Sources of Insight Better Insights, Better Results 2015-08-01T16:45:06Z http://sourcesofinsight.com/feed/atom/ WordPress JD <![CDATA[Innovate Like Einstein: An Eight-Step System for Innovation]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=27078 2015-07-30T16:17:01Z 2015-07-30T16:13:46Z Innovation is a game everyone can play. But you need innovation tools and techniques to be more effective. What if you could innovate like Archimedes, Einstein, or Edison?

The post Innovate Like Einstein: An Eight-Step System for Innovation appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” — Theodore Levitt

Innovation is a game everyone can play.

But you need innovation tools and techniques to be more effective.

What if you could innovate like Archimedes, Einstein, or Edison?  What new process would you create, what new product would you design, or what new idea would you think up?

For some, innovation is more systematic.  For others, it’s more serendipity.  In all cases, a big idea is rooted in insight.

In the book, The Four Lenses of Innovation: A Power Tool for Creative Thinking, Rowan Gibson shares a simple process to innovate like Einstein.

The Archimedes, Einstein, and Edison Approach to Innovation

While everybody’s innovation process might look different on the surface, they all tend to follow a common set of steps.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Is there really a ‘method’ by which all ideas are produced,’ as James Webb Young asserted more than six decades ago? Certainly, Archimedes, Einstein, and Edison seemed to follow quite similar steps to their breakthrough solutions, essentially corresponding with the linear, multistage models of the creative process that have been defined and refined over the past hundred years.”

8-Step Creative Process for Innovation

You can innovate like Einstein.

Here are the eight steps of how to innovate like Einstein according to Rowan Gibson:

  1. Frame a specific challenge and focus on solving it.
  2. Research a subject.  Learn from the work of others.
  3. Immerse yourself in the problem.  Explore possible solutions.
  4. Reach a roadblock.  Feel the creative frustration.
  5. Relax.  Detach from the problem.  Let it incubate in the unconscious mind.
  6. Come to an illuminating insight that fundamentally shifts your perspective.
  7. Build the insight (or insights) into a big idea–a new combination of thoughts.
  8. Test and illuminate the new idea–try to make it work.

Treat the 8-steps for innovation like scaffolding.   Just use the process as a way to build your innovation muscle.  As you start to spread your wings, you’ll find you can skip over steps or re-sequence them, as you build your fluency in the art and science of innovation.

Innovation Can Often Be Intuitive and Serendipitous

What happens if you miss a step, or skip a beat?

It happens.

Innovation happens.

Sometimes by chance, and not always by choice.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“In contrast, many other inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators came to their ideas in ways that deviated quite obviously from their standard models.  Their approach to innovation was more intuitive than deliberate; more serendipitous than systematic. 

But, as we found out when we unpacked these latter cases, there was nevertheless a stepwise process involved in discovering and developing each of these opportunities, even though several of the steps may have been in a different order than prescribed in most models, or simply skipped altogether.”

There are Common Steps for Innovation

While you can try and wing it with innovation, or wait for creative lightening to strike, or hope that you experience great flashes of insight, it’s still a good idea to stack the deck in your favor.

I like to think of it as getting up to bat, focus on hitting the ball well, and every now and then hitting it out of the park.

But not swinging for the fence every time you’re up at bat.

I think that rooting yourself in an approach that you can count on for yourself, that allows for serendipity, but at the same time, encourages forward progress, will help you find what works for you.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“It turns out, then, that the production of ideas is not quite ‘as definitive a process as the production of Fords,’ to use James Webb Young’s assembly line analogy.  However, there are some common steps that seem to recur in every case, whether the innovators in question were deliberately trying to follow ‘an operative technique,’ or instead were just following their creative instincts

It’s definitely not wrong to consciously set up the front end of the creative process in the most effective way by framing a specific challenge and focusing on solving it, researching the subject to learn from the work of others, immersing yourself in the problem and exploring possible solutions–probably reaching a roadblock or creative impasse at some point–and then detaching from the problem to let it incubate in the unconscious mind.”

Innovation Sometimes Happens by Chance

Creative leaps happen.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Anyone who has ever spent time in R&D, new product development, adverting or design, or who has ever worked on solving some creative challenge of their own, will no doubt immediately identify with this sequence of steps. 

But this doesn’t mean that innovation sometimes happens, at least partly, by chance. 

As we have clearly seen, it’s not always necessary to follow each one of these preliminary steps, in this particular order, to discover a new opportunity, although several or all of the steps may still occur at some point further downstream.”

Powerful Ideas are Always Inspired by Insights

If you want to innovate like Einstein, while you can follow the steps to improve your effectiveness with innovation, the real key is to master your ability to gain insight.

Insights are the fundamental building blocks of big ideas.

If you want more big ideas, then find ways to shift your perspective and see things in a brand new way.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“One element is the big idea.  Obviously, at the heart of every significant innovation there is a compelling and value-creating idea of some kind– a new combination of thoughts.   The other element is the illuminating insight (or insights). 

Without fail, every big idea was preceded by at least one insight–a new and penetrating understanding into a situation or problem. 

These two elements of the creative thinking process–the insight and the idea–are invariably present in each case, and are always inextricably connected.  Why? Because if there was one universal law of innovation, it would be this: Powerful new ideas are never simply snatched of the air.  They are always inspired by insights.”

Just because you don’t have Einstein’s cool hair or mustache doesn’t mean you can’t take a page out of his playbook.

Maybe you won’t imagine yourself riding on a beam of light, like Einstein did, but maybe you’ll see yourself riding something even more illuminating.

Here’s to you, and innovating like Einstein.

You Might Also Like

How Great Leaders Build a Culture of Innovation and Change

Innovate in Your Approach

Innovation Life-Cycle

Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration

Innovation Quotes

Insight

Management Innovation is at the Top of the Innovation Stack

The post Innovate Like Einstein: An Eight-Step System for Innovation appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[Insight]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=27072 2015-07-29T16:12:57Z 2015-07-29T16:06:15Z Insight is inner sight, mental vision, or wisdom. Insight is the creative juice that authors, artists, linchpins, entrepreneurs, teachers, trusted advisers, and other creative geniuses flow and draw from.

The post Insight appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.”

What is insight?

A dictionary definition might say insight is inner sight, mental vision, or wisdom.

Maybe Edward de Bono says it best when he says insight is a eureka moment, and he describes two kinds.

The first kind of insight is where we short-circuit a longer path with a shorter one.  Maybe one day, we find a shorter way home.

The second is type of insight is like a eureka moment, where we gain a sudden flash of insight, and a new understanding.

With a flash of insight, there may be no new information, but according to de Bono, the whole thing suddenly ‘restructures itself to give a completely different pattern.’

Why Do We Care About Insight?

Why do we care about insight?  Because we can solve problems better and faster, and we can create new solutions or expand the realm of possibility.

Insight is the creative juice that authors, artists, linchpins, entrepreneurs, teachers, trusted advisers, and other creative geniuses flow and draw from.

Insight is the backbone of innovation and the art of the possible..

Insight breaks the mold, and forges new pathways in the mind, leading to deeper learning.

Our “ah-ha” moments enlighten us.

In the book, The Four Lenses of Innovation: A Power Tool for Creative Thinking, Rowan Gibson explains insight in pragmatic ways.

Insight is a New and Penetrating Understanding

Like a stroke of genius, insight helps us see things in a brand new way.  Sometimes, it’s like somebody defrosted our windows.  Other times, it’s like somebody took our blinders off that we didn’t even know we had on.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Look up the word insight in a dictionary, and you will find it defined as ‘a new and penetrating understanding about a particular situation or a problem.’  It’s about grasping of discerning the true nature of something; suddenly noticing or perceiving a matter clearly or deeply; literally seeing into a situation (hence in-sight) in a way that sheds light on or helps solve a problem.”

Insight is a Striking Realization

Whether it’s a new angle, new information, or a new connection, insight helps us connect the dots in new and more meaningful ways.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Thus, I like to think of an insight as a striking realization that fundamentally changes our thinking.  It can come from an illuminating new piece of information that either prompts us to look at an issue from a completely different angle, or that connects with existing information  in a way that brings us a startling new conclusion. 

But sometimes these novel thoughts or realizations just seem to surface in our heads quite suddenly without the recent addition of any new information, particularly after a period in which the unconscious mind has been incubating previous knowledge, information, interests, and experiences.”

Insight Surprises and Inspires You

The power of insight is the power to inspire us.   Whether it means creating new windows or breaking down walls, or simply taking the balcony view, insight can surprise us, and take our understanding to new depths or higher levels.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Simply put, an insight is something you previously didn’t know, or didn’t yet think about, that has the power to surprise and inspire you.  And what role do such insights play in the creative thinking process? As Scott Gray, head of planning at digital marketing agency Quirk, puts it, ‘Insights are to an idea what fire-lighters are to fire.  They represent the best way of generating ideas that inspire success.’”

Insight Redirects Your Thinking

When you change what you see, it changes your thinking.  Insight changes what we see, and what we can see, and therefore, what we can think.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“In their article, Unleashing hidden Insights, Marco Vriens (from Microsoft) and Rogier Verhult (from LinkedIn) define an insight as ‘a thought, fact, combination of facts, data and/or analysis of data that induces meaning and furthers understanding of a situation or issue.’  It is something that has the potential of ‘redirecting the thinking about that situation or issue, which then in turn has the potential of benefiting the business.’”

Insight Reveals Profound Truths

Whether it was there all along, and now it’s revealed, or it was forging a better looking glass, insight can help us see evergreen truths, or deeper truths well beyond what we might see today.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Executives at Mars, the global chocolate manufacturer, refer to the process of discovering insights as ‘peeling back the onion,’ in the sense that it is about looking beyond the obvious by methodically removing successive layers of shallow, superficial information in an effort to drill down to the deeper and more profound truths about something.’”

Insight Turns the Lights On

Just when you thought there were 9 planets, we found out there was 10.  And then there was 8.

Insight helps us see things better.  And sometimes, brighter.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“In The Art of Insight, Charles Kiefer and Malcolm Constable wrote that insights ‘result in a dramatically improved understanding of a situation or problem such that we see things more deeply and more accurately than before.’  That’s why Jeremy Bullmore, member of the Advisory Board at WPP, the multinational marketing communications company says that ‘a good insight is like a refrigerator, because the more you look into it, a light comes on.’”

Insight Shifts Our Mental Perspective

When the light bulb goes off, and you see things in a completely different light, insight helps you see problems and solutions from a new mental model.

The mental model that you work from can limit or accelerate your breakthroughs.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“A great example of an illuminating insight is Professor Theodore Levitt’s famous remark: ‘People don’t want quarter-inch drills.  They want quarter-inch holes.’  For his marketing students at Harvard Business School 40 or 50 years ago, this fresh understanding represented a drastic shift in mental perspective.  It immediately altered their perception by allowing them to see the marketing challenge in a completely different light.”

Insight is a many splendored thing.

Insight is accessible to all of us.

What will you do with yours?

You Might Also Like

101 of the Greatest Insights and Actions for Work and Life

The Age of Wisdom

The World’s Wisdom on Your Side

The post Insight appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[Image Streaming — Think Faster, More Visually, and More Fluidly]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=27038 2015-07-29T14:27:05Z 2015-07-27T15:38:53Z Image Streaming is a technique you can use to improve your visual thinking and verbal fluency. Whether you want flashes of insights or simply to build your working vocabulary, you can practice Image Streaming on your own.

The post Image Streaming — Think Faster, More Visually, and More Fluidly appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

Image Streaming is a technique you can use to improve your visual thinking and verbal fluency.

Whether you want flashes of insights or simply to build your working vocabulary, you can practice Image Streaming on your own.

Image Streaming is a creative thinking technique developed by Win Wenger, Ph.D.  He modeled it after visual thinkers like Einstein.  Wenger claims that Einstein developed the foundations for the theory of relativity while visualizing himself “driving a train and looking into mirror asking a question if he could see his face”.

Think Better, Think Faster, See More

What if you could think faster, more visually, and more fluidly?  What if you could verbalize your ideas in a much better way?

What if you could envision new ideas and describe them in rich detail?  What if you could expand your vocabulary and apply it to come up with new creative ideas.

Enter Image Streaming.

It gets the lead out.

Describe What You See In Your Mind Out Loud

Kids often have an active imagination.

Somewhere along the way, adults often lose their imagination, and yet, that’s exactly what they need to innovate or solve problems or dream up better ways to do things.

Maybe we edit too much and block any ideas from getting a chance to see the light of day.

What if instead of editing, we practiced elaborating?

How often do you practice describing your ideas in rich detail, out loud?

See the gap? (It’s hard to get better at things we don’t practice 😉

How To Practice Image Streaming

Image Streaming is simply a way to examine and explore images in your mind.  Simply explore a scene by describing it in as much detail as possible, using all of your senses.  Verbalize it out loud.

As you verbalize the image, you’ll see more, and as you see more describe it.  Describe it as fast as you can.  This will develop your verbal fluency, and will help you elaborate on details of the images and the scenes that you see.

It may feel forced at first, but it’s like building a muscle.  The more you use it, the easier it gets to do it.  And that’s your growth.

Record your session so you can play it back and reflect on your ability to describe what you experience.  Alternatively, you could describe a scene to a friend or partner and have them give feedback.

You can practice anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

Everyone Can Readily Learn and Practice It

What I especially like about Image Streaming is that it’s visual thinking for everyone.  Anybody can practice it, and anybody can develop their creative thinking skills and their verbal fluency.

Via Project Renaissance:

“Starting advantage, differences of birth, wealth, placement, schooling, even intelligence, can make little long-run difference compared to the advantages of simple sustained practice of these activities and your active resolve to see their results through to fruition.”

How I Use Image Streaming

I’ve stumbled upon Image Streaming naturally through the course of my work.  I often need to describe scenes of the future and how technology will make an impact in our lives.  Or, I need to think of ways that technology will improve business scenarios.

Because I need to share these ideas with other people, live, I end up exploring ways to quickly explain in rich detail what a scene in my mind for the future is like.

While I still get stuck, or find myself at a loss for words, I’ve definitely gotten more fluent in painting scenes of the future for my colleagues.

Where I need to practice more is using more of my senses when I describe the scenes to really bring them to life in more vivid detail.

The more that I practice Image Streaming, the more I wonder whether Visionary Leaders happen to be good at storytelling about the future, or they simply practice describing it, and they get better over time.

You Might Also Like

3 Thinking Skills to Improve Your Intellectual Horsepower

5 Thinking Styles

How To Think Like Bill Gates

How To Use the PMI Technique to Improve Your Thinking

How To Use the Six Thinking Hats to Improve Your Thinking

The post Image Streaming — Think Faster, More Visually, and More Fluidly appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[Everyone Has a Story]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=27010 2015-07-24T16:03:54Z 2015-07-24T16:01:00Z Everyone has a story. But not everyone tells their story. And we don’t always ask. Sharing the stories that shaped your life doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.

The post Everyone Has a Story appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

Everyone has a story.  But not everyone tells their story.

And we don’t always ask.

Sharing the stories that shaped your life doesn’t make you weak.   It makes you human.

When we share stories of the defining moments in our lives, we connect at a deeper level, beyond roles and goals.

In The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life, Tommy Spaulding shares how everyone has a story and how vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.

It’s OK To Be Open, Candid, and Vulnerable

Jodi had high ambitions.   While she achieved her dreams, it was not without extreme challenges, pain, and setbacks along the way.

In the process of sharing her stories, Jodi learned that it’s OK to be human.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“In her speech, Jodi had two messages to give the students at the National Leadership Academy.  One was that people are defined by ‘how they respond to adverse circumstances.’  The other was that it’s OK to be open, candid, and vulnerable with others.  ‘I had always felt that you need to appear confident even if you’re not,’ she said.”

Share the Defining Moments of Our Lives

The more Jodi shared her stories, the more she connected.

She was no longer just another successful leader focused on business results.  She was a fellow human being with hopes and dreams and fears like the rest of us.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“Jodi told me that she had only started opening up more to others recently, when she began looking for ways to build greater trust with her leadership team, clients, and customers. 

She realized that a shift toward openness, candor, and vulnerability might help

Jodi started talking more about herself with colleagues; she even gave a talk in which she discussed some defining moments in her life from her difficult childhood to her multiple miscarriages.”

Vulnerability Builds Better Relationships

When a leader shows their vulnerable side, it helps others show theirs, too.

When people feel safe to share their vulnerability, things get real.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“It was so effective that Jodi schedule a meeting with her 15-person leadership, team, where she asked them to share stories about defining moments in their own lives.

‘The whole group came together and we shared a lot,’ she said.  ‘Since then, I’ve learned so much more about the people who work for me, what matters to them, and what motivates them. 

It has made us a better team.  It helped me to see that by modeling vulnerability, I gave people permission to be vulnerable with me, with each other, and even with their clients.’  As she put it: ‘Vulnerability helps to build relationships.’”

Nobody Knew Her Story

Tommy Spalding tells the story of a leadership workshop he led, where one of the attendees told her story for the first time.

She was in her sixties.  She had withdrawn from community activities.  Why she withdrew from her philanthropic ventures is the story that others really cared about.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“As soon as the words were out of my mouth, this lady broke down crying, which startled everyone in the room.  This wasn’t a quiet cry, with moist eyes or tears trickling down her cheek, but a convulsive cry punctuated by sobs and gasps.

‘Is something wrong?’ I asked her gingerly.

‘It’s just that my husband is now 68 years old and nobody in his family, not his parents nor his siblings, has lived past 70.  I feel like I’m in my last years with him.  He’s been my best friend for four decades and I want to spend as much time as I can with him.  I want to enjoy time with him before it’s too late.  So that’s why I pulled myself back from community activities.  My husband is more important.’

‘Thank you for sharing that with us,’ I told her. ‘We should all be so lucky to have such a strong marriage that we’re still best friends after 40 years.’

The room was silent, and I could tell that no one quite knew how to proceed.  I wanted to take advantage of the emotion of that moment, and so I asked the other people in the room.  ‘How many of you in here knew your colleague’s story before today?’

Not a single person raised a hand.”

Connect in a Deeper Way with Those Around You

How can people relate to you, if you’re above the trials and tribulations that everyone is up against, the personal demons and all?

You can’t.

We’re only human.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“’This is an important lesson,’ I said, ‘not only about the power of sharing or of vulnerability, but of the power of knowing the people you work with. 

When you get to know another person in this way, it helps you understand them in a new way.  It’s not about exposing dark secrets–it’s about understand the life events that made people into who they are

When you know that, you start to accept people more unconditionally; you begin to understand what makes them tick. 

And it results in stronger and deeper relationships, personally and professionally.”

People might understand us a little better, if we share a little more.

How many people do you work with or see every day and you don’t know their story?

Everyone has a story.

You Might Also Like

3 Stories Leaders Need to Tell

Change Your Strategy, Change Your Story, Change Your State

Heart-Led Leadership

How To Arouse People to Extraordinary Achievement

My Story of Personal Transformation

Personal Stories Bring Ideas to Life

Visualize the Child to Build Your Empathy

The post Everyone Has a Story appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[The Presenter’s Paradox: More is Less]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=27004 2015-07-23T18:45:30Z 2015-07-23T18:34:42Z The Presenter’s Paradox is that the presenter thinks more information is better. But it’s not. The reader or listener “averages” all the pieces of information, and walks away with a single message.

The post The Presenter’s Paradox: More is Less appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.” — Winston Churchill

When it comes to presenting information, more is not more.

It’s less.

In fact, “more” can do more harm, than help.

In the book, What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It, Dianna Booher explains the Presenter’s Paradox and what to do about it.

The Presenter’s Paradox

The Presenter’s Paradox is that the presenter thinks more information is better.

But it’s not.

The reader or listener “averages” all the pieces of information, and walks away with a single message.

As a result, the presenter waters down their higher-value stuff with lower value stuff, when they present too much information.

Additionally, the presenter needs to avoid overloading or overwhelming the reader or listener’s absorption rate.   From a listener, or reader point of view, more is not more value.  It’s more information to sort through.  It’s more information to make sense of.  And, it’s more information to synthesize.

Presenters Think that More is Better

More is not better.  If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a lecture, or when somebody is on their soap box, you know what I mean.

Via What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It:

“We perceive situations, value, and penalties quite differently–depending on whether we’re communicating them or hearing them.

The natural tendency for communicators is to think that more is better. (That’s why it’s so easy for parents, managers, or leaders to lapse into lecture mode!) Human nature leans toward excess

If this is healthy, then thinner is healthier.  If pricing on the regular soft drinks makes sense, then the Super-Size drink seems like a steal.  If jogging three miles a day keeps you in shape, then training for a marathon should make you super fit.  If investing $20,000 in this start-up is a good deal, then why not sink half your life savings into it?”

Common Examples of How Presenters Go to Excess

If you’ve ever read a laundry list of benefits or a resume that never ends, or a book that’s too long to even begin, you get the point.

In an effort to be complete, a presenter ends up creating complexity, or worse, they take away the punch of their high-value insights or information.

Via What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It:

“People transfer that same thinking to the workplace when they prepare a resume, write sales proposal, describe product benefits, launch a marketing campaign, or tout their favorite political candidate.  They go to excess.  In a resume, they try to list ALL their past accomplishments or credentials.  In the product description, they list ALL the features and benefits.  In the sales proposals, they list ALL the reasons to deal with their organization.  Their reasoning? ‘Well, it’s an extra; it can’t hurt’
But it does.”

“More” Cheapens the Perceived Value

When researchers study the impact of more information, such as throwing additional items into an offer, they find that it cheapens the perceived value.

Via What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It:

“More is not better, according to the Presenter’s Paradox studies.    When presenters offer extra ‘benefits,’ the offer does not necessarily have an additive effect.  Often the ‘extra’ cheapens the perceived value of the overall benefit and even subtracts real value–as measured by what a customer is willing to pay for a product or service.  At best, the low-value ‘extra’ may leave a negative impression of the high-value value benefit.”

Listeners Walk Away with a Single Impression

Listeners “average” all the pieces of information they hear into a single message.

At some point, it’s diminishing returns.

A few high-value pieces of information do better than more pieces of information.

Via What More Can I Say?: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It:

“Here’s what they discovered: When making an offer, communicators intuitively think more is better.  They consider each item as a single add-on component, increasing the value of the whole offer or message or apology (as the case may be).

But listeners don’t look at the situation the same way.  Instead, they ‘average’ all the pieces of information they hear and walk away with a single impression.  The same premise held true whether the messages  were positive or negative, or whether the ‘bundled’ offers involved similar or dissimilar items, or whether all were monetary or non-monetary items.

Not only did ‘more’ add less, it actually harmed the rest.”

Don’t compete on more.

Focus on less quantity, but higher value information.

I could say more on this, but I think it’s enough said.

You Might Also Like

9 Fundamental Laws of Effective Communication

Say More With Less

Storytelling is a Basic Skill for Success

The post The Presenter’s Paradox: More is Less appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[Powerful Questions: How To Design Better Questions for Better Results]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26946 2015-07-22T16:40:47Z 2015-07-21T17:57:55Z “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand We ask the wrong questions all the time. We ask questions that drain our energy, lead to dead ends, limit our options, or put ourselves in a box. Imagine if you could ask powerful questions that […]

The post Powerful Questions: How To Design Better Questions for Better Results appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand

We ask the wrong questions all the time.

We ask questions that drain our energy, lead to dead ends, limit our options, or put ourselves in a box.

Imagine if you could ask powerful questions that inspire minds and engage people.

Imagine if you could ask powerful questions that lead to new options and new solutions.

You can.

Asking Powerful Questions is a skill you can learn and practice to get better results in work and life.

In the book, Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, Rob-Jan De Jong shares an approach for designing and asking more powerful questions.

Powerful Questions Energize People and They Travel Well

The right questions provoke us.  Powerful questions can inspire us to explore an idea or to open up new doors for imagination and creativity.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Artfully crafted questions generate curiosity, are thought-provoking, and invite creativity, as conversation specialists Eric Vogt, Juanita Brown, and David Isaacs have explored.  Moreover, such questions give energy, as the right question makes us aware of the fact that there is something to explore that we hadn’t fully grasped before. 

Powerful questions also ‘travel well,’ which means that they easily include and appeal to others.  They can draw in a larger group of people who feel intrigued by the question and energized to explore it with you.”

Dimension #1: Constructing Powerful Questions

We tend to ask yes/no type questions that don’t get us very far.

We sometimes ask who, when, where, and which, but these are also pretty limited.

Asking questions that start with how, what, or why are more exploratory and can lead to better results.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“To construct a question that opens up, you need the right interrogatives.  How, what, and why are particularly useful and much better than the less exploratory, who, when, where, and which.  But even these are better than the closed yes/no questions we tend to formulate.”

De Jong shares an example of how asking the wrong question can limit results and cause frustration.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“For example, think about the following question: Can our team become more innovative? Asking your team this closed question will probably get you a ‘yes,’ and you might feel satisfied with the agreement you have reached.  ‘So let’s work on that, then!’ could be your concluding words of encouragement as you wrap up your meeting, assuming that your team has now adopted some miracle mindset shift toward innovation.

Chances are high that three months down the road you will have experienced no change, to your frustration.  You might inappropriately draw the wrong conclusions and start believing your team is not wiling to work on this goal or is not capable of thinking-out-of-the-box.  You might even conclude that the team is non-committal to your leadership.”

Example: Improving Innovation with Powerful Questions

De Jong shares how with a simple twist, you can ask better questions that reveal far more actionable insight.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“If you instead asked, ‘How could our team be more innovative?’ you would have gotten a richer picture, and your understanding of the areas of improvement would have been far better. 

But even that’s not as powerful as asking ‘Why is it that our team is not as innovative as we would like to be?’ Or, ‘What do we need to change to ensure our team can become more innovative? 

These are vastly different questions that target the root cause of the apparent problem, and they are much more engaging and explorative.  But if you don’t ask them, probably nobody will.  Unnecessary frustration, affecting your leadership, grows.”

Dimension #2: Scoping Powerful Questions

You can create space to explore by playing around with the scope, or the size, of the question.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Once you’ve chosen effective interrogatives, you are ready for the second dimension: stretching the scope and boundaries of your questions.  Questions we ask ourselves are often unintentionally limited by boundaries.“

Example: Expanding the Scope of Powerful Questions

Building on the previous example, De Jong shares how you can explore the problem in a more creative way, by asking a more powerful question.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“The question as framed in the previous example is limited to our team.  These kinds of unintentional boundaries are quick to creep in.  It was seemingly appropriate to limit the question to ‘our team’ — you probably didn’t even notice it as we worked from can to how to why. 

Expanding the scope expands creativity and imagination

‘What do we need to change to ensure that we can become more innovative for our customers/in our domain/in our company/in our industry?’ This question vastly widens the mental boundaries and yields much more space to explore.”

Dimension #3: Examining Assumptions to Create More Powerful Questions

We make assumptions all the time.  By examining our assumptions, we might reveal a new angle or a better question to focus on.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“The third, and often most difficult, dimension to catch is to examine the assumptions made in the question itself.  For example: What could we do to deliver our products faster to our customers?

A question like this one is built on the assumptions that customers want faster delivery. 

Maybe instead they’d prefer cheaper or less erroneous deliveries.  Or perhaps they do not even want delivery at all–maybe our customers would be most satisfied if we delivered to some nearby convenient location, where they could collect our products at their convenience.”

Example: Exploring Assumptions to Create More Powerful Questions

When you challenge your assumptions, you might find that your questions were limiting your exploration of the issue.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Even the previous question–How can our team become more innovative? –contains an implicit assumption: becoming more innovative is important.  Questions can inadvertently confine our exploration to something that isn’t one of our biggest challenges. 

Perhaps the real challenge is that we do not get along as team members, and hence, things like innovation and customer satisfaction suffer.  By limiting our focus to innovation, we might be overlooking the essence of what is truly holding us back.”

How can you design and start asking more powerful questions, today?

You Might Also Like

7 Power Questions to Start Your Day

10 Strategic Questions that Change Your Life

101 Questions that Empower You

Precision Questions and Precision Answers

Solution-Focused Questions

The post Powerful Questions: How To Design Better Questions for Better Results appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[Build a Learning Culture with Powerful Questions]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26935 2015-07-21T14:07:07Z 2015-07-20T16:29:27Z If you want to create a culture of learning and improvement, then focus on learning and improvement. Rob-Jan De Jong shares how you can build a culture of learning through the art of asking powerful questions.

The post Build a Learning Culture with Powerful Questions appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
Teamwork Team Together Collaboration Group People Meeting Concept

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates

If you want better answers, ask better questions.

If you want to create a culture of learning and improvement, then focus on learning and improvement.

Ask questions that reveal insight and what’s right, rather than focus on what’s wrong or laying blame.

In the book, Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, Rob-Jan De Jong shares how you can build a culture of learning through the art of asking powerful questions.

Leading Through Questioning

Some leaders do a great job of building a learning culture.  They ask questions that move the ball forward.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“One of the leaders I used to work with applied a leadership style best described as leading by questioning: He has built up a repertoire of powerful questions for various occasions.”

What Options Do You See Now?

One way to build a learning culture is to ask people to reflect on their mistakes, and ask them what options they see now, that they didn’t see before.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“He puts two powerful questions on the table: 1) What have you learned from what happened? and 2) What options do you see now that you didn’t see before?  This way he aims to build a learning culture and to encourage entrepreneurship, which he considers vital for his organization.”

Mindfully Learn from Mistakes

Don’t punish people for mistakes.  Reward them for learning.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“He’s well known for never penalizing anyone for making a mistake; in fact, you might even get rewarded if the failure involved entrepreneurial risks.  But he does expect people to reflect and learn, and to be able to demonstrate increased insight.  It really ticks him off when someone doesn’t mindfully learn from a mistake.”

What Surprised You?

Some leaders use a technique called Conversation Surprise to build a learning culture.

They ask new hires what surprised them, so that they can gain new insight and improve their culture and processes.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“The conversation focuses on only one question: ‘What has surprised you since you started working with us?

Knowing that most people adapt to company culture rather quickly, Carrefour wisely exploits the fact that in their first few weeks, newcomers still dare to challenge the assumptions older employees live by, so they are, in that short time frame, a great source of ideas for improvement.”

If You Were the CEO for a Day, What Would You Do?

Some leaders interview frontline staff to get a fresh perspective, to stay connected to where the action is, and to build empathy, while building and reinforcing a learning culture.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“At Hertz, the largest publicly traded rental-car operator in the United States, the main senior leadership team does formal ‘skip level’ reviews at least twice a quarter.  They interview frontline staff members, without their managers or HR present, using only a handful of powerful questions, such as, ‘If you were the CEO for a day, what would you do?’ and ‘If you had a magic wand, how would you change Hertz?’  

This institutionalized process of inquiry ensures that the executives at Hertz do not alienate themselves from reality, and allows them to initiate–and possibly sponsor–high-impact changes.”

Appreciative Inquiry

Rather than focus on dysfunction which can lead to paralysis, frustration, and negativism, Appreciate Inquiry focuses on what’s going right, and how to do more of it.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is instead concerned with what is going very well.  Based on research revealing that a focus on strengths and positive attributes motivates people to understand and value the best features of their culture, AI encourages improvement by creating a very clear understanding of what works well and focusing energy on those things people seem to do effortlessly.”

Develop a Set of Appreciative Inquiry Questions

As a leader, if you use Appreciative Inquiry, it may help you better inspire and engage everyone.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Developing a set of appreciative inquiry questions could alter your leadership behavior in a  very favorable way.  By appreciating and acknowledging other’s strengths, by focusing on the positive, you can better inspire and engage them. “

What Was the Best Thing That Happened Today?

How was your day?  O.K.?   Well, what was your favorite part?   Now that’s an entirely new question that reveals new insight, and can lead to some great follow-up conversation.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“And, by the way, this applies equally well to your non-business role as a partner or parent.  Try it tonight.  Rather than asking your loved one how their day was, or how they are doing, ask this appreciative inquiry question: ‘What was the very best thing that happened to you today?’ Pay attention to the conversation that unfolds and explore it and how it differs from the usual one.”

What Has Become Clear Since We Last Met?

Emerson liked to ask what changed since we last met.  It’s a simple question, but cuts right to the chase and can reveal some surprising insight.

Via Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead:

“Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was known to greet friends and visitors with the question: ‘What has become clear to you since we last met?’  It might be a bit intimidating while you’re hanging  up your coat, but it’s a great question that sparks interest and curiosity straight away.”

What was your favorite part of this post?

How can you use this?

You Might Also Like

Corporate Culture

Create Your Own Culture Book

How Great Leaders Build a Culture of Innovation and Change

How Leaders Can Energize Others

The More Distinctions You Make, the Smarter You Get

The post Build a Learning Culture with Powerful Questions appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
2
JD <![CDATA[Build a Personal Mission Statement]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26928 2015-07-19T20:14:10Z 2015-07-19T20:08:11Z I wanted to revisit my mission statement and see if I needed to refine or expand it. One of the best tools I found is the Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder.

The post Build a Personal Mission Statement appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” — Mahatma Gandhi

A personal mission statement brings purpose and focus to your life.

My mission is pretty simple:

To improve the quality of life for as many people as I can, as long as I can.

I balance my mission by not taking myself, or life, too seriously, and finding ways to enjoy the journey.

A big part of enjoying the journey is living my values of adventure, empowerment, and excellence.

I wanted to revisit my mission statement and see if I needed to refine or expand it.

So I took a look around, and here’s what I found …

Personal Mission Statement Builder

One of the best tools I found is the Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder.  The Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder is an online tool that walks you through creating your personal mission statement.  It’s effectively a 10 step process with prompts to capture, refine, and reflect your passion and your purpose in an actionable way.

Here is a summary of the steps and prompts that the Franklin Covey Mission Builder walks you through:

Step Prompts
Step 1: Performance 1) I am at my best when …
2) I am at my worst when …
Step 2: Passion 1) What do I really love to do at work?
2) What do I really love to do in my personal life?
Step 3: Talents 1) May natural talents and gifts are:
(Examples may be art, music, decision making, being a friend, etc.)
Step 4: Imagination If I had unlimited time and resources, and knew I could not fail, what would I choose to do?
1) I would:
Step 5: Vision Imagine your life as an epic journey with you as the hero/heroine of the story.  What do you imagine your journey to be about? Complete the following statement by describing what you are doing, who it is for, why you are doing it, and what the journey’s results are:
1) My life’s journey is …
Step 6: Character 1) Imagine your 80th birthday, who will be there with you? What tribute statement would you like them to make about your life?
I will be a person who …
Step 7: Contribution 1) What do I consider to be my most important future contribution to the most important people in my life?
Step 8: Conscience 1) Are there things I feel I really should do or change, even though I may have dismissed such thoughts many times? What are they?
Step 9: Influence Imagine you could invite to dinner three people who have influenced you the most–past or present.  Write their names in the boxes below.  Then record the one quality or attribute you admire most in these people.
1) Name:
1) Attribute:
2) Name:
2) Attribute:
3) Name:
3) Attribute:
Step 10: Balance Let’s think of balance as a state of fulfillment and renewal in each of the four dimensions: physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.  What are the single most important things you can do in each of these areas that will have the greatest positive impact on your life and help you achieve a sense of balance?
1) Physical:
2) Spiritual:
3) Mental:
4) Social/Emotional:

 

My Personal Mission Statement

When I completed the Mission Builder, it spit out the following mission statement for me:

I am at my best when I am learning, growing, creating, and sharing.
I will try to prevent times when I am stagnating or getting bogged down.
I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can change businesses with technology.
I will find enjoyment in my personal life through helping people realize their potential.
I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as insight, innovation, and impact.
I can do anything I set my mind to. I will explore the world and share proven practices for living and leading a better life.
My life’s journey is I’m helping people and businesses change with skills that help them know more, do more, and be more.
I will be a person who helps everybody become more of what they are capable of.
My most important future contribution to others will be strategies, skills, and stories that change lives.

I will stop procrastinating and start working on:
Prioritize health
Explore more hobbies and interests

Connect more with long-time friends

I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:

Boldness

Creativity

Authenticity

I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:
Exercise every day.
Watch inspiring TED talks.
Read an insightful book a day.
Spend more quality time with family and friends.

Could I tune it and improve it?

Sure.  But it’s a good start for helping me see my life from the balcony view.

Your Mission is Your Map

According to the Mission Builder, life is an ongoing process, and so is your mission statement.

Expand and refine your mission statement as you grow through life.

Via Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder:

“It’s a living, breathing thing that can you help remind you why you get out of bed in the morning:

Over the years, your circumstances will change. Your priorities will change. Your goals and dreams will change. That’s okay – because change means growth. As you grow, transform, and broaden your horizons, allow yourself the freedom to expand and refine your mission statement.

For now, congratulate yourself on a job well done. Tell your friends about your newly stated purpose in life.”

I found the process overall relatively simple, straight-forward, and insightful.

I was surprised by the continuity in the final output, and I actually like how it reads.

It’s given me some ideas to chew on.

In the words of Maya Angelou:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Or, if you are a Star Trek fan and want to get your bold on:

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Your life is calling.  Boldly go.

You Might Also Like

Discover Your Why

How To Design a Fulfilling Life

Measure of Success

Mission Statement

Vision, Mission, and Values

Image by Sombilon Photography.

The post Build a Personal Mission Statement appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0
JD <![CDATA[The More Distinctions You Make, The Smarter You Get]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26904 2015-07-18T01:01:11Z 2015-07-17T19:25:54Z How to get smarter? Make more distinctions. The more distinctions you make, the smarter you get. You can get smarter.

The post The More Distinctions You Make, The Smarter You Get appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
Girl with book“A smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.” — Jeff Cooper

You’re smart.

How’d you get so smart?

By making distinctions.

The more distinctions you make, the smarter you get.

You can get smarter.

The Growth Mindset is a Learning Mindset

If you don’t think you can get smarter, you have a Fixed Mindset.  With a Fixed Mindset you don’t think you can change your intelligence.  You think you are stuck at whatever you were born with.

That’s a limiting belief, and you won’t get smarter with that.

With a Growth Mindset, you believe you can learn and improve.

Whether you want to get smarter yourself, or you want your kids to get smarter, or anyone you know, encourage and entice them to make distinctions, create new categories, and build their personal library of profound knowledge.

If you want to grow smarter, you need to embrace a Growth Mindset.

If you need help developing a Growth Mindset, read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck.

Increase Distinctions to Get Smarter

Creating more distinctions is a way to improve your ability to think about a topic.  A distinction is simply a difference or contrast between similar things.

In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, says, “intelligence is the ability to make finer distinctions.”   And, Tony Robbins, says “intelligence is the measure of the number and the quality of the distinctions you have in a given situation.”

Dr. Deming focused on Profound Knowledge to improve businesses and organizations as a system.  With Profound Knowledge of the connections and the distinctions within a system, you get better insight.

Create your own personal system of Profound Knowledge for anything you want to learn by making distinctions.

You can create new distinctions by creating new categories.  Creating new categories improves your intelligence about a topic and makes you smarter. And, according to Ellen Langer, creating categories  improves your mindfulness.

Most importantly, continually creating new categories keeps you from being trapped by previously created categories.

Distinctions are the key to lifelong learning.

Empathy Helps You Go From Book Smart to Street Smart

If you just have facts and figures, that’s not enough.  That might be book smart, but you won’t be street smart.  Think of street smart as being able to use and apply what you know in relevant situations.

The key to take information deeper is to build empathy.  You build empathy through experience.  You can relate to the information in a meaningful way.  You have “feelings” about the information.

Without empathy, you can’t prioritize.

And if you can’t prioritize information, then your knowledge won’t be that useful because you won’t know what’s relevant, and you won’t know what’s important.

If you want to think about empathy another way, you can think of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains.  Bloom developed his taxonomy to help promote higher forms of thinking in learning and education.  If you take the balcony view of Boom’s taxonomy, you can basically see that you master something in terms of three levels: Intellectual, Emotional, and Physical.

When you learn something intellectually, you can regurgitate facts and figures.  When you learn something emotionally (i.e. empathy), you can relate to it in a deeper and more personal way.  You can think about it more deeply.  When you learn something physically, it’s baked into your body.  It’s in your muscle memory and your basal ganglia.

Distinctions become more useful when you have empathy for them.

These are you “ah-ha” moments, where light-bulbs go off, and you make the connections.

Distinctions with interesting connections and emotional impact provide powerful insight.

Example of Distinctions Using Saturated Fats

Let’s make this real.

Let’s get smarter, right here, right now about a topic we all know and love:

Fat.

What does “everybody” say about fat?  Well, “everybody” says fat is bad for you.

Or, in your world, “everybody” might say fat is good for you.

Either way, that doesn’t help.

What insight does that provide us?  Absolutely none.  In fact, it gives us bad information, based on a watered down conclusions, that lose all of the meaningful distinctions along the way.

Let’s dive in.

Functions of Fat

According to Strong Medicine: How to Conquer Chronic Disease and Achieve Your Full Genetic Potential, by Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher,  Fats perform the following functions:

  1. Energy storage
  2. A major component of cell membranes
  3. Essential for the proper brain development and nerve functions
  4. Proper lung function and prevention of lung collapse
  5. Crucial for inflammatory response and immunity cell signaling/communication

Types of Fats

First, let’s break fat down into three categories:

  1. Saturated Fat
  2. Monounsaturated Fat
  3. Polyunsaturated Fat

Now, wasn’t that fun?   Maybe not, but at least now if you wanted to research fat, you have three categories to explore, or three distinctions under the category of “Fat”.

But let’s break it down more.

Types of Saturated Fats

OK, so maybe you’ve heard that saturated fat is bad for you.  That’s a blanket statement and loses all of the precision.

Let’s break that down.

According to Strong Medicine, we can break Saturated Fats into three kinds:

  1. Short-chain saturated fats have backbones two to five carbons long.
  2. Medium-chain saturated fats have backbones six to twelve carbons long.
  3. Long-chain saturated fats have backbones longer than twelve carbons.

They are all “saturated fats.”

Without going into the chemistry, right off the bat it should be more obvious that each one reacts in our body very differently.

(It’s also worth noting that saturated fats are solid at room temperature, but they are all liquid at body temperature.)

Short-Chain Saturated Fat

Butryric acid (Butyrate) is a short-chain saturated fat.  According to Strong Medicine, here are some of the key distinctions of butyrate:

  1. It is the major product of fiber fermentation by the gut bacteria.
  2. Buyrate has very potent anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. Butyrate has powerful anti-cancer effects through epigenetic mechanisms.
  4. Butyrate has been used in conjunction with modern cancer treatment techniques (photodynamic therapy) on certain types of brain tumors, killing more cancer cells.
  5. Butter is about 3% butyrate, and is the best direct dietary source (fermentation of fiber is the best indirect source.)

Medium-Chain Saturated Fat

Lauric acid (Laurate) is a medium-chain saturated fat.  It’s a 12-carbon saturated fatty acid. According to Strong Medicine, here are some of the key distinctions of laurate:

  1. Comprises about 6% of the fat content in human breast milk.
  2. Potent antibiotic actions against bacteria and viruses.
  3. As a medium-chain triglyceride, laurate is used as an alternate fuel source in the brain, showing promising results treating epilepsy and degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s dementia.
  4. Increases high density lipoprotein (HDL), associated cholesterol, which may decrease risk from developing heart disease.
  5. As a component of medium-chain triglycerides, lauric acid in the diet has shown to aid significantly in weight loss.
  6. Coconut oil is a great source of lauric acid, which comprises about 50% of the fat content in coconut oil.

See how already the extreme distinctions within types of saturated fat, really change our overall picture of “fat”?

Long-Chain Fatty Acids

Now this is where the fun begins.   According to Strong Medicine, “medium-chain fatty acids in the diet are metabolized much differently than long-chain fatty acids.  The medium-chain fats, in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, are taken directly to the liver after they are absorbed in the intestines.  In the liver they are rapidly metabolized for energy use in the body.”

“The long-chain fatty acids are absorbed in the intestine and travel in the lymphatic system.  They have a much higher chance of being stored in fat cells before getting to the liver for energy use.”

“Additionally, the medium-chain fats do not need the specialized fat transporter (carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase) to get into the mitochondria (the place in the cells where energy production takes place) that long-chain fats need.  This fact allows rapid entry of medium-chain fats into the mitochondria for energy production.”

Hopefully, you can start to see now how the plot thickens.

According to Strong Medicine, palmitic acid (palmitate) is a long-chain saturated fatty acid, and here are some key distinctions:

  1. It is the primary fat stored by the body in fat (adipose) tissue.
  2. High amounts in fat cells are inflammatory.
  3. It is the primary saturated fat used in research studies.
  4. Activates an inlfammatory response by immune system.
  5. High levels of palmitate increase insulin resistance, contributing to diabetes.
  6. Palmitate levels are higher in the fat content of grain-fed animals.

Hmmmm …. that doesn’t sound very good.  I hope we don’t turn into “grain-fed animals” Smile

Another Long-Chain Fatty Acid Example

Well long-chain fatty acids are “bad” then, right?

That’s another generalization.

We can break that down.

Palmitic acid (palmitate) is a 12-carbon saturated fatty acid.

Stearic acid (stearate) is another long-chain saturated fat.  It has 16 carbons.

How much does the difference of two extra carbons in the backbone make?

Let’s take a look.

According to Strong Medicine, stearic acid, a 16-carbon saturated fatty acid has the following distinctions:

  1. Stearic acid has been shown to beneficially reduce blood clotting and may decrease the risk of heart disease.
  2. Unlike palmtic acid, stearic acid has no bad effects on insulin resistance or development of dabetes.
  3. Stearic acid does not promote inflammation in fat cells.
  4. Stearic acide triggers the death of breast cancer cells in laboratory testing.
  5. Grass-fed beef is a good source of stearic acid.

For those of you familiar with the Blue Zones, where people live the longest and happiest lives on our planet, you’ll appreciate the distinction between “grass-fed” and “grain-fed” when it comes to eating meats.

Make New Distinctions and Explore What You Are Capable Of

Well, we could keep diving deeper into fats, but at this point, I hope you really see the point.

You can greatly improve your knowledge in any domain by making distinctions.

Otherwise, everything is just a big ball of mush.

When you unpack things, create new categories, make new distinctions, and build your library of profound knowledge, you improve your ability to find new insights, make better decisions, and get better results.

It’s how you get smarter.

In the words of Albert Einstein:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

You Might Also Like

3 Habits to Grow Your Mindfulness

Growth Mindset Over Fixed Mindset

What is Intelligence?

The post The More Distinctions You Make, The Smarter You Get appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
2
JD <![CDATA[I Believe In You]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26894 2015-07-16T16:20:40Z 2015-07-16T16:07:14Z Tommy Spaulding shares the story of Coach Veltidi, and how he helped Tommy believe in himself.

The post I Believe In You appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
image

“Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going.” — Chantal Sutherland

Did you ever have somebody believe in you more than you did?

I did.  My 7th grade Algebra teacher believed in me.  So did my pole vaulting coach.  I never would have pole-vaulted on my own.

Whether it’s a parent, or a teacher, or a coach, or a friend, the people in our life can lift us in amazing ways when they believe in us.

Even if it’s just enough, to help us believe in ourselves.

In The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life, Tommy Spaulding shares the story of Coach Veltidi, and how he helped Tommy believe in himself.

Encouragement

Do you give others the courage to go beyond their own expectations?

You do when you believe in them, and you let them know, in an authentic way.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

“I believe in you.  They are among the most beautiful words you can say to someone.  But how many people in your life or organization actually here that from you? 

And how often do they hear it? 

The word encouragement means ‘to bring courage to others.’ 

When you encourage people–when you show you trust in them–you are giving them the courage and fortitude to go beyond their own expectations for themselves.  Heart-led leaders realize that encouraging others is a game-changing opportunity, both for the leader and for the person who is encouraged to do something great.”

The Coach Believed in Tommy

Bob Veltidi was the varsity football coach at Suffern High School.  Tommy Spaulding was an average athlete on the baseball, soccer, and ski teams.  Coach Veltidi asked Tommy to try out as a kicker for the football team.  He said he needed people on his team who were leaders.

After practicing his heart out, Tommy won the starting kicker position for the team.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

”When I told him I’d be wiling to give it a shot, he gave me a quick lesson in kicking, then handed me a bag of footballs and a kicking tee and told me to be ready for tryouts in August. 

Before I left his office, he looked me in the eye and recounted the most magical words any coach can say to a player: ‘Tommy, I believe in you.’”

Four Magic Words Every Player Wants to Hear

In the final moments of an undefeated season, Tommy’s team was down 21-19.  Tommy needed to make the field goal or his team would lose, and no longer be undefeated.

Tommy could make 30-yard field-goals.  It’s what he practiced.

To win this game, it would take a 37-yard field goal.

In this moment, while everything was on the line, and Tommy’s heart was in his throat, Coach Veltidi reminded Tommy, once again, the he believed in him.

Tommy scored the game winning kick, his teammates carried him off the field, and a headline in the paper the next day read: “Suffern Wins on Spaulding’s Kick.”

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

”’Spaulding, I asked you to be on this team because I believe in who you are as a person, not just a player,’ he said. 

Then he grabbed my face mask, pulled me in close, and once again repeated the four words every player wants to hear from the coach: ‘I believe in you.’”

The Profound Impact on One Person’s Life

Years later, Tommy was asked to speak at a Game Changers Conference, an audience of thousands of high-school coaches.  Tommy asked Coach Veltidi to join him.

At the conference, Tommy told the audience that while good coaches may win games, great heart-led coaches build a legacy of leaders around them.  He then played a video of his game-winning kick, and talked about how Coach Veltidi had a profound impact on his life.

Tommy then introduced Coach Veltidi to the audience and asked him to stand and be recognized.  Tommy thanked him for being the game changer in his life, and the crowd went wild.

Coach Veltidi received a standing ovation.

Via The Heart-Led Leader:

”He later told me that it was one of the greatest moments of his life–it meant so much for him to hear about the impact he had as an educator, and to know that he was able to so profoundly affect even one person’s life.”

Did somebody believe in you, when others didn’t?

Have you thanked them for this gift that keeps on giving?

If nobody believes in you, remember the words of Sugar Ray Robinson:

“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.”

Be YOUR best.

You Might Also Like

Friendship Quotes

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

When It’s Cold, Shiver.  When It’s Hot, Sweat.

Image by Jim Larrison.

The post I Believe In You appeared first on Sources of Insight.

]]>
0