Blog Archive

What is Innovation? - Fresh Consulting


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The Problem
From the Economist to Wikipedia to Websters to Barack Obama to Innovation Zen, around the globe, we seek tangible answers for an intangible question: What is Innovation? Definitions vary and people mean different things. After reviewing dozens of definitions from a diverse set of sources, I propose a consensus on a simple definition…as a basis for future conversations about Innovation. Note the red and green highlighting in the following definitions that help lead to the consensus.
The 30 + Innovation Definitions
  • "fresh thinking that creates value" Richard Lyons via Economist article cited below
  • "new products, business processes and organic changes that create wealth or social welfare" OECD think tank via Economist article cited below
The Economist. Something new under the sun: A Special report on innovation, Vaitheeswaran, Vijay. October 13th, 2007, pg. 4
  • "Technically, "innovation" is defined merely as "introducing something new;" there are no qualifiers of how ground-breaking or world-shattering that something needs to be—only that it needs to be better than what was there before. And that's where the trouble starts when an organization requests "innovation services" from a consulting firm. Exactly what are they really requesting? The fact is, innovation means different things to different people."
Business Week.
  • "Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship… the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth."
Peter Drucker at Quotations Page
  • Innovation is defined "aschange that creates a new dimension of performance"
  • "Innovation: a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation; the creation of something in the mind; the act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new"
Wordnet
  • "Innovation: First of all, here is my own definition of innovation: 'invention refers to new concepts or products that derive from individual's ideas or from scientific research. Innovation, on the other hand, is the commercialization of the invention itself"
  • "The term innovation may refer to both radical and incremental changes to products, processes or services. The often unspoken goal of innovation is to solve a problem. Innovation is an important topic in the study of economics, business, technology, sociology, and engineering. Since innovation is also considered a major driver of the economy, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to policy makers."
  • "Something new or different introduced"
  • "Innovation is converting ideas to numbers"
  • "Innovation is a process, involving multiple activities, performed by multiple actors from one or several organizations, during which new combinations of means and/or ends, which are new for a creating and/or adopting unit, are developed and/or produced and/or implemented and/or transferred to old and/or new
Joerg Gemuenden at Innovation.cc
  • "Innovation is then simply new technology, i.e. the systematic application of (new) knowledge to (new) resources to produce (new) goods or (new) services"
Maciej Soltynski at Innovation.cc
  • "Any creative idea, getting implemented or realized successfully, is Innovation."
Hexaware Blog
  • "The creation of new products and/or services"
  • "Innovation is imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are both original and of commercial value"
  • "Something newly introduced"
  • "PEOPLE using new knowledge and understanding to experiment with new possibilities in order to implement new concepts that create new value"
  • Innovation: "The practical translation of ideas into new or improved products, services, processes, systems or social interactions"
The University of Mebourne
  • "Innovation. Something new or improved, having marketable potential, including (1) development of new applications for existing technologies, (2) refinement of existing technologies, or (3) development of new applications for existing technologies."
  • "Innovation lowers the costs and/or increases the benefits of a task"
  • "Innovation means venturing away from familiar ground into uncharted territory"
SCS
  • "Innovation needs structure. We need to originally explore the regions of creativity so we can bring method to the madness of originality. We need to expand that special resource known as innovativeness so that we are not dealing with a finite resource but with a renewable one. We need to give everyone in an organization the chance to develop innovative competencies. We need to make the systematic application of innovation real. "
  • "Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way"
Michael Vance at Famous Quote
  • "To innovate is not to reform"
  • Innovation: "the introduction of something new"
Edmund Burke at Famous Quote
  • "Innovation is really about responding to change in a creative way; it's about generating new ideas, conducting R&D, improving processes or revamping products and services. At another level, it's also a mindset in your business; your employees are always focused on continuous improvement and constantly thinking outside of the box"
BDC
  • "The successful exploitation of new ideas"
  • "Innovation is a process of taking new ideas through to satisfied customers. It is the conversion of new knowledge into products and services"
Vadim Kotelnikov at 1000 advice
  • "Innovation: The process of creating a product or service solution that delivers significant new customer value. The process begins with the selection of the customer and market, includes the identification and prioritization of opportunities, and ends with the creation of an innovative product or service."
Ulwick, Anthony W., What customers want. New York: McGraw-Hill 2005, Glossary,180.
  • "Innovation is not the result of thinking differently. It is the result of thinking deliberately (in specific ways) about existing problems and unmet needs."
Razeghi, Andrew. The Riddle. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008,1, 24.
  • "Innovation is the embodiment, combination, and/or synthesis of knowledge in novel, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services."
Leonard, Dorothy, and Swap Walter. 1999. When Sparks Fly. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 7.
  • "Innovation is the creation of something that improves the way we live our lives"
Barack Obama quoted in Business Week's "In" sub section, p. 6, November 2007
The Consensus
For the most part, the aforementioned definitions hit on two strong chords of what Innovation really is. As a consensus summary definition, Innovation is

a) something fresh (new, original, or improved)

b) that creates value

Something new is not enough for the definition of innovation. There are plenty cases where something new has no new value ( a new color of a product or a new chemical produced that does nothing). Sometimes, the value creation results because the item is simply useful to us. We can create a lot of fresh or new things that are of no use and no value. It must create value to be innovation.
Also note that the "something" could be a process, product, or service and can start as small as your ideas and thoughts in your brain. In that case, it might just be innovative thinking.
On a parallel note, Sir Ken Robinson, author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, and a leading expert on innovation and human resources, suggested an almost exact definition for creativity when he said: "In fact, creativity, which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value, more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things." Although he used the definition for creativity, it's a strong synonym of innovation.
Here is a good example: One of my colleagues discovered a new process to make the sugar substitute, Xylitol, for 1/10 of the cost. Xylitol (found in Trident & Dentyne gum) has the unique capability to actually help fight cavities. Read more about the company here. As a result of this "innovation", Xylitol could become cheap enough (valuable savings) for us to use it more regularly, and thereby, improve our teeth while we consume the sweets that typically ruin our teeth. Note that the process was something new that created value.
Now that we understand what Innovation is, we can comfortably start writing and collaborating with readers on this blog. In the next post, we explore what 7 key principles and ideas to innovation.
Feedback
What other good definitions am I missing? Do you agree/disagree with my consensus on what "innovation" is? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on one of the most important words that will shape the future of our world and business.​
​Source: ​
freshconsulting

20 Leadership Experts Share Their Best Leadership Tip


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Good leaders all have one thing in common: They know how to seek advice. It's a bit like parenting. No one who raises a child for the first time understands the job perfectly. You have to keep learning and growing. These experts know the drill. They've written about their experiences in leadership, spoken in front of mass audiences, and honed their skills over many years. Here are their single best tips, exclusive just to this list.

1. Don't hide anything from employees

"Your team can tell if you're hiding something. It makes them uncertain or suspicious, both of which you don't want. Lay out the rules of the game as you see them with your team. Let the team know where they are; work on a plan to go forward. Keep individuals up to date on their status as it relates to the group. All this forces you to have and share your vision, which is what makes you a great leader in the first place."
Tony Scherba, President and Founder of Yeti

2. Show empathy in tangible ways

"You can't just be sympathetic and try to be liked every time someone comes to you with a problem or concern. But you need to be able to understand the problems, as well as that person's point of view. You can't just dismiss them out of hand. And if you're able to see things from their point of view and truly be empathetic, you'll be able to frame your response in a way that will prove you've heard them, and also answer their specific concerns. They might not always be happy, but it will lead to more acceptance if you have to tell them something they're not eager to hear."
John Turner, the CEO of UsersThink

3. Learn how to lead the younger generation

"Leaders of younger generations are from the most social generation in history. They are in constant contact with peers and family through iMessages and social media sites. But they are also highly isolated because so much of their relational contact is through technology. This has led to poor people skills, low emotional intelligence, and the inability to handle interpersonal challenges. Leaders should work to build relationships one-on-one. A helpful way to do so: Join industry or peer communities to take advantage of meeting and networking in person. Not only will this help their professional development but also help them learn to communicate on a level playing field with those of various generations and years of experience."
Tim Elmore, a speaker, author and president of Growing Leaders

4. Don't be afraid of the truth

"Be willing to look at the truth, no matter how uncomfortable. That includes truths about yourself, your product, your people. If your product stinks and your people aren't performing, pretending that just ain't so won't change anything. At the same time, don't beat yourself up. Just look at it, address it, and move on."
Katherine Hosie, Powerhouse Coaching Inc.

5. Think like Swiss cheese

"Be candid with yourself and acknowledge what you know and don't know. Select supportive team members who possess the skills necessary to take the business in the right direction. See yourself as a piece of Swiss cheese--know your holes and add others (slices) whose substance, when layered on your slice, eventually creates a solid, firm unified block of cheese. A single slice of cheese with its many holes can easily be pulled apart, but a solid block is very difficult to pull apart."
Richard J.Avdoian, the President and CEO of Midwest Business Institute, Inc.

6. Be human, not humanoid

"Humanoids show (and feel) no emotion at all. Ever. They are incapable of it. You may think there is no room for emotion in the workplace, but think again. There's already emotion there--too bad much of it is negative. Let some positive emotion flow between you and your people. Get to know them better ... and let them get to know you better. People will go to the wall for people they know, like, admire, and respect. But if they don't know the first thing about you (or vice versa), how can they feel as though they know you, or have a relationship or anything at all in common with you? Humans truly connect with each other on a personal level, not a business level. You don't have to be "best buds," but you must have at least a few human elements in common in order to effectively work together to accomplish common business goals. One way to be more human is to realize that simply saying, 'Hello, how are you?' each morning does not constitute a relationship. Get out and talk with different people occasionally; ask about their families, pets, hobbies ... and share yours. Remember their names (and the names of their significant others/children/pets); ask about a tough situation they've gone through. When they know you really care about them, they will care more about you, and this will bridge the divide and help eliminate the 'Us' and 'Them' mentality."
Sandy Geroux, the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) of WOWplace, International

7. Never forget your responsibility

"My best leadership tip is to think of leadership as a responsibility as much as an opportunity. Effective leaders understand that they are responsible for everyone that they are leading, and consider that responsibility as the main concern of their position. If you ever lose empathy for, and dedication to, the people you are leading, you are not being a leader."
Michael Talve, the Founder and Managing Director of The Expert Institute

8. Get comfortable in dynamic environments

"In today's dynamic and uncertain business environment, the most successful firms are able to act quickly and decisively in response to change. Strong self-efficacy, high achievement, autonomy, and the ability to take decisive actions in the face of uncertainty and dynamic environments are critical capabilities for an organization. Preparing individuals to evaluate a dynamic environment and act in the face of uncertainty is a particular strength of the military and it should be a priority for executive training programs. It all begins with having a clear vision and a specific mission that empowers people to act in alignment with the company objectives."
Damian McKinney, the CEO of McKinney Rogers and author of The Commando Way

9. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you

"Leaders find success when they create teams composed of people who are experts in their areas, and many times, smarter than the leader who's hiring them. Great leaders give them room to grow and innovate. These are the leaders who people want to work for. Unlike the micromanager leader whose insecurity leads them to create teams that include people 'just like them.' These teams may make the leader feel comfortable, versus challenged for the purposes of creating the best work."
Tatiana Lyons, the Principal and Owner of Your Creativity Leads

10. Take someone in training along with you on mundane tasks

"Several years ago I had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my license--a task that sometimes could mean three to four hours of waiting. There was a college student who was working for our church as an intern for a college credit. He wanted to learn the ins and outs of church leadership, so I asked him to come along to the DMV. Sure enough, it was a three-hour wait, but I spent that time answering all of the intern's questions about leadership. It was real quality time to invest in the young man. Now when I have a task that will involve a long wait time (such as going to the DMV or doctor's office or waiting for a plane flight or going on a long ride in the car, etc.), I take along a developing leader to invest in him or her."
Chris Elrod, the Senior Pastor at Impact! Church

11. Let employees in on your vision

"Be as transparent as you can with all of your team members. The more they know, the more you all are part of the same dream and vision and you'll all work harder to get where you need to go as a team. If you're keeping information from your team members, they'll lose trust and start to feel like they're not contributing to the bigger picture. That's when they look elsewhere."
John Hingley, co-founder of startup Dasheroo

12. Honor the past, built for the future

"When you're leading a new team or joining a new organization, honor the new team/organization's past, and then build them a bridge to the future. Too many leaders inherit a new team and want to tell everyone how much success they had in the past, and how good their old organization/team was. When leaders disrespect their new team, team members start asking each other the following questions: If your old organization or team was so good, why did you leave? If your old organization is so good, why don't you go back?"
Peter Barron Stark, a consultant, speaker, and author

13. Have a clear vision and communicate it to your team

"Know what your future looks like, feels like, and acts like. It has to be a compelling vision that gets your people excited and focused. Latch onto that picture as though it has already happened. Transport yourself into the future so you can see it with picture clarity. Share it with your team so they can see it and do what it takes to achieve it."
Brian Scudamore, the Founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and You Move Me

14. Make it a priority to develop your current leaders, nurture your future leaders, and hire great leaders

"Strong leadership is one of the key pillars of success at any organization. People aren't necessarily born with great leadership skills. As such, organizations can't just sit back and hope people will be great leaders. Leaders need to be shaped and molded. And by leaders, I don't just mean executives--I mean managers at every level of the organization. Too often frontline managers are overlooked when it comes to leadership development, when the reality is that 70 percent to 80 percent of the workforce reports to frontline managers. The results of a study we did with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals 79 percent of global executives believe lack of frontline leadership capability negatively impacts company performance. As such, it's critical to the success of any organization that these people be given the tools, resources, and development to succeed."
Dominique Jones, the Vice President of Human Resources for Halogen Software

15. Always lead with character

"Leaders with character are highly effective. They have no need to pull rank or resort to command and control to get results. Instead, they're effective because they're knowledgeable, admired, trusted, and respected. This helps them secure buy-in automatically, without requiring egregious rules or strong oversight designed to force compliance."
Frank Sonnenberg, author of the book Follow Your Conscience

16. Nurture a better self-awareness

"Leadership has got nothing to do with figuring it out and everything to do with feeling it out. It is an 'awareness,' and for so long in my businesses, I too was not aware. Leaders aren't born; they evolve. And to evolve you must first be self-aware. To develop leadership skills, allow yourself to be open, honest, and real. Be confident, not arrogant. Confident leaders lead through values, vision, and vulnerability. Arrogant leaders lead through fear, blame, and ego."
Troy Hazard, a TV host, business owner, former Global President of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, and author of the book Future-Proofing Your Business

17. Good leadership is about good alignment

"If you think about achieving your vision, it's like climbing a mountain. Executives and managers think they have to be all buttoned up and have the path up the mountain all mapped out, then they shout the directions back down to their organization. But really, leadership is about alignment, and that means we can achieve a lot more if we all go up that mountain together."
Sonya Shelton, founder and owner of Executive Leadership Consulting

18. It's not about you

"Repeat the words, 'It's not about me!' every day, multiple times a day. Don't make your leadership about being in charge, being right, getting promoted, or looking the best. Make leadership about the cause of the organization, serving the legitimate needs of those you're leading, and not taking yourself so darn seriously. You'll have people lining up to work for and with you and the results will follow."
Jeff Harmon, author of The Anatomy of the Principled Leader and founder of Brilliance Within Coaching and Consulting

19. Use the right posture for leadership

"Your posture and body language needs to be intentional and consistent. Always be aware of your posture when you are sitting, standing and walking. Roll shoulders up, back, and down. Straighten your spine; leaders don't slouch. Nor do they intimidate with off-putting body language such as crossed arms, puffed out chest and finger waving. Align your appearance, head-to-toe, with how you wish to be known. Aligning your appearance also means dressing the part head-to-toe. This includes wardrobe, haircut, eyeglasses and even shoes. Leaders look the part--not like they just rolled out of bed. A pressed dress shirt or wool sweater, well-fitting trousers, leather shoes and belt is a good uniform to adopt. A tie and/or sport jacket give extra bonus points for executive presence. Update your eyeglasses every other year and get a good haircut. Dress, head-to-toe, as the leader you want to be."
Marian Rothschild, a Certified Personal Image Consultant and best selling author.

20. Be a curious leader

"When we are curious with others, we learn, we collaboration, and we innovate. When leaders aren't curious, they tend to judge, tell, blame, and even shame without realizing it. This creates conflict, frustration, narrows perspectives and opportunities, and prohibits collaboration, innovation, and understanding. Based on our 10 years working with leaders, we know that they know they need a new language to be successful; however, they don't know how to access it. Curiosity allows you to access that language to meet the leadership needs of the 21st century."
Kirsten Siggins, the Co-founder of Institute of Curiosity and a Certified Executive Coach. Co-author of


Factors That Bring Us Closer to Success





Given below are some factors that bring us closer to success:

• High self-esteem.
• Consistency.
• Courage and determination.
• Integrity and honesty.
• Self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
• Believing in what you do, regardless of external factors.
• Responsibility.
• Dedication, determination and tranquility.
• Being positive in the face of adversities (negative circumstances).
• Being consistent with your values.
• Precision in decisions and choices.
• Focus.
• Performing all tasks with love and happiness.
• Giving the maximum of yourself in everything you do.
• Creativity.
• Thoughts and actions in tune with each other.
• Appreciation and blessings (good wishes) from others.
• Gratitude toward oneself and others.


Becoming a Better Judge of People 18 Ways to Improve Body Language 14 Strategies for better decision making 10 Tips to Improve Interpersonal Relation How Can I Develop Analytical Skills  10 Tips for Sleeping Better  15 Tips to Give Up to be Happy  How Can I Be Strong in Hard Moments? How Can I Build Trust To Empower

Story: ​ How God Answers our Prayers



Dr. Ahmed, a well-known cancer specialist, was once on his way to an important conference in another city where he was going to be granted an award in the field of medical research.

He was very excited to attend the conference

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and was desperate to reach as soon as possible. He had worked long and hard on his research and felt his efforts deserved the award he was about to obtain.

However, two hours after the plane took off, the plane made an emergency landing at the nearest airport due to some technical snag. Afraid, that he wouldn't make it in time for the conference, Dr. Ahmed immediately went to the reception and found that next flight to the destination was after ten hours. The receptionist suggested him to rent a car and drive himself down to the conference city which was only four hours away.

Having no other choice, he agreed to the idea despite his hatred for driving long distances.
Dr. Ahmed rented a car and started his journey. However, soon after he left, the weather suddenly changed and a heavy storm began. The pouring rain made it very difficult for him to see and he missed a turn he was supposed to take.

After two hours of driving, he was convinced he was lost. Driving in the heavy rain on a deserted road, feeling hungry and tired, he frantically began to look for any sign of civilization. After some time, he finally came across a small tattered house. Desperate, he got out of the car and knocked on the door. A beautiful lady opened the door. He explained the matter and asked her if he could use her telephone.

However, the lady told him that she doesn't have a phone or any electronic gadget but told the doctor that if could come inside till weather improves.
Hungry, wet and exhausted, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walked in.

The lady  gave him hot tea and something to eat. The lady told him that he can join her for prayers for which Dr. Ahmed smiled and said that he believe in hard work only and told her to continue with her prayers.

Sitting on the table and  sipping the tea, the doctor watched the woman in the dim light of candles as she prayed next to what appeared to be a small baby crib.

Every time she finished a prayer, she would start another one. Feeling that the woman might be in need of help, the doctor seized the opportunity to speak as soon as she finished her prayers. The doctor asked her what exactly she wants from the God and inquired if God will ever listen or listen to her prayers. He further asked about the small child in the crib for whom she was apparently making a lot of prayers.

The lady gave a sad smile and said that the child in the crib is his son who is suffering from a rare type of cancer and there is only one Doctor Ahmed who can cure him but she doesn't have money to afford his fee and moreover Dr Ahmed lives in another far off town. She said that God has not answered her prayer so far but said that God will create some way out one day and added that she will not allow her fears to overcome her faith.

Stunned and speechless Dr Ahmed was in tears which were rolling down his cheeks. He whispered, God is great and recollected sequence of events. ....there was malfunction in the plane, a thunderstorm hit, and he lost his way; and all of this happened because God did not just answer her prayer but also gave him a chance to come out of materialistic world and give some time to the poor helpless people who have nothing but rich prayers.

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​ We should always remember five important steps in our daily life:
1)Ask
2)Believe
3)Receive

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4)Faith
5)Giving
May God bless us all




Story: My Daughter Reminds Me a Great Lesson  
Story: The Gossip Girl 
Story: The Two Falcons  
Story: Presence of mind  
Story - Stress Management  
Story - The Cute Student Counts the Apples  
Story - Everyone is unique Story - The Perspective Understanding 
Story - The Millionaire and the 3 Person  
Story - The Lawyer and the Farmer :) Story – The Monkey business :) Story - The Balloon seller and the Kid Story - Mistake of Senior Executive Story - Giving your 100 %

​Top 10 New Year Resolutions




A New Year's resolution is a self commitment that a person makes to achieve personal goals, projects, or reforming of a bad habit. This commitment is the driving force to perform the corrective and preventive actions throughout the next year in order for achieving the committed result.
Below are the top ten New Year Resolution which you can consider to chose from for your personal goals in next year:


1-     Learning new things:  Gaining more and more knowledge increases the wisdom level by giving you insightful depth in the field of your interest. Whether you are a professional, a businessman, student or a house wife you must learn new things in order to enhance your mental horizons and improving your life standards. You can do this by getting trainings, earning a new degree or certificate, subscribing to online communities or reading books.

2-    Achieving Mental & Spiritual Heights: This one is my favorite as Mental peace and mental prosperity is the most critical aspect of life regardless of the financial situation. Even if you are rich, if you don't have mental peace, you are missing a great blessing so you must work on the techniques to attain a humble and stable mind. This can be achieved by attaining positive personality, by having better control on Anger, by being less Reactive, and by avoiding Stress


3-    Financial Targets: Most of us work on this target all year round. However we do not strategize enough to achieve it. Primarily we spend a lot of money on our wants instead of our needs. A careful analysis must be done before you spend on anything. Read this article for making good decision. Another aspect of achieving financial growth is to increase your sources of income for example running a new business, changing your current job, investing in land or gold etc. You may want to read this side article about what is actual wealth and how to achieve this.

4-    Health and Fitness: With the invention of new luxuries the life style is becoming more and more lazy consequently raising the bar for health related concerns. What adds fuel to the fire is our increased liking for fast foods and dining out in unhealthy restaurants. Junk food adds fats, results in high cholesterol and high Blood Pressure which increase the risk of heart disease leading us towards big disasters. Make a commitment to yourself to minimize eating fast foods and shift to vegetables and fruits. This cannot be done overnight so you have to change your current habits slowly and steadily.     

5-    New Career Move: I was listening to the interview of the CEO of Porsche selling company; the guy mentioned that autonomy is the most considerable reason people leave their job. Everyone wants more and more luxury, independence and growth in life. So you make this resolution to go high in your professional ladder this year. Carefully sense the market and make a smart move. Read this article, 15 ways to Find Job  

6-    Cutting the clutters: This is not something to achieve rather to leave in order to gain indirect goals. Stats show that people who live simple life have higher happiness index. Basically what happens is that over the course of time we keep purchasing things because of our instant buying habit mixed with our intention to show-off and then eventually we dump these things in the closets or home store. Being too much materialistic and having the lust of acquiring more and more things, even if we don't use them, takes us away from simple life which ultimately add extra layer to the complications in our lives . Now is the time to clear all those bulky things in the closet and store including old clothes, toys and other commodities to give in charity. Personally, I use 6 months formula" "If something has not been used for the last 6 months, there is a most likely chance that it will not be used in next 6 months so better to give this to poor people & family around me"  

7-    Spend more time with family: With more focus on materialistic things we have reduced our family time, sometimes our children are being referred to as new age orphans. With everyone busy on his smart phones, PDAs, laptops and Television we have almost killed the family union spirit which is adding complications in relationships resulting in serious consequences. Strong family bonding are an indicative of better happiness index. People who spend less time with families are comparatively less happier. Make a resolution this year to become a family guy. Spend time with them, spend money on family fun activities and you will feel a special mental peace eventually.

8-    Getting Organized: Staying organized has many advantages in terms of having more time for yourself and family; in terms of saving money; peace of mind, better health, balanced life and improved professional/Social life. This involves being organized in terms of time, in terms of office desk, official work, differentiating between urgent and important tasks and organize them, maintaining a personal diary, maintaining a list of things-to-do.  

9-    Helping Others: Not a lot of people focus on this but I would really appeal you to consider this. Charity Services are the tax we pay back to society for living on earth. Almost all of the religions emphasize to its followers to take care of people around them. Practically speaking, you can assign 3-5% of your earnings for charity projects within your country or foreign countries who are less fortunate; having low or no food and/or having lack of other basic human necessities like water, clothes, medicines etc. Article written by Junaid.Tahir

10-   Quit Smoking and drinking: Understood that bad habits die hard but remember the fact that bad habits make you die early too, especially when it comes to habits of smoking and drinking. Quit them ASAP before they overcome your health. You already know that how these two habits affect your lungs, kidneys and levers. Quit them before they make you quit the world.

A visionary person like you can definitely achieve the targets by being proactive and analytical, by having consistency and Hard work and the ability to focus on the commitments you make. Make Effective decisions for the new year and work hard to achieve concrete results.
Good luck and Happy New Year !!!

Don't Quit - A Poem to Encourage You


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by: Unknown Author

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Food For Thought - Generosity

Generosity

Generosity can be defined in many ways but respect, kindness, benefit and accessibility are its key characteristics. Generosity is like a fruit tree in season. All its fruit is available to anyone for the picking. When I am full, complete, when I have conquered selfish needs then I can be naturally generous. My being is open to others to share the best without any obligation.

​HEALTH: 13 Possible Reasons Your Memory is Affected badly


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You walk into the kitchen only to realize you have no idea why you're there, forget the name of someone you just met, start driving only to realize you forgot how to get to where it is that you're going. Such lapses are usually attributed to an overload of information, but from time to time, other things hinder your ability to remember. Here are the 13 most common causes of memory lapses.

1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Similarly to iron, B12 aids in the creation of red blood cells, reduces lethargy and the risk of anemia, and improves vital memory processes. A recent study found that Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in erratic memory.

The research found that B12 works as a protective layer for myelin – the substance that coats our nerves. When there isn't enough B12 in your system, the layer is not thick enough and gets damaged. This damage slows down nerve impulses, which can also lead to memory lapses.

B12 deficiency can be caused by old age – the older we get, our stomach secretes less acid, making it harder for our bodies to absorb nutrients from food. Another cause can be unhealthy diet choices, Anemia, and Crohn's disease. B12 is most common in fish, meat, and dairy, so consult your doctor about the best source of B12 for you.

2. High Blood Pressure

If you're under 45 and tend to be "forgetful", you may want to test your blood pressure. In a research conducted at the University of Alabama, it was found that people who have higher blood pressure tend to suffer from memetic lapses, as well as a decrease in cognitive skills, when compared to people with normal blood pressure.

High blood pressure damages the inner walls of the arteries, causing them to tear and form scar tissue, which hardens the arteries. Harder arteries allow less blood to travel through them, reducing the amount needed for the brain to function properly, and may lead to memory problems.

The good news is that a healthy diet, physical exercise and weight loss can help reduce the risk of such arterial hardening.

3. Hypothyroidism


If you're tired, gaining weight, feeling depressed and your memory is on the fritz, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism often occurs slowly and gradually, lowering the levels of the hormone thyroxine (T4), which has a critical role in our body's energy production. Low T4 causes a slower metabolism and slower cognitive functions, causing lapses in memory.

Common causes of hypothyroidism can be autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's, where the body attacks itself. Alternatively, viral infections and even abuse of antibiotics may also induce hypothyroidism.

4. Menopause

A common theory that makes the connection between forgetfulness and menopause with women was recently corroborated. Research conducted by the University of California confirms that as estrogen levels dwindle, memory lapses tend to occur. Estrogen protects neurotransmitters, and without it, they become less efficient. Such cases can be treated with HRT.

5. Migraines

If you suffer from migraines, you may be at risk of suffering from Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) in your 50's. TGA is a state where a person cannot recall events from the previous day, cannot remember where they are or how they got there while still remembering who they are and who other people are.
It is customary to see this type of amnesia as a result of a genetic flaw, leading to a spread of nerve impulses in the brain. TGA can temporarily paralyze the memory, and just like migraines, can be triggered by sudden immersion in hot or cold water, extreme emotional distress, or even sexual intercourse. Luckily, TGA is not very common, rarely occurs more than once in a lifetime and is reversible.

6. Long Flights
Long flights can leave us exhausted and weary. These symptoms are usually caused by inconsistent sleep patterns, as well as jet lag.

Research conducted at the University of California showed that the feeling of drowsiness, memory lapses and the difficulty in processing information can extend for quite some time after the flight, and even after the feelings of jet lag have passed. When we sleep, our hippocampus processes our memories, so not enough sleep can cause memory lapses.

7. Pregnancy

Pregnant women are often stigmatized as having bad memory, but in recent research conducted in Australia, researchers compared the performance of pregnant vs. non-pregnant women. The results were conclusive - pregnant women under-performed in memory-related tasks when compared to their non-pregnant counterparts. Researchers hypothesized that the reasons are the changes in lifestyle and diet.

8. Chemotherapy

Another unpleasant side effect of chemotherapy is memory loss, often referred to as chemo-brain by patients.
The chemotherapy can affect the way brain cells function, as shown in a Stanford University study that showed how women who undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer also suffered memory lapses when compared with those who did not engage in chemotherapy.

This is usually a reversible situation, and memory functions return to normal once chemo is concluded, but in some cases the improvement takes years. Taking aspirin, which increases the blood flow to the brain, can be a good way to prevent or treat "chemo brain", but you should first consult with your oncologist.

9. Anesthesia

When undergoing major operations, anesthesia is often the only way a patient can go through the procedure without suffering major trauma. The downside is possible memory loss and reduced cognitive functions in the days following the operation. The University of Florida found that about 40% of patients who were over 60, suffered from memory loss after an operation, and 12.7% suffered serious cognitive problems in the following 3 months.

10. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a type of "short circuit" in the brain, causing seizures, and affects over 50 million people worldwide. During an episode, electrical impulses in the brain get redirected, leading to problems such as temporary loss of motor skills, loss of cognitive function and, memory loss.

11. Arthritis and Asthma Medication

Corticosteroids are steroids the body produces, and can be taken as treatment of asthma and arthritis. Intake of high doses for a duration of six months or more may lead to memory problems.
Despite being a rare occurrence, corticosteroids can actually kill brain cells and cause cerebral atrophy in the hippocampus, in particular. Changing the dosage can help, but your physician should be consulted with regards to other possible side effects.

12. Depression

Depression is associated with low levels of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin or norepinephrine. These chemicals can affect memory-related processes in the brain. Antidepressants and/or psychological treatment can help with memory problems.

13.Alcohol Consumption

The more alcohol you consume, the less capable your brain is of storing short term memories. Alcohol affects the hippocampus, reducing its functions, including the formation of new memories, which is why we sometimes forget what we did after we drink.
Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to Korsakoff's syndrome, where the ability to form short-term memories is lost, making it difficult to recall recent information.

10 Excel Data Entry Tips for Extreme Productivity


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Excel is an amazing tool with fascinating capabilities to analyze data (be it using formulas, charts or dashboards). The ease with which data can be entered and stored in Excel makes it a compelling choice.
In this blog post, I have listed 10 useful Excel Data Entry tips that will make you more efficient and save a lot of time.
#1 Use Excel Data Entry Form
Excel Data Entry form enables you to add records in an existing data set. It gives a pop-up form that can be filled by the user. It is especially convenient when the data set has many columns and would require you to scroll right and left again and again as you key in data points.
Data Form feature is not already available in Excel ribbon. We first need to make it available by adding it to the Quick Access toolbar.
Adding Excel Data Entry Form to Quick Access Toolbar
  1. Go to Quick Access Toolbar, right-click and select Customize quick Access Toolbar
    Excel Data Entry - Add Data Form
  2. In the Excel Options Dialogue box, Select All Commands and Go to Form. Select Form and press Add. This will add the Data Forms Icon to the Quick Access Toolbar.
    Excel Data Entry - Add Data Form from All Commands
Using Excel Data Entry Form
  1. Select any cell in the data range and click on the Data Form icon from the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. In the Pop-up Data form, all the column titles are listed vertically. Fill the data to the adjacent text box for each heading.
  3. Once you have entered the data, press Enter
  4. Click on New to add new record
Using Excel Data Entry form, you can also navigate through the existing data (row by row), or find data by specifying the criteria (try this by clicking on the criteria button) 
#2 Quickly Enter Numbers with Fixed Decimal Numbers
If you are in a situation where you have to manually enter data in excel that also has a decimal part to it, this trick could be mighty useful. For example, suppose you have to enter marks for students in percentage with up to 2 decimal points. You can enable a feature where you just type the numbers without bothering about hitting the dot key every time. To enable this:
  1. Go To File –> Options
  2. In the Excel Options Dialogue box select Advanced
  3. In Advanced Options, check the option "Automatically Insert a decimal point"
  4. Specify the number of decimals you want (for example 2 in this case)
Now, whenever you enter any number, excel automatically places last 2 digits after the decimal. So 1 becomes .01, 10 becomes 0.1, 100 becomes 1, 2467 becomes 24.67 and so on..
Excel Data Entry - Add Decimal Automatically
Once you are done with data entry, simply switch it off by un-checking the same option.
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#3 Automatically Add Ordinal to Numbers
Yes, you can use a combination of excel functions (such as VALUE, RIGHT, IF, OR) to add ordinals ('st' in 1st, 'nd' in 2nd, and so on..).
Here is the formula:
=A1&IF(OR(VALUE(RIGHT(A1,2))={11,12,13}),"th",IF(OR(VALUE(RIGHT(A1))={1,2,3}),CHOOSE(RIGHT(A1),"st","nd","rd"),"th"))
#4 Fill Down Using Control + D
This is a nifty Excel Data Entry trick. If you have to copy the above cell, just press Control + D. It copies the content as well as the formatting. If there is a formula in the above cell, the formula is copied (with adjusted references).
This works for more than one cell as well. So if you want to copy the entire row above, select the current row and press Control + D.
If you select more than one cell/cells, than the cell above selection is copied in all the cells.
#5 Quickly Enter Date/Time in Excel Cells
Do not remember the current date? Don't worry, just press Control + ; (semi-colon Key) and it will enter the current date in the cell.
Similarly, you can enter current time by using the shortcut Control + Shift + : (colon key)
Remember, these are absolute values, and won't change if the date or time changes. If you want to have dynamic date and time value that changes whenever you opne the workbook or when there is a re-calculaiton, use TODAY and NOW functions.
#6 Control + Enter to Fill Entire Selection with Content in Active Cell
When you select multiple cells in Excel, one of the cells with light shade (as compared with the remaining selected cells) is the active cell. If you enter something in the active cell when the selection is made and press Control + Enter, the value is inserted in all the selected cells.
This holds true for formulas as well. If you enter formula in active cell and press Control + Enter, all the cells will get that formulas (with adjusted references).
#7 Alt + Down Arrow to Get a List of All Unique Values in that column
This one can save some time that you might otherwise waste in typing. Suppose you are entering data in a column with activity status (To be Done, Completed). Instead of typing the status again and again, you just need to type it in a couple of cells, and then you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Down arrow. It gives you the list all the unique entries, and you can quickly select from the list.
Excel Data Entry - Alt Down Arrow
If you want to select from pre-specified options, create a drop down list using data validation.
#8 Quickly Sift through Multiple Worksheet Tabs in a Workbook
This one saves tons of time. Simply use the keyboard shortcut Control + Page Up/Page Down to navigate through multiple worksheet tabs in a workbook.
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#9 Enter Long Text by Using Abbreviations
If you have to enter long names or keywords again and again in your worksheet, this trick would come in handy.
For example, you may want that whenever you type ABC, Excel should automatically replace it with ABC Technology Corporation Limited. Something as shown below:
Excel Complete Abbreviations - Excel Data Entry
This feature can be enabled using the autocorrect options. Read how to enable it.
#10 Enter Data in Non-Contiguous Ranges
Suppose you have a template as shown below, and you have to enter data in all the cells highlighted in red, in the order specified by the arrows.
Enter Data in Excel in Specific Order - Excel Data Entry
Here is a quick way to do this:
  • Select all the cells where you need to enter the data (press control and then select one by one).
    • Start with the second cell in your sequence of data entry (start with D3). Select the first cell B3 (where data entry begins) at last.
  • Once selected, go to Name Box (which is on the left of the formula bar).
  • Type any name without spaces.
  • That's It!! Select the Named Range by clicking the Name Box drop down. Now start entering your data and use Enter/Tab to jump to the next cell.
Read more about this trick.
These are my top ten excel data entry tips that can significantly improve your productivity and save time.
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