Focus is key for achieving. Whatever.

Achievement is generally viewed as a key to a fulfilling life. And it indeed is. Getting something done, be it as mundane as getting the car cleaned, or as grandiose as getting a new rocket sent to Mars usually provides great satisfaction. The ability to apply one's skills and get results is what self esteem is rooted in. But to get these results, one must be able to focus. And our society is a society of distractions. Providing us with distractions is the whole point of complete industries: tourism, shows, TV, Facebook, shopping, you name it. Which is fine for me but at the same time makes focusing on one's true goals much more difficult. So, how can we focus? Ah, big question! Being focused is not the same as being busy. Being focused means that you have a single minded goal in sight and that your energy is fully directed to getting to that goal. Too many goals at once ruin focus and end up in chasing one's own tail. So, get there. Get to that one, single, damn goal. Swear, sweat, toil away if you need to. But get there. Like a laser beam. And from there, pick the next goal. Maybe a good idea is to have the first goal being having a plan for the road ahead. Because without a plan, you'll never achieve any major goal. But don't confuse the plan with the goal because a lot of people are drowning into big plans and achieve nothing. The plan must be serving a higher purpose. And that higher purpose must have metrics (quantitative or qualitative) to know when you get there. Otherwise, how will you know? Don't look for too deep a meaning, just get this done. Meaning will come without needing too deep consideration. It's going to kind of emerge from actions. Think that by reaching those goals, your are making your achievement muscles stronger. Stronger muscles that will allow you to reach for the sky in much less time than you think! Let's check how you fare on these items!  
  1. Put a rating from -5 (not at all) to +5 (absolutely) based on how important an entry is to you.
  2. Do the same based on how well you do it today.
  • I am focusing on single goals
  • I do have a plan for the road ahead
  • I do know the higher purpose I do serve
  • I am using my skills in a satisfactorily way
  • I am able to achieve my goals
  • I am perceived as an achiever by my peers
If you are aligned on both counts, perfect! Otherwise, this may give you clues on where you can get some definite improvement! And remember, this has to do with choice. And when you choose one path, you do renounce others. There is a price to pay for achieving your dreams. A price I think is worth it on all counts. Until next time, go achieve that first chunk of your dream.

The Apple user experience is superior to the rest

This may sound like a fanboi-style comment. But it is not. I am used to Windows since Windows 2.0 (yep, I am that old). Coded for it, used it, ran my business on it. I do have a bunch of boxes running Linux as well (started that strain with Yggdrasil Linux on a 486DX66 and 16Megs of RAM - this was version 0.x with patchlevels). And then a while ago, a year or something, I got myself a Macbook Pro with Mac OSX Snow Leopard, iWork, iLife, and Final Cut Express. Some additional software was thrown in for good measure and today I must say that its user experience is superior to other plaforms. Why is it so for me? One big reason: it brought back the fun of using a computer to produce great results. Be it podcasts, movies, writing, and generally hacking this makes me feel reenergized. Windows hasn't that anymore. The only cool thing Microsoft does these days is the XBox360. I am currently working on several Windows boxes, some are for administrative tasks like accounting, proposal writing and so on. Others are for coding, scanning, even some gaming. But there is one desk that sees me more than the others, and this is the desk with the damn Mac. And I am not spending my time aimlessly surfing the web, but actually producing stuff. This evening I had a great session with Keynote. Once I got the grasp of that beast, I got results much more easily than with Powerpoint and with a much higher degree of quality. I can now understand first hand while Apple is topping the capitalizaton charts (today it moved past Microsoft and Intel combined.). They now rule the customer experience and with the iPad2, there are really becoming game changers. In 1996 I was looking inside a NeXT cube. It is now 2011 and NeXTStep is reborn with renewed colors. Since Objective-C is Smalltalk in disguise, I can forget about a lot of crap and jump back into my stream of choice: a powerful language with no fuss and a platform that rocks and is immensely popular! From the user side down to Xcode, life is great!

Things are moving: the webian shell from Mozilla

A quick and great UI lesson

And now, some long lasting excellence in action: Kylie

Launched in '88. Still kicking ass big time. Get a clue (or two, three, four, ...) from her!

How to make innovation real in your organization

Innovation is essential to survival and growth
  • We are sailing through troubled times, competition heats up. And management needs to tell where to go. But is there a clue?
  • Changes are occurring all around. And faster and faster. Adaptability is a mandatory skill.
  • If you do not adapt and thrive, you'll soon be like the dinosaurs: extinct.
  • Innovation, the ability to continuously raise the bar, and pass over it is the key to survival and growth.
Innovation is a process
  • Letting go of perfection is key. Perfection is freezing one down. Are you?
  • Believing in innovation must also be there. Paying lip service isn't going to cut it.
  • Make innovation into a habit since accretion of little innovative things over time goes a long way in making it work. Waiting for the big idea to strike may leave you in the dust before long.
  • Make it sustainable, and not a one shot thing.  Otherwise, it will not stick. And you'll not grok what it is.
Taking innovation seriously is a competitive weapon
  • It keeps you fit.
  • It keeps the crap in check.
  • It keeps people interested and recognized.
  • It makes a great PR engine.
  • It keeps you up to date and in the race.
You need a listening organization to make it happen
  • You need to reduce the power distance.
  • You need to have an experimentation-friendly culture. Failure must be allowed. Otherwise, you'll ossify.
  • You need to be able to iterate rapidly: experiment/fail/move on, and every once in a while: bang! Innovation that works. Nobody's gonna be right the first time, every time. Forget about that.
Take action today
  • What can you do to improve a process right now?
  • What can you do to improve your customer relationship right away?
  • What should you learn to get to the next level?
  • What must be abandoned to recover your ability to innovate?
  • What about turning the knob of innovation 3 or 4 notches further?
Until next time, let's get innovation in motion!