Five Faces of Genius Blog

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Genius U
February 7, 2013

Genius U

By Annette

In Greek mythology, Hermes was the child and messenger of Zeus.  Legend evolved to name Hermes the messenger of the gods.  In this short tale, I offer a fable of a young girl setting out to find her purpose in life against great odds. She believes Hermes will deliver a message to her that will explain the direction she is to take.  This is my first attempt at writing fiction as it was simply a story that wrote itself.  I crouched down in my office one day and wrote an outline that became the backbone of the story.  I hope you enjoy meeting the protagonist, Barjinder.

 Finding work that matters is a luxury, but it is also a task that haunts us and insists we keep trying to find that unique letter from Hermes.  There is a creative spirit within that longs to be satisfied and persists in drawing us forward into the future.  That is where we find the Genius U. 

 

 

November 8, 2011

Creating Something to Sell

By Annette

Recently, I’ve been asked to give advice on how to start an entrepreneurial enterprise. And as most of us sell something most of the time, these points should be helpful to you as well.

  1. Define 3-4 best possible futures. Contrary to popular psychology, none of us has just one passion. Humans are more dynamic and mysterious than that. Just like a fractal grows and changes, think of a basket of things you see yourself doing in the future. Choose a number of things that intrigue you. You’ve done your work when you can think of more things you want to create than things you want to buy.
  2. Define your unique IP. What is it that you know well and maybe even better than most? What is your Intellectual Property? Writing, speaking, web research? Computer graphics, customer service, constructing things in your garage? Be sure to include the new things that are blossoming in the front of your imagination.
  3. Make a list of who would benefit most from each of your ideas. Do this for all your possible futures.
  4. Create prototypes of what you want to sell. If it’s a service, make a one page overview or short video. Messy, imperfect, back of envelope – make it easy. If it’s a product – mock it up. Make a 3D presentation on Google software. It’s important to touch this lightly and not make it into a big deal. Play with it. You may find in the process, some of your possible futures may seem more exciting to you than others. Listen to this input.
  5. Go show one prototype to one or two people – friends, then potential buyers. Let them tell you what it needs to be. The bias in any sales operation is ACTION. Make this your motto. Get feedback, test and iterate. You may surprise yourself in that you get a sale just from this effort alone. But keep revising and repeat steps 1 – 5. It will work if you are sensitive to the feedback.
  6. Reverse mentor. Most of us look for someone who is older and more experienced from whom to get advice on our creation. But as the rate of changes accelerates consider a mentor who is younger than you. If not in age then experience. Find someone who is webby, in a different field or a digital native. Ask them to guide you along. The fastest growth comes from the newest edge. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works.

Be sure to tell me what new idea you’ve created. I may want to invest!

June 3 - Chicago | Five Faces of Genius Certification Event
May 3, 2011

June 3 - Chicago | Five Faces of Genius Certification Event

By Annette

Join a group of professionals and get credentialed in The Five Faces of Genius Innovation program. Learn how to guide your teams to new ideas and creative business solutions. This model has been used with Fortune 1000 companies across the globe. Our day will consist of an interactive experience that both teaches you the content and allows you to experience the power of creative thinking. For more information, contact us at firemark@fivefacesofgenius.com.

Life After Watson
February 24, 2011

Life After Watson

By Annette

Watching Watson beat the best Jeopardy players calls into question what human knowledge really is and what it means. Are we more than the sum of our mental data sets? What distinguishes human intelligence from the artificial variety?
I take a special joy in watching this victory of machine mind over human because it puts into high relief our best and ultimate function – imagination. Now, more than ever, we realize it is the capacities for epiphany, inspiration and new ideas that make us uniquely human. As Einstein claimed, it was his gift for fantasy more than his talent for absorbing any positive knowledge that was his best thinking. Imagination will continue to make us vital players in the game called Life.

The End Of Habits
February 2, 2011

The End Of Habits

By Annette

This may seem sacrilegious to some so I apologize in advance but it’s time to find another business bible.  When the pace of change itself is changing, creating something new and useful is the only habit that matters.  Habits, unless they are in pursuit of creativity, are counterproductive.  Habits reify mental models and concretize processes that need to be fluid, iterative and generative. We need to think in ever-changing new and surprising ways. 

For example, who can begin with the end in mind anymore?  The business community has long done away with five or even three year planning.  When change is accelerating, we strive for a provisional vision, a temporary strategy, a ‘make it up as we go’ perspective that can be melded and shaped.  We focus on a vision that is as far as the headlights shine.  Grounded by our values and our dreams, we move ourselves and others forward.

Some feel like a cat caught in a dryer – trying to get equilibrium in the midst of change around us.  We wait for things to go back to the way it used to be or even just calm down so we can get back to our habits of effectiveness.  But the only way to get ‘righted’ in the dryer is to invent the next dryer. Nurturing your genius – focusing on the competency of innovation -  is the way toward the future.  Next-generation 'habits' are things like fantasy, ephiphany and the pursuit of mystery.  We can only be fully open to our own powers of invention in the messy, magical world in which we work and live.