The camera never lies…

camels

Or does it?

This picture was taken directly above the camels in the desert at sunset.

It is considered one of the best pictures of its year.

The camels are the whitish flecks.
The black camel shapes are the shadows!

(with thanks to Emmanuel Elliott for sending this through)

So I’m prompted here to wonder about how we see and interpret things, and the meaning we make from them – the shadows in this photograph are bigger, bolder, capture the attention and look as if they represent reality, as if they are the camels. Then we discover that the real camels are the tiny spots of light, overshadowed by their shadows. It’s like an optical illusion, and reminds me of The Allegory of the Cave in Plato’s best-known work, The Republic.

How often are we afraid of what is really only a shadow, a trick of the light?  Something we avoid or don’t do because we mis-perceive a monster lurking, a large object in the way, when the reality is a spot of light?

How often are we seduced by the outer, louder, more obvious in our lives, and therefore miss the subtle, the sensitive, that which requires us to go deeper and reflect, or take an uncommon perspective and see value and beauty in the less familiar?  So much depends on the way we look at things – can we walk around our own thoughts, our biases and long-held opinions and beliefs, and find greater value than we have previously dreamt?

Like the optical illusion books popular a few years ago, which reveal a hidden image when you view them in a certain way, our world can reward us with fresh ideas and possibilities if we take the time to shift our position, reconsider our point of view and see things differently.

See what you can find in this picture:

Find the hidden message

Find the hidden message

How to Increase Your Business Success with Mind Maps – Tony Buzan

Tony Buzan, author of 100 best-selling books

Tony Buzan, Inventor of Mind Maps and author of 100 best-selling books

Chris Griffiths CEO of Think Buzan

Chris Griffiths CEO of Think Buzan

Mind Maps for Business

We’ve used Mind Maps at ReSource since the very beginning – our first edition contained a hand drawn map of the contents, and Tony Buzan has been a regular contributor covering areas from business to creativity and poetry.  In a brief preliminary interview for an upcoming  ReSource feature, I asked Mind Maps® inventor Tony Buzan about his latest book, ‘Mind Maps for Business’, written with Chris Griffiths,   CEO of Think Buzan.

“Tony, what’s different about this book ‘Mind Maps for Business’? What differentiates it from ‘Mind Maps at Work’, for example?”

“There is a comprehensive difference – ‘Mind Maps at Work’ was a play on the word ‘work’ – it was a way of showing Mind Maps working, and how they are effective in people’s lives in a broad range of contexts, not just at work. It also served as an introductory text for people in any working situation, not only in business, which is completely different.  In a way, it was a gentle preamble to Mind Maps for Business, and it certainly generated demand for the business book. People had read Mind Maps at Work, and other books, and this led to many requests for a book totally dedicated to the business world.

“The Mind Maps for Business Book has copious illustrations, there is full colour throughout, and there are inspiring stories and case studies  gathered from around the world from major players using Mind Maps. Some examples are Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of de Beers diamond mines in South Africa, who describes Mind Maps as an ‘indispensable tool’, which he used to steer his senior management team during a time of refocusing to capture the essence of the organisation – where it had been and where it was heading.”

Mind Maps for Business

Mind Maps for Business

Packed with Stories and Pictures

It’s true the book is packed with accounts of success in using Mind Maps for business from many different people.  Stephen Lundin, author of the 5 million copy best selling  FISH! says:

‘Mind Mapping uses the brain in the way it was designed, saves time, improves results and is fun. How can any business person be without this powerful tool?’

Masanori Kanda is known as one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Japan today. He was named the top marketer in the November issue of GQ Japan (2006) and speaking of the radical reorganisation of his company to respond to change, says: ‘Mind mapping can play a pivotal role in the process of developing a sustainable organisation that is adaptable to rapid changes today. With open and transparent cross-functional communications in all directions, the organisation grows to become more fair, resilient and effective.’

The introduction in 2006 of iMindMap, the Buzan technology for computer generated Mind Maps, developed in conjunction with Chris Griffiths, has also given rise to many more business applications. Major corporations, including Boeing, have used the methodology to envision and manage the multiple stages of complex projects from conception to delivery.

Says Mike Stanley, of the Boeing Corporation, USA:
“The use of Mind Mapping is an integral part of my Quality Improvement Project at Boeing. This has provided savings of over $10 million for my organisation.”

iMindMap Running a Meeting example

iMindMap Running a Meeting example

Timely and Comprehensive Guide

Now is the time when this book from Tony and Chris is most needed – we live in a fiercely competitive world, where global choice is greater than ever before, and customers and clients have broader options and market intelligence readily (and instantly!) available through the Internet. Agility in spotting trends, organising and managing multiple ideas and strategies, and smart implementation are key to success, something to which the use of Mind Maps is eminently well-suited.  They can help you sell, negotiate, plan, brainstorm, manage – and do so more effectively, saving you time and money.

Several people I’ve interviewed recently for ReSource (including top US business coach Marshall Goldsmith and New York Times bestselling author and consultant Marcus Buckingham) have suggested that ‘we’re all entrepreneurs now’. One unexpected current example in the UK is within the public sector, in tertiary education, where funding cuts are changing the landscape dramatically. Situations are arising where employees, some of whom have been in their jobs for ten or fifteen years, are now obliged to re-apply for their existing posts – and are consequently required to ‘sell’ themselves again as the best possible candidate for the job. This requires the skill of knowing how to best position yourself, not something most public sector employees have previously had to consider. The ability to identify and promote your key assets, talents and expertise as benefits to your organisation thus become critical to successful job retention, and Mind Mapping can also assist with this.

Transforming Business and Life

In this age of the changing world of work, when everyone, whether employed or running their own business, needs to adopt a more intelligently entrepreneurial mindset, ‘Mind Maps for Business’ helps fill a need for ways to develop clarity of thinking and effective methods to manage complexity and diversity. Mind Maps have been proven to achieve this –  over many years, across innumerable disciplines, and ‘Mind Maps for Business’ is an essential addition to the library of books we return to time and again for practical applications and guidance on being better in the business world – especially in the business of living productively and well.

You can get the book easily now at Amazon & WHSmith

Look out for a full article in the next edition of ReSource

Doing Well by Doing Good

Social Enterprise, sustainability,  and triple bottom line business have been a major focus for ReSource over recent years; we believe that personal and business growth and development go hand in hand – and we’ve been inspired and motivated by Muhammud Yunus and his Grameen Bank example, an enterprise which won Yunus the Nobel Peace Prize; by Lord Andrew Mawson who has been described as ‘Britain’s Social Entrepreneur’ – his groundbreaking Bromley-by-Bow Centre in one of London’s most deprived areas has transformed many lives and been a beacon for better ways of creating cohesive communities; and dedicated people such as Carole Spiers, Ida Horner, Getrude Matshe, who give their time, resources and expertise to projects around the world aimed at helping people to help themselves.

I recently heard Kevin Spacey talk about his projects ‘Old Vic New Voices’ at the Old Vic Theatre to help less privileged young people develop and grow through theatre training workshops and experiences -he described it as ‘sending the lift back down’ to bring up those not yet in a position to fulfill their potential and use their gifts and talents fully. It’s true that these days many people want a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – and social businesses which offer an opportunity for gainful and worthy employment whilst creating social benefits are a proven way to achieve this.

Later today I’m attending a round table on ‘How to Change Lives with Good Business”, with Sally Reynolds of Social Firms UK giving a heads-up on her perspective as CEO of an organisation championing firms providing opportunities  to find sustainable employment  in the open labour market for severely disadvantaged people. My involvement with setting up our own humanitarian education and development organisation The ReSource Foundation as a social enterprise, and my recent partnership with a major network of Social Entrepreneurs makes this a highly relevant and topical event – I’ll be reporting with more information soon!

Here’s a brief video giving more information about Social Firms:

Happy Chinese New Year

Tiger photographed on safari at Ranthambore, India, October 2008

Tiger photographed on safari at Ranthambore, India

We at ReSource were thrilled to be able to visit India, and one of the highlights was our tour of Rajasthan: an amazing place of contrasts (like the whole of India!) where we were privileged to be able to go on a tiger safari. The entire three weeks we spent in India was a source of inspiration and joy – the sub continent has an uncanny ability to draw you out and encourage your personal growth!

About Ranthambore National Park

Once we knew we were going to India in Autumn 2008, we started to look for the most enriching experiences there – and something that really stood out as a must-do, must-see was to go on a tiger safari.


These big cats seen in their natural environment held great fascination, and we found ourselves heading for Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, a protected area, one of the few places in India where tigers are still regularly seen, even in the daytime, and are breeding.

Formerly a hunting preserve for the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore covers an area of 392 sq. km. and is nestled between the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges. This deciduous forest was once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. The rugged terrain, hills and open valleys with lakes and pools makes it a really romantic and picturesque place to be.


It seems we arrived at just the right time, and that we even had good ‘karma’, according to the locals, as we were able to see several tigers in the course of our three day safari. The excitement of being so close to these amazing creatures was almost indescribable, a real privilege – in fact, quite an emotional experience for all concerned, and something I would recommend wholeheartedly if you have the chance to visit.

www.ranthamborenationalpark.com

Why paying people more doesn't always get best results


What DRIVES You?

Dan Pink reveals it’s not what you might think

I met up last night with New York Times best selling author Dan Pink, whose latest book, Drive

Dan Pink 'Drive'

launched this week in London, published by Canongate.

Dan is always a real treat to watch and listen to, and his talk at the RSA (www.thersa.org) on January 27th was no exception. Author of Free Agent Nation and  Whole New Mind, and dedicated to exploring new business paradigms, Dan now turns his attention to what motivates us, and exposes 40 years of research from top academic institutions that reveals some surprising results.

In essence, the ‘carrot and stick’ approach only works in certain circumstances and contexts – money as a motivator doesn’t necessarily produce better results. In fact, it can make them worse….

The book explores how, for higher level rather than mechanical tasks, we humans need a different set of motivators, summed up as Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Various companies (e.g. Google) who have used such ways of encouraging their staff have found great upsurges in creativity, the best ideas often emerging from unstructured or free time – with projects like Googlemail as exemplars.

Highly recommended read – and  you can find Dan here to find out more about his ideas. More to come about our conversation soon…