Moving on past the obstacles and seeing the bigger picture

One of the most common, I would not call it mistake, but one of the most common downfall of problem solving, is being stuck. And the ONE element, which is the immediate influencer is the following: Rather than thinking strategically about the solution of the problem, you get stuck into details. You see, if I am to put a plan that would take me from point A to point B. And I want to look holistically, about how would I go from point A to point B.  I can think about a lot of things. However, if I go into details right from the beginning, (like what will I be driving? which means of communication, etc etc ?) I will be stuck trying to solve all of the issues in just one part and before actually understanding where to go next; and that is a very common practice.

If you want to literally solve a problem, If you want to achieve a goal and if you want to succeed in doing something really, really big and important for you, one of the most important factor that will help you tremendously would be the ability to see it the solution all the way through. Yes, all the way through. You need to really know where you are going, if you want to reach there.

Needless to say that the bumps on your way, these obstacles will there to deal with, just not at the beginning. I’ll give you one of the complicated examples that we are facing right now, where a new version of technologies and a new method of transportation given the evolution of all of those industrial revolutions. And what’s going to happen next and how we should act and react.

A lot of people would start thinking about what will happen immediately to their existing tasks and work, and what would happen afterwards, then, once this change will happen… Now what?

But if you look at it from a strategic point of view, let’s say you want to do a trip and adventure, and you take an example that, what if there was a very very high speed transportation mechanism that will take you from point A to point B – an exceptionally high speed, which would make whatever used to take you an hour and a half, three hours, five hours, will now, takes you just 20 minutes.

Now, despite that there are a lot of methods, right now, that are claiming that they will reach to that phenomenal breakthrough in innovation, so far it’s not the case. But if that was true! What would you do if right now? you could actually be saving hours doing something and doing it in just a few minutes… What would happen to your life then?

This exercise, once you start doing it, will give you the solution to other problems you’re not looking at because you are busy worrying about the details of the first piece of the puzzle. You may think that you have a problem with funding – that I cannot do it right now because of you don’t have enough funding to solve this issue. But once you do the exercise you may realize some benefits that would tackle that subject from multiple other aspects, and eventually leading you to finding other solutions that would – maybe – transform the way you think about your current problem.

And that’s how important, thinking holistically, painting the path and paving the way to where you want to go IS!

Therefor and before you go to get stuck trying to solving the small issues try this week’s tip:

I advise you, Whatever your dreams, goals, thoughts are try to paint a bigger picture first, assume hypothetically, that whatever problems you have right now are done.  If your problem is related to money, then assume you have more. If your problem is related to have the right tools, infrastructure? venue? Just assume that you have that already, you solve that problem already, then explore where this would lead you.

Eventually, you will reach to a point that you didn’t think of before, in your train of thoughts and you may discover that this was indeed your winning formula.

Have a wonderful week.
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Samer Chidiac is a Strategic Innovation Advisor, a Business Psychologist, a Philanthropist, an Author and a Speaker. 

You can check his Books on Amazon & Sellfy, Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check his Website for More.

Have a clear vision and take easy steps to get there

I still remember a small chat I’ve had with one bright young man on my team a while back, we were discussing the impact of data and change on the course of business, it was more about decisions than it was about the science of data and the example I’ve share with him at that time was simple:

  • When you go to have a shower, (and if you’re like most people ūüôā ) you will need to balance the hot & cold water to find the perfect relaxing fit so you would enjoy your shower, however most tend to work on EXTREMES… they go from Extremely Hot, to Extremely Cool and so on… If it’s Hot… you automatically move the water to cool, then it’s too cool then you go back to less hot and then back… until you succeed.

That example was to simplify the importance of small decisions and testing and doing the corrective measures as you go until you find your match; That bright young man then, became a renown data scientists and one of the world’s Big Data Influencers. (Always proud of you Ali Rebaie )

Fast forwarding to today, and our tip for the week; pretty simple… let’s start by the DON’Ts… it’s actually just One:

Don’t Take Too many decisions at the same¬†time

You see in real life, battles between armies, happen when a lot of soldiers are fighting at the same time, and the side who makes the most damage to the opponent normally wins that battle. In Chess, and on the other hand, it’s different!

In chess, you do have a lot of soldiers, with another set of different ranks etc, and¬†you have to move them one step at a time… It’s still one army deployed on the board fighting the other, but the reality, it’s 2 people only playing. and Yes, you can win the game without causing enormous damage to your opponent, in fact all you need is to have ONE MOVE, The Right One

The¬†board contains¬†64 squares of alternating colors. Each player has 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns. and if you think that is easy…¬†There are over 9 million different possible positions after three moves each. There are over 288 billion different possible positions after four moves each. The number of distinct 40-move games is far greater than the number of electrons in the observable universe.

THAT’S HOW COMPLICATED THIS GAME IS!! But still it is Won… ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Life is a game board. Time is your opponent. If you procrastinate, you will lose the game. You must make a move to be victorious.

~ Napoleon Hill

Have a nice week,
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UAE-Champion-Saeed-1-660x330

(This post is dedicated to UAE’s Chess Champion 2015, Saeed Ishaq)

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Sometimes you need to start walking first

Sometimes you need to start walking first

In my humble experience in the field of¬†education, and especially when talking about “Innovation in Education”, I get stumbled by the old and¬†new approach of problem solving techniques, especially how teachers used to teach students on how to use a specific¬†process that should pay off.

For so many years now, I’ve concentrated my work on Innovation, whether in Business, in Life and in Education; there was a common item that, depending on how you perceive it, can make or break your plan or solution all together… It’s your attitude and reaction towards making mistakes. In Schools, students were mostly NOT encouraged to make mistakes, and therefore possibly the most noted successful entrepreneurs of our age, were either college dropouts or whom received a negative feedback from their professors and these same people¬†did stick to what they were after even though most considered them in the status of committing an academic and business suicide.

Now depending on who you are and how your brain functions, you may be the type of persons who would look for the solution end-to-end before starting the execution or someone who can think about the highlight and then dig into the details, or just someone who have no idea what he or she is doing, and starting to see where that leads to…

For this week’s post, i’ll be focusing on the person who doesn’t have a clue ūüôā¬†

Sometimes in order to find a solution for a problem, you need to dive into a journey or possibilities, a journey of YES and NO; Instead of just standing there, you can start walking, and then change direction, and maybe come back where you come from and start over, and repeat the whole process all over, and All over again and again…. is that a Sign of weakness? a Sign or strength??¬†is the¬†person who couldn’t find the solution less qualified than the one who can? well.. Not Really.

Here’s 2 Rules that I learned from working¬†among professionals in the field of innovation and also from examining success stories:

  1. You need to be ready to make mistakes.. It’s OK!
  2. You need to keep an eye on what your mistake lead you to.

Some of the innovations that changes our world, were not originally intended to be like that, but instead the inventor was trying to get somewhere else…

So The tip for the week, whether you are trying to solve a personal or professional problem, start walking down your possibilities and see where that would lead you, cause in that process you might find something more valuable than what you were looking for in the first place.

‚ÄúIf you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

 

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

 

Patience is a virtue that pays off

It was back in 2010, I was scheduled to speak at an event about entrepreneurship, and the main audience was college students graduating the same year; The organizer was insisting that I talk about my career path and what were the lessons learned for me at a young age in a relatively challenging world.

It was about 45 minutes talk that covered¬†many points, some were funny references, some sad and some very motivational… I finally ended up¬†my speech with this:

One common attitude I used to find in fresh graduates I interviewed for various potions in my company was their apparent lack of patience, they want to reach to the top quickly and when you ask them where do they see themselves¬†in 5 years, almost everyone would say : ‘A Manager’. Knowing that I love and admire ambition, I’m also a realistic person, and just because some 20 years old dropped out of college and made it big, doesn’t¬†mean that¬†it’s the right way to do things or it will happen to you JUST AS IT HAPPENED TO THEM.

But let me tell you a small secret: Patience is a Virtue that Pays off!

Practically, no one will care about how hard your start was, when your end was not a success, in fact, ironically, when you become successful, the MORE Miserable your life was, the more admirable your success is… At some point in time one of my jobs was removing dust from books in the university library and re-organizing the¬†books¬†in alphabetical order for what is equivalent to¬†60$ per month before I leave to my night shift job that paid 100$ per month and then rolling in the weekend to do some work for some additional 10-20$ / week and so on… I never looked down¬†at my self, and I knew this was¬†not the end… This is only the beginning and I need to be patient, cause great things WILL¬†happen.. And Years later, I started making in 1 day of what an average classmate used to make in a full month…

Patience doesn’t have a value if you’re not paying much attention to almost every aspect of your life at that time, you could be waiting for a train to pass, but if you fall asleep waiting, you might just miss the train, and remember that it’s the VALUE that you bring to the company you work at is what matters and not the time you spend there,¬†And Most importantly, when you reach your destination, it doesn’t really matter what had to happen in the process, you just REACHED THERE! I don’t really remember the exams I had to pass nor the grades I had on these exams… And guess what! till this day, after I became CEO and worked for one of the biggest companies in the world, Those Exams grades¬†Still didn’t matter.

So today, 5 years later to that talk, I recall a¬†time when I used to look up Job opportunities that perfectly matched my skills but where I was not interviewed because my years of experience didn’t match the requirements, and I still recalled the time (that I was lucky enough to have had) when I met the same Hiring Manager few years later, who was attending one of my talks, and was surprised that I was the¬†¬†Keynote Speaker introducing¬†a¬†technology that he, himself thought I didn’t have experience to even work in one of¬†his¬†teams.

My advice this week is the following:

Don’t try to take shortcuts if you find the road is too long, as no road is too long for a destination¬†worth reaching… Patience is a Virtue that Pays off… So Be Patient, and Keep Going!

Enjoy your Week!

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Photo Credit by Samer Chidiac
Scene Location: Beirut – Lebanon
For Purchasing & Licensing refer to 500px.com 

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Be like the Ant: Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can!

One of my favorite and most probably one of the first stories I heard when I was a kid at school, was the story of the Ant and the Cricket, the cricket that was singing all summer while the Ant was working, and when the winter arrived, the cricket paid the price while the ant ripped off the benefit of hard work.

The summary of the story is goes something like this:

Once upon a time… one hot summer, a cricket sang cheerfully on the branch of a tree, while down below, a long line of ants struggled gamely under the weight of their load of grains; and between one song and the next, the cricket spoke to the ants. “Why are you working so hard? Come into the shade, away from the sun, and sing a song with me.” But the tireless ants went on with the work… “We can’t do that,” they said, “We must store away food for the winter. When the weather`s cold and the ground white with snow, there’s nothing to eat, and we’ll survive the winter only if the pantry is full.”

“There’s plenty of summer to come,” replied the cricket, “and lots of time to fill the pantry before winter. I’d rather sing! How can anyone work in this heat and sun?”

And so all summer, the cricket sang while the ants laboured. But the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Autumn came, the leaves began to fall and the cricket left the bare tree. The grass too was turning thin and yellow. One morning, the cricket woke shivering with cold. An early frost tinged the fields with white and turned the last of the green leaves brown: winter had come at last.

The cricket wandered, feeding on the few dry stalks left on the hard frozen ground. Then the snow fell and she could find nothing at all to eat. Trembling and famished, she thought sadly of the warmth and her summer songs. One evening, she saw a speck of light in the distance, and trampling through the thick snow, made her way towards it.

“Open the door! Please open the door! I’m starving. Give me some food!” An ant leant out of the window.

“Who’s there? Who is it?”
“It’s me – the cricket. I’m cold and hungry, with no roof over my head.”

“The cricket? Ah, yes! I remember you. And what were you doing all summer while we were getting ready for winter?”

“Me? I was singing and filling the whole earth and sky with my song!”

“Singing, eh?” said the ant. “Well, try dancing now!”

Although this is a story designed for children, it’s very true in the world of business, entrepreneurship and leadership; you see, Ants are fascinating creatures, they don’t have left and right brain to think logically and creatively and they don’t have a Facebook account to brag about what they are doing or watching, instead, they are only driven by their instinct to fulfill their life mission and goal.¬†

If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them; they’ll look for another way. When I was a kid, I used to place a straw to prevent the ant from continuing its path and the response was,¬†they’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, and they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way.

This week’s tip, is about learning 3 things from this amazing tiny creature,

  1. Look ahead
  2. Work in a team towards a common goal
  3. Stay positive and do all you can 

Have a nice week,
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

You can’t lead a horse if you’re not clear where you’re going

I recently had an interesting chat with a friend of mine, she is in the middle of a career-shift and was asking my opinion on how to proceed and what advice can she get from someone who pays a lot of attention on strategic thinking and the value of¬†KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE GOING ūüôā

Therefor, this week’s tip, is multi-purposed, it goes both ways, whether you are in looking how to move forward with your career, or simply evaluating where you are today.

Probably to start, I would highlight what Gandhi said about life and how there is more to life than simply increasing its speed,

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

If we look a little bit and try to learn from a very dear creature to me, the horse ūüôā , you would greatly realize that your career moves you just like riding a horse; How? keep reading…

1. Clarity is Key

You really can’t expect to reach where you are going if you don’t know where you are heading, who do you want to be? what do you want to do? how do you expect to write a resume that is designed to talk JUST about you.. Where you are right now, and where you want to be… And most importantly How clear you are about your self. A horse somehow sense that when he is being LEAD, Driven or just a transport mean…

2.Your career is honest

In my personal opinion, Horses are the most Honest creatures you may encounter…A horse never forgets and never forgives, they can be¬†more honest than humans, and just like horses, your career is honest as well, you can take bad decisions or wrong moves, and it will impact you for a long time…

3. Confidence, Bravery and Patience

You can learn a lot from a cowboy, they know that it’s not easy to be able to manage, manipulate, and train an¬†animal of that size and ability, it requires confidence, and a lot of patience, as the horse needs first to understand what you expect from him, and then to be able to get to the point where they can ride and be in total control to get the horse to jump over that fence smoothly… Now that requires Bravery!

 4. Responsibility

When horse accepted man onto his back and chose to carry his burdens, it changed the world. So you have a big responsibility,¬†to come out and care for that horse day in and day out and when you are sick or lazy, you can’t just decide not to come in. They depend on you. Same thing with your career.

 5. Partnership

Unlike a car, a horse is a real¬†partner in your journey, and not just a mean of transportation; The horse will stop both of you from falling of a cliff, even if you were not paying attention, he would trust your leadership, although to be honest, he’s the one doing most of the execution, but he would know that you’re an integral part of the success of the activity.

So for this week, just remember that you can’t expect to just ride on a horse and they would¬†do everything for you, you need to spend a lot of time and some really hard work, before you could enjoy the greatness of what a horse can give you… And same thing with your career… You shouldn’t expect things to come easy, but after a while,¬†things pay back handsomely… with the essence of clarity.

This post is dedicated to K.D. and inspired by E.Ch. 

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Keep Learning to Become Successful, then Start Unlearning to stay that way!

‚ÄúIt is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.‚ÄĚ ~Professor¬†Leon C. Megginson

When you often hear about Change and Evolution, depending on your age, you might visualize Charles Darwin talking about how we, the humans, have evolved or you might simply take a glimpse and think about how the use of Mobile phones evolved to changed our life…

I’ve had an interesting discussion with the Former the Microsoft’s UK Head of Education, after she moved to the Middle East and took a leadership role in Oman;¬†She was sharing some tips from her evolved lifestyle between 2 different culture of business and even between 2 different Eras and reminded me that the key to a successful evolution is adapting to change and most importantly… Unlearning.

For this week’s tip, we’re not going into a complete paradigm shift and change our current reality (like Neo took the red Pill in the Matrix and everything changed ūüôā ) instead, we need to take a deeper look at how we, as individuals, have several habits and learning that we are so attached to, ¬†that we try to change the circumstances to fit what we know, rather than to change what we know to fit the circumstances.

What is Unlearning?

Unlearning is not reframing or refreezing or something along that lines. They all focus on an end state whereas unlearning is about moving away from something rather than moving towards something.

So unlearning is exactly what it says. Intending to let go of what we have already learned or acquired. It is not about right or wrong. It is about being open to and exploring something that lies underneath the judgment, underneath the right and the wrong.

How do we unLearn?

Margie Warrell once explained unlearning, by LEARNING TO BE AGILE (to be flexible!) and quoting from her article at Forbes.com

Unlearning is about moving away from something‚ÄĒletting go‚ÄĒrather than acquiring. It‚Äôs like stripping old paint. It lays the foundation for the new layer of fresh learning to be acquired and to stick. But like the painter who needs to prepare a surface, stripping the paint is 70% of the work while repainting is only 30%.

So to sum¬†it up, YES change is hard, and it’s a slow process, but it’s not impossible, and just like in order to throw an Arrow you need to Pull back; changing and adapting will make you experience some decrease in productivity and enthusiasm for a little while, but it will help you STAY successful!

Have a Nice Week!
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†‚ÄúInfluencing the Life of Others‚Ä̬†project

Strategy: When a Calculated Risk Meets an Educated Guess

There was one time during my travels, I was moderating an Executive round-table, the hotel meeting room was filled with high level executives from different leading companies of a particular industry, and we were all agreeing on a strategy to foster innovation on a national level.

Now for those who met me in person, knows that despite my young age already (I’m 34 by the time this article was written), I do look even younger! (which will certainly give me an advantage when I’m 50 ūüôā … But unfortunately not now…). So I always “somehow” get hard times when I try to coach senior managers (who probably have grey hair) who keep telling me how their grandsons are almost my age; but I get comfortable slightly after the first 30 minutes where the echos of the appearance vanishes and we dive deeper.

That time, during the break, Couple of VPs from the workshop wanted to test my worth & knowledge and why have I got the title “Senior Strategist” and I charge so much while I’m still less than 35 yrs old. So they challenged me into Defining what Strategy was in 1 Sentence, and then Explaining it in 1 minute.

And this Week’s Tip, is about Understanding Strategy… Simply!

The Definition: Strategy is born when a calculated risk meets an educated guess

The Example: You can build a successful strategy with all its defining components using the same logic you would have when your mobile phone is Showing LOW Battery, and you’re about 1-2 hours away from any source of Charging Outlet; You Start by making educated guesses on what would your mobile be used for during that time with what actions you need to perform, along with calculating the possible risks of each action.

So Simply, here it goes, to make a strategy you can:

  • Focus on what you want to achieve
  • Make Educated Guesses on what you need to have/do in order for you to achieve it.
  • Calculate Potential Risks on what each guess could result into.

Voila! you just built yourself a Strategy ūüôā

See you next Week!
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Strategy is born when a calculated risk meets an educated guess

~Samer Chidiac

 

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the¬†“Influencing the Life of Others”¬†project