The ABC of innovation with Tony Wagner of Harvard University.

In the recent Knowledge Summit held in Dubai this month, The Harvard University’s innovation Lab has shared its foundation behind critical thinking, “We need to create the innovators we need to face tomorrow’s challenges.” Tony Wagner- expert in residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab said, “The most important thing is to use the knowledge you have. But understand that you don’t have it all. The only thing that knows everything is Google. As we think about education for the future, we must understand that there is no longer a competitive advantage in knowing more than the person next to you because Google knows everything. Knowledge has become a commodity and so-called knowledge workers in the fields of medicine, law, and so on are rapidly being replaced by computers.” “Too much of education in the US and elsewhere is based on memorization and repetition. We must empower students to be creators and problem solvers by giving them real opportunities to wrestle with big questions and work on the real problems. Finland has done more than any other country to reimagine education for the 21st-century. Critical thinking begins with a habit of asking good questions. It includes the ability to weigh evidence, understand different points of view, and think about individual and social significance. Business leaders whom I interviewed told me that the ability to think critically is an essential prerequisite for problem identification.” “Many people talk about problem solving, but the executives I spoke to say that it is all about problem identification. As Einstein said, ‘The formulation of the problem is often more essential than the solution.” Hours earlier...
Staying true to your Brand Identity is a must.

Staying true to your Brand Identity is a must.

Staying true to your Brand Identity is a must. When it comes to your business, should you follow the trends? Should you be on Snapchat? Should you even be on Social Media or part of an exhibition? How should you decide is the fad worth following? Will it enhance your brand or will it be tagged along as one of the others? A good starting point is to ask yourself if these activities are relevant to your brand and if it adds value. To some brands, Snapchat might be more useful than LinkedIn and vice versa. For instance, Retail Banking might do well on Instagram to promote new products and launch competitions.   Image credits: ThinkstockPhotos When it comes to new emerging trends, it’s good to evaluate the situation and be the first to get in on it. For eg: GCC fashion blogs that embraced social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter when they first emerged leveraged it the most, and have grown to become representatives of major fashion brands. Some have even turned their sites into money-generating platforms. Here are some aspects you need to consider while evaluating a new trend for your business: Maintain constant contact with your clients While you think that a new trend or advancement will increase the scope of your business, your customers might disagree. Therefore, as part of your trend evaluation, it’s best to involve your customers. Conduct focus groups and seek their opinion. Find out all the pros and cons of adopting something new. When it comes to Social media presence, find out which channels suits your target group and...

The quest for ‘Smart Cities’ is on.

In a recent panel discussion on day one of the Knowledge Summit 2016, organized by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, the topic was ‘Future Cities’. The entire theme of the summit was a focused on ‘Knowledge… Present and Future’. The summit brought together industry leaders, prominent ministers, and eminent personalities, who discussed the way forward in terms of boosting production and dissemination of knowledge. Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) introduced a number of projects for the future that revolved around greener and more efficient technologies. “The authority’s efforts adhered to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which calls to make clean energy account for 75% of total energy in Dubai. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of the largest solar power plants in the world; it produces 4,000 MW of power at a total cost of Dhs50 billion and contributes to reducing carbon emissions. One of the most important elements in the development of smart cities is the cooperation between all relevant authorities to improve in all services – particularly, the interaction between the public and private sectors.” Al Tayer noted. Dr Aisha Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office said, “There is no one definition for smart cities. Each city saw a set of challenges to address and adopted a set of technologies to face them. For us, a smart city is a city that offers an easy and satisfying experience for its residents. No...
Make most of your time with a structured schedule.

Make most of your time with a structured schedule.

It is not a novel story where we hear about employees falling prey to depression. Excess work pressure, difficult business owners, etc. are the main causes. A research survey by the American Medical Association states that employers lose US$44 billion every year as a consequence of employees suffering from clinical depression.   There are numerous advantages of owning your own business. However, it is also important to know that the entrepreneurship journey is not a walk in the park. How you can avoid this trap is by: ·      It’s not always going to be perfect Why let an opportunity pass by while you’re still chasing perfection. When it comes to business, time is of the essence and often you won’t have time to plan things to perfection. It’s best to be reactive and deal with the best you have to offer and also realize that every situation involves some kind of risk. Risk shouldn’t scare you away. Instead, learn how to manage it. In the long run, you’ll be amazed at your achievements. ·      Guidance is key While working in a full-time job may not satisfy your entrepreneurship hunger, the great thing about it is the guidance. Being guided through your tasks, pointing out your mistakes and correcting them is all part of the learning curve. However, when you’re the one running the show, you will have to think for yourself. One way is to stay ahead and plan your schedule accordingly, even if it’s a week in advance. Doing so helps keep things in check, stick to deadlines and achieve your goals. ·      Don’t exhaust yourself Being an...
These 4 tips can help you make better decisions in 2017.

These 4 tips can help you make better decisions in 2017.

A research at Cornell suggests that we make an average of 3,000 decisions a day. While some decisions are born out of force of habit, the others are well-informed ones. These decisions help you build self-confidence and also reduce the pain of having to deal with mistakes. There are 4 principles you can use to fine tune these decisions and heighten your sense of direction and purpose.   1.     Choose the company you keep. The people you spend more time with are a reflection of you and who you want to become. Surrounding yourself around people who can bring out the best in you, nurture you and encourage you will only help you grow further. Knowing what you need to hear and not what you want to hear are the best critics and will steer you in the right direction. Finding people who are experienced enough and can weigh the cost of every decision are the kind of people worth being around. 2.     Let your passion lead the way. A good decision is synonymous with passion. Throw yourself at opportunities that excite you. Going into something that you aren’t passionate about will soon get you bored, or even worse, get you to quit. When a decision is sound is morally sound, throw yourself at it with full gusto and let your passion lead you. 3.     Do things that make you happy. Before making decisions, the questions you ask yourself should be governed by 3 pillars. 1. Am I good at this? 2. Will this take me where I want to go? 3. Does this excite me? If the answer...