Tuesday, November 29, 2011

7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From 'Star Trek'

Yes, I love "Star Trek." But that headline is not mine, unfortunately. David Borgenicht posted a neat commentary by that title.

He holds, and I agree, that you can learn some good leadership lessons from "Star Trek." These are the 7 points he makes:

"1. The best way to travel is to boldly go where no one has gone before." From a new restaurant to a new career, this will take you to new places.
"2. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--or the one." You are not the center of the universe or even the world.
"3. Expressing your emotions is a healthy thing." There are times when you have to let it out.
"4. When estimating how long a job will take, overestimate--and when you do better your captain will always be impressed." Yes, Scottie always restarted the engines with seconds to spare.
"5. Wearing red makes you a target." Think of ideas as color-coded.
"6. When you don't know what to say, pause." It wasn’t just bad acting (though there was some of that) that made Kirk a great negotiator.
"7. The most powerful force in the universe is friendship." Why else would you want to save the galaxy?

Whether you’re trying to save the universe, your business or a local park, these lessons will make your journey a little easier to handle.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How To Think Creatively

According to a post by Tony Schwartz on the Harvard Business Review blog page, a century’s worth of research has produced some agreement on what leads to creative thinking. Schwartz discusses the left-right brain connections and also has four stages.

“1. Saturation: Once the problem or creative challenge has been defined, the next stage of creativity requires absorbing one's self in what's already known. Any creative breakthrough inevitably rests on the shoulders of all that came before it.

2. Incubation: The second stage of creativity begins when we walk away from a problem. Incubation involves mulling over information, often unconsciously.

3. Illumination: Ah-ha moments — spontaneous, intuitive, unbidden — characterize the third stage of creativity. Where are you when you get your best ideas? I'm guessing it's not when you're sitting at your desk, or consciously trying to think creatively. Rather it's when you're doing something else, whether it's exercising, taking a shower, driving or even sleeping.

4. Verification: This stage is about challenging and testing the creative breakthrough you've had. Scientists do this in a laboratory. Painters do it on a canvas. Writers do it by translating a vision into words. How do you do this?”

More importantly, this all takes practice. Like all important skills, it needs to be practiced.