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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Don't Blog

A picture named don't blog.jpgPhil Wolff shares "headlines from the near future of blogging" [Corante: Corante on Blogging]

This is realy cool ... Blog matters and Blogs matter !



4:07:40 PM    comment []  trackback []

Action or Motivation (with a little inspiration)

This post set off a series of comments, and since i feel they're particluarly evocative, I'm bringing them up here.

My original post :

What comes first Action or Motivation? Do we delay doing because we wait for motivation?  Can action on the other hand bring motivation ?

Aparna responds : "lol...sounds a bit like musings on the James-Lange theory isn't it?...do we see a bear and run because we are scared or are scared because we run?..."

John blogs : "Dina asks "which comes first, action or motivation?" Wow, great question. For me, usually the first. If I can get just enough motivation to get started, I'll keep it going. Whenever I start a long document, I spend the first hour messing with the format. I get all the style sheets just right, I put the pages in order, I write the TOC. By then, I'm in "flow" and can just get going."

And Avi challenges and questions : "No action possible without motivation!!! Gimme one example of action without motivation "

And then distinguishes between conscious, subconscious and superconscious motivations, using sleepwalking as an example - "Hey I just realised sleepwalking is action without conscious motivation. But are sub-conscious and super-conscious motivations to be discounted? Salmons going up river to lie eggs? a call of the genes? We grow as a child without any conscious motivation, yet these are motivation embedded in our genes. Guess action without motivation is only possible if we limit motivation to conscious. In that case would action under hypnotism be unmotivated action? Jeez why do I think up all these stuff so early in the morning?????"

And adds the dimension of inspiration into the dialogue :  "'Do we delay doing because we wait for motivation?' Are we talking inspiration here or motivation. We might always be motivated but seek inspiration to initiate action, the lack of which (inspiration) robs us of a window to achieve a desired result. "

I like this thread !  

I think i am talking of conscious motivation here - subconscious and unconscious motivations and drives are much more basic and perhaps lead us into acting without really consciously 'hearing the call' - thinking here of Freud's sex and aggression or Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  Animals above a certain level of development require more than automatic reflexes in order to survive, and advanced organisms like humans need motivation and intention in order to function in complex environments.

Now complex environments bring conflicting motivations. Conflicting motivations can paralyse action.  Take my current state of mind - at one level, the motivation is to bring in the money (all of us need it along with other lofty goals such as happiness and fulfilment).  The conflicting emotion is the low level of motivation to do more of the same job that i know will bring in the bread and butter with ease (almost 15 years in one specialised field).  And the tug at the other end to enter new areas, explore new territories, follow passions - without the assurance of a pot of gold. Now the dilemma - should i just pick up the phone and call my regular clients for regular work (that's action hoping motivation will come) - or follow this new path unsure of what action it might result in !

Psycho-babble ?  Perhaps just a reflection of chaos :):):)

Or the cycle of life !

3:25:41 PM    comment []  trackback []

The Human Face of a Microsoft Manager

John Porcaro has a neat blog - he's a marketing manager at Microsoft.   He's really got the right idea when he says - "And I'm encouraging our team to think about daily posts on our B2B sites to update everyone on what we're doing, and to make them human."

He's got the right idea ! Its this human interface that will make the difference. Beyond tech-mechs, more than resumes. It will foster :

  • an environment of trust
  • the opportunity to let go of fears
  • the willingness to share
  • the harnessing of intelligence within the community

and ultimately accelerate the spiral of growth. 

Way to go John.  Now i'm looking for blogs from employees of companies not in the ICT sector.

10:20:06 AM    comment []  trackback []

The Difference Between Creativity & Innovation

I've been been playing around with some concepts in my mind for a while, as i have thoughts of stepping into a new world.  Not sure where its all going yet but the journey's exciting, and the passion's there!

First steps have been to really study areas like blogging, social software and social networking, new generation cultures of use - both at a personal level and in the context of their more practical applications - as research tools, as more effective business intelligence or KM systems.  What better way than to jump right in, participate in the evolution of these memes, and dialogue with so many folk around the world, and learn everyday from these experiences.  

Taking a step back .. or forward (its how you see these things) - here are some concepts i've been pondering - action versus motivation; inspiration; creativity and innovation.  Some may call this intellectualisation, others a waste of time.  I call it a journey, chaotic yet exciting, a process necessary to "give birth to a dancing star"   (Nietzche - the full quote - one of my favourites : "You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star").

Then i see this post at Ideaflow ... excerpt follows :

" 'People always tend to use the terms innovation and creativity interchangeably. We're very clear about the linkages and the distinction. Creativity is getting the great ideas, it's sort of the R&D, and everybody is creative, everybody has got great ideas, every organisation has more great ideas than it can ever implement or bring into the marketplace.' Innovation, however, is 'creativity implemented', he [Arnold Wasserman of The Idea Factory]  points out. 'It's taking creative ideas and bringing them into the world so that they change lives, and so they also change the organisations that bring them into the world.' "

The quote above come from an Asia Business Times article published April 8, 2003 (original article is now archived -- the link is to a Google cache page, so check it out before it goes away!. I couldn't find a working link to The Idea Factory, a Singapore-based consultancy founded by John Kao).

This seems to be something of a facile distinction that relegates creativity only to idea fluency, and relegates innovation only to some advanced form of project management. So I don't think that's it, and I don't think that's what Joyce had in mind either.

But it's an interesting starting place for a discussion. Is some innovation more creative than others, some creativity more innovative? What makes an idea innovative? Simply that it can be implemented within a company's business model? That it leads to a "disruptive" business model or technology? What's the difference between a creative idea and an un-creative idea?

[Corante: IdeaFlow]

It got me thinking further.

Is there a significant difference between creativity and innovation .... is creativity more to do with expressions and ideas and abilities, and innovation taking those ideas further into implementation ? Is it the difference between discovery and invention ? Or expression versus invention ?

Is creativity the process and innovation a possible outcome ? Is creativity a way of life ... and innovation a happening?

The word innovation implies creativity - without creativity there cannot be innovation. But the reverse maynot be true. 

I like this distinction - "Is innovation the practical application of creative thought?" - Filipczak.  Is it the difference between discovery and invention ?  Or expression versus invention ? Art is Expression not an invention. An electric bulb is an invention not an expression. Invention generally serves some specific purpose of the greater populace. Expression is a fulfilment of a personal desire.

During the Renaissance, inventors and artists, creative expression and innovation were almost synonymous.  Think of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Today perhaps with so much specialisation, we see few Renaissance Men and fewer Renaissance teams.  

9:43:25 AM    comment []  trackback []