Education

Znanje moramo primati najmanje onoliko (mnogo) koliko ga nameravamo dalje investirati.
Edukacija je najzdravija Inspiracija.


The sharing of knowledge: the lessons I’ve learned as a lecturer

This blog helped me launch myself on both a personal and professional level. After writing a few blog posts, I was invited to numerous conferences in the country, the region… and beyond. According to my records, I have held a total of 275 in-house, conference and other types of open type lectures. Since 2008 and up until today, the average is 55 per year. In one way or another, I’ve been perfect public performance since the age of 6. I would therefore like to write a few about this…

Lecturers…

The market currently offers much more lecturers in comparison to the number of prominent events. In case you do get the honor to lecture at a conference, please think about the following things.

First of all, make sure you take a careful look at your schedule! Giving your word not only binding for you, but for the organizers as well, having in mind that they too are responsible for organizing he program and other promotional activities based on your decision -> in the past 5 years, I canceled a lecture only twice. The first time this happened due to a 39 degree fever (this was an internal training for Limundo) and the other time was in May this year when I had to cancel going to the Proactive conference which I love dearly, and where I’ve become a regular over the years.

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10 rules of successful communication

It’s not what people say, it’s what people hear – Frank Luntz

Business/personal assistant or secretary; wife or spouse/partner; investment or expense; worker or associate.

The choice of words with synonymous or similar meaning can greatly affect the message we send out. Regardless of the fact whether we competently choose words for business purposes while preparing a speech for a public figure or for personal use, their choice, rhythm and combination can even be of greater significance than the actual message in case our goal is to leave a certain impression.

Here are 10 rules of successful communication from the book Words that Work by Frank Luntz that came to mind the other day while drafting a communicational concept of a turn-over strategy for a former minister. The advice Luntz gave is more than useful:

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How to think smarter?

In the last week of September, I was one of the few guests of Zavarovalnica Maribor, and having dinner with Edward de Bono. De Bono coined the term of lateral thinking and created the concept of ‘six thinking hats’ – a well-known model for creative solving of problems.

I have to say, a Grand man of the present and a warm speaker.

There is no person in the world who doesn’t want to be creative. Everybody has to want to be creative. Life can be more interesting, fun and advanced if followed by creativity.– Edward de Bono

I’ll try to sum up the main elements of De Bono’s scientific work.

We’ll start with a few lines on the theory of thinking…

From the aspect of cognitive contents, thinking can be:

  • Convergent– starts from the assumption that there is only one solution and all activities and efforts are directed towards the finding of that one ‘right’ solution
  • Divergent – the thoughts are not directed towards one, but more different solutions.

In psychology, there is a division into:

  • Vertical – thinking that is being developed ‘step by step’, and thoughts are aimed at one goal. This is a slow a and tiring process, freed of enthusiasm and freshness, but very often successful; and
  • Lateral – thinking as De Bono defined it and it basically means that thoughts choose a ‘curvy’ road; with many associations and sparkles which enrich the main stream of thinking.

Lateral thinking results in creative ideas whose implementation creates innovations. – De Bono

Creativity & innovation…

It is crucial to understand that creativity is an ability of making new ideas. Even more, however, you have to understand innovation as the implementation of those creative ideas. It is only logical to conclude that mankind, as we know it, is filled with amazing visual, cultural and technological treasures-> all the results of creativity!

In history, creativity was assigned to the Muses, the God’s intervention, the cognitive process, social surrounding, and finally, during the XX century, creativity was understood as a possibility, that is, potential, of each individual.

Thinking today…

De Bono reminds us that our innate way of thinking is based on analyses and making conclusions. A situation is being analyzed in order to identify any standard element for it to be used in a standard reply. This, according to him, is an exquisite thing, but not even close enough to makeing something new and fresh. De Bono sees the dominance of vertical thinking mainly in the bases of our culture and a specific way of thinking making us believe that we always have to push forward on a predetermined direction.

If an idea is not absurd in its beginning, nothing will come out of it!- A. Einstein

Thinking & business…

De Bono sees the pulsating economical and overall social movements, fast pace and permanent pressure the companies are disposed to as great markets and playgrounds for the implementation of the lateral-> out of the ordinary, fresh and dynamic way of thinking.

Do not presuppose, in any way, that creative ideas are always high-risk businesses.- De Bono

De Bono points out that companies often claim that they have all the new ideas they need. Creativity is in most cases an unknown quantity and big corporations do not like to put themselves into mercy or unmercy of something so insecure. Likewise, there are companies which believe in the osmosis; they let others try out the new ideas and if they are successful, take all the credit for themselves. The new ideas are being absorbed through the process of ‘osmosis’, even unconsciously. To make it short and simple, corporations do not want new ideas; they want ‘successful new ideas’

The bigger the productivity in a company, the bigger the need is for creativity. Productivity will elicit the max provided by a new idea. If a company is unproductive, it will have less new ideas. Productivity and creativity are complementary to one another, not the other way around.- Edward de Bono

In order to graphically show where the thoughts are going to, and where they could must go to, he created a model of ‘six hats’. In this way, De Bono suggested that the problem or challenge should be put into pieces, taking into account, when giving solutions, the six elements of the stream of thought (ratio, information, sensation, but also optimism…). Only when each angle of perspective is touched by our cognitive activities do we find an adequate solution and make the process which helped us come to that solution worthy of creative potential of each person.

How to be (even) better…

Although we are not all born to be artists, chefs or sportsmen, there are numerous techniques which can help us perfect our abilities. It’s the same with knowledges. It’s the same with thinking, in that aspect. De Bono believes that with the use of new methods of thinking, together with permanent training and curiosity, our cognitive and creative possibilities are also becoming bigger.

Hm, we could give it a shot, but I am not convinced that every stone is a precious one, i.e. that it can become precious. In that spirit, pay attention to the basic features of the persons with high potential for creativity -> innovation- perhaps with it we can more easily comprehend which of our own features we can work on in order to increase our fresh intellectual capacity:

HIGH POTENTIAL FOR CREATIVITY LOW POTENTIAL FOR CREATIVITY
  1. 1. You have a polyvalent talent
1. You are highly specialized
  1. 2. You are familiar with diverse cultural values
2. You reject everything out of the ordinary
  1. 3. You are independent in thinking
3. You expect quick & superficial results
  1. 4. You communicate your thoughts & feelings well
4. You reject everything that doesn’t give instant results
  1. 5. You possess active intellectual curiosity
5. You are afraid of an embarrassing truth
  1. 6. You like to play & compete
6. You are not motivated to work
  1. 7. You think highly of yourself
7. You reject personal responsibility
  1. 8. You find pleasure in working
8. You are not comfortable with collective work
  1. 9. You are original & funny
9. You pay too much attention to your superiors
10. You are ambitious & confident 10. You criticize everything modern and new
11. You do not have affinity towards authorities 11. You are afraid of failure & ‘play the safe card’
12. You are persistent & committed to work 12. You are a pessimist, discourage your surrounding, constantly criticizing
13. You are a bit egoistic and narcissistic 13. You lack self-confidence

New times demand new ideas!

What can we offer to the world?

Your DDj

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Community management from the first hand

Do you remember the post The Wor(l)d is not for sale? Well, there was a sequel. These posts were written with the goal to enlighten active online users that managed to build significant social media capital and explain what it means to be working for an agency or a brand as a community manager, as well as what expectations both side have to fulfill and assess whether every chance is indeed a good chance.

Hana [Cyber Bosanka] bravely shared her experience in a recent post. She was commissioned online by Jasno & Glasno to manage a FB page of a certain brand. Due to her trust in Borja and his personal social media capital/legitimacy she was less careful. In addition, this was surely due to the lack of experience. The terms weren’t precisely defined, same as payment deadlines, and I’m not quite sure how it was in relation to the expectations and measurability of her work.

Either way, I don’t doubt Borja’s good intentions either, I know him and I consider him a great guy. The same applies to Hana, where with her post she only wanted to help others, the agency that hired her, and ultimately – herself. I’m writing this because I think it’s important to stress how much we can LEARN from such a public case study!

If we’re the employer, we have to focus on themes such as overall management, people and time management, analytics, negotiating skills, leadership abilities in general.

Suggested literature: Managing virtual teams -> Leading Virtual Teams, Harvard Business Press + How to lead or manage virtual teams + Fostering Creativity, Harvard Business Press

There are (at least) two main preconditions:

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