Zen and Bamboo

Yesterday I was not able to post my findings but today I will make this up to you. Yesterday and today I was preparing a workshop for a client and I came across this TEDxTokyo presentation from Garr Reynolds. Garr wrote the bestseller PresentationZen about delivering interesting and captivating presentations. His TED talk was titled “Be Like Bamboo”. His talk was very interesting. Since my trip to Japan I am mentally attracted to the Japanse way of thinking.

Today I used the phrases “We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see” twice. This is a Taoist wisdom which I learned from Garr. I used this internally in a discussion I had with a colleague. And the other was in a project evaluation with a customer when we discussed an important phase in the project were we should have put this proverb in action.

The video:

The slides:

Be Like Bamboo (TEDxTokyo 2011 slides) [slideshare id=8047247&w=425&h=355&sc=no]

View more presentations from garr

New URL and Look ‘n Feel

I changed the URL of my site today and applied a new theme. I hope you like it, please let me know! My old URL will shut down. I have used this URL since 2006 but now I finally moved my blog over to robberthomburg.com.

The theme is made by wpshower. Very minimalistic and straight forward, I think. I made some small tweaks to ensure it fits my needs.

Now back to my glass of wine (a white Rioja) and the final of the Champions League. Seems like a lot of sports are coming to an end today as HC Amsterdam became Dutch fieldhockey champions!

New boost in New World of Work?

This week Grímsvötn erupted. The last time a big volcano in Iceland erupted air travel almost stopped! People were forced to meet without travelling and new ways of working spread like crazy. Last week’s eruption does not have the same impact, I am affraid. The eruption was a lot smaller and only some airports in Germany were shut down.

Do we really need such a big intervention of Mother Nature or can mankind itself take action and boost New Ways of Working in the global economy?

Either way: NASA made this nice picture of the eruption.

Retirement and Rabat

Yesterday after a short workday my mother-in-law had her retirement party. A lot of colleagues, friends and family were present to honor a long life of work. With the present retirement age I have to work for another 34 years. Somehow I would like to stop earlier because this means I still have to work longer than I have been alive…

In a few days the movie Rabat has its premiere in Tuschinski! My two brothers-in-law have been very busy with this movie together with their friends. The result will be something they can be very proud of!


en de titlesong van Sef: De Leven!


Visualizing Information

Today I was in a workshop where we encountered some discussions on interpreting information. Interpreting information is done by the brain. We can only display information in a way that enhances interpretation. Visualization helps interpretation and increases the value of information. Today I encountered this great TED video, with great examples from Amsterdam during Queensday! Thanks to @jasperdevalk for the tweet about this video.

[ted id=1152]

Energy and distractions

Today I was preparing for an EIM workshop. During the afternoon my brain felt like it had run dry. Inspiration was completely gone and nothing came out of my fingers. At 17:00 I went home. Because I spent the whole day at the office I was by bike. After five minutes biking I was having good ideas that I worked on later this evening. I regret that I did not go home earlier. This made me less productive than I could have been.

The other lesson was about noise and distraction. When you need to concentrate on your work every distraction needs to be eliminated. This means no email, no phonecalls and also quietness around your workplace. There is enough evidence that multitasking complex tasks is not possible but we switch tasks and lose a lot of time in between! This emphasizes the need for concentration booths at our office or to work in another quiet space like home or a library.

Being More Productive with David and Tony

Last weekend I read a conversation in HBR between David Allen and Tony Schwartz. David Allen is the creator of Getting Things Done, a list-driven productivity approach. Tony Schwartz is the CEO of The Energy Project, he boosts productivity through the science of high performance. The conversation was very interesting and inspiring. David Allen describes his ideas as the uncovering of the strategic value of clear space. To be creative you need space and freedom. The techniques of GTD ensure you get this freedom and space. One big lesson of GTD is to start the day with the most important task for that day. In the morning you are fit and fully charged to do the task. The Energy project focusses on the energy needed to perform. There are four dimensions of energy that we all need: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. An important first lesson of energy in the physical dimension is to work intensively for 90 minutes and then take time to recover. The basic idea here is that life in essence is not continuous but it is rhythmic Think about your hart rate, muscle movement and breathing. If these are all rhythmic, you should work with the same concept. Another lesson is that sleep is very important, this is known since a long time but still to many people do not sleep enough and are less productive than they could or should be!

Today I started the day with my most important task and my feeling when I was finished was super. The day was succesfull from the start. Do you get the same feeling when you start with email?

Masters of Information

Today we discussed a new idea about a masterclass on information productivity. We looked at our ideas about Enterprise Information Management and tried to envision the next steps. What is Information Productivity and which topics do we want to include? During our two hour discussion we got to the essence and were satisfied about the results.

What do you think should be included in a masterclass information productivity and how do you want to learn from?

Ambition, strategy and inspiration

Today I worked with a client to translate strategy into action. In other words: how can we make strategy happen? This is a very hard question to crack. We were having great discussions on what a specific strategic theme means and implies. It takes patience and deep listening to each other to really understand each others opinion. This is puzzling, frustrating but inspiring after all! Nobody says really strategy execution is easy 😉

Later that day we had a business meeting where we discussed new goals and ambitions. This meant instant inspiration. The more we talked the more inspiration!

So there where some differences today but a lot of inspiration all day long!