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How to Increase Metabolism

Believe it or not, simply changing a few daily habits can have a major impact on your metabolism! If you’re trying to lose weight, increasing your metabolic rate can enable you to lose more weight without cutting more calories.

 

Here are some tips based on research & studies.

 

What is metabolism? In the simplest terms, metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. Very few people have a fast metabolism, and overweight individuals generally have slow metabolisms. However, a faster metabolism will enable you to lose more weight than your friend, even if you both have the same activity level, diet, and weight.

 

Drink iced water. As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to “hoard” rather than “burn”. When your drink ice cold water, your body burns calories warming it to body temperature. More than ninety percent of the chemical reactions in your body occur in water, so make sure you drink an appropriate amount of water.

 

Exercise twice a day if possible. Do your vigorous workout in the morning, and then take a walk after dinner. This way you will continue to burn calories at a higher pace for almost the entire 24 hours.

 

Boost metabolism in the long run with weight training. Muscle burns more calories than fat does (73 more calories per kilogram per day, to be exact) so the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be. Every muscle cell that you gain is like a little factory that constantly burns calories for you, even while you sleep, and revs up when you exercise. This is the only way to increase RMR, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn daily.

 

Eat Proper Meals. Never skip meals for the sake of weight loss. Skipping meals sends a signal to your body to lower the metabolism rate as there are fewer calories to burn. With a lower metabolism rate, your calories won’t burn, which will lead to fat accumulation and weight gain. Eating meals will increase your metabolism, thus preventing fat accumulation.

 

Time Your Meals. Eat five meals a day. When you eat a meal the metabolism rate is high for about four hours and then is slows down. To increase metabolism you need to eat five meals a day so that it keeps working and burning calories. Increasing metabolism rate also allows you lose weight without going in for a very difficult diet plan. Make sure you eat your meals within four hours of exercise. The metabolism rate in high at that time and thus burns most of the calories thus leading to weight loss.

Eleven Ways to De-compress after HIgh Stress

These are some simple and great ways to destress after a tough day or event!

 

Work really well for me.

 

   1. Deep breathing. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now let it out … slowly. Try counting to 10 as you let out your breath. Feel the tension and stress flowing out of you with your breath. Repeat 3-10 times, as necessary.

   2. Self-massage. I like to massage my shoulders, neck, head, lower back. It helps a lot. Even better: get your honey to do it for you! Another great relaxation technique is to tense up and then relax each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting from your toes up to your head.

   3. Take a walk. When I’m in the middle of stress, I like to take a walk around the building. I also do the deep breathing and self-massage mentioned above as I do so. It’s a great way of letting go of tension and allowing yourself to re-focus.

   4. Exercise. This morning, I went to the beach at 5:30 a.m. and went for a swim. It was beautiful at the beach at around sunrise, and the swim was invigorating. Yesterday I went for a bike ride, and the morning before it was a short but refreshing run. Tomorrow I think I’ll do another short run. It really gets the stress out of your system and gives you some quiet time to think when you exercise.

   5. Get outdoors. Even if I didn’t do the swim, just being there at the beach, with my decaf coffee was calming. It’s nice to connect with nature and take in the beauty around you. While you’re there, stretch, yawn, take some deep breaths, and enjoy.

   6. Disconnect. Turn off the phones, turn off the computer, and shut off the outside world for a little while. These things just raise your stress level. Go offline and forget about the online world! You can do it! Except for Karmic Mantra. That’s the only blog you’re allowed to read when you decompress.

   7. Take a day off. That’s what I’m doing today. Don’t tell my boss. I have lots of vacation and sick leave saved up, so it’s not a problem, actually. I’m just going to veg out and allow myself to calm down and center.

   8. Meditate. You don’t need to be trained to have a short, relaxing meditation session. Just sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, relax, and focus on your breathing. Try to concentrate on it coming into your body, and then going out. When other things pop into your head (they will, inevitably), just acknowledge them (don’t try to force them out) and allow them to leave, and then focus again on your breathing. Do this for as long as you can, and then take a couple of cleansing breaths, and get up a new person.

   9. Read. I like to throw myself on the couch with a good book. Well, not necessarily a good book — a page-turner. Something that will engross me completely, take my mind off everything else. John Grisham works well for me, as does William Gibson. And Terry Pratchett. Or Ann Patchett, for that matter. And Stephen King. Just get lost in their world.

  10. Love. I like to spend time with my kids or my wife. Just snuggle with them, focus on them, forget about the world. They are all that’s important, and sometimes I need that reminder.

  11. Take a nap. One of my favorites. Just take a 30-minute nap, and you’re re-set! A nap is like a restart button for life.

Top Ten Productivity Hacks

We all need a productivity boost now and then — sometimes throughout the day. We each want to be productive for very personal reasons — to accomplish more, to make more money, to get done earlier to make more time for our personal lives, to accomplish our goals.

 

But whatever the reason, these Productivity Hacks will do the trick. Here they are, in reverse order.

 

#10: Take care of your Most Important Things first. Your Most Important Things for the day — the things you most need to accomplish that day — should take priority over everything else. However, we all know that fires come up throughout the day, interruptions through phone calls and email and people dropping by, new demands that will push the best-laid plans aside. If you put off your MITs until later in the day, you will end up not doing them much of the time.

 

# 9: Wake up early. Decide what you’d like to accomplish each morning, and build your morning routine around that. Like to exercise? Put that in there. Healthy breakfast? Go for it. Check email? Fine. The mornings are a fresh start, peaceful and free of ringing phones and constant email notifications. If you get your Most Important Things done in the morning, the rest of the day is just gravy.

 

# 8: Simplify information streams, crank through blogs & email. Think about all the information you receive (email, blogs, newsletters, mailing lists, magazines, newspapers and more) and edit brutally. You will drastically reduce the time you spend reading. For everything else that begins to come in after your editing process, ask yourself if you really need to be getting that information regularly. Most of the time the answer is no. Now, after this process, you should be left with less to read. Here’s the next step: crank through it all, really only reading the really interesting ones.

 

# 7: Declutter your workspace; work on one thing at a time. The decluttering your work space part of it is simply to remove all extra distractions, on your desk and on your computer. If you’ve got a clean, simplified workspace, you can better focus on the task at hand.

 

# 6: Get to work early; work fewer hours. My best days come when I get into work early, and begin my work day in the quiet morning hours, before the phones start ringing and the din of the office begins it crescendo to chaos. It is so peaceful, and I can work without interruption or losing focus. I often find that I get my MITs done before anyone comes in, and then the rest of the day is dealing with whatever comes up (or even better: getting ahead for the next day).

 

# 5: Avoid meetings; when you must meet, make it effective. I find it best to say no to meetings up front. I just say, “Sorry, I can’t make it. I’m tied up with a project right now.” And that’s always true. I’ve always got projects I’m working on that are more important than a meeting.

 

# 4: Avoid unnecessary work. If we just do any work that comes our way, we can be cranking out the tasks, but not be productive at all. You’re only productive if you are doing work that moves you towards a goal. Eliminate non-essential tasks from your to-do lists, and start to say no to new requests that are non-essential.

 

# 3: Do the tough tasks first. You know what those tasks are. What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Sometimes when you put things off, they end up being things you don’t really need to do. But sometimes they are things you just gotta do. Those are your tough tasks.

 

# 2: Work off-line as much as possible. To increase your productivity, disconnect your Internet connection. Have scheduled times when you’re going to check your email, and only let yourself check your blogs or surf the web when you’ve gotten a certain amount done. When you do go online, do it on a timer. When the timer goes off, unplug again until the next scheduled time.

 

# 1: Do something you’re passionate about. This might not seem like the normal productivity tip, but give it a thought: if you really want to do something, you’ll work like hell to get it done. You’ll work extra hard, you’ll put in even more hours, and you’re less likely to procrastinate. It’s for work that you don’t really care about that you procrastinate. Read the full post for tips on how to find your dream job and do work you truly care about.

Ten Things Great Bosses Know:

1. The Most Important Thing Bosses Do Is Help OTHERS Succeed:

This sounds simple, but bosses got promoted because of their personal achievements. Now, they have to shift the focus from themselves to the growth of those who report to them. In other words, it's not about YOU, boss. It's about the troops. If they do well, you should, too.

 

2. Managers Cannot Treat Everyone The Same:

Great bosses learn how to customize their approach to each person. Yes, they hold true to core values, but don't assume that they have to act in identical ways with each staffer. They manage people as the complex individuals they are. And that's a real skill.

 

3. IQ Gets Bosses Only So Far; EQ Takes Them to The Next Level:

I'm talking about emotional intelligence: the ability to be self-aware, self-managing, socially aware and adept at managing relationships. This means knowing how to read the emotions of others as well as our own, to know how to power up or power down in synch with a situation, to build trust through expertise, integrity and empathy.

 

4. People Fall In Love With Ideas & Solutions Of Their Own Creation:

It's faster and easier to tell people what to do; but when people come up with their own ideas, they are much more invested in them. Anyone who's ever assigned stories knows this one. Journalists love the project they come up with more than the one that's given them. When we put our personal stamp on something, we care more about it. This applies in work assignments, negotiation and conflict resolution.

 

5. Coaching Is A Critical Skill:

Bosses who "fix" the work of others don't help them grow. Fixing may be faster, but has short-term impact. Coaching takes more time but the results last. Fixing is about the product, coaching is about the person. With good coaching, the person and the product improve.

 

6. Staffers Must See You, Not Your Evil Twin:

What's the difference between visionary and delusional, a roll-up-my-sleeves helper and a micromanager, or between confidence and arrogance? It's often in the the way the leader communicates and the staff perceives her. Leaders can't assume their employees can read their minds. It's hard work to make your intentions clear.

 

7. Conflict Doesn't Get Better If It Is Ignored:

The best bosses build cultures where conflict may be inevitable among smart, creative people, but it is handled extremely well. Differences are aired, values are clear, people are held accountable, and bullies don't win.

 

8. Intrinsic Motivation Is The Most Powerful.

The best work gets done when people motivate themselves. That's intrinsic motivation: Internal engines like competence, choice, meaningfulness and progress. Or the joy of working with a team, or achieving something solo. Great bosses know what drives each person they lead.

 

9. Managing Change Is A Constant Responsibility:

Change can make people very uncomfortable, but leaders must move people in new directions, toward new opportunities. Today's newsrooms are undergoing massive changes of culture, workflow, skill sets, formats and technology. Great leaders build bridges to the future.

 

10. Leaders Inspire Others:

There's meaning, honor and dignity in every form of honest work. Don't fear that you will look corny by sharing a vision, a passion, or a dream. The best bosses make us feel better about ourselves, our work and our goals. Dare to inspire.

 

source: unknown

13 Principles - Napoleon Hill

13 Principles

 

Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill (Law of Attraction)

 

Desire

Desire is the starting point for all achievement, the first step toward riches. But it’s here that we so often run into a roadblock. A person will say, “I know what I desire, but can I get it? The answer was best expressed by Emerson: “There’s nothing capricious in nature, and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.” In other words, you would not have the desire unless you were capable of its achievement. Your burning desire is nothing more than an accurate picture of what you will one day become. So right here, firmly establish in your mind that which you desire more than anything else, and cherish and nurture that desire. Do not suppress or annihilate it. A man without desire has within him no principle of action, or motive to act.

 

Faith

Faith is the state of mind that may be induced or created by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind by conscious auto suggestion. By summoning over and over again a mental image of yourself already having accomplished your main desire, you will muster the faith you need. Faith is vital to accomplishment. Have faith that you can accomplish that which you seek, for you would never have decided upon it unless it was meant for you to accomplish it. If you find it difficult at times to have faith in yourself, you may be certain that you can have faith in these principles.

 

Auto Suggestion

Through repeated suggestion, the subconscious mind can be put to work for you. It’s the faculty of being able to concentrate your mind on your burning desire until your subconscious mind accepts it as fact and begins to devise ways of bringing it about. Here’s where hunches come from, sudden flashes of thought, inspiration, or guidance. To access the power of auto suggestion, go into some quiet spot, perhaps in bed at night. Close your eyes and repeat aloud so you may hear your own words a careful reaffirmation of whatever your goal happens to be. If it’s the accumulation of a sum of money, reiterate the time limit for its accumulation and a description of the service or merchandise you intend to give in return for it. As you carry out these instructions, see yourself already in possession of your goal.

 

Specialized Knowledge

Knowledge is power only to the extent that it’s organized into a definite plan of action and directed to a definite end. Before you can be sure of your ability to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent, you will require specialized knowledge of the service, merchandise, or profession that you intend to offer in return for fortune. Realize that you must learn all you can about your specialty. Set aside a definite time every day for learning more about what it is you do for a living. Take the courses that are offered on your subject and associate with people who know your business well.

 

Imagination

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in the development and use of his imagination and subsequent motivation to action. The great leaders of business, industry, and finance, and the great artists, musicians, poets, and writers became great because they developed the power of self-motivation. As you go about your daily work, think constantly of ways in which it could be done better, more efficiently. Think of the changes that are inevitable. Can they be made now? If you feel limited, remember the words of the late Frank Lloyd Wright: “The human race built most nobly when limitations were greatest and, therefore, when most was required of imagination in order to build at all.”

 

Decision

Analysis of several hundred people who’ve accumulated fortunes well beyond the million-dollar mark disclose the fact that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly and of changing these decisions slowly, if and when they were changed. When you make up your mind, stay with it. The majority of people who fail are generally easily influenced by the opinions of others. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Keep your own counsel when you begin to put into practice the principles described here by reaching your own decisions and following them. Take no one into your confidence except the members of your mastermind alliance (as discussed later), and be very careful in your selection of this group, choosing only those who will be in complete sympathy and harmony with your purpose. Close friends and relatives, while not meaning to do so, often handicap one through uninformed opinions and sometimes through ridicule.

 

Persistence

Persistence is simply the power of will. Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. Persistence is to an individual what carbon is to steel. In uncounted thousands of cases, persistence has stood as the difference between success and failure. It is the lack of this quality more than any other that keeps the majority from great accomplishment. As soon as the going gets tough, they fold. If you’re to accomplish the goal you set for yourself, you must form the habit of persistence. Things will get difficult. It will seem as though there’s no longer any reason to continue. Everything in you will tell you to give up, to quit trying. It is right here that if you’ll go that extra mile and keep going, the skies will clear and you’ll begin to see the first signs of the abundance that is to be yours because you had the courage to persist. With persistence will come success?

 

Enthusiastic Support

It is of great significance that behind practically every great leader has been the supportive love and inspiration of a spouse. When things get tough — and you can count on it, they will — you may be deserted by some you thought were friends. But if you’ve got a good woman or man supporting you, you will never be alone. He or she will be willing to start over again if necessary and will give you the new enthusiasm that comes through faith in you. Having someone to love is having someone to share your success and accomplishments; to give you the praise that all of us need from time to time. A person can become successful without a spouse and family, but much of the real joy is lost if it cannot be shared. Take care of your spouse and children as your greatest possessions.

 

Organized Planning

The first of the six steps for transforming desire into reality is the formation of a definite, practical plan through which this transformation may be made. Once you do, it is critical that you ally yourself with one or more people or a group of as many people as you may need for the creation and carrying out of your plan. These people are your “mastermind alliance.” Before forming your mastermind alliance, decide what advantages and benefits you may offer the individual members of your group in return for their cooperation. No one will work indefinitely without compensation, though this may not always be in the form of money. Arrange to meet with the members of your mastermind alliance at least twice a week, and more often if possible, until you have jointly perfected the necessary plan or plans for the accomplishment of your goal.

 

Maintain perfect harmony between yourself and every member of your mastermind alliance. Keep in mind these facts: First, you are engaged in an undertaking of major importance to you. To be sure of success, you must have plans that are as faultless as possible. Second, you must have the advantage of the experience, education, native ability, and imagination of other minds. This is in harmony with the methods followed by every person who has risen above the average. Work at this until you have a well-executed formal plan for reaching your objective. In this way you’re never confused or wondering what you should do next. Every morning you know exactly what you’re going to do and why. Organized planning is one the most important principles, because a person without a plan is like a ship without a course. With no place to go, disaster is a probability.

 

The Power of the Mastermind

No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third — a third invisible, intangible force that may be likened to a third mind. You may have noticed many times that by discussing something with another person you suddenly get good ideas as a result of the discussion, ideas you would not have gotten without this association. Well, the same thing happens to the other person. A lot of good ideas have been born in individual minds as a result of having met in committee. Associating with your mastermind alliance is not meant as a means of letting others do your thinking for you, far from it. It is meant to stimulate your own thinking through the association with other minds. No one knows everything. The more sympathetic minds you get together — that is, minds working for a common purpose — the more related information is going to be available. Great ideas are a combination of related information. Pick the members of your mastermind group with care. Make sure they’re people you respect and who are hard working and conscientious. You’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll reach your goals just that much sooner.

 

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is a mental area in which all inputs through any of the five senses are classified and recorded, and from which they may be recalled or withdrawn like data from the storage banks of a limitless computer. No one knows very much about what we call the subconscious mind but we do know that it is incalculably powerful and can solve our problems if we go about using it the right way. The best way is to hold in your conscious mind as often as possible a clear picture of yourself already having accomplished your goal. Know what you want. Define it clearly, and then project it on the motion picture screen of your mind. Hold it. See yourself doing and having the things you have when your objective will have been reached. Do these as often as practical, particularly at night just before you go to sleep and the first thing upon waking? As you do this, your subconscious will begin to lead you toward your objective. Don’t fight it. Follow your sudden hunches, the ideas that come into your mind, knowing that they may well represent subconscious knowledge. If you’ll keep at this, you’ll be amazed and delighted by the ideas that just seem to come from nowhere.

 

The Power of the Brain

If you had access to all the wealth in the world and used only a penny, you would be doing exactly what most of us very probably have been doing in the use of our brains. You own in your brain the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known. It is the brain that has given us the computer, supersonic airplane, our deep rocket probes into outer space, the sciences, and the arts. All of what we know today and will achieve tomorrow is born from this small, gray mass each of us carries around. Can you doubt, even for a moment, that your brain can bring you and yours everything you want here on earth? Recognize its power, give it the job you’ve decided to accomplish, and watch it handle it.

 

The Sixth Sense

The sixth sense can be described as the sense through which your infinite intelligence may and will communicate. This principle is the apex of the philosophy. It can be assimilated, understood, and applied only by first mastering the other 12 principles. The sixth sense is that function of the subconscious mind that has been referred to as the creative imagination. It’s also been referred to as the receiving set through which ideas flash into the mind, sometimes called hunches or inspirations. The sixth sense cannot be described to a person who has not mastered the other principles of this philosophy, because such a person has no knowledge and no experience to serve as points of reference. The sixth sense is not something one can take off and put on at will. The ability to use this great power comes slowly through application of the other principles we’ve outlined. So begin to develop it now by applying the principles we’ve talked about here. Remember this: Man can create nothing that he does not first conceive in the form of an idea, a desire. Keep fear out of your mind. Concentrate on the mental picture of yourself achieving your desire. Cut yourself away from the average — from the mediocre — and chart your course on the dream in your heart. These 13 principles will never let you down. You need only remember and use them.

From Desire to Reality in Six Easy Steps

Six definite practical steps to transform a burning desire into reality.

 

1. Fix in your mind an exact picture of what you desire. It’s not sufficient merely to say, for example, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

 

2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the thing you desire. There’s no such reality as something for nothing.

 

3. Establish a definite date by which you intend to possess the desired thing.

 

4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you feel entirely ready or not to put this plan into action.

 

5. Write out a clear, concise statement of your responses to the preceding four steps.

 

6. Read your written statement aloud twice daily. Once after arising in the morning and once just before retiring at night. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of whatever your goal happens to be.

source: unknown

Ten ways to raise your vibrations

1. DON'T give away your power to people. Take responsibility for your life. If things aren't going as hoped in your life, re examine your deepest beliefs. Swap limiting beliefs for empowering ones.

 

2. DO get a pet! According to Power vs Force, a purring cat vibrates at 500 (anything over 200 is Good..)

 

3. DON'T watch movies that drag you down. According to Power vs Force, this is most films. Watch movies that will make you feel good. Listen to music that fills you with positive emotions. Read books that empower you. (Control the input to your brain, and you'll control your output).

 

4. DO focus on what you want in your life, not what you don't want - remember the law of attraction... You have the power to create the life of your dreams - even if the world around you seems messed up, don't lose focus...

 

5. DO imagine that what you dream of is in your life now, and feel grateful for it now ...and after that think of 10 more things to be grateful for.

 

6. DO have fun. Life is about being happy. Don't wait until you have this, or that... Don't put off happiness. Live now. Enjoy now.

 

7. DO seek to discover the truth about the meaning of your life. The answers are there if you look for them. Awareness and peace of mind are high vibrations.

 

8. DON'T watch the news on television. It is filled with negativity which lowers your vibrations. (Why is 95% of all news all the time focused on bad news?) If you want to keep abreast of current affairs search the internet for independent, unbiased news. Seek the truth. Trust your intuition. This will also help you give you a much more balanced view of reality. There's lots of good news out there if you're looking for it...

 

9. DO help other people. that collect petitions to help humanity. Forgiveness, compassion and understanding are good vibrations.

 

10. DO use tools and strategies to help you achieve higher levels of consciousness, such as The Super Mind Evolution System

 

(Author Unknown)

Six Ways To Be A Great Listener‏

Here are 6 basic listening tips from U.S. News & World Report columnist Michael Wade:

 

1. Listen for a theme. Rather than getting distracted by trivia, listen for the main message. It may be hidden amid unrelated facts but your job is to determine what the person is trying to say.

 

2. Recognize that the speaker might not know the real message. Some powerful expressions of pain or frustration may be wrapped in clich├ęs. Listen for hesitations, anger, and fear, and watch for nonverbal signs of each.

 

3. Look through a window, not a mirror. Don't assume that the person means what you would have meant under similar circumstances.

 

4. Subdue your ego. Stop thinking about how wise you look, the eloquence of your reply, or whether the speaker is indirectly talking about you. Each time you do that, you've stopped listening.

 

5. Really listen with your whole body. Let your body language declare, "I'm paying close attention to you." If it isn't, you can count on the person giving a condensed message in order to bring the conversation to a close.

 

6. Use an old investigator's trick. If the speaker is describing an event, sit tight and don't interrupt. When you seek further details, go over the story in reverse chronological order. By reversing the order of recollection, you'll jar the person's memory and get more information.

Strategies for Business Innovation

Strategies for Business Innovation

by Josh Bersin

 

As the world economy slowly recovers and business leaders once again see opportunities for growth, new opportunities to refocus and re-energize corporate learning emerge. Companies are now targeting the following major business goals, according to Bersin & Associates' latest TalentWatch research:

 

a) Improving individual employee engagement and productivity.

b) Globalizing operations.

c) Developing and launching new products and services.

 

In fact, during the past six months, we've seen the goal of improving innovation and new product development increase by more than 300 percent.

 

Consider the changes within the U.S. automobile industry. Despite the fact that two of Detroit's Big Three automakers, GM and Chrysler, declared bankruptcy, these companies are now laser-focused on innovation. At the January 2010 Detroit Auto Show, Ford won awards for U.S. Truck of the Year (Transit Connect) and U.S. Car of the Year (Fusion Hybrid) with brand-new products. The Ford Fusion is a hybrid car that rivals the Toyota Prius in efficiency, and it is one of Ford's first truly globally manufactured automobiles.

 

Innovation is now driving growth in almost every industry. Cell phone makers have brought to market a broad array of new gadgets; energy companies are introducing wind and alternative energy solutions; computer makers are launching a whole new family of small, pad-based machines; and services companies are launching new global services in almost every segment.

 

Innovation goes beyond the development of new products. Some of the most important innovations in business occur when those in operations finds ways to improve product quality or identify ways for employees do their jobs better and faster.

 

One of our challenges as learning leaders is to design development strategies that support and create innovation in the workforce. Here are some examples showing how learning directly impacts business innovation.

 

a) To maintain Qualcomm's reputation for being one of the most innovative companies in the telecommunications industry, the company's L&D organization focuses heavily on connecting technical experts to others. Using an "expert teaching expert" model, the company regularly invites university and other external researchers to conduct lectures and brainstorming sessions for technical and managerial employees. To further drive collaboration and innovation, the L&D team regularly publishes stories of technical and managerial success in a newspaper-like format.

 

b) W.L. Gore and Intel give technical experts broad career paths that encourage employees to change projects and programs every few years. People broaden their technical expertise and deepen conceptual thinking by moving to new design and development teams. Additionally, they bring new thinking and perspectives to their teams. Dynamic career paths, coupled with recognition of technical and project excellence, foster cultures of innovation at these companies.

 

c) Last year, the management team at GM, a company under obvious stress, recognized that its senior engineering team actually had been coached to think inside the box - within defined parameters. To help change this thinking, the L&D leader created a program in which engineers competed with each other to create the most innovative car of the future. These engineers prototyped and modeled radical new designs that were displayed for and demonstrated to top GM engineering leadership. The program encouraged creativity and sent the message that innovation was prized.

 

Bersin's latest research into high-impact learning organizations shows that strong learning cultures are actually more influential than specific training programs. Companies with strong learning cultures outperform those without such cultures regardless of the dollars spent per employee. In fact, the high-impact learning organizations identified in this research actually spend at or below average when it comes to training.

 

As 2010 progresses, learning organizations will see an accelerating need to drive innovation and growth. Examine your own L&D investments and make sure that some percentage of your programs and staff are allocated to fostering technical excellence, collaboration and innovation. By doing so, you'll be better preparing your company for the future and setting the stage for better economic times.

 

 

[About the Author: Josh Bersin is the principal and founder of Bersin & Associates, with more than 25 years of experience in corporate solutions, training and e-learning.]

 

Alexander's TEN Questions

While in India, Alexander took ten of the Brahmins 19  prisoner.  These men had a great reputation for intelligence, so Alexander decided to give them a test.  He announced that the one who gave the worst answer would be the first to die, and he made the oldest Brahmin the judge of the competition.

 

Which are more numerous, Alexander asked the first one, the living or the dead?  "The living," said the Brahmin, "because the dead no longer count."

 

Which produces more creatures, the sea or the land? Alexander asked the second.  "The land," was his answer, "because the sea is only a part of it."

 

The third was asked which animal was the smartest of all, and the Brahmin replied: "The one we have not found yet."

 

Alexander asked the fourth what argument he had used to stir up the Indians to fight, and he answered:  "Only that one should either live nobly or die nobly."

 

Which is older: day or night? was Alexander's question to the fifth, and the answer he got was:  "Day is older, by one day at least."  When he saw that Alexander was not satisfied with this answer, the Brahmin added: "Strange questions get strange answers."

 

What should a man do to make himself loved? asked Alexander, and the sixth Brahmin replied: "Be powerful without being frightening."

 

What does a man have to do to become a god? he asked the seventh, who responded: "Do what is impossible for a man."

 

 The question to the eighth was whether death or life was stronger, and his answer: "Life is stronger than death, because it bears so many miseries."

 

The ninth Brahmin was asked how long it was proper for a man to live, and he said: "Until it seems better to die."

 

Then Alexander turned to the judge, who decided that each one had answered worse than another.  "You will die first, then, for giving such a decision," said Alexander.  "Not so, mighty king," said the Brahmin, "if you want to remain a man of your word.  You said that you would kill first the one who made the worst answer."  Alexander gave all of the Brahmins presents and set them free, even though they had persuaded the Indians to fight him.

 

source: unknown

 

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