When it comes to innovation, follow the bouncing ball
There's a tendency in certain circles to think of creativity and innovation as something that can be artificially created by introducing all kinds of cool-looking toys and doodads into the office. It all started with foosball tables, lava lamps and scooters in Silicon Valley, but now it looks like "staid employers" are also embracing some of these toys and gimmicks. As the Wall Street Journal explains, the latest creativity fad is the use of exercise balls instead of chairs in the office. (Yep, big, round bouncing balls that sell for less than $25!) Apparently, those annoying rubber balls that were such a big hit in the gym are now finding their way into the office:
People have searched for the perfect office chair for decades,
one comfortable, adjustable and easy on the back. Now some professionals are
abandoning chairs altogether -- in favor of parking their hind quarters on a
giant rubber ball.
Long used by fitness buffs and physical-therapy patients, those
big spheres you see at the gym (commonly known as exercise balls) are rolling
into an increasing number of workplaces as a seating option.
Google, a company that prides itself on its unconventional office
culture, displays several balls on its campus in a recruitment video available
online. But more-staid employers, including
BMW AG and Bain & Co., the international consulting firm, are allowing
employees to bring in balls or ball chairs for personal use as well.
Manufacturers and distributors report that sales of the balls are up sharply.
They even made an appearance on the TV show "The Office," when one character,
irritated by the incessant bouncing, stabs a colleague's ball.
Employees claim that these rubber balls are more comfortable than regular chairs, that they promote better posture and that they make them feel younger and more creative. As one Connecticut-based HR manager points out, "It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid..." (Maybe this is what she had in mind?) Call me small-minded, but I'm perfectly happy with the latest from Herman Miller.
International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.
Our egotism and self-confidence can sometimes spill-over to our loved ones.
It's now well known that many of us over-estimate our own brainpower. In one study, more than 90 per cent of US college professors famously claimed to be better than average at teaching, for instance – which would be highly unlikely. Our egos blind us to our own flaws.
An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.
While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.
One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.
- Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
- One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
- Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.
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