The Way to Wealth by Chicago Professor

Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency

I love this advice written on the back of an index card by University of Chicago Professor, Harold Pollack. In clear, simple terms, he explains the dos and don’ts of building wealth over time. Of course, like all advice, it’s easy to hear and hard to put into action. My favourite point is “The person on the other side of the table knows more than you do about their stuff”. Applies to everything in life. Remember it.

Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign CurrencyCreative Commons License epSos .de via Compfight

Food for Thought Friday: A Manifesto for a Deeper Future

~ BLINK some BLUE ~

Increasingly our public discourse is dominated by three word slogans, catch phrases and sound bites. We suffer from an attention deficit – are time poor, over worked and under valued. We’re overwhelmed by technology, choices and our inbox.

And we think that the answer it to skim closer to the surface. To read the tweets rather than the articles.

To look at the infographics rather than the data behind it.

But in a culture of superficiality, our competitive advantage … our ethical advantage … and our creative advantage lies not in the shallows but in the depths of our imagination.

I think it is time that we went deeper …

Five points on a deeper future:

We need to:

  1. THINK more about ideas and what needs to happen to make them RESONATE within our cultures
  2. ACT like ideas MATTER and can CHANGE lives
  3. HELP articulate possible FUTURES because there’s always more than ONE
  4. WORK to make the first step of that future TANGIBLE because it sets the agenda
  5. INCLUDE others because FEAR is the first response to the NEW

Inspired by this awesome presentation from Critical Mass on the Cultural Impact on Digital Design.

Put Some Play into Your Day

Who dressed YOU?

For a long time I have been a fan of the concept of “play”. It brings a great deal of creativity into what can often be a very serious approach to business. In fact, I used PLAY as a metaphor for brand engagement, precisely to provide a creative nuance not only to “kids marketing” but to what we now call social media marketing.

But how can we take this further? How do we bring this sense of play and creativity into all aspects of our lives?

Leslie Bradshaw suggests going back to the beginning – to our childhood. It’s about using the lessons of our childhood to unleash our creativity and find balance in our work and life. Now, I am off to feed my inner child. Enjoy.

Travel Like a Local – AndableTV

Taxi

Travelling for business can be pretty boring. Once you fight off the jetlag and close out the meetings, many business travellers find themselves hanging out in their hotel. In the bar. In the lounge. Or in the room.

It’s almost the opposite of being social.

But what if there were ways to tap into the local community? What if you could find and meetup with others who share your interests? That’s where various forms of social media can really transform your travel experience.

This episode of the new AndableTV channel looks at things you can do to travel like a local. There are some great ideas to try out on your next trip. And there’s more to come on the AndableTV sustainable living channel. Be sure to subscribe.

Taxi Al Fed via Compfight

Lead Your Life the Right Way, the Dreams Will Come to You

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One of the amazing things about the web is that we are constantly in a state of renewal. We read, consume, engage and move on. Great ideas, applications, innovations – and even people – come into our sphere of attention and leave. Sometimes without a trace. Or sometimes with only a line or two in our memory. A feeling. A sense of pride or loss.

I remember watching Carnegie Mellon University professor, Randy Pausch deliver his “last lecture” and being gobsmacked. I felt like this piece of content – this lecture from 2007 – would become “internet history”. I felt that it would somehow be automatically consumed by people as they engaged more deeply with the web, its abundant content and the bone achingly powerful stories that many share.

But I recently mentioned Randy Pausch’s last lecture and was met with a stony silence. I explained a little – to provide some context – about the world leading computer science professor famous for his work in human computer interaction. Still nothing.

In a world with an abundance of information, we continue to struggle to prioritise what comes into our sphere of attention. And in the rush to sort, file and proceed, we often – mistakenly in my view – prioritise the new in favour of the great. So today, I’d like to momentarily reverse that and suggest you spend an hour – yes a full hour – with Randy Pausch. It may just change your life.

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wil p via Compfight

 

Passwords – One for the Money, Two for the Show

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I am always going to love an Elvis quote. We don’t see enough of it in the world of business. And we should. After all, he was “The King”.

So this quick guide to unhackable passwords from McAfee and Intel caught my attention straight away.

The guide points out that you need multiple passwords:

  • One password for banking
  • A different password for email
  • Another password for social media

Unfortunately, we all have more than three needs, right?  So one idea is to add the account information into your password:

  • Facebook: your Facebook password can become my_facebook_password
  • Twitter: your Twitter password can become my_twitter_password

Or variations on that theme.

mcafee-passwords

HT Lindy Asimus’ pinterest collection.

Forget your raison d’être. What’s your raison pour le faire?

Architect of Your Future - Tattoo Design

I am a fan of deep thinking. Really I am. And I am a fan of long copy advertising. Documentaries. And books. Those old fashioned paper products that immerse you in other worlds. I love them and collect them and will continue to do so.

Each of these sing to my soul. They ground me in a way that other things cannot. And they tap into my sense of self. My sense of purpose. My reason for being.

But while I love ideas and the way that they can inspire others, what happens when the energy of that moment wanes? What happens when the talk stops and you find yourself alone and unguarded. What then?

That’s when your reason for doing takes over.

Where the raison d’être – your reason for being – speaks of life, raison pour le faire- your reason for doing – speaks of action.

On the one hand you have thought. On the other hand, life.

We seem to have plenty of ideas, thought and inspiration. They abound in life, art and work. We attend conferences devoted to them.

But inspiration doesn’t create change. That’s hard work beyond the realm of ideas. It’s the realm of life. And you can only change life through doing.

So stop reading.

Architect of Your Future - Tattoo Design

Creative Commons License - = Duke One = - via Compfight

Did the Job You’re In Exist When You Were Studying?

Got a new job

Got a new job Stéfan via CompfightPredicting the future is incredibly difficult. Ask any psychic. Or marketer. We don’t need research to tell us that the world is changing, or that the future will be different from the past. The challenge is magnified not only by the amount of change that we are seeing in almost every industry, but by the rate at which those changes are taking place.

Futurist, Tim Longhurst says to predict five years into the future you need to look back ten.

Is it any wonder that younger generations entering the workforce are finding it hard to plot their future careers?

As it turns out, I don’t think this problem has changed that much. Marketing was my fourth or fifth career, and I fell into it by accident. But even within the broad field of marketing, I have rarely held a role with a fixed job description. There have always been large grey areas in which I operated most effectively – whether as an incubator of new business units, a strategist, marketing director.

The thing is – I don’t think my career path with its twists and turns is all that different than others. But tell me. Did the job you’re in exist when you were studying?


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A Minute is a Long Time–On the Internet

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They say that a week is a long time in politics.

That was certainly the case when there was a “daily” news cycle. Any announcements or revelations needed to be revealed in time for stories to be written, edited, photographs to be prepared, processed and newspapers to be printed. Breaking news was the domain of the more instantaneous broadcasters like radio and TV. And even then, only the most explosive news items would break programming.

But the web changed all that.

It has taken two decades at least, but the internet has now thoroughly transformed the way that we source, gather, verify and consume news. There has been a breakdown between those that produce the news, those who are the subject of the “news” and those who consume it. And the structures which once provided certainty, built trust and way points for navigation in a chaotic and busy world have, in the process of this disruption, been swept away.

These structures have been replaced by data.

Data about data.

In a way, it was ever thus.

And the new arbiters of this data – our navigation beacons are themselves built of data. Google. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pandora and Amazon. They sound like the names of ancient gods straddling the primordial chaos – but they are massive enterprises designed not to serve, but to create value. Revenue. Share holder returns.

So think about what happens in an internet minute (see the infographic from Intel). Every minute of video. Every byte of uploaded photo data. And every tweet costs someone somewhere something. The question for you today is what does it cost YOU?

intel-internet-minute

Your Manifesto for Success

lazydog poster #01

It’s a cliché to say that the only constant in life is change. And yet, like all clichés, it reveals a deep truth that we all must grapple with. Business owners and entrepreneurs are well aware of the underlying truth of this cliché – yet are often the most unprepared for the disruption that comes with change.

When the events of life and business overwhelm – when the technology becomes challenging and the customers too demanding – having a document that sets out your business and personal beliefs can provide you with a vital anchor. Even better – it can help you make decisions in the most pressured of situations. It’s called a “manifesto for success” and you should write it today.

But what should be “in” your manifesto? One of the best that I have read is the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth by designer Bruce Mau. And in Bruce’s spirit, I would encourage you to imitate – drift – and begin anywhere. But make sure you DO. Here is Bruce’s manifesto:

Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.

Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.

Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

____________________. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.

Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.

Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.

Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.

Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.

Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone has it.

Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you.

Read only left-hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”

Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.

Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

Organization = Liberty. Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’

Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.

Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.

Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

Imitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.

Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.

Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.

Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

lazydog poster #01 loveleft via Compfight