The Daily Drop

Technical Assistance and Training for People Moving Fast

Brain-Scrubbing: Spring Cleaning for the Mind

Our heads are like attics.  They are filled with uncommitted, unstudied and unclear decisions and positions.  More than blowing the dust off, Brain-Scrubbing this spring encourages a clearer path and cleaner mental storehouse – where there is clarity and room to flex.  What to do?  1.  Make clear the desired end-result of your decisions.  Making specific statements to yourself that clearly define the outcome you seek will influence your brain to “look” for solutions in a more targeted fashion.  2. Clarify decisions so that all team or family members understand the intended outcomes of the decision.  When there are differences in understanding the decision, others who influence its implementation generally go at it different ways – there is a lack of coherence.  3.  Filter and prioritize the relevancy of information you consider.  By doing so you can more readily make a decision without being overwhelmed with what is actually peripheral.  Assess your decision as you proceed towards reaching its outcome, but commit to your decision and change it only if a strong sea-change in the environment occurs.  Taking hold of these responsibilities will build your respect among others, and you’ll be on your way to a less-encumbered mind above the rafters.

The Oil is almost as Slippery as the Issue

Sailing the Gulf of Mexico towards Yucatan this week I spotted something that we have been told is now elusive.  BP’s Deepwater Horizon is “sealed off” we have been told, dispersed and no longer a threat.  Well, I saw plenty.  Countless deep patches just below the surface and countless other brown splotches of stringy shimmering sludge are moving south.  Where did PB and our government think it was going to end up?  Mostly on the sea floor they hoped.  After-all, out of sight, out of mind. Let ‘s not forget this catastrophe simply because so much has moved out of U.S. waters.  Fukushima has taken our eyes off the ball.  They are now exporters of radiation, and we are now exporters of oil.

Lady Gaga understands Brain Chemistry

Lady Gaga understands our brains.  Out of sight, out of…. well, you know the line all too well.  But, have you inversely practiced this principle?  Our brains are designed to “move towards” what we think about.  Lady Gaga understands and takes the steps to keep us “plugged-in” to her world – whether it is adorning a meat-dress or being transported to events in an alien germination pod.  When we see something out of the ordinary or we see something with frequency, our brain chemistry starts to boil.  When we have observations forced upon us, our brains seek out opportunities to recognize it again.  In the business environment, whether internally or with customers, getting noticed is directly proportionate to our ability to strategically position ourselves in the salient action and issues at hand.  Volunteer for tasks.  Participate in the extracurricular activities.  Under promise, but always over deliver. Don’t be afraid of contributing a point a view, particularly one that goes against the grain of convention, this can “stand you out” as a thinker unencumbered by the limits of your training and education.  When you do this, you are programming the minds around you to take notice of you.  Channel your inner Gaga, she knows brain chemistry.

Internet goes the way of the Dodo

You might not have any love loss for the Dodo – after-all it wasn’t pretty, or extravagant, and it certainly wasn’t elegant.  But it was independent and different.  It was the aviary equivalent of the Internet.  It was its own animal, distinct and curious.  Everyone who had the good fortune to see one outside of a museum diorama, could attest to their uniqueness and oddity.  The Internet as it exists promotes

the uniqueness, creativity and promise that we are not all alike – our opinions and perspectives are there, lying naked, for all to see.  There are number of efforts afoot in Congress to further encapsulate, monetize and prioritize what we can see.  Perhaps most troubling is selling off “speed” of access to corporations that can then compete unfairly with other Internet users. This should scare the hell out of us.  And, we should all be prompted to action.  Imagine if Blockbuster could send you a download 20 times faster than, say, Netflicks?  The result is that most people would gravitate to their products and services – and we would lose much of our choice.  The oddball and obscure would become less and less attainable, and would ultimately diminish for everyone.  Now, consider this effect on free speech and opinion.  We might as well go back to burning books.  Burn them all and burn them slowly, until there is no Dodo left.

What’s The Earthquake’s Take-Away?

While twitter is aflutter with Charlie Sheen, the world struggles with the devastation of Japan. Until today, Miyagi (the prefecture wherein Sendai sits) was mostly known to America as a surname of a thoughtful karate-kid mentor from Okinawa portrayed by the late Pat Morita. Miyagi will now be etched into our temporal lobes, aside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Some things are real, and we will be feeling the pain together with Japan for a half-life. In Japan recently, I was struck by the level of readiness – in signage, egress, emergency storage, security procedures, drills – the collectivist ethos of the Japanese to each do their part for the whole. And while it seemed, at first, overkill, it truly exemplified real “action” drawn from historic learning. The critical “take-away” is strategic preparation, even in the face of forces as awe-inspiring as mother nature. What is your strategy? What is “our” strategy? How are our homes and communities prepared? Water? Foodstuffs? Will we be prompted?

Why “Don’t reinvent the wheel” is a not where our heads should be.

Recently I was struck by an unusual adaptation of [Green-Collar] thinking in the world of paper-product manufacturing. Scott has announced toilet paper without the usual core cardboard tubing, to curious reviews. However, their shareholders quickly recognized the benefit to their bottom line. Amortized across years, the savings in both [environmental damage] as well as financial gain should make us all take notice. By some estimates, tens of millions of dollars will be saved annually, and given this is a multi-billion dollar business, the results are exponential. Here is an example of the wheel being reinvented to the betterment of both planet and pocket-book. Apply this [creative] approach to your work daily, be it in terms of product or service. Often there are many gains to be made from that which currently exists – If we never reinvent the wheel, we would never have gears, hard-discs or Hula-Hoops.

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