Category Archives: creativity

5 Ways Your Brain Is Tricking You into Being Miserable


Everyone wants to be happy, but the biggest obstacle to that is the mushy thing inside your skull that you think with.

Source: www.cracked.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The brain is designed to put more weight on negative thoughts than on positive ones. This imbalance takes us away from experiencing positive emotions such as joy, gratitude or hope.

Having positive emotions helps us become relaxed, playful and learn new skills more easily.

However, it is important to have a certain amount of negative emotions to be able to be creative and resilient.

 

Related references:

Perception and Behavior: How To Stimulate Creativity

 Updated Thinking on Positivity Ratios Barbara L. Fredrickson

 

 

 

 

 

See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Neuromyths Busting and Education


English: PET scan of a normal human brain

English: PET scan of a normal human brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among professionals in the field of education. Though these so-called “neuromyths” are loosely based on scientific facts, they may have adverse effects on educational practice. 

Here the list of some of the biggest neuromyths, or misguided beliefs about brain functions and their impact on learning and education design:

1-We use only 10 percent of our brains.

Wikipedia collected the refutations of the myth in its  “Ten Percent Of The Brain Myth” page Neuroscientist Barry Beyerstein sets out several kinds of evidence refuting the ten percent myth, here the top three most evident for me:

  • Studies of brain damage: If 90% of the brain is normally unused, then damage to these areas should not impair performance. Instead, there is almost no area of the brain that can be damaged without loss of abilities. Even slight damage to small areas of the brain can have profound effects.
  • Brain scans have shown that no matter what we’re doing, our brains are always active up to 45%. Some areas are more active at any one time than others, but unless we have brain damage, there is no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning.
  • Brain imaging: Technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow the activity of the living brain to be monitored. They reveal that even during sleep, all parts of the brain show some level of activity. Only in the case of serious damage does a brain have “silent” areas.

2-The brain is static, unchanging, and set before you start school. The most widely accepted conclusion of current research in neuroscience is  neuroplasticity: Our brains grow, change, and adapt at all times in our lives depending on stimulus received from our environment. Therefore the more we use our brain at any age, the more we can develop connections and learn new skills even new languages. Experts routinely take the time to learn, unlearn and relearn relevant information related to their fields of expertise. There is a lot of new research going on in the field of cultural neurosciences, looking at the relations existing between cultural dimensions and the brain’s plasticity. Although most people think that good memory means good retrieval, good memory is actually good learning–forming a strong association when acquiring new information.

3-Some people are left-brained and some are right-brained. Like many other myths, this one has emerged from a misunderstanding of experiments made by 1981 Nobel Prize winner Roger Sperry, who noticed differences in the brain when he studied people whose left and right brains had been surgically disconnected. Today, neuroscientists know that the two sides of the brain work together to perform a wide variety of tasks and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum.

4-Male and female brains are radically different. Though there may be subtle differences between male and female brains, there is absolutely no significant evidence to suggest that the genders learn or should be taught differently. 

5-The ages 0-3 are more important than any other age for learning. Even though the connections between neurons, called synapses, are greatest in number during this period there are few studies that have to do with teaching during these “critical” time periods.

Still, there are some powerful insights emerging from brain science that speak directly to how we teach in the classroom: learning experiences do help the brain grow, emotional safety does influence learning, and making lessons relevant can help information stick. The trick is separating the meat from the marketing.

 Related resources:

Online Education as an Agent of Transformation


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Online education is beginning to show itself as a disruptive innovation, introducing more convenient and affordable services that can transform sectors.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Online (higher) education or E-learning, will change the way students will learn and it will help serve students who cannot afford traditional on campus teaching today. With globalization it is inevitable that traditional learning processes will be challenged and prestigious universities may lose their competitive advantages to the benefit of more collaborative and multicultural entities.

However the need for face to face meetings will still be there. The students may meet in person in local clusters to work on projects while using online materials instead than on campus classes.

The word MOOC has been introduced to designate MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES (FREE ONLINE COURSES) OFFERED BY THE BEST UNIVERSITIES AND ENTITIES. Already many universities offer online free courses  The top three MOOC-makers are Coursera, Udacity, and EdX

Another trend in education is crowd-sourcing, an open way to solve complex problems by using social media tools to get fresh ideas through group collaboration. For example, I use Memrise.coman online learning platform that users feed with their own ideas on how to memorize a specific topic.

See on www.nytimes.com

Related resources:

 

 

 

What is Bio Leadership ?


Not another change initiative? Some ideas on how change really works and implications for leaders. (See on www.slideshare.net )

Anne Egros‘s insight: Great presentation!

What’s new about leadership ?

No more top down approach. Leaders must deal with rapidly evolving times in the era of social networks, tribes, multiple locations, identities and cultural diversity.

Senior managers won’t overcome established routines and competing interests by giving lectures. More than ever, we are talking about revolution, no more quiet evolution and leaders must be part of the system, feel it and find links among smaller groups randomly distributed in the organization to get enough momentum for change.

Viral leaders think organizations are like a human body, they strategically  “infect” the network with suggestions via the right people. New ideas usually start from small groups of early adopters and then spread in the whole system when it is clear that new behaviors and new processes have meaning and benefits.

For me the next level of evolution of viral leadership is “bio leadership” using ideas as stem cells that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body. One of the main characteristics of stem cells is their ability to self-renew or multiply while maintaining the potential to develop into other types of cells. With stem cells, the body does not recognize them as “external objects” like viruses.

Bio leaders need to identify and enable agents of change, rule breakers and other creative people in various groups within the organization itself so immunity and resistance to change is minimized. Then those people can not only spread new ideas but also help develop highly personalized solutions for different types of challenges such as launching a new product in different countries and cultures.

See on www.slideshare.net

Creativity: What Leaders Can Learn From Jazz ?


Jazz

What makes Jazz different from other music styles and what has it to do with creativity and leadership ?

Jazz is an American music originated in the early 20th century in New Orleans with small bands of five-to-seven players. Jazz is a music that was played as a way to free musicians from the rigidity of standard dance or marching bands. Jazz was propelled commercially mostly as 12-to-15 musician big bands, in a style that became known as swing (1935-1945). Swing was built around highly rhythmic riffs with strong soloists (see most famous Swing Era Artists ) providing “breaks” or moments of spirited improvisation against backdrops of arranged composition.

What is interesting is the combination of structured compositions called “Jazz Standards” and totally improvised solos taken in turn by each musician. Sometimes the band has a well designated leader, especially in big bands but very often there is no leader and yet the listeners can hear great cohesion in  rhythmical momentum.

In jazz, the composition is secondary to the performance itself and the listeners can enjoy the unique style and musical personality of the artist. When listening to two trumpeters playing same notes in the same tempo and context we immediately know that one was Louis Armstrong while the other was for example Miles Davis. The first impression that affects the listener is the sound emanating from the instrument. The tone that is heard is an extension of that artist’s voice and on a deeper level, their persona.

In  cross-functional or multicultural teams each person brings her expertise, knowledge, language or jargon and unique personality. Like in a jazz band, creativity can be expressed to solve a problem or create a new product or service if the team members are fearless and feel supported to express their own ideas. The role of the leader is not to provide the answers but to foster an atmosphere of trust and at the same time being able to get productive outcomes and make decisions.

There is also an interesting aspect in jazz music: many musicians and singers don’t read the music but play by ear. That means the soloists and the band must listen to each other, be in the moment,  pay attention to subtle signals and intuition, feel the music and the “groove”. Creativity, like jazz and improvisation, cannot be learned at school or in a book, you must expose yourself, play and explore new paths to generate new ideas.

I experimented great moments of pure joy as a jazz singer. I never learned to read music yet was able to sing and improvise in very eclectic music styles during my years in college and beyond. The fact that I sang jazz also helped me to listen and appreciate better other musicians.

In conclusion, leaders should be like jazz musicians, more interested by the execution of the strategy than by the planning process, be able to make some risky decisions and not afraid of making mistakes in order to generate original ideas.

ENG

Related articles:

Jazz-Inspired Leadership: Change Observer: Design Observer

Leadership Lessons From The Geniuses Of Jazz

Practice Improvisation to Become a Faster and More Creative Thinker

What motivates us at work? 7 fascinating studies that give insights


  • The less motivated an employee is, the more money he is asking !
  • If employees are not intrinsically motivated chances are very high that they are not creative as well. and won’t work hard enough as passionate people do.
  • Being passionate is coming from the inside-out. You can break somebody’s motivation very easily but it is very hard for leaders to inspire people to give happily the best of what they have to offer if they don’t want to and don’t have trust in the management.

The Three ‘E’s of Engagement: Engage, Empower, Enable:

Engage

leaders must provide a clear view of the company’s future, connect the company values with the individual life purpose, identify individual contribution to a higher level than self . Employees who feel good about themselves and think they belong to a team get the intrinsic motivation to deliver performance.

Empower

Let people decide how to set goals, how to get the expected results. Increase their personal power in making decisions at all level of the organizations. The leaders’ role is to coach and mentor individuals and teams to remove self-limiting beliefs, provide immediate feedbacks and develop strengths while minimizing the impact of weaknesses

Enable

Provide highly personalized support and enough resources. Lead teams based on matching personal communication, behavior and management styles of each team member. Provide talent development programs.

Related articles

TED Blog

Dan-Ariely“When we think about how people work, the naïve intuition we have is that people are like rats in a maze,” says behavioral economist Dan Ariely in today’s talk, given at TEDxRiodelaPlata. “We really have this incredibly simplistic view of why people work and what the labor market looks like.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1706]When you look carefully at the way people work, he says, you find out there’s a lot more at play—and a lot more at stake—than money. In his talk, Ariely provides evidence that we are also driven by meaningful work, by others’ acknowledgement and by the amount of effort we’ve put in: the harder the task is, the prouder we are.

During the Industrial Revolution, Ariely points out, Adam Smith’s efficiency-oriented, assembly-line approach made sense. But it doesn’t work as well in today’s knowledge economy. Instead, Ariely upholds Karl Marx’s concept that we care much more about…

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Have you heard about the “Liebster Award ” ? I did not know this concept before Jenny Ebermann author of ” Mindful Leadership & Intercultural Communication” mentioned my blog.

I searched for the origins and rules and found an interesting article : http://sopphey.onimpression.com/2012/05/liebster-blog-award-origins.html

What I like is that the “Liebster Award” is not a real award. There are no judges, no special rules. No website with an official team to congratulate you and hold your hand. It’s mostly what you want it to be.

If you receive the award, you can 1) accept it and 2) pass it along. It’s that easy.

I will make my contribution too in my next post, in the meantime check what makes Jenny a “Liebster” blogger.

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