Robots, Evolution and Emotions

Can a robot evolve? Or is it chained to the insides of a program? Names like Incher, Jitter and Wings, hit that the robots may not be simply ordinary robots.  The Cornell Creative Machines Lab has designed a program within which simulated robots "build" themselves out of cubes of virtual muscles and bones. They provided …

The Thinkibility Notebook

Many people, like artists, athletes, general practitioners, teachers and musicians take notes about their performance in order to improve their skills. By reflecting about their experiences they gain awareness about what is working well and what not. They become reflexive practitioners: paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions. This leads …

Conceptual Thinking

Many people are not very proficient in Conceptual Thinking. Perhaps because it is nowhere taught. Conceptual Thinking is thinking with the aid of concepts.   Some people  describe it as the ability to effortlessly walk up and down the ladder of abstraction. A concept is 1. A general idea derived or inferred from specific instances or occurrences. …

Patterns in Organizations

I know research laboratories that are organized like assembly lines. They employ a huge number of staff involved in planning, financial control and reporting. They rely of the principles behind scientific management (Taylor-ism). They use standard software to control resources, designed for industrial companies like SAP. I know also organizations that help the poor, which …

Innovate the Innovation

Companies and governments must be innovative. But how? Many organizations wait for some curious creative ideas to suddenly appear out of nowhere. The suggestions that are put forward  are often not so useful after all. Other organizations go a little further. They organize an “innovation day”, set up a committee on innovation, they try to …

Hands were Made for Walking – Everybody should be Taught That!

Imagine that doctors claim that hands were made for walking, and that everybody should be taught that for a better quality of life. You may object and suggest that we have evolved to walk upright on our feet. But determining how evolution influences us today is not easy. Tracing evolution backwards is a process filled …

Robustness in Networks

Our thinking habits are often based on simple cause-effect relations as can be seen in Newton's mechanics, engineering and economics. However, with the coming of quantum-mechanics, interconnected computers and global interrelated economies  maybe our standard cause – effect need to be replaced by systems thinking. Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things, regarded as …

Language is not Innocent – How Thinking Patterns are Created

Language is not innocent, it determines how reality is interpreted. Words create logic bubbles that are difficult to escape from. The way we use words  may  prevent us from finding  solutions, restrict new ideas, and lead to wrong public policies. In this blog post we will try in a simple way to explain how thinking …

Multi-focal thinking

Multi-focal lenses help you to see at different distances and depths. Like the eyes that have to accommodate in order to see at different distances and depths, thinking has to be focused to foreground and background phenomena   A very useful to multi-focal diagnose problems in a complex organization is the System Thinking Iceberg. The …

Thinking Loops

What was I thinking? Becoming conscious of the consequences of one’s actions is an important part of the thinking process. Frederic the Great said: "What good is experience if you do not reflect?" We should strive towards being prepared to take a step back and view our thinking from a distance. In a similar way, …