Confronting The New

Friends Hugs Excited
As the kids are starting a new school year, I thought these welcome messages in chalk on the sidewalk were interesting and hopeful. 



Everyone needs support when they are starting at a new place or doing something they haven’t done before. 



Doing something new means opportunity for a fresh beginning and the chance to learn and grow, but it also presents changes and challenges. 



The messages the kids drew help to confront these head on asking the other students:



– What is exciting to them and playing up the positives of the new experience.



– Encouraging people to make new friends to help make the adjustment. 



– Offer emotional support with “Free Hugs” and camaraderie.



At times, we all end up in new situations and places.



We may be looking for discovery, adventure, or a chance to do something different or perhaps change our fortunes.



At other times, we may just get thrown into something and may not even be certain exactly how we got there. 



But either way, it definitely helps when we reach out to others and realize that while we are individuals, we are not alone as we go through it.  



People need each other…some more, some less…but no man is an island. 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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Why Innovation Is On The Decline

Light on off
You’ve experienced it firsthand, innovation is slowing down (and yes, it’s quite disappointing!).  



Do you feel compelled to get a new smartphone, TV, or just about anything else…or do you already basically have the latest and greatest technology, even if it’s a couple of years old now?



But imagine, if something great and new did come out…we’d all be dancing in the streets and eager to buy. 



That’s right, innovation is not what it was…according to the Wall Street Journal, there is “An Innovation Slowdown At The Tech Giants.”



The question is why is this happening?



No, the tech companies are not copying Washington politics (sleepy, sleepy…)! 



But instead, we may have become our own worst enemies to our ability to innovate anew. 



The New York Times today explains that our minds have a toggle switch between being focused on a task and being free to let your mind wonder and innovate. 



You can’t do both at the same time, no you can’t.



And these days, we have so flooded ourselves with information overload with everything from 24/7 work and “big data,” email/texting, social media, and thousands of cable stations and billions of YouTube videos, and more that we are forever engaged in the what’s now, and are not allowing ourselves to rest, recuperate, and think about the potential for what’s new. 



If we want more from the future (innovation, creative problem solving, and sound decision making), then we need to allow some space for our minds to restore itself.



Whether that means daily downtimes, weekly walks in the park, monthly mediations, or semiannual vacations…we need to stop the diminishing returns of constant work and information arousal, and take a little mind breather. 



Instead of chugging along our insane nonstop routines of endless activities and firehose information engagement, we will do ourselves and our children and grandchildren a great service by pulling the train over for some rest and relaxation…and only then will real innovation begin again. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Classic enterprise architecture is figuring out how to move from the current/as-is state to the target/to-be state.

Generally, anything “as-is” is viewed as legacy, old hat, probably not in the best condition anymore–and it’s going without any implied warranties or guarantees as to it’s condition.

Hence, at the local IKEA store, when I saw the “as-is” section for 50% off, I was like hey that’s right, the “as-is” is good if we want a bargain, but there is usually something wrong with it, and that’s why “all sales are final”.

If we want “the good stuff,” you don’t generally go to the “as-is,” but you want to buy stuff for the “to-be,” the target state, that you want your place to look like or what you really want to have–and guess what–that is full price!

You can architect your enterprise, yourself, or society for the momentary as-is–but is doesn’t last long, because it’s outdated, shabby, worn, and maybe even missing some critical parts already.

That’s why you want to architect for the future–for the to-be–with all the working parts, new and shinny, and geared to tackle the market conditions with innovation, functional strength and a design that is ready to turn heads.

You can save money staying with the as-is, but you’ll be getting what you paid for and will be falling behind for another cycle–if you survive. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)