Saturday, December 5, 2009

7 lessons from Mozilla

7 lessons from Mozilla
  1. Superior products matter.
  2. Push ( most ) decisions-making to the edges.
  3. Communication will happen in every possible way ( so make sure it's reusable ).
  4. Make it easy for your community to do the important things.
  5. Surprise is overrated.
  6. Communities are not markets: members are citizens.
  7. The key is the art of figuring out whether and how to apply each of these ideas.
Lessons from Mozilla

John Lilly

WordCamp San Francisco 2009

I understand lesson 5 as don't surprise. Open communications beyond the inner circle. Let everyone who wants to know what Mozilla is doing knows what they are doing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Curiosity Management

How can we be learned people? The answer lies in using our curiosity. When we come across things that we feel curious about, what do we do? We find answers for them. A-ha! This is the way to being learned people.

Curiosity Management Process
  1. Be curious.
  2. Create opportunities for us to be curious.
  3. Record what makes us curious.
  4. Ask questions.
  5. Find learning resources.
  6. Ask learning resources questions.
  7. Record what learning resources help us to answer the questions.
As we answer more curiosities, we learn more. As we learn more, we become learned people.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

TED is spreading...

While I was reading the top 7 places to watch great minds in action blog post, I discovered a pattern. The idea of TED conference is spreading...

The host location has spread across America and the World.
From Long Beach, California, US to Camden, Maine, US to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
TED to PopTech to ideaCity.
TED was originally hosted at Monterey, California, US.

The presentation subject matters have spread beyond technology, entertainment and design to innovation to experience design.
TED has spread into many subject matters.

There seems to be a growing guild of conference organizers who bring together interesting speakers, curious listeners and knowledge sharing infrastructure. May we have more TED like conferences to watch.

This lead me to asking are there any other TED like conferences? I found 4.
DLD, Munich, Germany
Le Web, Paris, France
Lift, Geneva, Switzerland
Picnic, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Principles of conversation

Principles of conversation

  1. We acknowledge one another as equals.
  2. We try to stay curious about each other.
  3. We recognize that we need each other's help to become better listeners.
  4. We slow down so we have time to think and reflect.
  5. We remember that conversation is the natural way humans think together.
  6. We expect it to be messy at times.

Turning to one another
expanded second edition

Page 33
ISBN: 9781576757642

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 leadership skills for the future

I blogged about the idea of the 10 super powers of the amplified individuals a year ago. It is about the collaboration skills we need in the future. The idea has been remix into the 10 leadership skills for the future by Bob Johansen.

10 leadership skills for the future

1. Maker Instinct
Ability to turn one’s natural impulse to build into a skill for making the future and connecting with others in the making. The maker instinct is basic to leadership in the future.

2. Clarity
Ability to see through messes and contradictions to a future that others cannot yet see. Leaders are very clear about what they are making, but very flexible about how they get it made.

3. Dilemma Flipping
Ability to turn dilemmas - which, unlike problems, cannot be solved - into advantages and opportunities.

4. Immersive Learning Ability
Ability to dive into different-for-you physical and online worlds, to learn from them in a first-person way.

5. Bio-Empathy
Ability to see things from nature’s point of view; to understand, respect, and learn from nature’s patterns. Nature has its own clarity,
if only we humans can understand and engage with it.

6. Constructive Depolarizing
Ability to calm tense situations where differences dominate and communication has broken down - and bring people from divergent cultures toward constructive engagement.

7. Quiet Transparency
Ability to be open and authentic about what matters to you - without advertising yourself.

8. Rapid Prototyping
Ability to create quick early versions of new innovations, with the expectation that later success will require early failures.

9. Smart Mob Organizing
Ability to bring together, engage with, and nurture purposefull business or social-change networks through intelligent use of electronic and other media.

10. Commons Creating
Ability to stimulate, grow and nurture shared assets that can benefit other players - and allow competition at a higher level.

ISBN: 9781605090023

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Be Learned

My most often used email signature is

Regards :-)

Be learned

Stephanie asked does to be learned means one have learned everything and stopped? Is it possible to learn everything?

I replied be learned is my life's purpose. One cannot learn all but can learn more. Purpose is a direction not destination. I agree to her view in one of our conversations that one can never be the best because once one reach best, there is a higher level to go.

I have 2 questions to guide me if I have been more learned
  1. What is the 1 new idea I discover this week? ( 1 new idea rule )
  2. Am I more learned this moment than the moment before? ( The now rule )

Friday, September 18, 2009

TEDx Singapore

TEDx is a TED style event hosting support initiative by TED. Many groups and people have started their own TEDx group. Currently, there are 4 Singapore TEDx groups. They are
TEDx MIT Club Singapore hosted Singapore's first TEDx event on 12 Sep 2009. The event sounds interesting from Mahesh Kumar's blog post.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rich son, poor son

I was watching the rich son, poor son video recommended by Sze Yong.

The story outline:
4 elder ladies having a get together meal in Malaysia.
They chat about how well the children are doing in their careers.
3 ladies' children will doing well. Their children will accountancy firm partner, lawyer and doctor. Earn well, hold company equity, bought new house... When the 4th lady was ask how is her son doing ( in career context ), she reply he is good, he is coming to take me out.
Her son came with his wife and children to drive her to a mountain resort for holiday.
The video ends with the message - love of the family is life's greatest blessing.

This leads me to thinking when one change one's measures for success, one's results change.

Monday, August 31, 2009

3 ways of explaining how to manage uncertainty

3 ways of explaining how to manage uncertainty

Margaret Wheatley's way

Start something and see who notices it.
It's only after we initiate something in a system that we see the threads that connect. Usually, someone we don't even know suddenly appears, either outraged or helpfull. We didn't know there was any connection between us but their response makes the connection clear. Now that they've identified themselves, we need to develop a relationship with them.

Whatever you initiate, expect unintended consequences.
Every effort to change a system creates these, because we can't see the interactions ahead of time. One very visible example of unintended consequences is what happens every time humans try to change the natural ecology of a place. Fertilizer is introduced to farm fields without noticing how rain water connects fields to oceans. Over time, we have got bountifull crops but fewer fish. I know one think tank that created a “Museum of Unintended Consequences”. They wanted to notice all the impacts of any societal change effort. When we are willing to look at unintended consequences, they teach a great deal about how a system operates.

Reflect often.
The system reveals itself to us all the time. The problem is we seldom stop to notice what just happened. Without such reflection, we go blindly on our way, ignore the learnings, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything usefull. It's amazing to me how much we do but how little time we spend reflecting on what we just did.

Seek out different interpretations.
Run ideas by many different people, to see things through their unique perceptions. Everyone in a complex system has, at minimum, a slightly different interpretation. The more interpretations we gather, the easier it becomes to gain a sense of the whole.

Look for insights to emerge out of messiness.
Puzzling and messy situations often lead us to simplistic and stupid behaviours. Either we grab onto an easy answer or decide to take actions that have no clear rational. But confusion can create the condition for intuitions and insights to appear, often when we least expect them. If they appear, they usually can be trusted. In fact, it's common for many people to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time. In the Quaker tradition, this is called “a gathered meeting”. It's far better than struggling for false consensus.

Sense from:
Margaret Wheatley
Page 207 - 208
ISBN: 9781576754054

David Snowden's way

In complicated situations, sense, analyze and respond. Create panels of experts. In chaotic situations, act, sense and respond. Look for what works instead of seeking right answers.

Sense from:
A leader's framework for decision making
David Snowden & Mary Boone
Harvard Business Review 2007 Nov

Adam Kahane's way

Cross the river by feeling for stones
Deng Xiao Ping

Sense from:
Adam Kahane's presentation at Canada@150 9 Jun 2008 ( Part 3 of 3 )

I will be glad to hear your way of explaining how to manage uncertainty.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Who are badvocates?
Badvocates are people who passionately criticize or detract from companies, brands, products and services.

Why should you pay attention to badvocates?
They tell the World about bad experiences. When bad experiences grows, when customers search your company's name, the top results are bad experiences.

How to manage badvocates?

1. Be prepared
Establish processes to minimize threats.
Monitor comments about your company.
Leverage search engine optimization.
Establish employee guidelines for social media.
Register email addresses and “gripe” domain names.
Trademark your company name.

2. Defend yourself
Hire reputation managers.
Respond rapidly.
Disclose communications with badvocates.
Make the facts available.
Address myths head-on.
Enlist your fans.

3. Embrace dissatisfaction
Invite transparent dialogue.
Ask badvocates to “step outside” - host face-to-face events with senior executives.
Ask for ideas.
Solve problems together.
Respond thoughtfully.

4. Apologize
Admit when you’re wrong, hard as it is.
Don’t email or comment on a negative blog posting, pick up the phone.
Establish an advisory council of badvocates.

5. Don't Ignore

6. Inoculate
Identify your advocates.
Recruit your advocates.
Reward your advocates.

Weber Shandwick

I have 3 comments on how to manage badvocates:
  1. Don't ignore should be point 1.
  2. When talking to badvocates by phone instead of email or comment on a negative blog posting, don't forget to post that you will be doing so. Let blog readers know why the conversation stop.
  3. If I will to use 1 sentence to describe how I will manage badvocates if I were a company, it will be - be honest and kind.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blogging is part of working

While I was watching Fred Wilson's talk at Google Talks, the thought of his blog has become part of how he works caught my attention.

How he work:
  1. Before presentation, post slides on blog.
  2. Blog readers give comments.
  3. Review and incorporate comments into slides.
  4. Thank readers.

This leads me to thinking one can shift from working alone or working with colleagues to working collectively with one's social networks. This proves that there is value in social networks for corporations.

Sense from:
1:55 - 3:50 mins

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How do Alan Webber manage ideas

How do Alan Webber manage ideas?
  1. Keep a stack of 3 x 5 cards.
  2. Listen and observe.
  3. When heard an idea that clicked with you, pull out a card and write it down.
  4. Review the cards.
  5. Catalog the cards into files.
Sense from:
Alan Webber

Friday, July 17, 2009

8 characteristics of effective idea process

8 characteristics of effective idea process
  1. Ideas are encouraged and welcomed.
  2. Submitting ideas is simple.
  3. Evaluation of ideas is quick and effective.
  4. Feedback is timely, constructive and informative.
  5. Implementation is rapid and smooth.
  6. Ideas are reviewed for additional potential.
  7. People are recognized and success is celebrated.
  8. Idea system performance is measured, reviewed and improved.
Alan Robinson & Dean Schroeder
Page 144 - 145
ISBN: 9781576752821

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to get ideas

How to get ideas

1. Just ask
Ask your people to come to their regular department meetings with one small idea that will make their work easier or improve the company in some way and that will not require permission from above or significant resources to implement. Have each person present his or her idea and ask the group to discuss it and build on it. If an idea is worthwhile, agree on who will implement it.

2. Offer lunch
Bring in pizza ( or whatever food is appropriate ) and collect and discuss your employees' ideas over an extended lunch. Hold the lunch off-site, if more appropriate. Such a lunch can become a regular activity.

3. When change occurs, ask for ideas
Whenever major change occurs or is anticipated, encourage your group to be on the lookout for the new problems and opportunities created by this change and to offer ideas to address them.

4. Look for that bigger problem or opportunity in a small idea
When an idea comes in that might have broader implications, explore them. Together with your people, identify the larger issues involved and decide what can be done to address them.

5. Work on reluctant participants
When a person is not offering any ideas, talk to him or her and find out why. Encourage and help this person until he or she feels comfortable and confident about giving in ideas.

Alan Robinson & Dean Schroeder
Page 58
ISBN: 9781576752821

Monday, July 13, 2009

Show me the problem

Last Friday, I went to see an osteopath as I sprained my leg. On the way back, I was offered a seat in the subway.

What I observed:
I was offered the seat when I am feeling better rather than when I was feeling worst. The answer lies in the bandage on my ankle. When I was going to the osteopath, I was feeling worst with no bandage. When I was returning, I was feeling better with bandage.

This leads me to thinking:
Don't help only when people show us the problem.
Don't look at things on the surface only.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 Google cultural norms

10 Google cultural norms
  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. You don't need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
  7. There's always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
  10. Great just isn't good enough.
Alfred Spector
Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference 2008

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The child is made of one hundred

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred, always a hundred ways
of listening
of marveling
of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds to discover 
a hundred worlds to invent 
a hundred worlds to dream.

The child has a hundred languages
( and a hundred hundred more )
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body. 
They tell the child
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not speak
to understand without joy
to love and marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child that
work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Loris Malaguzzi
Founder of The Reggio Children learning approach

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A slide a day

I have just finished my personal project - a slide a day. I hope this project can help people to discover something interesting per day. I have uploaded 365 slides from my learning collection. The slides' subject matters are on KIDS ( knowledge management, innovation, design and strategy ).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to TED

Richard Wurman's ( founder of TED Conference ) advice to Saul Kaplan ( founder of BIF Innovation Collaborative Summits ) on how to create great events: 
Bring interesting people that you want to have at your dinner table that you are interested in their story and you can learn from and then invite other people to listen.

Message taken from 10:47 to 11:58 mins of the talk

Saturday, April 4, 2009


While I was reading the book cover of the Sun, the genome and the Internet, the thought of tools caught my attention.

In this visionary look into the future, Freeman Dyson argues that technological changes fundamentally alter our ethical and social arrangements and that three rapidly advancing new technologies - solar energy, genetic engineering and world-wide communication - together have the potential to create a more equal distribution of the world's wealth.

Dyson begins by rejecting the idea that scientific revolutions are primarily concept driven. He shows rather that new tools are more often the sparks that ignite scientific discovery. Such tool-driven revolutions have profound social consequences - the invention of the telescope turning the Medieval world view upside down, the widespread use of household appliances in the 1950s replacing servants, to cite just two examples. In looking ahead, Dyson suggests that solar energy, genetics, and the Internet will have similarly transformative effects, with the potential to produce a more just and equitable society. Solar power could bring electricity to even the poorest, most remote areas of third world nations, allowing everyone access to the vast stores of information on the Internet and effectively ending the cultural isolation of the poorest countries. Similarly, breakthroughs in genetics may well enable us to give our children healthier lives and grow more efficient crops, thus restoring the economic and human vitality of village cultures devalued and dislocated by the global market.

Written with passionate conviction about the ethical uses of science, the Sun, the genome, and the Internet is both a brilliant reinterpretation of the scientific process and a challenge to use new technologies to close, rather than widen, the gap between rich and poor.

Freeman Dyson
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195139228

This leads me to connect to what Joo Hock blogs about tools.

Bucky used to say that if you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.

A more effective way to "change" thinking and behaviour is to develop a new tool for use which no one would quarrel with, which they can use. A new tool to work with re-forms the environment.

Joo Hock Quek

By connecting these two thoughts, I can explain to people what are examples of tools that can change behaviour and thinking.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Buckminster Fuller guide

Good Magazine have published a 6 page guide on Buckminster Fuller. I recommend it as a good introduction to his achievements.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Things we learned project

Last Saturday, I watch Stefan Sagmeister's things I have learned in my life so far at TED with the Bucky Group. I was interested in his list of things learned. I search online and found the list. I have a list of things learned too. I shared Stefan's list and my list with the group. I ask them to share their things learned. I got reply from Joo Hock and Michael. I start to see value in creating a project to collect things we have learned.

I decide to start the things we learned project.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What have Stefan Sagmeister learned in his life so far?

What have Stefan Sagmeister learned in his life so far?
  1. Helping other people helps me.
  2. Having guts always works out for me.
  3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
  4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.
  5. Being not truthful always works against me.
  6. Everything I do always comes back to me.
  7. Assuming is stifling.
  8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.
  10. Money does not make me happy.
  11. My dreams have no meaning.
  12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.
  13. Trying to look good limits my life.
  14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
  15. Worrying solves nothing.
  16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  17. Everybody thinks they are right.
  18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.
  19. Low expectations are a good strategy.
  20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.
CR Blog

What have I learned in my life so far?
  1. Nothing is permanent ( including this list ).
  2. Things fail when it is not design to deal with changes.
  3. One can reduces one's ignorance by learning more about oneself and the World around us.
  4. Sharing what I discover about myself and the World around me is intellectual philanthropy.
  5. There is power when one knows one can be wrong.
  6. There is always more than one way of seeing and doing things.
  7. Listen to people who have unpopular views.
  8. Do one's own thinking.
  9. If one does not make choices, choices make one.
  10. Connecting the disconnects
What have you learned in your life so far?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Credit Crisis

A simple and elegant video that explains what is:
  1. Leverage
  2. Sub-prime mortgages
  3. Collateralized debt obligations
  4. Credit default swaps
  5. The Credit Crisis

Jonathan Jarvis

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Individual sanity is mass men's madness

There is a legend among the Persian Sufis. Once upon a time, a wise man said that the day will come when all the water in the World except what have been specially collected would disappeared. Then different water will replace it. Anyone who drank the new water would lost his mind.

Only one man took the prophecy seriously and begin to store up water. But the day that have been predicted did not come. Every body of water empty out. The man who had listened to the wise man drank water from his supply. The bodies of water and wells filled up with water again. People thirstily drank this water and everyone of them went crazy. The man who have listened to the wise man continue to drink water only from his own supply and kept his sanity.

He was the only sane person left among the mad men and therefore he was call crazy. He pours out his reserves of real water ( the old water ) on to the ground. He drank the new water and lost his mind. The mad men decided that he has become sane.

Sense from:
Water ( the documentary )
41:05 - 42:27 mins

Friday, January 9, 2009

Principles for a new media literacy

In the age of the Internet and blogging, we are creators as well as consumers of media. With the increase of media and the need to blog, we need more sophisticated media literacy. Let's use the following as a guide.

Sense from:

Principles of media consumption:
  1. Be skeptical of absolutely everything.
  2. Although skepticism is essential, don't be equally skeptical of everything.
  3. Go outside your personal comfort zone.
  4. Ask more questions.
  5. Understand and learn media techniques.
Principles of media creation:
  1. Do your homework, and then do some more.
  2. Get it right, every time.
  3. Be fair to everyone.
  4. Think independently, especially of your own biases.
  5. Practice and demand transparency.