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Author: Sam Kurien
•8:46 AM
The floks at NASA know how to rock out in Gangnam Style!



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Author: Sam Kurien
•9:12 AM
I like the term "Data Artisans"

George Mathew, president and COO of Alteryx, predicts one of the hottest jobs in the future will be the "data artisan," a hybrid role that mixes data analysis with business savvy. "Data artisans will be asked to pull from structured and unstructured sources to drive the most important decisions within an organization -- like where it should open its next retail location, whether to pursue a new market, and which products to push,"


There's a lot of talk about big Data! and data artisans will be the new breed of thinkers that are strategically going to make management revolution by utilizing the technology around them. Though these are fancy new terms and not new for manager's who have always used data driven approach, yet the software tools that are available have grown leaps and bounds. These tools allow Data Artisans for handling large volume's of data, along with speed at which this data is being collected in real time to make substantial decisive actions.

A recent article on Big Data in HBR summarizes that data driven decision are better decisions as it enables the manager to look at evidence rather than intuition. It comes easy for companies that were born digital like Amazon and Google who are masters on big data. To know buying behavior and having key insights on what a consumer thinks that affects the bottom line changes the very fate/profits and direction of your organization.

Some key points I want to record here:

1) Big Data does not replace insight
2) Big Data does not replace vision
3) Big Data cannot replace value but can definitely help in understanding, inferring how our people are doing on core value.
4) Big Data coupled with insight will give you an edge in speed of decision making.
5) Big Data coupled with insight will help you minimize cost by allowing you to refocus your strategies.
6) Big Data has several kinds of information descriptive that may be (financial, demographic, pschyographic and social data), it could be Behavioral (response rates, likes, dislikes, activity, purchase rates etc etc. and finally Attitudinal (loyalty, satisfaction,  behavioral affinities etc.)
7) Tools that can close the loop on feedback and refine complex information in each of the mentioned areas in point #6 in simplistic manner (specially visually) help communicate and further your Organization better.

Thoughts,

Sam Kurien
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Author: Sam Kurien
•12:07 PM
For a last few months I have been baffled with the idea of a integrative thinking before I realized that "hey there are entire theories written on it" (nothing new under the sun).  What is integrative thinking? Before I get into it, let me give you insights with what my observations have been so far in management thinking process. Growing up in the east with a western form of education, my primary management shaping & education was about moving from point A to C in a logical progression. If it was moving people from less desired state A to desired state C, you create chaos isolate the wrongs and move in linear fashion towards C. However in the eastern context where I lived the thinking was primarily circular in nature. Where the idea of getting to C may not be a exact linear process but may also have relational and time components that are not always strictly adhered to. Then there is the Jewish paradoxical way of thinking where except for the absolute truth all other ideas are held in the perfect tension of diametrically opposite ideas. They rest in the middle and the solution always lies not in either or but an entirely fresh mindset of ideas or solution that emerge out of that kind of paradoxical thinking. Now these observations are not new, but revelation-ary to me as I think about the paradoxical integrative thinking process.

Integrative thinking may not be a Jewish idea but certainly practiced by many of their scholars, philosophers and scientists for thousands of years. It is very much permeated in their culture, education and lifestyle.  A wikepedia entry or possible definition about integrative thinking states:


"Integrative Thinking is a field in Applied Mind Science which was originated by Graham Douglas in 1986. He describes Integrative Thinking as the process of integrating intuition, reason and imagination in a human mind with a view to developing a holistic continuum of strategy, tactics, action, review and evaluation for addressing a problem in any field. A problem may be defined as the difference between what one has and what one wants. Integrative Thinking as described may be learned by applying the SOARA (Satisfying, Optimum, Achievable Results Ahead) Process of Integrative Thinking devised by Graham Douglas to any problem with which the learner is dealing.The SOARA Process of Integrative Thinking employs a comprehensive and easily remembered set of triggers of internal and external knowledge. This facilitates the making of connections between what may have been regarded as unrelated parts of a problem."

Roger Smith's definition who is also credited for this theory writes: "...integrative thinking is the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but it is superior to each." 

It seems in linear method of thinking our impulse is to determine what is right, less risky and by a process of linear reasoning and rationale - eliminating the wrong. This often discredits us as we don't necessarily have time or the necessary comfort zone of dealing with opposing models. Successful leaders often don't use linear or circular thinking. This leads me to reflect of past observations in successful leaders like Jack Welch, Steve Jobs or Bob Young who seem to have made decisions not using linear or circular thinking but clearly paradoxical integrative thinking which brought them immense success in the marketplace. They have developed this unique ability to hold opposing tensions and come up with an entirely different approach that doesn't neatly fit in the either or category. It seems integrative thinkers keep in mind relevant factors don't necessarily focus on obvious ones. Integrative thinkers also love looking at multi-directional touch points and non-linear relationships between variables compared to linear thinkers who are naturally bound to think about the logical interaction of variables.

For me the most obvious ways integrative thinkers are different from linear or circular thinkers are they see the whole and see how scale-able the solution can be in balancing how an innovative solution can itself resolve opposing tensions.

In future posts I may delve into finding real world examples to process this through till then....

My thoughts,

Sam Kurien.


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Author: Sam Kurien
•8:04 AM
Pranav Mistry's talk at TED created a quite bit of stir in 2009 on sixth sense and lot of patents still on hold flowing out of that research. But yesterday in our discussion at lunch I got an insight this may be even going beyond and surpassing the idea of embedding anything in the human body. Why embed anything when you can manipulate data with devices and objects in the natural world. Being a kingdom person I am more inclined to go this way.. .anyway apart from the philosophical and theological argument on this enjoy this TED talk that I have embedded here...or catch other fascinating talks at www.ted.com


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Author: Sam Kurien
•4:48 PM
Feadship and CRN Yachts have some of my favorite naval architect designers. The guys at feadship have unveiled a new concepts having learnt some interesting lessons from mother nature. The SS Nautilus is almost becoming a reality :) at least in as a design concept!


Another very similar neat design is the "Phoenicia" designed by industrial designer Richard Partington. See image below:

Now it would be cool if this can sink deep ocean like a submersible. The hull design continues to get refined for this to become a possiblity on this scale of size and spaciousness inside.

drool and enjoy!

Sam Kurien.


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Author: Sam Kurien
•4:39 PM
I have been a fan of the Infinity Blade games for the iPad and their use of unreal game engine. This one at Apple's keynote for their new release in April definitely raised the bar in bringing lots of cinematography and film techniques to the game with insane resolutions. Enjoy the well done trailer video:

 
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Author: Sam Kurien
•8:09 PM
Love the industrial design concept of this car and its video presentation by Italian designer Tiago Miguel Inacio


MITHOS - ELECTROMAGNETIC VEHICLE from Tiago InĂ¡cio on Vimeo.
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Author: Sam Kurien
•6:21 PM
I have talked about Service Design in terms of Enterprise Architecture strategies but take a look of another video from Design Consultancy firm Continuum. I like the emphasis of connecting everything together so one message, and your set of core values is communicated through multiple touch points.

   

One of my senior leaders in the organization calls the same concept using the analogy of building ramps to connect to the highway which we nurture to build relationships with the customer, our end user or FAMILY!!

 Thoughts,

 Sam Kurien
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Author: Sam Kurien
•10:45 AM
I had posted an earlier version of this in the past about "Corning Glass" a company in Ohio that makes Gorilla glass. From time to time they come up with concept vision videos like this about what dreams can become in glass and gadgets interfaces. My friend DAS send me this over email...so enjoy "A Day made of Glass 2. Expanded Corning Vision" - Courtesy of Corning Glass.


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Author: Sam Kurien
•12:21 PM
Technology departments in non-tech companies have always prided themselves in traditionally staying one step behind on the curve caution of adopting new disruptive technologies or the hottest and the latest trends. This is part because of sound reasons like management questioning dollar spending and partly because of integration of legacy systems and thought patterns of looking at that change is not worth at this time.

This has resulted in practices where native apps are supported extensively, infrastructure perimeters are protected instead of sensitive data. And avoiding in looking into efficiency that pertain to cloud offerings and empowering employees that bring personal devices that conglomerate into the IT infrastructure. But the new IT playbook is about being more agile, more mobile, more lighter and less expensive. The new playbook dictates that if technology component does not follow this model will result in them being cost center's and support centers rather than strategic player in the mission of the organization. I love cloud services but the traditional caution model keeps me in check, though advocates challenge the benefits of SaaS and cloud enabled services I am a fan of a hybrid model. I haven't seen this heavily advocated but the idea is having high availability critical systems in the cloud (with security layers in place) and having redundancy within your data center and create a vice-versa fail over tier's. Agreed, its a little expensive but this firms up the infrastructure layer and strengthens the business application layers greatly. Costing however can be worked out if technology leverages the input of collective thinking between departments, areas of services (in my context ...ministry)and analyses what works and what does not in a evaluative matrix that circles back to the vision, mission and objectives of the enterprise. 

The hybrid model I propose incorporates the Cloud based services and the traditional in-house software and infrastructure layers. This model is not for the faint of heart as it increases measurement processes and accountability at all levels. Forces to evaluate to think out of the box with the resources we have and making cost count.

Eventually over a period of time the cost in this model comes down and benefits go up. My CEO recently talked about the fourth quadrant in his presentation today where the objective for the management is pushing the entire organization not just to high productivity but engaging individuals into core values of the organization which inherently moves a business, workplace or ministry to Greatness. And in turn gives the people involved thee impetus to be GREAT!!

 Thoughts,

 Sam Kurien
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Author: Sam Kurien
•11:36 AM

I like the flexibility of Agile development methods, the idea of great tool is to spend less time with it and produce great results that match with business objectives, mission and Strategy.

Thoughts,

Sam KurienPublish Post
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