Zeitgeist

Zeit·geist = spirit, essence of a particular time

A collection of food-for-thought posts and articles on technology, business, leadership and management. 

Metanoia (n.) the journey of changing one's mind, self or way of life

A conversation over the weekend with Peter Simons, co-founder of Performant, a management consulting firm, turned into a twitter dialog which, eventually, sparked other thoughts and ended up with his ideas about change in my inbox.  His views around change & perceptions are too good not to be shared (thanks Peter for permission to reproduce in here), not to mention his formula to calculate quality of feelings as a function of change in perceptions, simply brilliant (nerds & quants please feel free to comment or elaborate).

Metanoia

CHANGES

Changes in our lives are important and cannot be avoided.  We normally do not like them, they trigger us to take action.

There are many simple examples how we react to changes. If temperature starts raising we notice.

If light levels or sound levels suddenly change we react.  If something in our view suddenly moves we look at it before we know.

The reason is that when we lived in trees we needed those triggers in order to survive.

Today changes affect us in the following way: If something changes for the better we are happy. If it changes for the worst we dislike.  Once better or worse we do not pay attention to it anymore. We get used to it. Hence only the CHANGES give a stimulus to our mood, to our lives.  Please understand the importance of changes to the way you are.

PERCEPTION

Whatever we do in live is mainly driven by perceptions. Marketers now that very well.

We hardly take the time to verify and we believe what we perceive.  The media are very good at that. We assume a lot and that is dangerous.

News shows one side of the story:  the accident with the aircraft. They will NOT TELL US how many aircrafts landed safely.

They will not tell us about all the peaceful muslims on earth after a car bomb kills an American soldier in Afghanistan etc..

It would be worth to THINK at least  a few minutes once digesting information.

QUALITY

Here we go.  We are triggered by changes. You cannot always manage changes yourself.  Or can you? Yes you can because a large part of those changes are changes in PERCEPTIONS.  We are triggered by CHANGES IN PERCEPTIONS:

For those who love mathematics:

U = d(Perception)/dt .

where U is the quality of the feeling that was triggered. It can be positive or negative

Once you understand that,

YOU yourself can change your perceptions too.

- look at the flip side of a story, what was NOT TOLD???

- if you have a bad moment start to think that tomorrow probably will be better and if tomorrow arrives ENJOY the improvement

- in conflicts with other people try to understand that a large part of the conflict is probably based on perceptions. Find out what really goes on instead of assuming

Three ways of improving your quality of life, personally and professionally. It improves your decision-making.

Good news: think about it and you will find that there are many more ways of changing your perception.

About Peter Simons

By applying the management techniques he learnt at AT&T, Peter turned smaller technology companies into successful businesses. In the current crisis he is co-founder of Cohen & Simons that assists companies in financing industrial, technology and life science companies.

Peter holds an MSc (Hons) in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and an MBA (Hons) in finance and general management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

@efernandez

'I am the president of the United States' - a tribute to Bertrand Russell. #toomuchtimeonplanes

(this is an English, US altered version of the original article published in November 2011 that can be found here). Disclaimer:

This post is a tribute to Bertrand Russell, the brilliant philosopher and politician. Any reference to the president of the United States is just contextually serendipituous and a mere coincidence when the subject of this post was created. It is also intended to leverage on its relevancy and hopefully increase the reach of this blog through search engines and content discovery (... at least I'd like to try given poor metrics around here).

bertrand-russell.jpg

Starting from an axiom acepted as an universal truth we can prove Mr. Obama and I are the same person, therefore, I'm the president of the United States.

Don't believe it, do you?

Let's drill down beneath:

As everyone knows, one plus one doesn't equal two always. It is an universally acepted truth the sum of the parts can lead to a greater result (e.g: one plus one, in a marriage, typically derive in a family: three or more from the moment the first baby comes).

Taking this postulate as the underlying logic, the corresponding rationale follows:

 

  • The equation  1+1 = 3 (or more than 3) is possible and true.
  • Hence  2 = 3
  • Substracting 1 at both sides of the equation 1 = 2
  • Mirroring the equation  2 = 1

Now...

If the President of the United States and I are 2 different persons and 2 = 1, then Mr. Obama and I are 1, therefore, I'm the President.

From now on please refer to me as Mr. President or Prez in short, in case you follow me on twitter (at @efernandez).

PS:  Bertrand Russell was a brilliant British philosopher and politician from last century. He became famous when he said the British prime minister was worse than Hitler at that time. Bertrand, using the same rationale as above, demonstrated he and the Pope were the same person.

(By the way, following this logic, if I could demonstrate that I am Mr. Russell, then, Mr. Obama and the Pope would be the same person, shocking, isn't it? ;-)

 

@efernandez

from the series #toomuchtimeonplanes

Farewell & Flashback

Farewell: interjeccion utilizada para decir adios.

fare·well

/ˌfe(ə)rˈwel/

interj.
Used to express goodbye.
Noun.
1. An acknowledgment at parting; a goodbye.
2. The act of departing or taking leave.
Ya he dejado mi querida y nunca bien ponderada España, eso si, he cogido el camino largo, pasando por Hong Kong donde estuve la semana pasada.
Blade Runner era verdad...
No tiene mucho sentido despedirse, no tiene sentido si en el fondo no te vas, pero sirve de excusa magnifica para recordar los buenos momentos.

flash·back

/ˈflaSHˌbak/

Noun
  1. A scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story.
  2. A sudden and disturbing vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological trauma or taking LSD
(sin lugar a dudas, la definicion numero 2 'disturbing vivid memory ... result of trauma or LSD' es la que mejor explica todo)
[youtube=http://youtu.be/T9LtaC3V0JA]

What do I do

I came accross this question, 'what do you do?', inquired by a good friend of mine who, by the diverging routes of our respective professional lifes, I keep remote contact only. I realized there are as many good answers to that question as people potentially asking.

For me, to put it into right context, it is about a three generations journey along the lines of technology evolution, where I am an intermediate, transitional step.

A three generations journey

A three generations journey