Logical and precise, left-brain thinking gave us the Information Age. Now comes the Conceptual Age – ruled by artistry, empathy, and emotion.

By Daniel Pink (as appeared on WIRED, Issue 13.02 – Feb 2005 )

When I was a kid – growing up in a middle-class family, in the middle of America, in the middle of the 1970s – parents dished out a familiar plate of advice to their children: Get good grades, go to college, and pursue a profession that offers a decent standard of living and perhaps a dollop of prestige. If you were good at math and science, become a doctor. If you were better at English and history, become a lawyer. If blood grossed you out and your verbal skills needed work, become an accountant. Later, as computers appeared on desktops and CEOs on magazine covers, the youngsters who were really good at math and science chose high tech, while others flocked to business school, thinking that success was spelled MBA.

Tax attorneys. Radiologists. Financial analysts. Software engineers. Management guru Peter Drucker gave this cadre of professionals an enduring, if somewhat wonky, name: knowledge workers. These are, he wrote, “people who get paid for putting to work what one learns in school rather than for their physical strength or manual skill.” What distinguished members of this group and enabled them to reap society’s greatest rewards, was their “ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytic knowledge.” And any of us could join their ranks. All we had to do was study hard and play by the rules of the meritocratic regime. That was the path to professional success and personal fulfillment.

But a funny thing happened while we were pressing our noses to the grindstone: The world changed. The future no longer belongs to people who can reason with computer-like logic, speed, and precision. It belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind. Today – amid the uncertainties of an economy that has gone from boom to bust to blah – there’s a metaphor that explains what’s going on. And it’s right inside our heads.

Scientists have long known that a neurological Mason-Dixon line cleaves our brains into two regions – the left and right hemispheres. But in the last 10 years, thanks in part to advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have begun to identify more precisely how the two sides divide responsibilities. The left hemisphere handles sequence, literalness, and analysis. The right hemisphere, meanwhile, takes care of context, emotional expression, and synthesis. Of course, the human brain, with its 100 billion cells forging 1 quadrillion connections, is breathtakingly complex. The two hemispheres work in concert, and we enlist both sides for nearly everything we do. But the structure of our brains can help explain the contours of our times.

Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they’re no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere – artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.

Beneath the nervous clatter of our half-completed decade stirs a slow but seismic shift. The Information Age we all prepared for is ending. Rising in its place is what I call the Conceptual Age, an era in which mastery of abilities that we’ve often overlooked and undervalued marks the fault line between who gets ahead and who falls behind.

Read the full story

Advertisements

Logical and precise, left-brain thinking gave us the Information Age. Now comes the Conceptual Age – ruled by artistry, empathy, and emotion.

By Daniel Pink (as appeared on WIRED, Issue 13.02 – Feb 2005 )

When I was a kid – growing up in a middle-class family, in the middle of America, in the middle of the 1970s – parents dished out a familiar plate of advice to their children: Get good grades, go to college, and pursue a profession that offers a decent standard of living and perhaps a dollop of prestige. If you were good at math and science, become a doctor. If you were better at English and history, become a lawyer. If blood grossed you out and your verbal skills needed work, become an accountant. Later, as computers appeared on desktops and CEOs on magazine covers, the youngsters who were really good at math and science chose high tech, while others flocked to business school, thinking that success was spelled MBA.

Tax attorneys. Radiologists. Financial analysts. Software engineers. Management guru Peter Drucker gave this cadre of professionals an enduring, if somewhat wonky, name: knowledge workers. These are, he wrote, “people who get paid for putting to work what one learns in school rather than for their physical strength or manual skill.” What distinguished members of this group and enabled them to reap society’s greatest rewards, was their “ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytic knowledge.” And any of us could join their ranks. All we had to do was study hard and play by the rules of the meritocratic regime. That was the path to professional success and personal fulfillment.

But a funny thing happened while we were pressing our noses to the grindstone: The world changed. The future no longer belongs to people who can reason with computer-like logic, speed, and precision. It belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind. Today – amid the uncertainties of an economy that has gone from boom to bust to blah – there’s a metaphor that explains what’s going on. And it’s right inside our heads.

Scientists have long known that a neurological Mason-Dixon line cleaves our brains into two regions – the left and right hemispheres. But in the last 10 years, thanks in part to advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have begun to identify more precisely how the two sides divide responsibilities. The left hemisphere handles sequence, literalness, and analysis. The right hemisphere, meanwhile, takes care of context, emotional expression, and synthesis. Of course, the human brain, with its 100 billion cells forging 1 quadrillion connections, is breathtakingly complex. The two hemispheres work in concert, and we enlist both sides for nearly everything we do. But the structure of our brains can help explain the contours of our times.

Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they’re no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere – artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.

Beneath the nervous clatter of our half-completed decade stirs a slow but seismic shift. The Information Age we all prepared for is ending. Rising in its place is what I call the Conceptual Age, an era in which mastery of abilities that we’ve often overlooked and undervalued marks the fault line between who gets ahead and who falls behind.

Read the full story

Thanks to all of you for visiting this blog in the last few months. We have just moved this blog to a separate location4entrepreneur.net. This link will still work, but all the new updates will be posted at the new site. Hope to see you there!!

By Jay Maharjan

Ever second-guess your doctor’s diagnosis or just curious to see if you can learn more on your own? Now you can! There is a cool website called wrongdiagnosis.com. This site is equipped with more than 8,000 different medical conditions – and more cases are added every day. Mark Frauenfelder has done a great job compiling some of the cool sites like this one in his book – Rule the Web.

With the barriers to entry for web presence going down, there are several cool sites emerging every day. Kayak.com has been around for a while, but it is my favorite for finding the best flight deals. Instead of visiting independent travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, Kayak does all the searching for you and generates the best results.

If you are an online shopper, you will like this one! eComemrce sites always ask if you have a coupon right before checking out and the chances are you never do. Now, you can visit Retailmenot.com and get a temporary coupon code that you can use instantly.

google is your best friend when it comes to finding information. What you may not know is that google has come a long ways and developed some really cool features – like finding out the real time status of the flight with the live picture of the flight path when you type in a flight number in the search bar.

Some of the new web ideas fascinate me. I will start writing about some of the cool web sites that I come across.

Note: We have just moved to a new location. Click here for updated posts

Brand Yourself as an Expert

The Pro: Erica Feidner The Company: Steinway & Sons in New York City Key Stat: Has been company’s top salesperson for eight years straight.

Inc. Magazine

Erica Feidner insists that she’s not “in sales”–never mind that she expects to move roughly $3.5 million worth of pianos in 2004. Feidner prefers to think of herself as a piano matchmaker. Add to her interesting mindset the fact that she takes clients by referral only. And add the fact that she recently filed for a patent to further establish herself as a music expert. And finally, add to that the amazing press that she’s received as a result of her unusual approach to selling pianos. What you end up with is a salesperson who transcends the label. Having been branded an expert, Feidner finds it’s much easier to close deals.

Stroll through Steinway’s lavish show room with Feidner, and you’re apt to feel like you’re spending time with a psychologist. The former concert pianist, who also has an M.B.A., tries to learn as much as she can about you before picking out a piano to show you. If you think you’re tone-deaf, she teaches you to hear the differences between each instrument. If you can’t decide, she gives you some alone time. If the right piano isn’t available, she encourages you to wait to buy.

This unique approach led, in 2001, to The New Yorker publishing a profile of Feidner, describing her uncanny ability to match people with pianos. The article also delves into her personal life, from her bohemian upbringing in a house full of pianos to her stint as Miss Vermont in 1985 to her struggle with player’s block, which resulted in a falling-out with her father.

After the article came out, Feidner realized that her customers were at least as interested in her as they were in Steinway. Typical of her clientele today is Erica Huang, a landscape painter from Huntington Beach, Calif., who sought out Feidner after reading the article. “There was something about her story and the courage she showed as a person,” Huang says. “In my own life, there are parallels.” Less than an hour after stepping into Steinway this past March, Huang put a deposit on a $43,100 Steinway model M that, according to Feidner, has an “inner fire,” just like Huang.

In addition to drawing new business, the article is a killer calling card. Feidner e-mails it to top prospects like Andrew Mitchell, an accountant from Upper Montclair, N.J., who found it in his in box after he called Steinway to express an interest in trading in his old Boston model for something better suited to his 16-year-old son’s musical talents. A few weeks and many phone calls, tune-ups, and test runs later, Mitchell plunked down $51,900 for a slightly used Steinway model B with a black satin finish. “After going through that process, I have a very good appreciation for Erica’s discrete skill,” he says.

To enhance her already impressive credentials, Feidner, a perky 39-year-old, is now attempting to patent her method of teaching people to read music in one lesson. She figures that protected intellectual property will, like a magazine article, separate her from the pack. Feidner first filed the application back in April 2002, with the help of attorney Charles Miller, whom she met, naturally, when she sold him a Steinway grand. She spent about 20 hours total teaching the lesson to Miller’s assistant, revising the method, and approving drawings. The whole process cost about $5,000. Feidner also has plans to establish herself on the corporate speaker circuit. She will position her one-lesson music instruction as a team-building exercise. When the corporate types she trains decide they want a piano, they’ll naturally come to her.

Besides making sales easier, there are other perks to the woman at the center of the burgeoning Erica Feidner brand. Customers sincerely appreciate her. Recently, for example, Feidner arrived home to find a lovely fruit basket on her doorstep. It was a thank-you from Mitchell. His son’s piano had just arrived.

Read more

Note: We have just moved our blog to a new location. click here for updated posts

November 30, 2007 at 5:04 pm

1. Win all without fighting
Capturing your market without destroying it
2. Avoid Strength/Attack Weakness
Striking where they least expect it
3. Deception and foreknowledge
Maximizing the power of market information
4. Speed and preparation
Moving swiftly to overcome your competitors
5. Shape your opponent
Employing strategy to master the competition
6. Character-based leadership
Providing effective leadership in turbulent time

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

1. Win all without fighting
Capturing your market without destroying it

* Prioritize markets and determine competitor focus
* To win all without fighting you must first decide which markets you want to win and whom you must defeat in those markets to do so. Therefore, in this step, you must first prioritize your markets and then select a competitor in those markets on whom to focus your efforts.

2. Avoid Strength/Attack Weakness
Striking where they least expect it

i.e: WWI and II, Germans avoiding French Armies

* Attacking psychological weaknesses
o The supreme excellence in war is to attack the enemy’s plans
o Next best is to disrupt his alliances
o The next best is to attack his army
o The worst policy is to attack cities
o Anger his general and confuse him
o Keep him under strain and wear him down
* Develop attacks against competitor’s weakness
* Once you’ve selected a competitor to focus on, you must determine that firm’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as understanding your own. Prioritize your competitor’s weaknesses by elevating in importance those weaknesses that, if attacked successfully, would severely unbalance your competitor. Take the 4 most critical weaknesses and develop 2 to 3 potential attacks against each that could be used successfully.

3. Deception and foreknowledge
Maximizing the power of market information

* Foreknowledge
* Know your competition
* Know yourself
* Utilizing Information Technology
* Knowing your market
* Deception
o It is not enough to know yourself, the business terrain, and your competitor. The other side of the equation is ensuring that your competition is unable to know you. This is where deception comes in.

i.e: Trojan horse

* If the competitors do not know where you will attack next, they will be confused and unable to respond effectively. They waste resources by allocating them incorrectly and it creates spots to attack by making its management unsure of your intentions.
* Wargame and plan for surprise
Now use your knowledge of your competitor to wargame each attack, playing out the moves and countermoves that could occur. It is especially important to forecast how your competitor might leverage its strengths in a counterattack. As you wargame your attacks, think through how you might achieve surprise against your competitor by disguising the attacks with deceptive moves.

4. Speed and preparation
Moving swiftly to overcome your competitors

“Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack”

* Speed surprises and shocks the competition
* Reducing Cycle time
* Scenario planning and wargaming
* Ready your attacks and release them
* Determine what preparations are required for successfully executing your integrated set of attacks, your strategy. Then, execute your attacks with speed and shckpower.

i.e: Napoleon, WWII

5. Shape your opponent
Employing strategy to master the competition

* First put together all you have learned so far. You must know the situation
* Then you must be able to deceive your competitor as to your plans. And do so with
* blinding speed.
* Using bait to shape your competitor
* Holding strategic positions
* Leaving a way out
* Avoid being shaped
* Integrate best attacks to unbalance your competition
* This is the point to select the one or 2 key weaknesses of your competitor that you will exploit. The results of your wargaming will provide the insight to do so and will also assist you in deciding which set of attacks to utilize and how they can be integrated for maximum impact on your competitor. This becomes your strategy.
* Alliances
o prevent your competitors from combining to oppose you
o if powerful alliances exist, avoid attacking them
o if you must attack, first separate your competitor from his allies
o make skillful use of your own allies
o do not choose the wrong allies
o know how to maintain an alliance and when to end one

6. Character-based leadership
Providing effective leadership in turbulent time

* build your character, not just your image
* lead with actions, not just words
* share employee’s trials, not just their triumphs
* motivate emotionally, not just materially
* assign clearly defined missions to all, avoiding mission overlap and confusion
* make your strategy drive your organization, not the reverse
* Reinforce success, starve failure
* Support your strategy with prompt action, determining quickly which attacks are succeeding and which are not. Ruthlessly reinforce success and starve failure.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Based on the book Sun Tzu and The Art of Business written by Mark McNeilly

Note: We have just moved our blog to a new location. click here for updated posts

Woopidoo article

Being an entrepreneur is about more than just starting a business or two, it is about having attitude and the drive to succeed in business. All successful Entrepreneurs have a similar way of thinking and posses several key personal qualities that make them so successful in business. Successful entrepreneurs like the ambitious Richard Branson have an inner drive to succeed and grow their business, rather than having a Harvard Business degree or technical knowledge in a particular field.

All successful entrepreneurs have the following qualities:

Inner Drive to Succeed
Entrepreneurs are driven to succeed and expand their business. They see the bigger picture and are often very ambitious. Entrepreneurs set massive goals for themselves and stay committed to achieving them regardless of the obstacles that get in the way.

Strong Belief in themselves
Successful entrepreneurs have a healthy opinion of themselves and often have a strong and assertive personality. They are focused and determined to achieve their goals and believe completely in their ability to achieve them. Their self optimism can often been seen by others as flamboyance or arrogance but entrepreneurs are just too focused to spend too much time thinking about un-constructive criticism.

Search for New Ideas and Innovation
All entrepreneurs have a passionate desire to do things better and to improve their products or service. They are constantly looking for ways to improve. They’re creative, innovative and resourceful.

Openness to Change
If something is not working for them they simply change. Entrepreneurs know the importance of keeping on top of their industry and the only way to being number one is to evolve and change with the times. They’re up to date with the latest technology or service techniques and are always ready to change if they see a new opportunity arise.

Competitive by Nature
Successful entrepreneurs thrive on competition. The only way to reach their goals and live up to their self imposed high standards is to compete with other successful businesses.

Highly Motivated and Energetic
Entrepreneurs are always on the move, full of energy and highly motivated. They are driven to succeed and have an abundance of self motivation. The high standards and ambition of many entrepreneurs demand that they have to be motivated!

Accepting of Constructive Criticism and Rejection
Innovative entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of their industry so they hear the words “it can’t be done” quite a bit. They readjust their path if the criticism is constructive and useful to their overall plan, otherwise they will simply disregard the comments as pessimism. Also, the best entrepreneurs know that rejection and obstacles are a part of any leading business and they deal with them appropriately.

True entrepreneurs are resourceful, passionate and driven to succeed and improve. They’re pioneers and are comfortable fighting on the frontline The great ones are ready to be laughed at and criticized in the beginning because they can see their path ahead and are too busy working towards their dream.

For more

Note: We have just moved our blog to a new location. click here for updated posts