FeedForward or FeedBack

Having fun at work and especially with most of what we do, is a recurring challenge in our lives.

We embark on some activities with high adrenaline rush. If we are diligent and disciplined, these soon become part of a routine and habit. Ultimately (if we are not careful) - the activities that started as fun, turn into dragging and frustrating chores.

Feedback - by the nature of its name is a dreadful experience for most of the employees every year. Especially when it is to do with appraisals and isolated in a void (6 monthly or yearly).

Fortunately, there is a positive reincarnation of the personal improvement initiatives (in groups).

Instead of rehashing a past that cannot be changed (feedback), Marshall Goldsmith and Jon Katzenbach coined “feedforward” to encourage spending time creating a future.

The intention is to have half an hour of fun while walking around in the room and gaining quick feedback for our personal and professional development.

Note: Giving and receiving feedforward only takes about two minutes. Thus 20 team members should finish this activity within 40 minutes.


When you think of giving feedback, try giving feedforward - focus on the promise of the future rather than the mistakes of the past.

In the midst of all the dreadful experiences for recalling the mistakes of the past, assume that they are all forgiven. You are genuinely sorry and will not do them again.

This is an approach to a positive new start of yourself.

The commitment to stay positive has its long term rewards waiting for you.

Give it a try and embark on a lifelong journey of self actualization.

Serendipity or Hard Work - a medici effect

Imagine that you are in the middle of proposing the potential spouse of your dreams.
Now pause the scene at this exact moment and focus on the flashbacks of how you reached that conclusion.
You must have overcome many challenges in the past to feel ready to commit to this lifelong journey.
Hold on - this is not a dating advise!
This is from an excellent University of Cambridge (Judge Business School) CfEL event with the title "Serendipity or Hard Work".

Picture from http://www.fastcoexist.com

Start-ups seem to follow a very similar pattern.
Entrepreneurs work hard to pursue their passion and when the time is right - they pitch their proposal to potential investors in anticipation of embarking on a lifelong yet serendipitous journey together.

Having helped numerous organizations and various diverse teams - for me, the session was an excellent forum of varying (yet complementing ideas).

Two special quotes of the night were:

Markets don't exist. Consumers don't exist. PEOPLE exist.
Strong ideas - loosely held!

The key takeaway was to surround yourself with ethical & intelligent people:
Randomness + Persistence + Selection = Potential Success

Choosing the right options requires knowledge, wisdom and guidance to help us become lucky.

Serendipity or Hard Work ...... or a bit of both.
Which one would you focus more on?

Leadership vs Entrepreneurship - a synergistic clash of the titans

The entrepreneurial spirit is vivid in the Cambridge population (hence known as silicon valley of the UK) and in contrast Oxford is famous for producing amazing leaders for the past 800 years and maximum number of "Prime Ministers" that any city has ever produced (globally).

Being an Oxford Business Alumnus and a regular collaborator with Cambridge Judge Business Alumni - I  learn significantly and compare their approaches regularly towards the glocal (globally local) trends.

For the past few weeks - I have had the privilege to attend the "Enterprise Tuesdays" event at Cambridge University (via Judge Business School).

The theme is:

Recognising Opportunities
Mindsets and Motivations
Spotting Market Needs
Serendipity or Hard Work

The focus of these sessions is to encourage the participants and inspire them to pursue their entrepreneurial ambition.

When we step back and try to make these concepts abstract - the approaches become clear and distinct.
Oxford focuses on Leadership, Strategy and Change Management (top down) while Cambridge has the spirit of entrepreneurship with a focus towards technological start-ups (bottom up).

In the midst of these top down and bottom up approaches - there are rays of hope for the road to recovery from the national and global economic crisis.

Who knows - only time will tell.
What do you think?


Innovation rain - first step of a long journey

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. 
Lao Tzu

Silicon Valley came to the UK (SVC2UK) last week and rocked the boat at various institutions including the prestigious Said Business School (University of Oxford).

Big data was the buzz and tremendous ideas were presented including some very interesting analogies. Being an Oxford Business Alumnus, I had the honor of getting the invitation and good fortune to be able to attend.

One of the most resonating ideas came through a simple yet extremely powerful analogy.

The speaker mapped numerous technological advances, ventures, innovation and inference into the idea of ice, water and vapor.

 Inferring from one of those ideas - interesting questions arose?

Intel has stayed in the ice state for a long time and is struggling with the current disruption from ARM (expected to meet the demand of two Billion processors just in 2012).

Samsung and Google are continuously disrupting innovatively into mobile computing in both ice and vapor space.

Amazon went from books (ice), to digital books and marketplace (water) into clouds (vapor).
Seeing the tremendous progress in these industries during the past five years - the time is near where another player will come in and challenge more ice, a little bit of water and most of the vapors.

I call that era - the innovation rain.

The rain where the shining sun will liquidate the ice and burning hot ground will vaporize it.Or inference that involves multiple states.

Let us see what happens next, only time will tell.

Where do you think is the next big idea?

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