Supplement for Productivity Boost: Which one is for me?

Similar like in a body building world as it is in our daily life. Be the best means doing the task with full immersion, focus and wholehearted. Sometimes, winning takes a lot more than that. In a situation where a lot of competitions and desire to be the best owned already by many, a lot of time this challenge will brings men to the search of additional boost to reach a level that would not be possible if the same men wish to attain the same level in which he desires in a short amount of time with fairly less effort.

In bodybuilding world, this additional boost came from supplements and there are magnificently vast amount of choices about it. All supplements, created for the benefit of the general user. However, everyone is not the same biologically and therefore smart decision is needed. Choosing the right supplement could mean a good well shape body or in the other side of the coin partly disable body.

In our daily life, higher productivity is attainable by an additional boost to our brain power through the use of “supplement”. A trivial decision is about answering questions such as what are supplement for brain power and which one is actually fit to our personality, biological nature of our body, etc, etc. So that in the end we are sure that our decision will actually prove us to achieve more and become more productive.

English: Everyone take a drink

English: Everyone take a drink (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recent interesting hot topic about “brain” supplements by consuming everyday drinking create blind followers and fans to a certain supplement. There  are lots of debate about which one is the best, coffee or tea or wine or beer ? Some of them are, Does drinking beer makes you more creative?What Coffee do to your brain?, Why tea is really the best drink of the day?, Stay young with the health benefit of red wine.

Turkish Tea

Turkish Tea (Photo credit: dimi)

All of those articles and many more are trying to study and find out which one has better health effect or decreasing stress or any other effect which at the end will have an impact on enhancing general productivity. However, following all the advice blindly is fool and so neglecting all the advice.

Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it. ~Benjamin Franklin

Smart decision is needed so that we don’t be like fools that either follow all advices that are coming or reject all advices. It is better to be stupid as stupid people learn, getting better and at the end thrive and become wiser and smarter but fools are unwise and can’t be made wise.

Fools

 

 

Can of Brain Toniq

Can of Brain Toniq (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

A word to the wise ain’t necessary. It is the stupid ones that needed advice. ~ Bill Cosby

That is the reason that we should pick the right supplements that really fits our needs. Personally, I drink all of them but with different function with I unconsciously has strategically decide which drink I will drink when and how much. However, my personal favorite that I always drink everyday is tea.

Advertisements

Kaizen critics on Innovation: Sustaining Innovation is not Kaizen!

The rapid change of the world makes innovation a lethal weapon to become a big part of solution to bring about countries, companies, or communities to a useful change that hopefully take them to the top the leading pack in the world. Little research on the topic could give many hints that innovation is the key. There are now disruptive innovation, cultural innovation, reverse innovation and other terms that use innovations as the key.

However, the overwhelming topic of innovation that filled the market has overshadowed some important not so radical, slow and not extreme change that comes from continuous improvement that actually be the backbone of many leading companies in the world. The power of kaizen culture which embedded in top leader of the pack has been uncover in the book The high-velocity edge by Steven Spear seems to be undermined by the amount of innovation books and its varieties on the market.

Java Printing

I am not against innovation because I understand that without innovation no companies could ever bare their existence let alone leading. innovation is the key. I really enjoy reading books on innovation especially books by Clayton M. Christensen which really is the result of his in-depth research and reflection about the world of innovation.

My argument about innovation is that most of the books on innovations discussed about big changes that will lead to strategic/big step. My take on current innovation paradigm is that innovation is not enough because we still need kaizen. Some people say that kaizen is innovation also, but it really is not. The rule of thumbs is what your mind perceived what innovation is, reduce it by factor of at least 100.

When for example Clayton M. Christensen tried to detail innovation into a more elaborate by dividing it further into Disruptive and Sustaining Innovation. People get confuse because first, where is then Kaizen? Second,  a strange combination of words is used (Sustaining Innovation!).

Untitled

The Innovator’s Dilemma (Christensen 1997) identified two distinct categories—sustaining and disruptive—based on the circumstances of innovation.

  1. Sustaining Innovation : when the race entails making better products that can be sold for more money to attractive customers—we found that incumbents almost always prevail.
  2. Disruptive Innovation :when the challenge is to commercialize a simpler, more convenient product that sells for less money and appeals to a new or unattractive customer set—the entrants are likely to beat the incumbents. This is the phenomenon that so frequently defeats successful companies. It implies, of course, that the best way for upstarts to attack established competitors is to disrupt them. (Low end disruption and New market disruption)

Confusion happen among the practitioner of whether Sustaining Innovation is Kaizen because it is also about making better products to attractive customers. Additionally, two words of sustaining and innovation are both contradictory in nature in a way that when innovation happen, change happen and it moves the object of innovation to some future state.Thus actually it is inappropriate to give the name “sustain”. Sustain means almost equally to maintain. Hence it means the innovation going nowhere but only maintain and hence going nowhere.

image_thumb1

History wise, the Kaizen term exist already since 1986 which is kaizen/continuous improvement which small incremental improvement. However, it seems that the founder of kaizen concept had predicted that confusion between Innovation and Kaizen will likely to happen.

This big misconception has been cleared before by Masaaki Imai in 1986, a notable quality philosopher and practitioner and the founder of Japanese consulting company namely Kaizen Institute or best known by the west as the father of Continuous Improvement. Misconception of innovation happen when people associate immediately innovation with improvement. The truth is that innovation indeed is improvement but improvement is not just innovation. Improvement consist of Kaizen and Innovation in which until the next innovation, kaizen will improve the system little by little.

inno

From the graph it is clear that Kaizen perfected Innovation. It means that any types of Innovation whether it is disruptive innovation, cultural innovation, reverse innovation will be make perfect by following through with Kaizen afterwards. Kaizen will target improvement until next innovation.

Hence it is very clear that innovation itself is insufficient to create a winning edge and that innovation coupled with relentless kaizen become the ultimate answer. This is why in my opinion, despite of the effort to rally with other companies toward Innovation from generating, managing, until applying innovation many firms still happen to be in the lower league. Because Innovation without Kaizen is just like “Pound Saving, Penny Foolish”. It seems good that you get to save many Pounds, but other companies take care also every Pennies possible with Kaizen and overtime they who cares for both thrives.

Understand Others through Understanding Ourselves: The Power of Personality Psychology

Human is not without conflict. It is because human is a social creatures and the need for communication is enormous. I am not someone who actually have an expertise in psychology. But to know that understanding of this unique field that explore human behavior could immensely contribute subconsciously to the way we are living our lives, the way we deal with problem, the way we solve conflict, the way we perceive others and finally the way we see ourselves.

Let alone the seemingly never ending conflict of two world of introvert and extrovert. One could get fired just because extrovert boss do not understand their subordinate introvert by thinking that he do not like to work with him because he seems not friendly and outgoing. The impact of realizing the existence of different personality could better clear the unspoken expression of human nature.

A person next to me do not think like I do, but it doesn’t mean that he is wrong.

As a regular person who is not an expert in psychology, I find out learning about some of personal psychology model substantially changed the way I see the surrounding in a good manner. There are a vast array of personality models, but here, I would like to share only some personal psychology models that I use and which I found practically useful.

4 –Quadrant Personality Models

A practical use is 4 quadrant model which comprises several models. The famous among 4 quadrant model that is for me really helpful are Human Nature Model, DISC, Merrill Reid Model.

The function of this model as I benefit from it is that we can look at how we or other persons around us base on their driven nature.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

This model is undeniably famous in business, whether to screen potential employee, in education, or for development of current employee. It really is useful in many circumstances to better understand us and our team partners in terms of their behavior.

ZASA

Another complementary of DISC model is Merrill Reid model which focus more toward social styles or how people actually behave or act. Unlike the previous one which concentrate somehow more inner being of a person, this is really concentrate on the act the a person does. It is helpful to know this model to be able to read your team partners and their favorite acts as to use them fully in the fields that they most enjoyable in doing it.

Untitled

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a more complex model but also useful in addition to the previous model. It is about how people perceive the world and make decisions. The MBTI focuses on normal populations and emphasizes the value of naturally occurring differences. However, I really find that the 4 quadrant concepts are all rather simple to be applied as it is not too complex and really focus on being use more toward working with others.

Without the existence of these models to help us understand others and to learn to see the other person’s behavior from a different set of eyes, there will be many misunderstanding among people. Too often we view other people from our own eyes and our own frame of reference. The key to success is to understand there are many ways to approach work and they are all effective. Each of us has a preference for an approach that works best for us individually without regard for what will work best for another person. But actually in believing that our way is the best without understanding other persons perspective will only destroy team performance.

Tea and Productivity

Several days ago, I walked down to city center on Saturday morning to get myself a little exercise in the weekend. When I walk, I like to pick new routes, so besides exercising, I could get a totally new refreshing perspective of the neighborhood where I cross. This time, I went through some roads and alleys that I have never had gone through before and in the middle of my walk, a store window caught my attention.

Through the store window, I could saw many kinds of teapots displayed behind the window. From outside the store, I could look into the store these big tubes contained tea leaves. My curiosity made me to enter the store to just find what this interesting store could offer me.

The Tea Palace

I entered the store and it is so wonderful that I really felt like I am in a library of tea. The store called Le Palais des Thes. First of all, when you entered, there will be various tea leaves that were ready to be smelled (you choose tea by smelling it!). These tea that come from China, Japan, Afrika, India and this is in fact only a glimpse of what this store could offered. Further back of the store, they have a whole lot many tea leaves, teapots and books about tea. Just what a person need to travel the world of tea.

From visiting this store, I could understand more about tea and decided to bring two distinct tea types from Afrika. From it, I also know that tea is beyond what traditionally be a medicine to increase condition of our health. For me, I mainly drink tea because it is refreshing in non-destructive way. The interesting part that lends itself to an increase in productivity is that compare to coffee, tea has more benefits.

Asian couple having coffee on home porch

First of all, I want to once again correct the assumption that caffeine in tea or coffee will help us during our work to be more productive by increasing alertness.

Peter Rogers, professor of biological psychology at the University of Bristol, after years of studying caffeine, he sees no evidence to suggest that it improves mental alertness.

However, if we know the right time to drink tea or coffee, a good effect will be obtained.

Professor Andy Smith, an expert in occupational health psychology at Cardiff University said that Caffeine is rightly prized by workers for combating fatigue, with a 2002 study of US Navy Seals showing the drug’s ability to override severe sleep deprivation. What caffeine does is to get you back on form. “We use the term ‘restoration of function’. The effect of caffeine is to restore your function closer to normal,” he says.

Therefore, caffeine can still has contribution to our performance to help us when we have fatigue at work. Additionally, hot beverages have numerous advantages. Here is some facts about contribution of Hot beverage in our workplace whether it is office work or home office.

  • 61% of employees feel that their employees cares about their well-being if they provide good hot beverage options such as in office coffee and tea.
  • 43% reported experiencing a positive effect on their work productivity.
  • 90% of decision makers and 85% of employees believe that quality coffee and tea can contribute to increased productivity and morale.

Both tea and coffee are a complex drinks. However, Tea could give better contribution in many ways.

First of all, tea contains Theanine, which researchers argue has a relaxing effect and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Secondly, Randy Murray blog in his article “Simple Productivity Task of The Day:Make A cup of Tea” really point out a benefit of tea psychologically. He ’ve found that the process of making tea is also soothing and ritualistic, which is good for helping him slow down and regain focus. To learn simple ritual of creating tea in your office your could see it below.

Just This from Dave Caolo on Vimeo.

Additionally, you can better awake when you drink a cup tea compare to drink a cup of coffee . Yes! It seems not true because every time we drink coffee we can get the effect of waking up instantly right? It is apparently true that coffee will give you more instant effect. However, it turns out that drinking tea will give us longer wake up time because the way caffeine works in tea is different than coffee. When drinking tea, caffeine inside the tea will slowly be absorbed by our body and this will lead to long consumption of caffeine for our body which will keep us awake for quite a longtime.

Hence, those three (3) simple benefits that I tried to highlight (reduce blood pressure, psychologically soothing due to it’s ritualistic nature and better works of caffeine) will give more than enough  for you incorporate tea to your daily productivity agenda.

Finding Your Job and Your Passion, Finding your trueself.

Passion is a very interesting topic to talk. It is interesting because of its nature that is dynamic. Recently, I saw a video from TEDx Talk that really point out a unique point of view as well as delivering inspirational statement about passion.

DON’T JUST FOLLOW YOUR PASSION.

It is the title of the video. It is so controversial that urge me to start clicking at the play button. I watched it, and what is most  intriguing for me is that of her explanation that following passion is a new phenomena that people in the old days were never really anxious about not finding their own passion. Unlike recent generation which are often asked to follow their passion without actually knowing the way “how”. I don’t say that following passion is bad, it is the reverse. But it is interested to know what went wrong in our process of finding our passion.

It is so compelling for me that the concept of finding passion being put in a different context as what currently perceived by the mass. It explained that passion is something that you are looking for that makes you “move” yourself intrinsically and that with passion you find yourself in a meaningful state. Interestingly, the well known phrase of your job is your passion is not totally right.

First of all, if you are lucky, your job “IS” your passion. It is because for some people, they will find their passion LATER in their life. She even mentioned in the video that one woman find her passion in the age of 40s. So, in this case you couldn’t really say that the woman was not looking for her passion during his 40 years of life. She might looked for it intensely without ever bumped into what she considered as her passion. But what she did meanwhile she tried to find her passion? She works for a living. That’s just the way it is.

But don’t ever stop to find your passion. Because you will indeed find it, and find the right one. Because in other case, some people  will find their passion in life, but by one or many things they are led to leave that passion.

What happen to those people? It turns out, the presented give an unbelievable explanation of why people could forced to leave their passion as well as how one could at the end find a new one.

image

So, there in the diagram you will find that those people that forced to leave their passion will be those who have passion that unfortunately did not meet community needs. It is disappointing indeed that in reality you are unconsciously force to leave the things that you are passionate about. But beware of this, it will not stop there. You could still find a passion that will meet community needs shown as “potential” field in the diagram.

Hence, the old lady that finally find her passion might have previously found another 1000 passions that were simply not met with community needs and forced to abandoned it. But in her 40s, she finally finds the right one. Thus, I thoroughly believe, if all of us keep searching for one passion that meeting with community needs and are not thinking about if you don’t have your job the same as your passion and you are not happy and doomed, we will at the end find it.

So, the key take point is this:

KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE ONE THING THAT YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THAT ALSO MEET COMMUNITY NEEDS AND YOU WILL BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE IT YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

Transformation to Sustainability : “Green” tagline is only for the Customers.

Several years ago, human was so interested in the extraction of nature to support the life of people in the earth. It was before the decreasing supply of nature due to over-extraction that the necessity to find alternative of sources to make the earth more sustainable take place. Today, we see in many places taglines of green living, sustainable earth or care nature that urge people to preserve and even cultivate again our nature that has been destructed by extraction without control.

plastic bag

This week, I went shopping as part of my regular “ weekly things to do” except, this time I got in into a very long queue line in the supermarket’s cashier. Then I realized that it is 5p.m. and as usual in this time many people going back from work and stop in supermarket for quick shopping for dinner or just grab some foods for their stock. In this long queue, I saw a plastic bag that I took the picture of it. During the queue, I reflected in my mind about how this plastic bag could be there in the supermarket, when people outside have put a large banners and costly commercials of how people should live by “going green”.

What caught me right away first of all is how the plastic bag could be there, but then having take a look into the detail, I could also see a text that stated Reduce Use of Plastic Bag..Refuse, Reuse, Recycle”. Those two reasons are quite provoking to start a post in this blog for it is an example of going to the wrong way from kaizen or continuous improvement. An example of a good and right  intention that wrongly planned as well as executed.

So, why not begin from looking at the supply chain. All products will have the same flow which basically begin from Supplier to Manufacturer to Logistics and at the end to Retailer that directly has contact with Customers that is us. Then, we have an issue that plastic bag is bad for the nature as we have seen before in the text located in the plastic bag ( “Reduce Use of Plastic Bag..Refuse, Reuse, Recycle”). From this, it is clear that the plastic bag is bad for nature, and that people should refuse it.

Then the question came up of why they place the decision on customers? Does customers do have bigger impacts to preserving nature by making choice of use or not use plastic bags?

I would say that if plastic bag is bad and customers should refuse it, then it should not be produced in the first place.

Supply Chain

By not producing plastic bag at all, customers will not be blamed for choosing plastic bag. Today, it seems like buying a plastic bag  is taboo for customers and plastic bag is the temptation that will always exist. It should not be like that, eliminating plastic bag from the early in supply chain could substantially decrease the problem since at the end of the day there is no plastic bag that could be bought by a customer.

Frankly, the current situation that happen is that customers go on shopping to a certain shop, they buy their product that they wish to buy, and then at the end either the cashier will ask “do you want a plastic bag ?” or in the cashier you can pick one. Either one you will have temptation to use plastic bag and most probably some people will somehow choose to use it.

Go Green. Hand with words cloud about environmental conservation

This is a system that has a flaw, if “green” means not using plastic bag, why you have plastic bag offered to you that tempted a customer to use it. Can you imagine one time, a customer that life 2 km from the shopping area and buy 3 kg of whatever it is and he/she has to carry all of his/her stuffs from the shopping area to his/her home by walking? it is certain for this type of person that if the plastic bag is offered to them, they will definitely use it.Additionally, it is not rare that some companies even put a blame on this poor guy by saying that if he knew already he has a pretty far distance to travel with huge amount of weight he should by himself be prepared by bringing a backpack or trolley.

But it seems still this solution has its flaw because since when the customer become a servant? customer is a king while the best is a partner. but it is not rational for the one who will sell product to customers to blame customers for their living condition.

It is true that apparently the existence of plastic bag is for helping this kind of person that really need to carry their stuffs. But, going green means not only customer being pushed by all the supply chain to act in terms of taking step in making a choice, but all of them that is inside the supply chain has to commit together in the green movement. Just imagine, if Supermarkets determined that they will not buy plastic bag from Logistics that is not green or not recyclable or biodegradable or even they will not use plastic at all and  buy other alternative bag, then there will be no customers that will be blame. Imagine that Logistics will also commit of not delivering these plastics and later the manufacturer will not produce it and at the end the suppliers will not supply it. Then there will be no finger pointing about who is wrong because the plastic bag simply do not exist anymore.

In plastic bag industry that relate closely with supermarkets, taglines of green line actually still aim solely toward customers. But we can take a very very nice and successful act from several other industry that prove to be work.

A company or industry that decide to support the conversion to green and sustainable living has two options:

  • Increasing the awareness of customers then produce product
  • Produce a product and then offer to customers

In the first approach, it bases on presumption that customers’ awareness of green living could influence what product that they will buy and this is one of the many ultimate reason of not beginning the transformation to green product early in the supply chain but instead delaying it by forcing customers to suffer by giving them a right and wrong choice.

Web

The second one, is to invent a product and offer it to customers. Basically, when we think about a product, there are two kind of how manufacturers could make a product. First type is making a product by looking at the market needs, getting the voice of customers, trying to figure out what they need and improve the product based on it. This is the first approach based on. Then, there is a second one which the customer has no idea about the product that they need at all.It is totally unimaginable for customers that before this product being produced and sold, customers have no idea that they will actually will need this and use it. (like computers, ipad, hand phone, and other product)

Many companies have gone into trap in this first approach which will bring a suffering to customers for a very long terms by trying to make them realize that green is the way of living.

Some companies is already following the second approach to transformation to a green living. There is some good examples, but let me just take two of the most important one. The first one is in the field of energy that basically try to invent green power that will later replace fossil power in the future and also in the field of transportation that replace oil power with electro or hybrid power. Both of this has taken the second approach of offering to customers a fundamentally new product that customers have not yet even imagined before.

Green power will make customers not feeling guilty anymore of using fossil power without clear alternative in front of them that they can have a much better and greener alternative. It is also the same for hybrid power. Customer will have the options to contribute to the sustainability buy buying it instead of gasoline power. For both cases, it is not easy for both industry to innovate into green power and also hybrid power since it has very big risk of replacing gasoline supply chain with hybrid supply chain and fossil with green power.

One example is Toyota hybrid car. the company has philosophy of making customers their first priority and not letting the customers to suffer between choices that they should make. The company realize that it is not right that the customers should resist themself in buying a particular cars, but it is the manufacturers that should come with alternative that still serve the same purpose but will be more incline toward caring of environment. In the first place, Toyota didn’t know that Hybrid will ever become alternative that will works, even the company didn’t know at the time of first launched. But the brave initiative for the purpose of serving both customers and the sustainability of the world leads to a solution that works for both releasing the suffering of choice that customers’ have and also contributing to sustainability of the world and society.

This way of thinking and brave decision toward green and sustainability should also emerge in other industry because to begin with the green transformation, it takes big courage from manufacturers and enormous believe that the company themselves has a will and able to contribute to bring society to green and sustainable living by starting by themselves with their own innovative product or solution. Once a manufacturer has a strong believe on this, they are most unlikely to claim to the world that they are a green and sustainable companies but what they are actually doing is putting the customers as a verdict to put a blame on.