SugarCRM Named One of Top Innovative Private Companies

July 14, 2006

AlwaysOn today announced the AO100 Top Private Companies for 2006. The fourth-annual elite AO100 list was compiled by the AlwaysOn editorial panel. In order to make the AO100 list, companies had to be peer-nominated, with AlwaysOn receiving more than 1,000 nominations from venture investors, investment bankers and other industry experts.

Few questions to help you stay fresh

June 19, 2006

questions to ask yourself…

  • How can I experiment with something new?
  • What do I want to explore?
  • What do I need to read?
  • What would I like to study?
  • What do I need to practice?

Many people are very resistant to change, challenge, anything new or different. Mark Twain said it best: "Why go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is." There is always something new to see, to hear, to taste, to experience. There are opportunities all around you. So, live it up and try new things.

6 Ways to Boost Kids’ Creativity

June 15, 2006

Everyone has a special gift of creativity. But, sometimes people need a little encouragement to discover their creative talents, especially children. In order to help kids' creativity shine, Hallmark Gold Crown Stores and Crayola products have teamed up to encourage the artistic expression and unbridled creativity that is so important in children's development. In the spirit of celebrating kids' creativity, Hallmark and Crayola products share these simple guidelines for unleashing the creativity in your kids.

1. Look for projects that can get your kids excited about art. Help your children find the art activities that they enjoy most, be it drawing, sculpting, painting, or something else and then take a passionate interest in helping them enjoy and excel in those areas.

2. Praise your children's efforts. Ask your children to tell you about their drawings or other art projects. Watch their eyes light up as your interest prompts a detailed explanation. Be sure they know how unique and creative you think their work is.

3. Give young children a hand. Depending on what kind of project children tackle, they may need your assistance to help fulfill their vision. Don't be shy about pitching in without taking over. This also provides cherished opportunities to spend extra quality time with your children.

4. Provide an art area where mess won't matter. Being creative can get a bit messy at times. Don't let that squelch your children's creativity, though. Create a special corner in a bedroom or family room specifically for art activities. Also, take advantage of structured outside art activities where someone else keeps things tidy while the kids keep busy.

5. Enjoy your children's individual talents. Show that you think their projects are special by proudly displaying them in your home and office. Remember, your supportive comments and enthusiasm will fuel their efforts and boost their confidence.

6. Start a scrapbook with photos of finished projects (or the projects themselves if they fit in scrapbook format). It may not be possible to display every artistic masterpiece. But you can keep a scrapbook of completed projects for kids and visitors to behold. You'll be surprised how much enjoyment others will receive by thumbing through the scrapbook and how many ideas for additional projects it generates.

Creativity & Leadership

April 19, 2006

Creativity & Leadership both are the two different words but to develop them you need to have the fire.

"Everyone has creative potential, but creative people think they are creative."

Self-esteem is one of the most important elements of creativity. People must believe in their ability to develop original ideas and they must continue to believe in themselves after repeated failures.

Creativity flourishes in an environment that rewards attempts, as well as successes, and is conducive to failure. People must feel comfortable failing before they will repeatedly take risks or attempt creative approaches.

Four stages of the creative process:

1. Explorer. Finding new ideas and resources from which an idea may be built.

2. Artist. Transforming ideas (gathered by the explorer) into something new.

3. Judge. Ideas developed by the artist are evaluated and their merits are weighed; suggestions are offered on how they can be improved or further developed.

4. Warrior. Implementation of the ideas approved by the judge requiring persistence and determination.

Top 10 Innovation Myths

February 10, 2006

10. We don't innovate around here any more.

9. Product life cycles are getting shorter and shorter. "And whose fault is that? If you do not differentiate in hard-to-copy ways, you cannot expect what differentiation you do create to be long-lived… Sustainable differentiation requires barriers to entry and barriers to exit."

8. We need a chief innovation officer. "Like a hole in the head. Think about what your true goal is: you want innovation that creates differentiation that leads to customer preference during buying decisions."

7. We need to be more like Google.

6. R&D investment is a good indicator of innovation commitment.

5. Great innovators are usually egotistical mavericks.

4. Great innovation is inherently disruptive.

Keep on reading here

How to sharpen Mind

February 9, 2006

The January 16th issue of TIME magazine has a major section on "How to Sharpen Your Mind."

One of the key articles explores the best times of day for both "Morning People" and "Night Owls" to create, problem solve, rejuvinate and rest. I've re-worked the graphics presented in TIME for this post.

For the Morning Person

TIME says, for the early riser, "creativity generally peaks early in the wake cycle before distractions can impede the brain's imaginative focus."

Check out For the Night Owls

Six Principles about the Innovation Process

January 20, 2006

Basic principles about the Innovation Process

1. Need Drives Innovation
2. Innovation Starts with the Customer
3. Innovation Drives Technology
4. Innovations are Interconnected
5. Stories Transfer Knowledge
6. Innovation Requires Discipline & Patience

The elements of Innovation

January 10, 2006

Trust: to make people comfortable about sharing their ideas with the organization. They need to feel they can make mistakes without suffering undue consequences.

Management buy-in: Management must demonstrate their commitment to innovation through internal and external communications media. Management must also demonstrate being creative themselves; as well as a willingness to try out creative, yet risky ideas.

Budget: is necessary to implement highly creative or disruptive ideas, which by nature are more risky than less creative ideas. Money must also be found for investing for tools (see below) that facilitate idea sharing and development and training in the use of those tools.

Tools: such as an idea management tool for soliciting, capturing and evaluating ideas from the employees. Used well, an idea management tool is the best on-going tool for idea capture. Also useful are creative project teams, brainstorming sessions, mind-mapping tools and other items which facilitate creative thinking and collaboration.

Evaluation methods: are necessary for evaluating ideas generated by the tools. Many tools, such as idea management systems, include evaluation components.

Facilities: including meeting rooms, other spaces where people can meet and share ideas, white boards, post-its, pens and other things which facilitate creative meetings and brainstorming.

Rewards: Whether recognition, small gifts or granting special privileges, some kind of fair reward scheme motivates people to share their creative ideas with the organization.

Time: Employees need time to be creative.

How all of these components come together will vary from firm to firm. What is important is that these components exist, that there is flexibility.

Yahoo Think Tank explores the limits of online creativity

November 9, 2005

Yahoo Australia is sponsoring a two-week experiment in online creativity called the Yahoo! Think Tank. Rotating teams of creative people from ad agencies in Australia and New Zealand are living and working in a "transparent," fully-functioning creative studio, complete with a desk, PC and whiteboards. Six webcams enable people from around the world to watch these creatives at work, 24/7. It's quite interactive: You can submit creative briefs (concepts you'd like them to brainstorm on) via an online form and submit messages to be displayed on a plasma screen in their "think tank." You can also view a gallery of previously submitted briefs and the ideas the teams came up with. The Yahoo! Think Tank will be operational through November 17th.

What is creativity?

October 27, 2005

Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and other.

Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:

1. Need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation
2. Need to communicate ideas and values
3. Need to solve problems

So now the question comes what you need/require to be creative or how to be creative?

In order to be creative

you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective.
you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives.
you need the ability to generate alternatives
you need to see things uniquely
you need to have more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as

    tolerance of ambiguity
    and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.