Tackle Problems One Day at a Time

Today:
Identify one people problem you need to solve.
Identify one work problem you need to solve.
Identify one personal problem you need to solve.

Choose one action for each problem to move you closer to a solution.
Carry out those actions today.

Moment of Self-Activation

Every now and then a moment takes place in my life when I know that the process of change has begun. How is this spark generated and what keeps the flame burning while change takes place?
It happens on a day like any other simply because it is a day just the same as any other. It comes like a moment of heightened awareness. The mug of tea snaps into focus. The view from the window appears vivid and rich different somehow from yesterday, last week, a moment before. The scene remains the same, and yet somehow otherworldly. It is accompanied by a sense of a need for belonging to that other-world, that somehow the world I inhabit is no longer connected to the world I want to be in. There is a glimpse of the outer edges of the bubble I live in and a fascinating realisation comes to me. I could step out of the bubble if I choose.
Then the phone rings, or a client arrives. The email pings or someone calls my name and that moment disappears. I might forget about it for weeks while I get on with the business of living. All the time I dismiss those visions as daydreams, those ideas of a different life that pop into my head in the quiet moments. Gently, I realise that my life as it is may not be satisfying me any more. The reasons why I wanted all this have changed. They are less relevant than they used to be. This may be what I wanted, sure, but it isn’t how I wanted it. Now the moment has passed, the process has begun. Unconsciously, whether I know […]

By |July 26th, 2009|change|0 Comments

Top Ten Bad Behaviours to Nurture

Cultivating Innovation – Top ten bad behaviours to look for and nurture in employees (and ourselves)

We have a wealth of creative people working undercover in our organisations. The fact is that often our working environments actively destroy attempts to make the day more conducive to creative thinking. How much added value is being lost in our businesses when employees keep their ideas to themselves for fear of failure or ridicule? In this post, I explore some of the behaviours to look out for in employees who are showing the potential to be innovators, and suggest some ways to nurture the growth of ideas rather than stamp out their creativity altogether.

Top Ten Bad Behaviours of Innovators

Interferes in other peoples problems
Agrees with people you disagree with
Doesn’t care what you think
Rocks the boat when things are going well
Fails frequently
Loses interest quickly in the latest company investment
Constantly calls into question the way things are
Intrudes on peoples personal life
Doesn’t maintain focus on the task in hand
Differing Priorities

Interferes in other peoples problems
The reasons why we open ourselves up to the risk of new ideas has a great effect on the kind of idea we come up with. Innovators are not interested in meeting abstract goals like improving productivity by a few percentage points or increasing media coverage of the brand. They are interested in making things easier for people. They are always on the look out for the stumbling block. The status quo that causes people to behave in inefficient ways simply because there is no identifiable alternative. They are the ones who watch the way people make their sandwich, looking for unusual behaviour and asking why their subject does it like that. They are the ones who scan the […]

Harnessing the Power of Empathy

Empathy is a vital part of our human experience. With it our business can truly succeed, without it we are doomed to fail. In this post I wrote for The Nutshell Project I explore why that is the case, and offer a technique for establishing empathy that anyone can master.

Harnessing the Power of Empathy

The Idea Generator

Ever stuck for an idea even though you know there is one out there somewhere? Sometimes getting a killer idea is simply a matter of working with your brain rather than against it. In this post I wrote for The Nutshell Project, I outline some ways you can align with your natural creative thinking processes and capture some truly innovative ideas.

The Ten Minute Idea Generator

By |July 23rd, 2009|Tools|0 Comments

Planting Seeds for Future Growth

I’ve mentioned Ted and Andrea Lemon before. I heard them give their talk on how Yoga works at The Barn in Farnham. One of the analogies Andrea drew has stayed with me. It was Square Foot Gardening. A technique imported from the US that allows you to maintain your garden in such a way that you are always harvesting something. The idea is simple enough. You build a box 4 foot by 4 foot. Fill with good soil and divide into 16 squares. You prepare the soil and plant seeds in the first square for the crop you will harvest in 16 weeks time. Then you do the same for square two and so on. After four months your system is up and running so each week you can harvest one square while preparing the soil and planting the seeds of another. Great system.

Andrea’s observation, however, was that it doesn’t appear at all strange to be planting a tomato seed at the same time as picking a carrot. Why is it then we get so confused when wondering why something bad happens to something we thought would go so well? Karma is about planting the seeds for future experiences and having them ripen as we go through our lives. People who plant the seeds for poor future experiences will at some point have a poor experience themselves. What goes around comes around, as they say. The same goes for those who act compassionately and plant seeds for some positive future experience.

Modern neurobiology backs this up. Consider the common experience of indulging in some emotion or other in response to an event and creating a future biological reaction in our bodies. Our brains establish a […]

Buddha and Business?

This week I had the opportunity to hear Ted and Andrea Lemon give their talk on how Yoga works at The Barn in Farnham. They unearthed an important discovery for me about yoga. It seems that, if you follow the lineage of teachers back through the centuries, you find that Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga have many of the same teachers. It seems that Tibetan Buddhism focused on the inner world and Yoga, flourishing in India, preserved the teachings regarding the body. Combine the two and me have a powerful system for improving our well being. Once again we find that our great spiritual traditions have common roots, the similarities outweigh the differences and the essence is what counts.

Another important observation regarding Ted and Andreas presentation is that, once again with people connected with Tibetan Buddhism, I was not ‘recruited’. When I studied meditation in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala home to many Tibetan refugees including the Dalai Lama, at no point did anyone try to make me become a Buddhist. In fact I was actively discouraged.

‘Buddhism is a difficult religion,’ my teacher said. ‘It works well in the east. It was designed for eastern cultures. If you have found some value in the teachings you have received then go home and apply it to your own religion.’

Trouble is, of course, that I haven’t considered myself having a religion since I left school. Just what is the big religion in the west anyway? If, in Tibet, 13% of the total population and 26% of the males were monks (A history of modern Tibet, 1913-1951 By Melvyn C. Goldstein, Gelek Rimpoche), what would be the equivalent over here to apply the Buddhist teachings […]

New Beginnings

A new blog and a whole new world.

I finally gave in to the need for my own webspace after contributing to a number of blogs over the last few weeks. I’ve found that writing a blog has helped me to consistently add value to my business. Every day, just being open to ideas to form so that I could contribute something original has inspired me to develop my processes and tools. I’m finding I am applying my own thinking more often in my own life – and that has to be a good thing!

One regrettable discovery, however, was that I was not taking up every idea that came my way. I was being selective and ensuring that the blog posts I did write were relevent for the blog I was writing for – and letting other ideas pass me by.

My intention with this blog is to attempt to capture some of these ideas and formulate them into a worthwhile read for my clients – both those paying and currently undergoing a coaching program with me – hi! – and those unpaying, distant and unseen, who stumble across these words while looking for a man to plough their fields and is wondering when my posts about ‘tools’ are going to start talking about tilling – hi too!

I hope you gain some value from the words to follow.

Best wishes, as ever,

Andrew Tilling

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Enjoy!