You can do anything. But you can’t do everything

An idea is only as good as your ability to bring it to life. Jocelyn K. Glei’s new book is an inviting, encouraging, and practical collection of tools and practices for turning ideas into reality.

Stress harms problem solving too. What to do?

Stress compromises your problem-solving performance. But new research from Carnegie Mellon indicates that self-affirmation—in the form of focusing on your values—can protect it.

How to create a social learning environment

A “social learning environment” is an online destination where people can co-create, share, and learn from each other. Jane Hart has a good series on how to build these digital places.

We need a new language for the collaborative age

“Language encodes our thinking,” says Nilofer Merchant in Wired/UK. “To write a new future, we need to use a new language.” For example, what are we doing calling customers “users”?

Your brain is plastic. It’s designed to change

When readers of the Sharp Brains newsletter ask questions about neuroplasticity, the editors answer by linking to previously posted articles. Brilliant content marketing.

‘Fantastic Mistakes’: Advice from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s advice to the University of the Arts graduating class of 2012 was simple: the old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own.

We are one species on one finite planet

Seeing the whole earth rotating in space tends to tweak your consciousness. A film by the Planetary Collective compiles images of our planet and interviews with the astronauts who shot them.

Textbooks on sim cards boost learning

SMART Communications is filling surplus SIM cards with textbook content and giving them to kids who can’t afford a tablet or e-reader for use on their old analog cell phones.

A healthy company balances five elements

When integrity is woven into your organizational fabric, your company is true at every touchpoint—it’s “branded to the bone,” and the organizational ecosystem is in balance.

Your organization is a network: 10 thoughts

One: The network model is way better science than the mechanistic “pyramid” paradigm. And much closer to reality. Curtis Ogden culls the key points from a BetaCodex Network presentation.

Media multitasking and learning don’t mix

Annie Murphy Paul points to research that shows how widespread media multitasking is (most college students text during class) and how it leads to leads to spottier, shallower learning.

Respond to social media with clarity, not control

The new reality is that users, employees, and customers are in the driver’s seat. How to respond? In this post and slide show, Maddie Grant of SocialFish walks us through the basic considerations.

How to be happy in business

Is true happiness rooted in recognizing what we do well, and what we don’t (even if it pays)? At his blog, Bud Caddell talks about passion and “sirens calling you to shipwreck.”

Are our institutions at the end of their life cycle?

Don Tapscott says we have 40 years to reindustrialize the planet. Every organization needs to innovate to transform our business models.This isn’t dire handwringing, it’s a rally cry.

Using the artistic process to spark societal change

Jeff Barnum is an artist and a change agent who sees direct links between the two. For starters, both depend on finding the solution while working on the problem. “We have to carve a way forward.”

The Middle Way Method of personal planning

Jordan McGilvray has created a personal planning system that falls between the “top-down” (Franklin Covey) and the “bottom-up” (“Getting Things Done”) models. It’s about balancing life and work.

Communications tools that support better design

Cool idea: observe the processes used in the design of services, products, and communications, gather them in one place, illustrate and annotate them, and then offer case studies.

Tomorrow’s workplace will be run by smiling women

Digital strategist Dominic Basulto forecasts that the workplace of tomorrow will be run by women who use design thinking and measure success by how happy we feel. We agree.

Biology is the new model for learning and design

The shift from a manufacturing to a service economy has given rise to the new disciplines of service design. But services, unlike products, are co-created with the user. They are organic.

10 rules for setting goals that can change your life

Guerrilla and online marketing guru Mitch Meyerson interviews Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. The result: a very usable top-ten list of goal-setting principles.