Innovate Yourself

An important feature of exercising influence is knowing what we can and cannot change. Right now, it’s feeling like many things influencing us aren’t that amenable to change.

One thing we can always innovate is ourselves. Whether it’s to be more efficient, effective, healthier, kinder, or just to help us get by, changing ourselves is necessary when the world around us changes — even if it’s just to keep the good things as they are.

This issue we look at the importance of changing our minds, spotting trends, seeing possible futures, tools for hosting more creative meetings, and even creative ways to remember what you learn.

We can’t change everything around us, but we can change ‘us’ and the ways we interact with everything around us.

For now, that’s pretty good.

Keep well and creative, Cameron

Changing Our Minds

Your ideas are not your identity. That is the core message from psychologist Adam Grant that comes from his new book looking at how we change our minds. It’s this critical quality that influences whether our new ideas get taken up, whether we can create change, or whether we can grow as a person

The other core lesson from Grant’s new book, Think Again, is one of intellectual humility. It’s about knowing what we don’t know and continually asking ourselves questions. I’ve long said that psychology can be thought of as the ‘art and science of how we fool ourselves’ and Grant’s new book provides us ways to avoid this and becoming fools along the way.

Futures Thinking

Futures and foresight help us to see possible opportunities. Having the right tools, frameworks, and methods can help you see them a little more clearly.

The Futures Cone is a widely used method that is also much misunderstood. This article profiles what is one of the most simple, yet useful, foresight methods to help you better see what might come.

Futures thinking can help us identify areas ripe for disruption - whether by us or someone or something else. Futurist Amy Webb has identified 11 sources of disruption that might help shape your future plans.

Personal Power-Ups

If you’re like me you take a LOT of notes. I also forget a lot of what is in those notes. I’m now trying to draw my notes and it’s helping. It’s a strategy that designer Austin Kleon uses bringing the power of creativity, craft, and neuroscience together in a memorable way.

Working from home means no walking to work (or to the bus, train, or parking lot along the way). Researcher Deborah Grayson Riegel suggests building the walk back into your day is a wise choice for enhancing creativity, expanding your perception, and helping integrate learning (among many other benefits)

Stress is no laughing matter. Neither are poor-performing workplaces or toxic work cultures. That’s why you might need a humour audit. Nir Ayal’s interview with researchers Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas shows why making laughter a strategic priority is nothing to laugh about.

Burnout is a serious issue for innovators and start-ups alike. Calvin Benton, founder of startup Spill, shares his experiences with what it was like for his team and how they have managed work and stress together for more positive mental health.

Want three pro-tips on facilitating meetings? Here you go.

Innovation in Action

How do you keep surgical skills when you can’t practice surgery? That’s not a problem with a new virtual reality powered training tool being implemented at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. The VR system from Precision OS allows surgeons and residents to learn and hone their skills without an actual patient so when the time comes for surgery, they’re ready.

Sweden is leading the world in transforming its environmentally damaging heavy industries in the Arctic from polluters to problem-solvers. This short video-documentary from Monocle shows how they are doing it.

Looking for examples for how design thinking works in practice? Design firm IDEO has recently updated their resource page and included a collection of examples from their work to help illustrate design thinking in design action.

Meetings, Meet-ups, and More

There are many more options for meeting online than just Zoom.

Remember wandering around to socialize at events? Kumospace is a hybrid of the standard video conference with an overlay of sound spatial technology that allows you to ‘walk around’ and socialize with people in a virtual space making a meet-up more social.

Airmeet is another platform that uses a ‘stage’ along with ‘seats’ that bring together the presentation features of Zoom with the more intimate aspects of a fireside chat for the audience.

If you’re just tired of video and want to talk, consider High Fidelity, another virtual audio-driven environment that allows you to have conversations without the distractions of having to stare at 20 other boxes on the screen.

Thanks for reading. Until we meet (virtually) again Cameron

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