Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

During World War II, natives on Pacific islands saw something most unusual. Strange men appeared, cleared long strips of land and built structures decorated with flags. Some of these men wore large cups over their ears, while others waved sticks and, almost magically, machines appeared from the sky carrying valuable cargo.

After the war ended, the men left and the supplies stopped coming. Some of the natives formed cargo cults which copied many of the the rituals the soldiers performed. They marched in formation, wore cups over their ears and waved sticks around. Alas, no airplanes ever came.

Clearly, the idea was patently absurd. Anybody who thinks that waving sticks will cause airplanes to appear is missing some basic principles about how air travel works. Yet many modern executives also believe by mimicking the tactics of others they will somehow achieve the same results. These “cargo cult strategists” don’t do much better than the islanders.


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Source: Is Wisdom So Terrible When It Brings Profits That Are Invisible to the Eye? | Duane Sharrock | Pulse | LinkedIn

The Definition of Insanity is... | Psychology Today

re: The Definition of Insanity is… | Psychology Today.

This Is A Quote People Really Need To Stop Saying

(Even If It Does Make You Sound Worldly and Wise)

by Duane Sharrock

There is a popular Albert Einstein quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” At least, it is popularly attributed to The Einstein. However, I’m no longer sure that he spoke this quote at all.  Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP writes “It’s not clear who said it first, but according to at least one blogger (link is external) it’s “the dumbest thing a smart person ever said.” The catchy saying has gathered steam in the past few years (example I(link is external), II(link is external),III(link is external)), and regardless of the source, it’s gotten a lot of mileage.”

The quote doesn’t work for leadership and culture building. Culture building is about instilling attitudes, habits, and protocols. Very often, the principles and theories of culture building are used to change an organization’s culture. An organization’s culture can be changed for better or for worse. Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta, says leadership is about communication: “Communicate your values and culture explicitly and continuously, both internally and externally. Employees must understand your culture, and why it’s important. Reward employees who advance your culture, and be open and honest with those who don’t.” Repetition of the message is a big part of culture building though. There are slogans you need to repeat to highlight or emphasize the meaning behind rewards, discipline, the value of events, as well as the vision and mission of your organization which leads to the powerful influence of small networks on to the larger networks. Ironically, repetition is also how the quote attributed to Einstein, built up such power. Like in the book Brave New World, we read it in different places enough times, we come to believe it as true.

But let’s return to Dr. Howes’s article. Dr. Howes explores the legal definition of insanity, that the quote doesn’t support how a court would diagnose insanity, but he shares that he also “started hearing people use it in the service of avoidance (link is external), which is a defense mechanism (link is external). Rather than facing their fears, they grab on to this saying for protection against possible failure, pain or rejection.”

In addition to the avoidance mechanism that I too have observed, I have observed it used as a truism against 19th and 20th century education. Drill and repetition, for example, is said to deaden the mind and kill creativity. This is not the case even in creative work.

In creative work, research suggests that repetition proves it can be a necessary part of creativity, not just for the visual arts, but also in the performing arts. There is an acting method called the Meisner Technique that uses repetition. “Two actors sit opposite each other and respond in the moment with a repeated phrase, breaks down overly structured technique and builds openness, flexibility, and listening skills.” Famous Meisner students include Robert Duvall, Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, and Diane Keaton.You would never say these actors are not creative. Even if you argued that the artists were creative in spite of the repetition, you have to reject the other belief that repetition “kills” creativity, since the list of Meisner Technique professionals is so long. And yet, some education reform thought leaders would claim that repetition is not useful, and lead the charge to reject drills and repetition.

Repetition is found as part of the preparation of the artist and is part of the novice’s training.

Why am I going to these lengths to fight the rejection of repetition? Why did I indicate the uses of repetition in a number of disciplines as well as in the natural world?

Creativity and leadership are connected. Many of the necessary skills and behaviors, even the attitudes, are common. In transformation leadership, and other types of dynamic or transactional leadership: “Over the years the philosophical terminology of “management” and “leadership” have, in the organizational context, been used both as synonyms and with clearly differentiated meanings. Debate is fairly common about whether the use of these terms should be restricted, and generally reflects an awareness of the distinction made by Burns (1978) between “transactional” leadership (characterized by e.g. emphasis on procedures, contingent reward, management by exception) and “transformational” or “transformative” leadership, which is characterized by charisma, personal relationships, creativity).[47] Leaders need to be brave, need to promote a vision, and and need to inspire. This is true of creatives despite the many domains they master and media that they use.

It is clear that in the uncertainty of the knowledge era, in the digital world, in the information age, lifelong learning is a must. We must keep learning, and finding ways to succeed. Learning, involves a great deal of unlearning. Instead of holding on to the false quote about insanity, this un-truism, we should be looking at repetition for finding insights and mastery. It has its place in sensorimotor activities but has its uses in intellectual and creative activities as well.

33rd Square | Boston Dynamics Newest Robot Dog Impresses.

Published for the First Time: a 1959 Essay by Isaac Asimov on Creativity | MIT Technology Review.

This short article makes one think. For one, if you define technology to include any technique or tool, computer based or not, you realize that there are some interesting patterns connected with new educational perspectives, new research implications, etc.


Hype Cycle Research Methodology | Gartner Inc..


Excerpt from webpage:

How Do Hype Cycles Work? (

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle.

Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.

Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories—often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.

Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.

Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.


Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

Sometimes, the shiniest, newest city elements aren’t the same ones that make us want to live there.


See on Scoop.itWriting, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions

Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction and fantasy for everybody. Certain great books inspire scores of authors to create something new.


See on Scoop.itWriting, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions

A participant named Chad Green once shared this with me in a LinkedIn discussion: “Check out the visual summaries of last month’s US DOE Innovation Summit: One thing that caught my attention was the notion of an “education ecosystem,” an idea that was mentioned in three separate sessions.” 
Take a look at the discussions and the video. It’s groundbreaking but combines the best ideas of education reform:


A series of profiles on people who are transforming their fields by creating, educating, provoking, and delighting


Teachers should read these articles to prepare for student questions and curiosity. Can even be assigned as part of an inquiry-based project or writing assignment. 

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