What I have learned this week


I will market this as the curated source of latest fresh knowledge, motivation and inspiration and the delightful recycled source of creative content out there that I consumed for your enjoyment and usefulness.

Starting off with KNOWLEDGE TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER: check this out – a new notion – cultural intelligence.

Cultural intelligence or CQ is defined as the capability to be effective across different cultural contexts – including national, ethnic, generational, organizational and others. The culturally intelligent have a good grasp of overarching patterns that exist across various cultures around the world. It’s not that the culturally intelligent are walking encyclopedias who can spout off random facts about any culture on the planet. That’s impossible. But they have a micro understanding of cultural similarities and differences, something which is identified as CQ Knowledge – one of the four capabilities of cultural intelligence. CQ Knowledge is the degree to which you understand how culture influences how people think and behave, it’s also your level of familiarity with how cultures are similar and different. While this kind of understanding alone doesn’t make you culturally intelligent, it is a vital part of becoming effective across different cultural contexts. I am still learning about this concept and expanding my vision on the topic also because working in a fraud detection department requires me to have this knowledge in prediction and understanding the potential threat. Why is this important to be know? The ability to understand different perspectives and then appropriately and effectively adapt our behaviour is now required for success. CQ is unique in that it predicts our capabilities to work with diversity and differences. Understanding, using and increasing our cultural intelligence improves the way we relate to and network with diverse others. There are 4 specific capabilities comprising CQ. The first is CQ drive or motivation, second CQ knowledge or cognition, next is CQ strategy or metacognition, and the last is CQ action or behaviour. Cultural intelligence can be developed and improved. In the next weeks I will be sharing more on this topic, it is a course I am taking on FutureLearn (something similar to Coursera) and I think it is an important subject given that CQ provides an opportunity to recognise or determine if diversity or differences in cultural values might explain a challenge, misunderstanding, confusion or miscommunication and these are needed to be tackled to effectively facilitate human interaction across diversities.

Linkedin Courses taken (2) – Leading like a futurist – I would not say that you necessarily need to be a leader or manager to profit from the concepts and ideas of this course, it is needed for all of us to reinvent our lives and understand the world we live in, from a different perspective. First the course explored what is a futurist. A futurist is a person that can see, shape and share the future. A futurist creates and communicates future opportunities. A futurist is not afraid to be a visionary. The skills needed by a futurist are that he/she is keen and curious observers, they seek diverse perspectives, they represent the finders of clarity in the complex, they are comfortable with ambiguity and they are compelling communicators. And all these skills are skills that the world we currently live in NEEDS MORE OF, and will be in much more need of because of the emerging trends and technologies. By learning more about what a futurist is and moreover about a futurist leader, you expose yourself to more opportunities, either because you can create them or you see them and can ride them. There were lots of amazing ideas in the course, and one of them was the concept of a future shaper. A future shaper has a mindset regarding the way we see or could see the future and a future shaper is able to notice more of what’s around in the world, is able to use everything at hand (knowledge, trend, etc) and is capable of letting go of being right and letting go of being the smartest in the room. These practices create a mindset of anticipation, evaluation of possible futures and analysis of their viability and sustainability, constant observation and scanning of the external environment. Mindset is at the heart. Mindset of individuals multiply to create a mindset of a community, and that community can inspire and connect with other communities, thus making possible the future one person thinks of or “dreams” of, to become if not a reality, then at least to bring more awareness of its potentiality. A futurist is able to communicate the future in a compelling, emotional way to motivate people into taking action with the vision stated. That’s why it’s a leader. A futurist leader or a future shaper is seeking to make us mindful of our capability to see, shape and share the future that we want to be part of. Once you gain that mindset, you become yourself a futurist or future shaper. Really great course, highly recommend it and to give you a glimpse of what the future holds for us in the next decade, I have selected some future trends, basically copy pasting what they wrote, because it is very WOW (that I discovered online on WGSN, which is a leading trend forecaster for insights and inspiration around the globe) for all of us to be waiting for:

“1.BORO – made, do and mend. – In an effort to be conscious consumers, we are shopping less and buying “better”. But what does this mean for the things we already own?This Japanese method “BORO” means born-out-of-necessity patchworking and will become the norm in the next decade. We will see a rise of making do and mending – it will be an honour to give attention to those items in need of repair. Well-loved but worn pieces will become a blank canvas for creativity, self-expression and playful mending techniques, with these new details as the main features of garments. On a side note, this does remind me of another interesting Japanese technique named “kintsukuroi” that means to repair with gold, which is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. And with these notions, there goes a little bit of CQ knowledge, Japanese are very careful and conscious and considerate about life and everything in life, it looks so.

2.NANOSWIMMERS – “Beauty bots” moving through your bloodstream. Taking “beauty from within” to the next level, tiny robots will be used to deliver ingredients, nutrients or medicines from inside the body. While the technology, which as been developed by the medical industry to avoid invasive procedures, is still in its infancy, the applications for beauty are promising. By the end of the decade, injectable “beauty bots” could well be on offer along with other non-invasive cosmetic treatments.

3. FROZEN FOOD – convenience food, but made wellness. Frozen food will experience a renaissance as consumers turn to it as a convenient way of eating that also reduces waste. Wellness – focused consumers have adopted frozen fruit and vegetables in smoothies as a convenient way of introducing micronutrients into their diets. They are now open to trying new, healthy frozen meals and ingredients. Frozen food start ups are providing plant-based or gourmet meals and ingredients to update convenience food. People will also start challenging consumerism and they will focus more on self-sufficiency as they explore how to survive during times of extreme disruption in a decade of environmental and societal turmoil.

4.INTIMACY SCHOOLS – How to be human 101 (actually in my country, Romania, there is one educational leader offering these type of classes related to relationships already) – The intimacy recession means we’re increasingly more connected to our phones than to each other. The 2020s will witness an active backlash to the loneliness epidemic being faced in many developed societies, driven by our smartphone addictions. Much like the rise of mindfulness as a trend, we will go to class to learn how to reconnect with other people, discover how to be vulnerable and build deeper bonds (romantic or platonic) with each other. School is now in session and it;s teaching you how to be human again.”

I have some honourable mentions which seem very far-fetched, but briefly as taken from their instagram account (WGSN)

“5.DIGITAL FRAGRANCES – Machines will learn how to smell – Downloading sounds was so 2010s – by 2030, it’ll be all about downloading smells. Thanks to advanced algorithm technologies, we can smell online.

6.MADE IN NATURE – trees grown directly into furniture. Packaging grown from mushroom. Forget “made in”, by 2025, products made “by” nature will be the new luxury.

7.PSYCHODERMATOLOGY – leveraging the gut-brain-skin connection. Stressed out? Your skin is feeling it too. Modern dermatology will step in to ease skin conditions related to modern day stresses, blurring the lines between our mental and skin health. Welcome to the age of psychodermatology, where it is about the emotional as much as the physical.

8.POWERING DOWN – Rest, recover and recalibrate. Guilty of spending too much time online? A new wave of technology is coming to help us turn off and recharge. Radiaton-blocking materials will help protect us from digital emissions, giving us time to recalibrate and reboot.

9.NIKSEN – doing nothing on purpose, but without purpose. Permission to do nothing: granted. In a world where burnout is so common it has become a classified medical condition, this wellness movement acknowledges that slowing down is essential. Block out your calendars to do nothing and feel good about it.”

Now, NIKSEN really ties beautifully to the other short course I took on Linkedin this week named “How to slow down and be more productive“. It was an eye opening packed with knowledge course that I related so much to and found profoundly life changing for me at least. Even though the concept of slow and the SLOW movement is something I was aware of for years now, I realised I was not practising it. Currently, you may feel as I feel too, that we are living in a state of impatience. I will re-write this. We are living in a state of IMPATIENCE. Not emergency, but impatience to do this and that, to be as fast as possible to go through workload, to schedule meeting after meeting, to be in a constant state of “working” and of ticking boxes when we have done certain tasks, forgetting about taking a moment, not a break, but a moment to give our brain breathing time to get prepared for the next task, meeting, deadline or activity. When we jump mindless to activity from another activity, without allowing ourselves time to digest what just happened we experience what the speaker of the course named to be “the missing minute”. The missing minute is required for us to recover the space between the things we do.

The course is opening our eyes and minds to re-program our brains to do things more patiently – don’t work too quickly, take the extra time – add a touch of more patience to it and take the time to cool down. THE MORE IMPORTANT THE WORK IS, THE MORE COOL DOWN TIME WE NEED TO HAVE. Take a minute and reclaim the missing minute by making a careful choice without feeling pressured by others to make a decision, to finish a specific task, to do an activity, to do your job. The course is focusing on raising awareness around separating what is happening from what is required for our success. Slowing down is about finding that reasonable expectation that others have of you to finish the job and then stick to it. This means you can work comfortably in your own pace and you can do the job between the requests and expectations decided together with the other person you are working with. For this to actually work, you also need to show others that they may be rushing mindlessly too, without knowing, yet.

To cultivate awareness of the moments when you are rushed, you can ask your superior or leader or yourself “How long can you comfortably wait until I respond? When is the latest this can be done? Do you need the whole project or a part of it by that date?” This gives the other person thinking time to help them pause as well and become more present and more capable of making decisions about deadlines. Careful questions can lead to constructive conversations.

Reclaim your missing minute and start by taking 1 minute now without doing anything. No scrolling, no browsing, no reading, no replying, no copy pasting. Just put the timer on your phone for 1 minute and stand still. I have done this and that 60 seconds seemed like an eternity. Amazing insight from that alone only! And, in this way you can understand why the NIKSEN prediction will occur. There’s a need and a market.

Quote of the week – Outgrow the person you were yesterday.

Fun thing of the week – I discovered tiktok (well, just downloaded the app to see what’s all about and why GaryV says it’s the next big thing- and IT’S FUN) and on the platform I discovered this new word that millennials use which is “boomer” – which is actually the short for “baby boomer” by which this new generation refers us for, because “we do not understand them and criticise them way too much”(especially regarding the use of their mobiles). And the meme is “OK boomer”.

So, “boomer” what will you be taking away with you from this blog post? What have you learned from what I have learned?

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