10 ingredients to making the world better

I’m back, post time chill-axing and a month-long digital detox (#nice).

January sees many getting reacquainted with their mojo and finding their zen. ……… Then, February hits and any new year resolutions and aspirations are flushed away, and the same mistakes of the year before are replicated, again.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein

So, let’s make a pact, to actually retain our mojo and zen throughout 2016.

Let’s make the world better! Bit, by bit.

Be this your own little world of you, your family and friends; your local community; your job; or the seemingly increasingly smaller BIG wide world.

Let’s make a difference.

During my break I had time to aimlessly wander and ponder.

Here’s my musings of 10 ingredients for how we can make the world better.

  1. Be agile: This fits with a couple posts I wrote last year where I noted … “The single biggest impediment to strategic growth is inaction. Second to this is moving with the wrong strategies. However, inaction is the biggest blockage” (from my post Design thinking and overcoming strategic inaction) and “Perhaps more focus on being agile, ever and authentically listening to customers and fixing what needs to be fixed quickly and efficiently would be best” (from my post Why thinking strategic is often tragic). You might also find ‘IDEO Futures’ one of my favourite podcasts re design thinking and innovation of interest. They use the catch phrase?—?‘don’t get, ready get started’ which basically says it all.
  2. Avoid distraction: Digital addiction is an epidemic. Research illustrates a high correlation with mental illness such as depression and the level of social media and email activity (or obsession). Social media, while bringing many benefits, like alcohol or drug addiction it also allows for the potential of escape from reality, the mundane, to avoid actually getting stuff done to achieve goals. Unfortunately, it is easy to justify one’s high level of digital usage as being worthwhile, but is it really? It doesn’t mean you need to reject social media and all the benefits it brings, just set boundaries?—?e.g. only checking at limited times, removing push notifications and other clever triggers developers use to build addiction. Watch this fascinating 17 minute video ‘Un-Hooked: Increasing Focus in the Age of Distraction’ by author of Hooked (How to build habit forming products) Nir Eval. Or, check out ‘How to Make Facebook Less Addictive’ (by @NoamHarel).
  3. Develop positive habits: This is a hard one. Setting disciplines that become daily habits towards physical and mental health, business and professional success and achieving goals. Gamification is one approach being increasingly used to reward good behaviours to set entrenched habits. There are a multitude of apps and technology (e.g. fit-bits) to help make doing good easy and fun. Personally I used Runkeeper, Breeze, Calm and DrinkControl throughout 2015, and recently started using Nike+ to form some great habits (another post just waiting to be typed). You may also find David Allen ‘Getting Things Done’ illuminating or Googling concepts such as mindfulness may reveal some insight.
  4. Forget what you (think) you know: Think beyond the category norm, and avoid confirmation bias. Don’t be a specialist failing to see new possibilities or a CEO blaming the economy. Too often people say they support creativity and innovation, then criticise those doing things differently. “Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning beginner’s mind. ‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.’ There is a lesson here for those seeking innovation enlightenment” (from my post The beginner’s mind).
  5. Get some Grit: “A special hybrid of resilience: Grit is an individual’s unrelenting passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.” (read more here … my post This too shall pass). We all have good and not so good days, and resilience and Grit are critical to riding through this with as few scratches as possible.
  6. Have fun: Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Having fun allows us to embrace life beyond work. Play with your kids, your friends or yourself?—?run, jump, ride, surf, learn an instrument, embrace life. Have fun at home, at work or wherever.
  7. Open your eyes: Too many people go through their busy lives not seeing the little things, the beauty of life, and therefore miss opportunities to tune out and to be inspired. They fail to research their customers and potential customers, to look a bit deeper into their lives, needs and desires. Again, opportunities are missed. Impactful ideas start with an insight. Be it a spark of creative genius written on a napkin or inspired by deep exploration of the category and its consumers (for more read my post ‘5 steps to finding an insightful market researcher’).
  8. Define success and you: What does success mean to you? “To me ‘success’ is about living a story worth telling. My story, will be different to your story, which will be different to the story of others” (from my post ‘A successful man’). If you don’t have an understanding of the story you’re trying to tell, success will be trickier to achieve.
  9. Be thankful: There is significant research illustrating that being thankful and grateful is not only good for one’s own health and well-being, but also to that of a business. “Gratefulness is understood to increase a person’s health and well-being, from being conscious of what makes one happy (e.g a lovely sunny day, a few laughs or receiving a wonderful gift), rather than the ever insatiable hunger for better and more. … Research also illustrates the value of gratitude for businesses.” (from my post The Art of saying ‘thank you’)
  10. Think simple: “In the search for the next $1Billion business idea human nature is to think BIG, as $1Billion is a big number. Yet, the most likely idea is actually small, and seemingly too simple, solving an inherent problem or just making the complex easier” (from my post ‘Finding unicorns, and how to build a ‘$1BILLION’ business … in two easy steps’).


Good luck with all that you wish 2016 to be.

If you can think of a way we can make the world better together … message me!

(Earlier posted on LinkedIn)

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