This is a collection of articles that caught my attention this week with the theme of small business innovation.
Small businesses are at the forefront of our economy and understanding what they are facing will give one deeper insight into what's happening beneath the surface of the business world. Regional innovation centers, continuous innovation, banking, and e-commerce highlight this week's selections.
Light - Dark
Hard - Soft
In - Out
Black - White
Profit - Loss
Afraid - Brave
Against - For
Apart - Together
Better - Worse
Complicated - Simple
There's a fine line that separates opposing words, actions, or beliefs. For leaders, it's less about the competition between opposites and more about figuring out how to balance them in order to build something new.
A one-minute exercise to figure out the topic of an article:
Train of thought: need an idea - books - blocks - geometry - Golden Ratio - pi - proportional - exponential - Malthusian growth model - constant growth - latent growth - architecture - form - shape - solid - void - space - positive - negative - columns - walls - rectangles - triangles - polygons - parti diagram - Ecole de Beaux Arts - Paris - Louvre - pyramid - I.M. Pei - 1998 World Cup - croissants - Champs Elysees - late night out - early morning in the studio - review - charrette - planning - collaboration - talking - constituents - customers - ideas - design - workshop - speaking - facilitation - connections - weak bonds - strong bonds - friends - co-workers - acquaintances - groups - individuals - one-to-one - one-to-many - many-to-many - how ideas spread - combustion - spontaneous combustion - fire - starting fires by hand - twigs - sticks - hatchet - matches - smoke - camping - trees - the growth of trees - seeing the forest from the trees - patterns of growth - patterns - types of patterns - patterns in nature - patterns of thought - radial - linear - symmetrical - asymmetrical - wave forms - beach - sand - cohesion - physics - distributed - angular - angular momentum - back to patterns - patterns of growth - seeing patterns - breaking patterns - recognizing patterns - building patterns - creativity - growth - generative - design - patterns and growth - breaking patterns and stimulating growth.
Break patterns to stimulate growth.
You've automated your thinking. What now?
The bicycle, automobile, bus, train, ship, airplane, and spacecraft have enabled humans to project themselves at increasingly longer distances in three-dimensional space. Another way to say that is that we've extended ourselves both horizontally and vertically.
Where we go depends on what void needs to be filled and the problems that need to be solved. Will disease and time cease to exist?
Hopefully, these new technologies will create more time for people connect with others and what's around them. More likely, though, is that it will simply mechanize tasks, jobs, and projects and build linkages between them so that they better coordinate with each other (think internet of things), thereby creating a more effective system for getting things done.
Will we have more time to ourselves? Possibly, but it depends on where we want to go or where we let technology take us.
The OED defines complexity as "the state or quality of being intricate or complicated." It's synonyms include intricacy, complication, ramification, convolution, elaboration, multiplicity, and and involvement.
The same dictionary defines simplicity as "the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do" and "the quality or condition of being plain or uncomplicated in form or design." It's synonyms include clearness, unity, chastity, classicality, singleness, straightforwardness, sophistication, and artlessness among several others.
Complexity and simplicity couldn't be further apart in meaning, yet everything is complex or simple depending on how you look at it. A shift in perspective is often just enough to help you see a problem differently.