why creativity thrives in the dark

work smarter

“Imaginative minds have long appreciated the power of dim lighting. New research confirms that when the lights switch off, something in the brain switches on. Psychologists Anna Steidel and Lioba Werth recently conducted a series of clever experiments designed to measure how creativity responded to various lighting schemes.

“Apparently, darkness triggers a chain of interrelated processes, including a cognitive processing style, which is beneficial to creativity”, the researchers concluded in the September issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

A well-designed workspace must adapt to what you’re working on. Steidel suggests a flexible lighting situation for all the tasks one might perform during the day: dim areas for creative brainstorming sessions and bright ones for administrative chores. After all, great ideas might arrive in the darkness, but a lot of other work is needed to help them see the light of day.”

Eric Jaffe writes about cities, history, and behavioral science


El gran cambio


El que estem vivint no és una crisi financera i econòmica passatger, sinó la conseqüència d’un gran tsunami geopolític i social que el món està experimentant: un gran canvi. El gran canvi. Aquest gran canvi suposa una basculació de poder i riquesa des d’Occident cap a altres llocs del món, als països emergents. És el final d’una llarga etapa d’expansió que va començar amb la revolució industrial i que es troba en fase d’extinció. La crisi econòmica no és res més que la claudicació de dos segles de lideratge occidental. Penso que moltes persones encara no s’han adonat d’aquest fet: assistim al final d’una era.

El gran cambio, de Fernando Trias de Bes
Temas de Hoy, 2013
348 pàgines

com sobreviure a la crisi?

random thoughts

“Els experts coincideixen a assenyalar 2 factors determinants que coincideixen en moltes de les empreses que han sortit ben parades de la crisi: la capacitat exportadora i l’existència d’un propietari estable i amb nom i cognoms.
Però exportar no és la solució màgica, perquè requereix de molt esforç i diners; el perfil de les empreses que han tingut èxit són companyies mitjanes i grans que ja havien crescut exportant. També l’existència d’un propietari estable i amb poder de decisió és un element clau per al desenvolupament de les empreses a l’exterior, ja que crea un clima de confiança entre els directius i els predisposa a realitzar esforços en aquest sentit.”

Aintzane Gastesi al suplement Diners de La Vanguardia (27 octubre 2013)

¿qué es la RSC?

concepts & definitions

“La responsabilidad social corporativa (RSC), también llamada responsabilidad social empresarial (RSE), se define como la contribución activa y voluntaria al mejoramiento social, económico y ambiental por parte de las empresas, generalmente con el objetivo de mejorar su situación competitiva, valorativa y su valor añadido.
La RSC va más allá de las leyes y las normas, dando por supuesto su respeto y su estricto cumplimiento. En este sentido, la legislación laboral y las normativa relacionadas con el medio ambiente son el punto de partida con la responsabilidad ambiental.”

the best time of day to drink coffee

work smarter

“If we are drinking caffeine at a time when your cortisol concentration in the blood is at its peak, you probably should not be drinking it. This is because cortisol production is strongly related to your level of alertness and it just so happens that cortisol peaks for your 24-hour rhythm between 8 am and 9 am on average (Debono et al., 2009). Therefore, you are drinking caffeine at a time when you are already approaching your maximal level of alertness naturally.
Although your cortisol levels peak between 8 am and 9 am, there are a few other times where–on average–blood levels peak again, like between noon and 1 pm, and between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm. In the morning then, your coffee will probably be the most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike.”

Steven Miller Ph.D

high tech’s secret weapon: the whiteboard

work smarter

“The whiteboard has three chief virtues: it’s fast, it’s easy to use and it’s big.

And unlike a computer or smartphone, the whiteboard is always on, always fully charged, and it doesn’t require that people download, install, and launch software to begin using it. Whiteboards also allow for presenting a wide-range of information-writing, sketches, graphs—while requiring no learning curve.

If you can handle a pen, you can use a whiteboard.”

Farhad Manjoo journalist and author

the best ‘positioning’ statement ever

random thoughts

“For 15 years, Summit Coffee has been a fixture in Davidson, NC, a college town. With just two locations, it is no Starbucks, but there is still much you can learn from the three entrepreneurs who own it.

But what I really want to share with you is a blog post Brian Helfrich wrote last year; he, Tom and Tim Helfrich own Summit Coffee. Although Brian may not have intended it this way, his words represent one of the best “positioning” statements I’ve ever read.”

We are a coffee shop. We are a bar. A music venue. A meeting place. A day care. An office. A classroom. A bathroom. A water break.
We are Davidson. We are Main St. We’re old and rustic. Modern and creative.
We’re nights on a patio. Runs before sunrise. Wine in the front corner. Conversations at the counter.
We are good morning, good afternoon and good night.
We are The Freckled Dog Pub. The Twilight Racing Series. The Box Turtle Mocha. The Glacier Gulp.
We are the bells on the front door. A back door that sometimes doesn’t exist. An ice machine on a part-time shift. We are a not-so-straight staircase. We are a chalkboard menu. T-shirts on clothespins. Cookies in tin buckets.
We are Tim and Beth. Becky and Dave. Brit and Jon and Brian. Alex and Jesse. Chris and Jim and Michael.
We are a neighbor. An escape. A welcoming. A friend. A thank God it’s Friday at 5:00. A large coffee no room for cream. Right?
We are home.
We are Summit. We are lucky.

Bruce Kasanoff opportunity shaper for startups boty young & old

the 6 most important business lessons from all of history

work smarter

“A few years ago, I decided to explore the outer limits of information overload; I decided to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover. It was a strange and fascinating 18-month experience. Yes, painful at times, especially for those around me. Yes, I’ve forgotten most of what I read. But still, I loved my 33,000-page experiment in extreme learning.

Here I present some of my favorite business lessons from all of history:

1) Engage in strategic chutzpah
2) Take ideas from far outside your field
3) Keep presentations short
4) Embrace rejection
5) Being first Is overrated
6) Adapt or die”

A. J. Jacobs author, lecturer and editor at Esquire magazine

why you should talk less and do more

work smarter

“A prototype is worth a thousand words.

Start Small
Make your first prototype quickly out of whatever materials are at hand. Whether it’s a sketch, cardboard model, video, or improv of a service scenario, making your idea less abstract will help you improve it.

Fail Fast
You’ve probably heard this before. When you’re trying new things, failure is inevitable. Accepting that failure is part of the process is key. As IDEO founder David Kelley famously said, “fail faster to succeed sooner.” It also helps to tell people that what you’re doing is an experiment. That way, it doesn’t seem so precious that they can’t give you honest feedback.

Ask for Help
Don’t assume you have to do everything yourself. Just explaining your idea to potential collaborators will help clarify it and asking for assistance invites others to build on your idea.”

Tim Brown CEO at IDEO

3 things that empower your team

work smarter

“It’s not about motivational posters, productivity seminars or catchy slogans. It’s more about a culture that encourages open communication, provides plenty of context and requires accountability.”

Dan Sanker president & CEO at CaseStack inc.

stand up every 20 minutes

work smarter

“Sitting is slowly killing us.
I recently discovered that standing up every 20 minutes exponentially increases my productivity.
Studies have shown that standing up every so often:
_Decreases your chance of diabetes
_Decreases your chance of heart disease
_Increases blood flow”

Tony Diepenbrock IV entrepreneur

Apple’s true secret sauce: familiarity

random thoughts

“At every event, Apple uses the same badges, same retail-store like demo set-up and similar background music. It gives away the same iTunes gift cards, and I am pretty sure the voice that tells the audience to silence their cellphones is the same every time, too. The videos, slides and personalities on stage reappear in a familiar cadence. Pop in different products and you couldn’t tell what year it was.
But the familiarity stems more from the people. Apple CEO Tim Cook and his lieutenants Jony Ive, Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller parade in before the event starts, gabbing with friends and entrepreneurs who have been invited backstage. Longtime Apple board member and Silicon Valley fix-it man Bill Campbell gives everyone he recognizes a hug.
Surprise is great. But rituals aren’t bad either.”

Jessica E. Lessin launching new premium tech news pub, former WSJ reporter

relaxed attention

work smarter

“Our brains can make cognitive leaps when we are not completely obsessed with a challenge, which is why good ideas sometimes come to us while we are in the shower or taking a walk. So if you find yourself stuck on a problem, take 20 minutes or so off the grid; let your mind disengage temporarily. Try taking a walk, away from traffic or intrusions. Poets, writers, scientists, and thinking people of all sorts throughout history have found inspiration while walking.”

Excerpts from the book Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley (author of The Art of Innovation) and IDEO founder David Kelley

un ensayo sobre el dictado de la economía, premio Fuster

random thoughts

“La economía ha dado un golpe de estado, ella es la que manda ahora”.
Esta es la idea base sobre la que el profesor Josep Burgaya (Vic, 1960) construyó el ensayo que se alzó con el prestigioso premio Joan Fuster, dotado con 6.000 euros, en la 42 edición de los Premis Octubre. Con el título Economia de l’absurd; quan comprar més barat contribueix a quedar-se sense feina, el texto quiere subrayar la paradoja de que una sociedad capaz de generar más riqueza es, sin embargo, cada vez más pobre, según su autor. “La globalización no es mala, podríamos haber globalizado los derechos sociales, pero hemos globalizado la pobreza”.
El jurado valoró que se trataba de un ensayo “valiente y muy bien documentado”. Josep Burgaya, doctor en Historia Contemporánea en la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona y ex segundo teniente de alcalde de Vic por el PSC, reconoció el largo trabajo realizado para poder escribir esta obra. Su ensayo, dijo, tenía un fuerte toque pesimista, pero como señala su título, “no nos damos cuenta de que este sistema que nos vende productos tan baratos es un sistema que nos conduce a una sociedad de salarios de mierda; vamos a ser mucho más pobre”. Destacó, al respecto, cómo las grandes empresas “se están deslocalizadno, y también los servicios”. “Decidimos que los países pobres fabricaran, confiado en que nosotros nos quedaríamos con la invención y la calidad de los servicios, pero lo estamos perdiendo todo”.
Josep Burgaya valora que lo más grave de todo es que la política ha perdido la batalla. Que las empresas y los grupos financieros están asumiendo la gestión de nuestras sociedades. “Y aquí de lo que se trata al fin es de sí queremos una sociedad que integre o una sociedad que excluya; y soy pesimista, creo que vamos hacia una sociedad cada vez más injusta”. A su juicio, la revolución “conservadora ha ganado la batalla por debilitar a los estados”. Josep Burgaya ha publicado otras obras como El estado del bienestar y sus detractores, El futur ja no és el que era y Reflexions d’urgència en temps d’incerteses.

Article de Salvador Enguix a La Vanguardia (27 octubre 2013)

l’enunciat de la missió corporativa de JMDM

personal thoughts

“Treballar cada dia per fomentar la cultura del disseny, obrir mentalitats i despertar inquietuds, aportant coneixements i experiència per crear un món millor on tothom hi surti guanyant, sumant nous clients i nous reptes que impliquin conèixer gent interessant i apassionada de la seva feina, i aprendre coses noves.”

JMDM  |  Jaume Mitjans Design Management

Google Doodle celebrates the ‘father of industrial design’ Raymond Loewy

masters of design

Raymond Loewy, considered by many to be the father of industrial design, is being celebrated today by a Google Doodle on the search engine’s homepage (doodle shows a locomotive bearing a resemblance to the K4s Pacific #3768 shroud design).

Loewy was born in Paris on November 5, 1893, so today marks his 120th birthday anniversary.

He is widely considered to have revolutionized the industry creating product designs for everything from refrigerators to cars, cigarette packets and spacecraft. He also designed logos for Exxon and Shell as well as the former BP logos. He was also responsible for the design of the Coca-Cola vending machines and the iconic Greyhound Scenicruiser bus.”

by belfasttelegraph.co.uk

l’enunciat de la meva missió personal

personal thoughts

“Treballar cada dia segons objectius clars, concrets i ben definits, cercant l’excel·lència i la plenitud, amb actitud positiva i d’atenció total (mindfulness), sempre amb passió, llibertat, creativitat, valentia i decisió, il·lusionat pel què faig, atent a la meva intuïció i sense perdre mai el sentit de l’humor, per assolir nous reptes que em facin créixer personal i professionalment, alhora procurant el bé comú, l’equilibri entre els diferents rols de la meva vida (persona, parella, familiar, amic i company de feina) i assumint que rendir-se no és una opció.”

Jaume Mitjans design manager/ consultor de disseny