Walking Increases Creativity

When I have a problem that I’m chewing on, I’ll go for a walk.  Typically by the end of a walk I’ve cracked the problem or figured out what the next step to getting to the solution is.  Its simple and it works.  Stanfords recent study mirrors this by  showing that walking increases creativity.

A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down, one of the experiments found.

Crazy – even walking indoors in a room with a blank wall, aka no external stimulus other than walking did it.

I’m also reading Daily Rituals of Artists, one thing that stood out for me is how much time they dedicated to just going on a walk.  Often up to 90 minutes giving their mind time to roam, to relax and enjoy life.

Steve Jobs was noted to instead of having a meeting go on a walk with whoever he was meeting with.

Why? That’s yet to be fully established – and as to whether other physical activities increase or decrease the effect has yet to be proven.

But that’s enough for me.  Get some more walking into your daily rhythm.  I’m definitely going to.

May 29th, 2014

Why tip on the spot?

Why not, a delayed tip, if you’re still happy in a couple of hours you will tip a bit more, or if you’re not happy you’ll tip a bit less.

For hairdressers – that makes sense.
For things like massages, not so much.
Car service – makes sense.

It’s something to think about.

May 28th, 2014

Why is one for one so popular?

It makes giving back a habit.

And that’s the best way to evoke change, is to make the things which are creating the change a habit (read Charles Duhigg).  You often can’t control the outcome but you can control the inputs that go in to doing it.

That’s why, things like Toms monthly coffee is interesting. you can support the cause and in an ongoing fashion.

Set it up. and it becomes a habit.

I like it.  If you do too, here’s some others I do:

May 27th, 2014

Childrens Art Gallery

I was browsing the Vancouver Art Gallery last week, and saw a few kids running through.

They were reasonably bored. Not surprising.

I never got art growing up, we had an art class and I thought art was about drawing – reflecting on that I wonder how we get kids into art, so that they understand what it is and what it means.

Thus the idea for a children’s art gallery, a gallery aimed at getting kids interested… funnily enough LegoLand is kind of like that.

What else should / could we get the next generation into early enough?

May 23rd, 2014

Leaks driving organisational change

It was really curious to see the leaks about the NY Times Innovation last week.  It’s a good read, just for how real it is.

The reality though, despite the content of the leaks, the act itself is going to drive change.

Clearly, internally, they are at a point of hey we need help to get the Times to see for itself and to get an outside perspective on how we need to change.

This will be noted as either a moment in time whereby they turned the corner and hit their stride.  Or didn’t.  I’m confident it’ll be the former.

The Times is able to attract some of the best & the brightest – they just need to empower them to take the organisation where it needs to go.

What I think they can forget, is that the world references what the Times are up to, I was in New Zealand the week before last and people were asking what the publishers were up to over here.  This is a great privilege but also a responsibility.  A responsibility to help guide & lead the sector through the rapid changes in the market.

The next six months should be interesting.


May 20th, 2014

Incremental steps

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

Iterative change over time builds up so much that you need to sit down and have a clean slate.

A review of where we are now, where we want to go and how we get there.  To connect the dots that got you here.

  • For leadership, this could be a new CEO, to come in and take the company forward.
  • For systems, it could be a new tool which acknowledges the past but has the platform for the future.
  • For culture, it means embracing all the little changes and bedding it down into the DNA of the company.

This is a good thing, it’s the natural progression, it’s how organizations move forward.  Otherwise they lose sight of the lessons they’ve learnt to get where they are.  Long term sustainable success is by building forward momentum, so you’re not repeating the mistakes of the past.


April 30th, 2014

What is good?

We’ve been playing around with Machine Learning, to help uncover patterns in content.

And there’s two significant components
1) Definition
2) How variables stack up against that definition

You can look at the elements, imagine you want to use machine learning to find out how to build a good car.

You would load up all the good cars, that within itself is a definition, what is good?

It could be design lead, which could be established through design awards, or design nominations, it could be sales, it could be publicity.

Something quantifiable.

Then you break down it down to detect all the variables that make up a good car, things like four wheels, the gradient of the curves, acceleration, weight, colour.

This helps you then understand what a good car looks like.

But good is subjective.

Just remember that, data analysis is great but it always comes back to what are we doing it for.

April 25th, 2014

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