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Sparking Creativity

I was recently asked an interesting question: how do you spark creativity? We all, at one time or another, found ourselves trying to solve a problem and no great idea for a solution pops up. When thinking of creative sparks, some people have this image in their heads that ideas are floating in the air above us undetected, and that […]


Focus and Fixation

How situational awareness stops us from fixating on the narrow aspects of one task and helps us find the right level of concentration. Some years ago, researchers conducted studies on delayed gratification with a group of children. A marshmallow was placed in front of each child with the explanation that the he or she would be rewarded with two marshmallows […]


Scalability

To make a good decision, the ability to estimate accurately may be the difference between success and failure. Back when I was in college, one interesting lessons I learned came from one of my engineering professors, a man who was considered a legend for his accurate cost estimation of major projects and programs. One of the stories that was told […]


Kakonomics

There is an interesting scene in Frank Capra’s 1961 comedy Pocket Full of Miracles that offers valuable insight about a common yet often unspoken attitude many people have toward quality. The setting is 1930s New York City, and in the scene, a Spanish count and his entourage who happen to be visiting New York City are prepared to host a […]


Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Thing

Are we managers or leaders? Some say “Managers do things right; leaders do the right thing” suggesting that there is a profound difference between managers and leaders. Scholars add more details to the distinction: “Managers deal with people and performance, while leaders deal with setting goals and creating a vision,” or “Managers deal with complexities, and leaders deal with change.” […]


Think Portfolio!

Portfolio Management is a universal principle. It helps people make the best decisions towards achieving specific goal under given constraints by optimizing for the bigger picture. Portfolio Management is a universal management principle. It may differ slightly based on the organization culture and goals, management style, country of operation, but universal it still is. Finance defines a set of processes […]


Dialogue and Debate

There is an old joke about a judge presiding over a legal case. He listens to the plaintiff’s eloquent argument, thinks for a moment, and says with authority, “You are right.” “Wait a minute,” cries the defendant. “You didn’t hear my side.” So the judge listens to the defendant’s equally eloquent argument, thinks for a moment, and says, “You are […]


Observe and Absorb 6

In management consulting, unlike photography, quantity can’t replace quality. On a sunny Saturday morning, I sat at the neighborhood market café, entertained by people watching. At the next table, a young guy with a funny hat and reddish beard was working on his Mac Book, feverishly editing some artistic picture. On his table he had an old, boxy Canon camera […]