Beautiful Aura

A beautiful aura is indeed a blessing to have and live with. A person with a beautiful aura really attracts me as a human being. Here, I am simply referring to Aura as the energy field around a human being. I am not in detail defining it here or anything else but just talking about the positive vibes and the energy field that a human being carries around himself or herself.

Being well-groomed in just one aspect of the whole process of having a beautiful aura. It’s a very small aspect in fact. I feel the real elements that lend beauty to a personality are the inner thoughts and qualities of a person as a human being. Notice these two words very carefully – human and being. Being is simply existing but becoming human comes with the inculcation of good and human qualities such as kindness, love, warmth, care, joy and positivity.

A beautiful aura is not a very simple thing to create and have. It depends on a large number of factors with which a person is actually able to maintain a beautiful aura. It is not only in our own hands but depends greatly on our environment and the kind of people we have around us (this is in our own hands) to be able to help us maintain a positive, happy, bright, beautiful aura. I am going to write more on this…wait for more writings on this very insightful subject – close to my heart.

Wishing more and more beautiful auras for the entire world

 

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The Calligraphy of your Business

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THE CALLIGRAPHY of your business determines who you are and what you want to convey about your business to different consumers. The personality of the business comes alive with the font that you choose. For me personally, this has been an interesting area which I am keen to explore in more depth.

If one looks at how the art of calligraphy works in the real life as well, one will realize how one’s handwriting says so much about the personality of the person. This moves on so well to how it works for us in our businesses as well. It is the people behind the branding and the logo design of the business who create a personality for the business with the logo, designs and the colors that are chosen.

Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is clearly an art form in which shapes and forms are given to symbols and letters in a visually expressive, harmonious and skilful manner. It helps one to give a personal touch to the business. Deciding a font can be daunting because the perception that the customers develop will depend on the quality and style of the font and this has to be a carefully designed choice.

Knowing the mood of the business is important. Every designer can have a distinct style of choosing a font which can then determine what suits the personality of the business. There are a few typefaces and font styles that people are very comfortable to use each time. The font styles are like a pair of jeans that one likes to wear every single day with the ease and comfort of knowing about its familiarity.

Grouping the fonts together is crucial to know the type of style that you want to adopt for the business. For example, every font has an aura and creates a particular kind of surrounding which helps in creating a mood for the business. The geometric forms of calligraphy are clear, objective, modern, visual and may appear like a beautifully designed airport. We have to decide as the decision makers of the personality of the business whether we would like to live at the well-designed and organised airport or we would like to create a flowery garden image for the business.

The Nut Island Effect

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GOOD teams are an essential formation for any kind of business. The Nut Island Effect as a phrase caught my attention and I wanted to know more about it. This is my cognition of this concept – a great part of learning on the Design Thinking business module was to work in a team and this effect relates to the situation when good teams go wrong sometimes and are not able to perform to the expectation levels that have been set for them by the managing authorities.

Here goes the effect: there was a team. This team was every manager’s dream team. Every member in the team was very hard working, very dedicated, most of them were always willing to work unpaid overtime, needed virtually no supervision, managed their own way around operational difficulties and budgetary difficulties and had a deep sense of commitment to the organisation’s goals and missions.

But then a problem started appearing – their hard work was leading to the mission’s catastrophic failure.

This is what happened: the catastrophic failure was then traced by 80 men or women who operated the Nut Island sewage treatment plant in Quincy, Massachusetts, from the late 1960s. It was later decommissioned in 1997. During the period from 1960s to 1997, these workers’ mission was to protect the Boston Harbor from pollution. Even after this being their sole mission at that time and despite being an excellent team, something massively wrong was going on. Around 3.7 billion gallons of raw sewage waste was released into the harbour. The harbour’s already dreadful water quality was worsened by the routine procedures performed by the team to keep the harbour clean. This involved dumping massive amount of chlorine into the otherwise untreated sewage.

How did everything go so wrong? The Nut Island effect explains it all. It is a warning for managers who end up paying attention to the most visible shortcoming elements of the organization and sometimes the most debilitating problems are the ones which they end up ignoring.

The effect begins with a deeply committed team that is working in isolation and this can be in the form of physical or psychological isolation. The senior members of the team are separated from the members by various layers of management. It begins and starts working in stages. In the first stage, senior management, pre-occupied with the most visible problems, assigns the team most of the behind-the-scenes task. This is an important feature as the team carries out the tasks far from the eyes of the public or the customer. The team members are hence allowed a great deal of autonomy and hence become experts in organising and managing themselves. They also, in this process, develop a proud identity.

In the second stage, the management becomes very comfortable with the efficiency of the team and hence takes that for granted. The team members are ignored when they ask for help. This creates anger and resentment in the team members and leads to an increase in the degree of isolation in them.

In the third stage, an us-against-the-world mentality settles in the minds of the team members. They even more make it a point to stay out of the management’s line of sight and this leads them to avoid asking for help and also overlook the impending problems they can sense and see ahead.

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity but Cash is Reality

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CERTAIN lessons are crucial for one’s work and life. It is important to stick to lessons so that similar mistakes are not repeated over and over again. The importance of cash flow can just not be underestimated for the running of a business. It is one of the most important factors to take care of. Personally, while we were running our business ‘Enamel London’ as part of the module, this is one of the biggest lessons that I have learnt.

Businesses do not always have to make profits to continue to run. They can to survive even if they are making a loss as long as they are able to meet the immediate payment needs. The sales of goods and services enables cash to flow into the business and different payments for raw materials, transport, labour and power lead to outflows in cash.  

A positive cash flow is essential for the overall health of the business which indicates that it is receiving more cash than what the business is spending. A negative cash flow is definitely not good for the health of the business as this means that the business is receiving less cash than what it is spending. There would a genuine struggle to pay the different kinds of bills. For example, a car repair garage buys parts and tyres whereas on the other hand a hairdresser businessman would buy things like dryers, shampoos and would pay for the electricity. If the suppliers which are small is size are not paid on time, this can greatly affect the credibility of the business and also make the small suppliers go out of business. This phenomenon can create problems in the economy and can in turn affect many businesses which can then further affect other businesses up the ladder.

 

 

 

 

The Ideas Man

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SHED Simove, also known as the ideas man was one of the guest speakers at the Bright Ideas event at the university. It was inspirational to listen to his thoughts. He was quirky and intelligent. The most important message that he gave out was to ‘think differently’.

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

–       Walt Disney

In summary, he suggested that we get used to twisting and updating something that already exists. For example, Shed Simove came up with an innovative tool to be used in meetings in the shape of a gun, which when pressed, came out with a flag with customized messages on it such as ‘you are fired’ or ‘time for a break’.

Finding connections – this is another important thing to think about doing things right and getting them done. Coming up with a business idea requires individuals to not only find connections but to find connections which are meaningful and needed to support the mechanism of a new business idea to be put in place. A student studying in a biology class can come up with a great innovative idea from a biology lesson and connect it with his work done with his father, probably in a wood warehouse on a sunday.

Breaking rules – it is difficult to come up with different innovations without breaking rules. Like they say, if you continue to do what you have always been doing, you will continue to get the results that you have always been getting. It is vital to be able to dare to do things which are away from the conventions and the normal rules.

Taking ideas from other industries is a great way to kick-start the mind with new techniques for innovation. Ideas from other industries can be turned into great business ideas.

He was a great inspiration in the way he appeared to carry out the implementation of his ideas with so much of confidence and courage. He specially advised everyone to stay away from ‘negnets’ or people who were negative and not receptive and open to accepting new and different ideas. Such people, he said could be potentially killing some great business ideas.

 

Confusion in Customer’s mind

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Today , although the customer is very well  informed , smart and even technically savvy owing to the widespread realm of Information domain and the extensive exposure to a variety of products and their aggressive marketing campaigns in the routine walk of his daily life which are enablers for him to make smart choices; for the very same reasons he is also in a state of conscious confusion leading him to make imperfect purchasing decisions or show constant doubt post purchases.

Confusion occurs due to any or more of the following issues:-

(a)   Overwhelming choices or Choice overload of the same item or product available in the market with each having its  own smart aggressive marketing which makes it sound better and more glorified than the other brand without showcasing beneficial comparative information to enable the customer to make a better decision.

(b)    Products being intensively similar in important features showcased by their brand and consequently so does their performance. This puts the customer in a decision deadlock and delays his decision further. 

(c)    Inadequate or Lack of  information  shown or shared with the customer especially at a time or space when he requires to understand the product even better so as to make a confident purchase decision. This would generally happen when either the desired information is really not available with the marketer or has not been included by the marketer in his marketing campaigns for specific reasons or the information is not available on or through the media the customer is seeking from.

(d)   Pre-meditated Notions about a product based on previous belief / conviction which are inconsistent with what is presented to the customer by the marketer adds to ambiguity and confusion in his mind.

(e)   Information Overload or Overdose in the market with all kinds of jargon further intensifies the confusion juggernaut running in the customer’s mind as he is not able to sift the desired information leading him to zero on the correct product of the correct brand.

Customer confusion can have very negative implications for the marketers and the customer himself as this state of mind leaves a lot of doubt in his mind leading him to delay his purchase or even cancel it altogether. This can collectively lead to reduced sales, dis-satisfied purchases, loss of loyalty and faith in the product or brand having a bigger impact on future sales. The customer on his side loses a good purchased which was required at that point in time commensurate to his purchasing capabilities inducing a feeling of discontent.

Recognising Customer’s Needs

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Every product developed for the market has an underlying need in customers that trigger the desire in a manufacturer or an entrepreneur to look at a particular product or service. And then it is developed into a creative solution. A customer’s needs can be at various levels – emotional, physical and cognitive. An in-depth study and understanding of processes of experiences and feelings a customer is looking forward to while consuming the product is imperative. The clarity and precision with which entrepreneurs reach that conclusion is the most crucial element. No business can ever be successful without fulfilling the core needs of customers.

Every customer has emotional, physical and cognitive needs which he/she is looking to fulfil with the product in hand. A customer needs to feel in a particular manner while using the product or the service. Feeling in the right manner is of utmost importance as far as the priority of needs is concerned. If the feeling while using a product is good, then no matter what, higher chances are that a customer would be willing to shell out a good amount of money for the product and vice versa. At the same time, equally important is to make sure that the product and service is physically convenient to use and manage so that there is comfort in using the product at all levels. The cognitive needs of a customer can’t be ignored as well. Cognitive needs are extremely important because the customer’s mind has to register a particular kind of an experience at all levels of usage.

Included in the business decision process can also be the consideration of the core needs of a human being http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs. Different products fulfil different needs at different levels. An entrepreneur has to be crystal clear about the product and the tribe which is being targeted.

What Tension Does to Enhance Creativity?

Blog 1LIFE is colourful for all of us with different kinds of experiences and moments at every stage of our lives. Here, in this blog, I am writing about a concept that was discussed in Mapping the Creative Economy module.

Concept: A place has to have some tension, some challenge and some spirit for creativity to begin and arise. Certain places become creative places and certain places have to be made creative with your own initiative. There are certain clusters where creativity is enhanced and it is vital to get out of your silos to interact with the world at large. It is because of this reason that in certain places and environments, one feels more productive and creative.

Creative tension – when explored studied as a business concept can be particularly useful for us in terms of what we go onto create and make of our work, our lives and businesses. I think, it so very right that it is when things are not going the way you want that you are pushed to look for alternatives and then you do. They sometimes work very well, sometimes they don’t. But most of the times, they will lead you to important places which will further lead you to even more important places. So there are reasons to be happy.

Lot of the times, it is in situations of creative tension, on how you want to do something and how the other person wants to do something that people find their biggest success stories and pathways. There are ways in which businesses can capitalize on creative tension.

– Learning to look at another person’s point of view and being tolerant is a very important part in achieving success and joy.

– Respecting and having the faith, that the person sitting next to you is going to definitely contribute in your life in some way or the other is a very important thing. A person in whom you dislike something also makes you aware of another part of you.

– Finding the differences within a particular team and making a note of them and then, working with each of those differences in a linear fashion can be particularly useful too. For example, you have a team member who is very meticulous and tells you how you have to go about a particular situation and there is another person, who in detail likes to analyze why should you go in the direction that you think you should – this can definitely create some tension in your working but then if these two elements are working together in the right balance – you are actually ending up in capitalizing on the differences that exist within the team.

– Being patient is sometimes difficult but it definitely helps

I did not intend it to be a blog on psychology but I wanted to express my thoughts on how the concept of “creative tension” interested me. Since, we are in a huge way required to work in groups and teams, I in every way feel that becoming aware of the “capitalization of creative tension” strategy will help me immensely produce better results as a team player and leader.

This concept also can find its applications and usefulness in our personal life where we learn to take all sorts of people in our stride and go onto create situations and moments which are creative in their existence. And then we get  that energy and renewal in our work.