Monday, 27 April 2009

April 29th = Giant Hairball Day

Today is Gordon MacKenzie's birthday. Gordon wrote the masterpiece Orbiting the Giant Hairball.


Well, today I have nothing to say. Or rather "That's all I have to say about that" (F Gump). Silence is a mighty tool.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

VPEC-T when preparing Feedback

I have a collegue and friend that I wanted to give some "constructive feedback" to. I remembered the good old saying that you need to respect the one you give feedback to. And then Twitter-friend Richard Veryard reminded me that receiver needs to trust me.

Trust... That is one of the letters in VPEC-T. Maybe think through them all, I thought. And here are some questions that came up:

V- Value: Why do I care? Will my friend care? What am I trying to achieve with this feedback. What I am hoping that my friend will do with the feedback? How do I value our friendship? What are our common values, what do we share? Will value increase, e.g. will our friendship grow? Will I grow? Will he grow?

P - Policies: Are there any rules? Like, forbidden words when giving feedback to this friend. Any taboos I can think of? And restrictions on what feedback I can give? What would be out-of-bound? What situations could be where feedback is not welcome, i.e. friend doing something specific or having a bad day. What signals should make me stop the feedback process? In short: the rules and playground!

E - Event: What should trigger the feedback? Should I wait for a specific time? Or action from the friend that triggers the feedback? Should I plan the feedback - set up formal meeting? How should the feedback session start? Planned or spontaneous? Wait for right moment?

C - Content: What should be included in the feedback? How to give the feedback? As a story? In a dialogue form? Provide evidence? Draw on napkins? Illustrate in other ways? How long? Will it sound meaningful? Make sense? Be constructive? Should it be delivered in multiple sessions? Body language to use?

- Paus: just relaxing a let the questions above form answers. Making notes on a pad...

T - Trust: Ok. Do I trust and respect my friend? Does he trust me? If I go along with this would we build trust? Or break? Will the setup given for this feedback be serious? Having answered all the questions above - do I trust myself doing this?

Having the VPEC-T letters I managed to create structure for myself and rethink lot of this feedback process. I really do care for this friend -and this thinking made me rethink - and rethink again (!) - and now I feel more comfortable about how to deliver the feedback.

VPEC-T is not magic or a cure for everything. But it sure helped this time. And I am sure that there are plenty other situations too where VPEC-T will make a difference. Suggestions?


"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher,mid-1st century AD)

Same = different

Interesting: People say they plan to do something different and recommend people to do the same. Do the same is doing different.

Waitressing with attitude

At restaurant:" Scuse us,this was not what we expected"
Waitress: "So? You are not the first one complaining" and walks away.


I am so grateful for this experience. The restaurant did not provide one surprise - but two. Since the food was not what we expected they instead managed to create a very memorable experience with 'waitressing with attitude'.

Great service? Well, is was different service. And service we will remember.

Some space left empty.



Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Businesscard from past

Business cards from,eh, 2003. I still like the creatures.
And "design thinking" seems useful today too.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Warnings for music listeners

Lots of people listen to musich while walking or running. And this creates a dangerous situation - since you cannot hear the cars approaching from behind. Not until it is very close.

Could not the music players warn the runner/walker that a car is coming?

Could possibly pick up the sound of something approaching fast (sound getting stronger). And then play a warning signal so that the runner knows that something is coming from behind - fast.

That could give the runner/walker a few extra seconds to verify what is coming. Step (more) out of the way. Or even stop and let the car pass.

Any music device inventor/innovators taking on this challenge?

Levelling shoes!

The above is the profile of a narrow Swedish road. The road is highest in the middle to make sure that rainwater don't stay.
(The blue thing with two black boxes is a car of course!)

When you walk on this road you walk to the left. (Right in UK?) And to make sure you dont get hit by a car you need to walk far out to left. And there the difference in height for left and right foot can turn out to be very uncomfortable. Consider walking on the hills of a mountain!

If my left leg could be extended when I walk on these roads the pain would become smaller.

So, why not create shoes that automatically adjust so that the difference in height is removed (or at least reduced). Such shoes could also be used to adjust walking style of people rehabilitating from accidents? Or to straighten people that walks leaning towards a side.

So, any shoe-inventor out there taking on this challenge?

The shoes could communicate with each other and adjust height and angles as the ground and levels changes...and....well, better that someone with shoe-skills and technical skills do the thinking I guess.

Brave small creature

Today, in a forrest far far away I stopped to study an ants nest. Lots of activity and movement. I was hypnotized.

Suddenly I felt pain on my arm. A small sting. When I looked down I found a lonely ant standing on my arm. I looked closer and the ant seemed to raise his body and was probably trying to tell me something.

I stepped back from the ants nest - still carrying the ant on my arm. I inspected myself but could not find any more ants on skin or clothings.

The ant on my arm was running around - as if he was searching for something. A brief moment I thought of killing the ant. Getting even. But then I re-considered.

I could not kill someone that brave. A lonely ant trying to handle me - the large beast. And I was also puzzled what his intentions really were.

Did he consider me to be food? So he was trying to kill me and drag me home to the nest? A real fiest coming up.

Did he consider me as a threat to the nest Trying to kill me or scare me off?

Was he trying to impress a female ant? "I can take that huge ugly beast. Blind-folded even."

Was he trying to teach the small padawan ants how to handle a beast like me. Maybe the small ants were hiding in the grass while my heroic ant tried to find out how to deal with me. "Stay back and watch!"

Whatever he did he did it alone. But most likely to serve the good of the whole nest. Risking his own life he took an initiative. He did not wait for an order.

I decided to return the ant safely to the nest. He ran off. Maybe trying to bring more ants. "I did my best. But he was *huge*. Come and help - and we have food for the whole year!"

I hope that he got a promotion for bravery and for taking initiative. And I am sure he will be a good role model for the younger ants.

Life and nature are magic!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Undrar varför jag envisas med att skriva så mycket på engelska. Om det verkligen är för min egen del jag skriver och för att utveckla mina tankar så borde jag väl använda mitt modersmål?

En tanke är ju att det kanske inte är någon som förstår min engelska ändå...så varför ens försöka?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Innovation and Iterations

Innovations often requires iterations. This picture shows an iteration taking the Wright brother forward to succesful flight in 1903. Picture taken October 1900 of a wrecked glider.

This iteration did not stop them. They did not give up. They continued to innovate, work and iterate. Of course this wreck could be seen as a failure at the time it crashed. But only three years later it was rather a necessary iteration to achieve heavier-than-air flights.

So, do not give up if you wreck your glider. Keep pushing and your innovation might take off. Learn from the iterations. If you succeed all "failures" along the way will be seen as iterations, but if you stop at first failure you will end the journey with, yes, a failure.

Another stubborn person was Edison that together with his team worked his way through lots of iterations to come up with a working light bulb.

Innovation requires stubborness and passion. And a will to separate iteration from failure.

(Note 1. The Wright brothers were possibly not the first ones with flying machines. But they were stubborn and - if not first - at least among the first.)

(Note 2. Been thinking about "iteration" instead of "failure" a while. Think it was that got me started thinking some week(s) ago)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Big question

One of the big questions:

Can 6.77 billion people solve the problems of today? If not - who are we gonna call? Or should we wait for next generation?

What animal?

A happy animal. A dog? And if so - what breed?
(Hope that T Gunnarsson dont mind sharing this wonderful picture with us)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Do not include "failure" in plan

It is important to accept that we sometimes fail. And if we fail we need to learn and move on. Learn better ways, making it more likely we succeed next time.

But we should never include failure as an option in our plans. We should mentally aim for success. And success only. The planned actions should always lead to success in our minds.

Keep these two separated.

If we let failure be part of the plan we have an option mentally competing with success. And maybe we lower the ambition? "failure is ok - its an option in the plan"....

Again - Keep them separated. First: Never let "failure" be an option in the plan. Second: If failure - learn and move on.

Do not mix!