Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why Crazy Ideas are Critical for Improving Management

Every week, we publish an exciting summary of the best articles, videos, events, and posts that relate to innovative management. This week, check out these summaries of 11 GREAT articles that inspire better management. Enjoy!

Researchers Manipulate the Dreams of Rats, Opening the Door to 'Dream Engineering' *

MIT researchers have successfully reached inside the brains of rats and manipulated their dreams using an audio cue conditioned into them during the previous day. It’s a development that lends insight into the whole sleep/memory consolidation relationship. But it’s also worth reiterating that this is dream control, external manipulation of the mind during sleep.

Help Wantedà Seriously! A Movie about Play  *

There is a campaign to create a new documentary in progress called Seriously! A movie about PLAY. Filmmaker and former Muppet Maker Gwen Gordon has already interviewed a brilliant and motley chorus of play experts. She's planning on adding some compelling stories, a promiscuous red ball, and a menagerie of exuberant playmates to make an irrefutable and wildly entertaining film about the vital importance of play.

She has just launched an interesting and entertaining KickStarter  campaign to raise the funds for the film.

The Labor Day Manifesto of a Passionate Creative Worker

We are living in a modern renaissance. Like the printing press during its time, our new tools have the capacity to spread knowledge faster and farther than ever before, resulting in an unparalleled and ever increasing rate of progress and change. As we consider the free information and universal connectivity that is now available, we are struck by the potential that each individual has to impact the world. And as we reflect on our past progress and the opportunities still ahead, we recognize that the most valuable resource we have is the human creativity and ingenuity innate in every person.
  1. Live our lives, and not someone else’s.
  2. Blaze new trails.
  3. Prioritize learning over efficiency.
  4. Share knowledge freely.
  5. Recognize that institutions exist to serve people.
  6. Quit jobs that we hate.
  7. Escape the trap of wasting time by being busy.
  8. Live life for the adventure.
  9. Stay on the edge.
  10. Continually reinvent ourselves.
  11. Never settle.

'Magic Carpet' Could Help Prevent Falls

University of Manchester researchers have developed a smart carpet equipped with optical fibers that bend when people walk on it and map their walking patterns in real time. The optical fibers act as sensors and relay signals to a computer, where they are analyzed to show the image of the footprint and identify changes in walking behavior. The researchers say the technology could be used to put smart carpets in care homes and hospital wards. The imaging technology also could be used as an early-warning system to detect the presence of chemical spills or fire. The technology involves a tomographic technique that maps two-dimensional images by using light coming from under the surface of the smart carpet. "The carpet can gather a wide range of information about a person’s condition; from biomechanical to chemical sensing of body fluids, enabling holistic sensing to provide an environment that detects and responds to changes in patient condition," says Manchester researcher Patricia Scully. Manchester professor Chris Todd says the technology "represents a unique collaboration between scientists from different backgrounds working together to identity a smart solution to an important problem for our country and indeed all over the world."

10 Reasons Why Some People Love What They Do

For the most part, these are the people that get up thinking about what’s going to happen at work that day, minus the impending sense of dread many of us have as we’re brushing our teeth. To the contrary, they wake up to a challenge – which is a nice segue into the first item on this list.
  1. They seldom feel disconnected from the challenge that first engaged their interest.
  2. They’re remarkably well-attuned to the “early years.”
  3. They are “portfolio” thinkers.
  4. They don’t care what you think.
  5. They are born succession planners.
  6. They will stay…but just know, they’ll also leave.
  7. They won’t be stopped.
  8. They draw people to them without even trying.
  9. They live in the now.
  10. They never, ever limit their vision to serve the interests of petty competition.

Loving what you do—no matter how competitive you have to be to attain your goals—does not require stepping on others to get there.

The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. . . .
—John Donne

Mapmaker, Artist, or Programmer?

Some people look at the abundance of urban data out there and see an academic research paper. Others maybe see a table or a graph or a chart. Self-proclaimed "map geek" Eric Fischer sees some of the most intriguing maps and spatial images found on the Internet, just waiting to be created.

"Ultimately, almost everything I have been making tries to take the dim, distant glimpse of the real world that we can see through data and magnify some aspect of it in an attempt to understand something about the structure of cities," he says. "I don't know if that comes through at all in the actual products, but it is what they are all building toward."

5 things you can do to keep play in your life and the world

Laugh,  Move, Create, Observe, Be seen
  1.  Interplay - if you can’t get to an InterPlay event, the best practice I can recommend is to use the InterPlay Inspiration Deck as a daily tool to get your dose of playfulness.
  2. Ccheck out the work of Stuart Brown, M.D., who takes us back to the 15th Century to remind us that adult play is not new.
  3. Help “Seriously: the Movie” (also above) to get off the ground and spread the word about play even more!
  4. Connect with the U.S. Play Coalition if you’re in the United States. Their annual conference is a great way to become infused with the joys of play.
  5. Iif you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania or even happen to be passing through, join Anita Bondi and me as we teach (mostly Anita) and provide live music (mostly me, with all participants contributing as they desire) for our weekly InterPlay “movement and healing laboratory”.

How Fibonacci Introduced The World To Numbers

To carry out their calculations, merchants in the early 13th century used an abacus or a system called finger reckoning. Commerce changed when Leonardo of Pisa -- known today as Fibonacci -- published the first arithmetic textbook. Mathematician Keith Devlin talks about the history of arithmetic and his new book The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution.

Why crazy ideas are critical: A Nobel-winning chemist's view

Roald Hoffmann talks to Fortune about the benefits of accepting complexity and how to make sure your team feels comfortable with offering seemingly batty ideas.

5 Student Projects That Just Might Transform City Life

“Showing young people how technology is a tool, and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit toward problem solving, can be incredibly empowering,” explains Terry Howerton, chairman of the Chicago Tech Academyand founder of the incubator TechNexus. By starting students on a tech track at a young age, we’re preparing the next generation to think outside the box and create innovative solutions to the world’s problems.
  1. MetroCards for Good
  2. German Students Rerouting Traffic
  3. Chicago Tech Academy’s High-Tech Algorithm
  4. Paint-On Solar Cells
  5. Search-and-Rescue Robots