Think Back, Think Forward

So yesterday I attended a colleagues’s leadership program graduation. 


There were about 20 people in the graduating class. 


One thing that I liked was that when they called up each person to shake hands and get their diplomas, each graduate was given the opportunity to say a few words. 


It was amazing to me how 20 people could give a thank you, what I learned, and what I will do with it speech in 20 completely different ways. 


20 people, 20 personalities, 20 ways of thinking and saying something. 


We really are all the similar to and different from one anther at the same time!


I remember one graduate in particular.


He talked about how the leadership program challenged him, and he said:

It made me think back, and it made me think forward. 


I loved that!


This is really what learning is all about. 


Reflecting back and using that to think forward–how to apply it, how to shape it, and how to innovate from it.


Thinking forward starts with thinking back to where we came from and all the lessons learned in our lives. 


It all starts at the beginning and it goes forward from there. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Anyone Have A Question About This Car?

Yeah, all I can say…

Anyone have a question about this car?


I am pretty sure this car is owned by Matthew Lesko, “The Question Mark Guy.”


Lesko was in a number of commercials and infomercials about asking him how to get free information and grant money from the government. 


He dresses and drives in question marks, and I’ve seen him a number of times around town. Frankly, it’s sort of hard to miss this guy!


His self promotion sort of makes you wonder, if you had to choose just one symbol to wear everywhere to represent you to the world–it could be a punctuation mark or anything else–what would that look like?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Actual From Abstract

A colleague’s daughter drew this. 


At first glance, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. 


Do you see what it is?


At first, I was thinking something a little alien perhaps. 


But there it is right in front of you.


It’s the head, ears, nose, and tusks of an elephant. 


I really like the abstractness of this art. 


All from simple circles, and voila you have an elephant. 


Look carefully at what you think you see, and let your mind put the whole picture together. 


That’s how you come to the actual from the abstract! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Breaking The Paradigm

So a colleague has this sticker (with a do not image) on their computer that says:


“But we’ve always done it that way.”


They told me a funny story about the lady that made the ham with the head and tail ends always cut off.


One day, her daughter asked, “Why mom do you make the ham with the head and tail ends always cut off?”


The mother answers and says because “My mother always made it that way!”


So they went to her mother and ask the question and they get the same answer again.


Finally, they went to her great grandmother and ask, “Why do you always make the ham with the head and tail ends cut off?”


And the old lady takes a breath, pauses, and says, “Because, we didn’t have a pan big enough to fit the whole ham!”


Just thought this was a great lesson on critical thinking and also on “asking why.”


Change can be brought about by questioning underlying assumptions and historical ways of doing things and bringing an open mind and fresh light to it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Pen From A Puddle

Pen
You know how ideas just sort of come to you…



Well, major innovations that have changed the course of history haven’t really happened that way. 



All innovation and development start from somewhere–usually where G-d or someone else has left off–and then we take things a cycle forward. 



In the Wall Street Journal, James Ward describes how the simple yet profound ballpoint pen was invented. 



Not until 1899 was it founded giving everyone the ability to write away with a ball at the point (a ballpoint) that rolls and dispenses the ink with ease. 



The ballpoint pen was invented by Liszlo Biro of Budapest. 



Observing that in printing presses the machine cylinder could only roll ink back and forth, however for everyday writing people needed an all-directional mechanism. 



So what happens…



Sitting at a cafe and thinking, he sees children playing with marbles.



And one child’s marble rolls through a puddle of water. 



The marble leaves “a line of water in its wake.”



Boom…the idea for the ballpoint bearing comes in being with “minute grooves” in the pen head to draw the ink to the tip and unto the paper. 



With further experimentation, the famous Bic (Cristal) pen named after Frenchman, Marcel Bich, was born in 1959.  It has a “hexagonal body (inspired by the shape of aa traditional wooden pencil) and instantly recognizable lid”–since it’s launch, more than 100 billion of these pens have been manufactured and sold!



By the way, remember the hilarious commercial for the Bic Banana Ink Crayon Pens (watch here to laugh a little).



So in both instances of the invention of the pen, the developers found other things in their environment from which they learned and then they applied it to something new (in one instance the child with the marble and water, and in the other the shape of the good ‘ol pencil). 



Lesson learned here: 



Watch, learn, experiment, learn, apply — change the world! 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to photosteve101)

Best Animated Shoes

Dragon Shoe Husband Wife Shoe
These are some very cool shoes–different!



My daughter found these on Youtube 



They are made by this unboring shoe company in the U.K. called Irregular Choice.



Walking on the back of a dragon cannot be a bad thing. 



Stepping alternatively on the bride and groom–maybe an interesting perspective on the ins and outs of marriage. 



They also have a neat pair of Panda shoes. 



Check these out, I think you’ll look cool and really like it. 😉

Cool Cat

Cat
So yesterday I was coming home from the fitness center/pool.



I was wearing shorts and pool shoes even though it was only in the 30’s-40’s temperature out. 



This large man with a Texas accent stops me to ask how I can dress like that around Winter time.



And it’s particularly funny, because there is another man overhearing this conversation next to us wrapped up in no less than 2 coats/layers.



So I say in a lighthearted way “I guess that I just have warm blood, so the temperature doesn’t really bother me.”



He says, “Uh, in Florida, when it goes into the 60’s, people start shivering and bundling up down there.”



I smile, and say “Well maybe we’re just different people.”



Then he goes, “I like that–I like people that think different! You know why, [and he pauses and repeats again] you know why?”



I look at him sort of eyes wide open at this point waiting to hear his explanation to the build up. 



And he says, “Because it means they don’t give a sh*t what other people think!”



At that point we both started nodding and laughing. 



Maybe you had to be there, but I think you can probably envision this sort of nutty scene.  😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)