creative thinking

EP# 038: Japan Travel

EP# 038: Japan Travel

Traveling is a great way to build your database of new experiences. And new experiences are the ingredients to creative thinking. In this episode, Dr. O shares a recent trip to Japan and how cultural changes are amazing ways to gather the building blocks of innovation. 

If you have never been to Japan, or live there currently, you will enjoy this overview of the good and bad of this country, which Dr. O has lived in and visited for over 20 years. Put aside 60 minutes and take a quick trip to the amazing world of Japan.

EP# 036: Simplicity

EP# 036: Simplicity

Simplicity takes effort and motivation. Simplicity needs to become part of an organization’s culture. Complexity creates inefficiencies, waste, and wasted mental energy. Knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore is the critical steps toward simplicity.

Never forget, “keep it simple and good things will happen”. Focus on problems, use creative thinking, and most importantly use common sense. Listen more than you speak and fully understand the situation. Simplicity is hard, but necessary as the global business environment becomes increasingly complicated and ambiguous. Having the mental courage and flexibility to simplify your world, takes a strong mindset so practice and do not give up. Remember, everything can and should be simplified.

EP# 033: OTC: Barriers to Creativity

EP# 033: OTC: Barriers to Creativity

Most people have incorrect assumptions about creativity. They think you either have it or you don’t. Many people also think new ideas just happen, serendipitously—but creativity is not mysterious. Everyone can (and should) become more creative. Not enough of us use creativity to improve ourselves, our organizations, and our communities.

But don’t worry, you can overcome these barriers with a positive mindset, learning the tools and techniques to develop new, creative ideas, practicing, and then applying your new ideas to create innovative new products, services, or processes. In addition, you can begin developing a creative culture within your organization by gaining senior leadership support, experimenting, and accepting failure as a critical part of the creative process.

EP# 031: Willis Carrier and Modern AC

EP# 031: Willis Carrier and Modern AC

For ages man has tried to control the weather, be it to keep cool or warm. Most early ways to cool was open windows and mechanical systems. And to deal with summer heat before air conditioning, most people would sit on their stoops or fire escapes, eat or drink cold foods and beverages or even sleep in parks, or other places outside.

The early applications of air conditioning were for consistency in manufacturing, not for the comfort of people. Factories were brutal “sweatshops” – built for profit not for comfort or employee well-being.

Air conditioning was the hybrid of two technologies – electricity and refrigeration. It did not immediately take-off with the public due to its costs and space needed for the large amount of equipment. Also, most people thought AC was a dream, not a possible reality. Pioneers like Willis Carrier envisioned a world of manufactured weather to allow people to escape the challenges of heat and cold and poor internal environments.

EP# 029: OTC: Achieve the Impossible

EP# 029: OTC: Achieve the Impossible

Innovation is the lifeblood of an economy. Every one of us needs to continually improve ourselves and the world around us. Developing new, fresh ideas is vital as the world goes though monumental change in terms of socio-economic forces and rapidly changing technology. The goal of innovation should not solely be profit, but most importantly a way to improve the lives of others. 

This episode is a high-level overview of innovation and why everyone must innovate, every day. To truly change the world we must overcome the status quo and dogma. We must have laser-like focus and the ability to visualize our future. With the proper tools and techniques, along with an attitude and mindset of optimism, positivity, and passion, we can (and must) change the world, for the better.

EP# 020: OTC: Recap - Episodes 1-19

EP# 020: OTC: Recap - Episodes 1-19

This episode is a recap of the previous 19 episodes. Past episodes focused on key themes such as creativity, lifelong learning, strategy, continuous improvement, and the importance of never giving up. 

From amazing historical figures from business and military such as Sun Tzu, W. Edwards Deming, Peter Drucker and Col. John Boyd, The Business Fanatic podcast focuses on sharing stories to help you succeed in business and life. Sharing military and business examples that are not often taught in business or engineering schools, these incredible people and the companies they created provide important lessons to change yourself and the world.

EP# 018: The History of Toyota (Part II)

EP# 018: The History of Toyota (Part II)

Toyota influenced many organizations around the world and created the foundation of modern manufacturing. Toyota is the world’s most valuable automaker with a market cap of $200 billion and $50 billion in cash.

Part II of this two-part episode focuses on the Toyota Production System and its key elements. The Toyota Production System is based on continuous improvement and identifying problem areas first-hand. In addition, the Toyota Production System is the basis for current lean manufacturing. Also known as the Thinking People System, the Toyota Production System is about empowering every employee, at every level of the organization to continually improve themselves and the organization.

EP# 017: The History of Toyota (Part I)

EP# 017: The History of Toyota (Part I)

Toyota influenced many organizations around the world and created the foundation of modern manufacturing. Toyota is the world’s most valuable automaker with a market cap of $200 billion and $50 billion in cash.

Part I of this two-part episode focuses on the origins of the company from its founder Sakichi Toyoda, to the founder of the motor company, his eldest son Kiichiro Toyoda, a review of the Toyota Motor Co., and the father of the Toyota Production System, Taiichi Ohno.

EP# 016: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part II)

EP# 016: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part II)

Part II continues the amazing story of Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic. If his early life was not incredible enough, the start of WWII puts the company and Matsushita in uncharted territory as the Japanese Imperial Army puts incredible pressure on the company to support the war effort.

Matsushita’s experiences during WWII led him on a spiritual journey to change the world and help humanity. His never ending creativity and innovation to transform society to help all of mankind moved him beyond business to help Japan overcome massive changes and ensure a great future for his country and the world. Well into his 80s, Matsushita was still innovating and working hard to improve society.

EP# 014: OTC: Deception and Surprise

EP# 014: OTC: Deception and Surprise

Military theorists, most notably Sun Tzu focused on the benefits of deception to shock and surprise your opponent. Unfortunately, most business leaders ignore this technique as the daily requirements of Wall St. requires a short-term perspective and pressure to share to plans publicly. Unfortunately, this short-term mindset prevents leaders from using many effective ways to outmaneuver competitors.

Sun Tzu and his Art of War is a great resource for military and business strategists. Sun Tzu noted that all warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable, when using our forces, we must seem inactive, when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away, when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

This episode will review four key military campaigns that demonstrate the effectiveness of deception and surprise. These examples are great models for business leaders to adapt similar strategies and tactics to outmaneuver competitors and continually wow customers.

EP# 012: OTC: Rekindle Your Creative Thinking Skills

EP# 012: OTC: Rekindle Your Creative Thinking Skills

As we grow older, our creative thinking skills atrophy based on conforming to societal norms (e.g., education, religion, business organizations). Unfortunately, our communities and businesses are in desperate need of new, creative ideas to solve complex problems. As businesses struggle, the environment changes rapidly, educational systems are failing the youth, and crumbling infrastructure is putting lives at risk, the world is desperate for new ideas and ways to improve the world.

Don't worry. All of us are born creative, we just need to rekindle those dormant skills. By understanding that creativity is an attitude, supported by skills, anyone can improve their creativity. It just takes some work and practice.

EP# 011: Momo-san: The Inventor of Instant Noodles

EP# 011: Momo-san: The Inventor of Instant Noodles

This week’s topic is about the incredible story behind instant ramen and the man who made it a worldwide source of tasty, inexpensive food. One man had a dream to provide low-cost, healthy food to ensure Japan’s citizens were able to recover from the destruction of the war.

The man was Momofuku Ando and the company he created was Nissin Food Products. Ando-san, better known as Momo-san, created the revolutionary product of instant noodles and later CUPNOODLES. His products and continuous innovations helped Japan be recognized around the world as a source of innovation.

EP# 008: OTC: The Five Elements of Parallel Thinking

EP# 008: OTC: The Five Elements of Parallel Thinking

Developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, parallel thinking is a powerful method to make decisions, develop new ideas, or improve processes. Working together rather than against one another, parallel thinking allows teams to collaborate successfully for a high probability of success.

In an unscripted episode of "Off the Cuff", Dr. O provides an overview of what leaders can do to help their organizations become more successful by adopting parallel thinking.



EP# 005: Edward de Bono: Creative Thinking Prophet

EP# 005: Edward de Bono: Creative Thinking Prophet

Dr. Edward de Bono is a leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation, and direct teaching as a skill. Yes, a skill. That means anyone can get better at creating new ideas with the right tools, techniques, and practice. Dr. de Bono developed a wide range of ‘deliberate thinking methods’ – applications emphasizing thinking as a deliberate act rather than a reactive one.