a post written by William King kept charging my mind and causing few ideas to illuminate my mind. In his post William King wrote «Then we were given an equation to memorize for use in the next test, E=IR. This is the simplest of equations but many in the class had a difficult time remembering the relationship between voltages (E), also known as potential, currant flow (I) and resistance to flow (R)». It is the stretching of this idea to the field of sales and marketing that drew my attention. For example, the resistance of customers to a sales offer varies. If the customer is a repeating one he/she shall show less resistance to the flow of the offer. To quote the post «Marketing to new customers is much more expensive than marketing to existing customers. If past customers had a good experience you will meet with lower resistance, therefore a greater flow of goods, services and information for the same potential». In a simple electric circuit the idea is the bulb. If the circuit is broken or if the resistance is very high the light bulb shall stay dim. I wished to extend this powerful idea to other field such as brainstorming sessions. May be we understand better why many brainstorming sessions fail. In a simple electric diagram we start with one «idea bulb». There are differences on the value of the idea. Some people weigh it positively and others who think negatively about it. So, we have two poles (terminals) acting as the «battery» for the session to proceed. Now, the brainstorming session proceeds. An influential and trusted participant comes with an idea. Other participants have so much trust in this person that they start supporting
  56. 56. 56 the idea. They tend to think in a similar way. They add more ideas (bulbs) supporting the initial idea and become almost blind to other and, possibly, more brightening ideas. They have one path (circuit) of thinking. They establish a circuit in series such that they have one source of power and yet increasing the total resistance. The result is that the original brightness of the idea dims. Groupthink can lead easily to taking away the brightness of a great idea. In group sessions peoples› attitudes are the equivalent to wires in the electric circuit.These attitudes may block the movement of the idea and kill it by mocking it. The idea lamp never lights and a great idea has gone to waste. The creation of bad environment stops the generation of new ideas (flowing electrons) and we end up mostly worse than we started with. These people are like big stone blocks stopping the water flow in a river. The question becomes how to make the best of brainstorming sessions to generate the maximum number of ideas (illuminating bulbs)? I believe this is best if we conduct brainstorming sessions in emulation of circuits in parallel. In practical terms, we start with two people and they keep brainstorming till they reach what they think is a bright idea. There is a change of position of the idea than where they started. Changing positions is a way of changing the potential for pumping new ideas. . Now, we invite a third person to brainstorm with the first two starting from the new idea. This invitee is exposed to the new idea without being affected by the thinking of the previous two. He/she may reinforce the same idea or suggest an alternative path. If he/she does then a parallel circuit is forming. The more pathways, the less the resistance, the greater the current and the more the idea light bulb shall brighten. If one idea is switched off, another one is still on.We may introduce again another person to start from the new position and a new pathway of thinking is created. A new bulb shall brighten. Brainstorming has the objective of lighting new idea bulbs that are different from the ones we are used to.This means change of mind. However; peoples› attitude to change is mostly negative. People start with the position of rejecting new ideas. These people are the circuit breakers. They may then soften their stand and resist them rather than reject them. The
  57. 57. 57 degree of resistance determines if the idea light bulb would stay very dim or not. As long as the resistance is high, the light bulbs shall only give dim lights. People may move then to accepting new ideas and finally demanding them. Reaching this stage means there is almost no resistance and the idea bulb shall give lights brilliantly. We have to remember that the initial differences in opinions to new ideas give the potential to generate ideas like a battery does. Groupthink is a form of starting from same point and with no «difference potential».Noideasshallflowandtheideabulbshallbeturnedoff.Itisofutmostimportance to note that differences in a circuit are welcome because they generate power to circulate new ideas. Ladder of attitudes to new ideas It is comforting that this new thinking is in alignment with what I advocated for previously.
  58. 58. 58 New Concept for Creativity One of the simplest definitions of creativity is turning the familiar into unfamiliar and the unfamiliar to familiar. The question is what familiar to turn into unfamiliar is worthy of pondering on. It occurred to me that our senses are a prime target. We are familiar with how our senses affect our actions. For example, if food smells bad you shall not eat it. You shall not rent a house nearby a nasty smelling water reservoir. Our senses have familiar ranges within which they operate. We can›t hear sounds that fall beyond certain sound wave frequencies. Human ear cannot detect sounds that have frequencies lower than 20 Hz (infrasounds) or over 20 kHz (called ultrasounds). Bats may hear sounds up to 100 KHZ. They use this ability for echolocation by sending a sound wave and analyzing the reflected sound waves. What is familiar to the bat is unfamiliar to us. Here we have the opportunity to find creative ways to turn the unfamiliar to familiar with novel applications. Ultrasound technologies have many applications Power ultrasound in the 100–20 kHz range is used in chemistry. The ultrasonic power generates extremes of temperature and pressure in the liquid where the reaction happens. It is going to these extremes that allow certain chemical reactions to take place. A good number of chemicals have been synthesized by using the powerful energy of sound. One great application is the purification of water by ultrasound. The treatment of water causes the formation of very active free radicals of water molecules and these in turn attack vigorously the water contaminant and oxidize them to non-harmful products. The use of ultrasound in medical applicationsandpurifyingmaterialsprovideotherexamplesofmakinguseoftheunfamiliar ultrasound.
  59. 59. 59 A commercial product makes use of sound filtering. A product known as Williams Sound Pocketalker Ultra System works by amplifying the desired sound and subduing the undesired sound. I myself need one of these devices because I hear people playing soccer and the sound of balls kicking walls make me restless. Ultrasound, ultraviolet light and ultrasense are examples of creative ideas based on turning the unfamiliar to familiar. There is a commercial product named UltraSense, which is safe to use. Gloves made this way enhance the wearer sense and may handle small and delicate parts more sensibly. Again, this is a product that extends our touch sense and this way we may use it outside the familiar range. Goingoutofrangemaycausesevereproblems.Womenhavemuchstrongersenseforsmells than men. However; stretching this smelling sense beyond certain limits can be harmful. There are examples of women who have an elevated sense of smell. The problem starts when the smells are sickening for them. They demand the use of fans to remove the smells even in chilly days. Husbands who fail to smell the nauseating smell don›t understand why a cooling device should be used in a cold day. Problems start. The use of nose prints for dogs, breath prints and eye prints for humans are great examples of commercial applications that make use of our senses. It is possible now to take the breath printofahumananddetermineifhe/sheishealthyornotusingphotoacousticspectroscopy. It is done by heating the breath in a restricted place using light with varying wavelengths. The heated breath generates sounds which may be recorded. The relationship between the light wavelengths and sound intensity is characteristic of the nature of breath and if it contains harmful materials like acetone. The same technology is also used to determine if a material is good or not. We talk about the familiar range of human capacity. Can we stretch this capacity by finding creative ways in turning the limiting factors to ultra ones? I have strong feelings that a lot can be done. We need to explore nature and our bodies to look for unfamiliar phenomena.Turning those phenomena to familiar applications will be profitable. Nature is a great mentor.