Lucid Gaming 

Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

Arthur: Hi All, I would like to thank you for providing me an opportunity to present this new concept and a game based on that.

Before I start I would like to take you through some details that will help you understand how this works, and why it’s effective.

We all see dreams. You might have noticed that when you dream you will feel that it is real when falling down from a cliff, talking to your close ones who have passed away, or while fighting monsters. Whatever the dream the one common thing is “You will feel that it’s real”.

Why is it so? 

During dreams, the whole brain is active, from the brain stem to the cortex. Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is part of the sleep-wake cycle and is controlled by the reticular activating system whose circuits run from the brain stem through the thalamus to the cortex.

The limbic system in the mid-brain deals with emotions both while awake and dreaming and includes the amygdala, which is mostly associated with fear and is especially active during dreams.

The cortex is responsible for the content of dreams, including the monsters we flee from, the people we meet, or the experience of flying. Since we are highly visual animals the visual cortex, right at the back of the brain, is especially active, but so are many other parts of the cortex.

Least active are some parts of the frontal lobes, and this may explain why we can be so uncritical during dreams, accepting the crazy events as though they are real — until we wake up.

Let’s hold your thoughts here for a sec and I will take you to the next aspect and then we can connect both of them together.

The next question: 

What is happening in your brain while you play Video games or why is that so addictive?

The scientific journal Nature in 1998 showed that playing video games releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. The amount of dopamine released while playing video games was similar to what is seen after intravenous injection of the stimulant drugs amphetamine or methylphenidate”.

Dopamine is released by the reward center of the brain in response to pleasurable experiences or when a sense of achievement is realized.

All the new video games are now visually so appealing and with the help of VR tools, they are able to create that immersive experience. 

Let’s take the example of the Spiderman game. With all those devices we feel like we are in that world and when he jumps from a sky scrapper you will feel those vibrations in the device.

What if you are spiderman and you can jump from that skyscraper? Let’s imagine you jumped, the feel and the adrenaline rush you get from that, do you think any games will be able to recreate that for you? Your answer will be “No it can’t”.

I would say “ Not yet !”

What if we could reverse the experience? i.e.

What if you are spiderman, instead of you starting the spiderman Game? This means you will get the view like how you see from the top of the skyscraper, you are sitting on that and then you can jump. This will not be a realistic view but instead realistic.

Now let’s connect the game and the dreams together. That is the world of Lucid gaming

Lucid Gaming is changing the way you play games. All the games will be played in your REM sleep.

Let me explain how it works.

When you want to play a game all you have to do is put this headset on. It has electrodes connected to all parts of the brain which is responsible for dreaming. You will be slowly induced to REM sleep and you will be able to select the games you want to play.

Let’s select spiderman for example. Then all the challenges which you see inside the game will be done by you and you are spiderman, as if like in a dream you are becoming spiderman and doing all the things. This means when you get bitten by that radioactive spider you will feel that pain, at the same time when you jump from the top of a building you will feel adrenaline rush.

Same as in normal games you will have settings where you can control the pain settings and other real-life feelings. You will also have the option to quit or save the game at any point in time.

When you do this the game will be saved against your profile and the device will slowly wake you up from the dream.

The difference is, in traditional games you play as a character and here you are the character. 

Almost everyone stood up from the chair and clapped and shouted out loud. 

“That is when I woke up from the Lucid dream

I shouted out loud

Eureka, Eureka, it worked, it worked ”. The first attempt of inducing a game and speech into my dream worked.

So guys let’s wait for the next generation of Gaming.



Photo by Dyu — Ha on Unsplash

  The alarm started ringing.

 Siri greeted me as always, “Good Morning Donnovan, Today is Dec-26–2031, and the time is 6:00 AM. It’s beautiful clear skies and 20 degrees outside”.

I woke up and sat on my bed for some time. Then I asked Siri, “Good morning Siri, updates & notifications, please”.

“You got an email and a voicemail from Dr.Steve Spillman at 12:30 Am”

What! I was shocked, “an email from Dr.Steve” I immediately grabbed my phone and looked at the email & voicemail. 

Yes, it is an email and voicemail from Steve, he is inviting me to his funeral function on Jan-1-2032. 

Before digesting it the next thing I did was 

Siri “When did Dr.Steve Spillman pass away?”

Siri said “ Dr.Steve Spillman passed away on Dec-21–2031 at 7:59 Pm in Birthwine Hospital due to cardiac arrest

So I am right he passed away then how can he send this to me now? Maybe Harry ( his elder son) is doing this, but it was his voice in the voicemail how can that be possible?

All these things were going through my mind while I was twiddling through social media and I noticed a hot discussion going on in one of the science forums.

There I realized it is not just me but many of my friends and media people in our close circle have also received emails and voicemails like me. But no one knew what was happening.

We started speculating it is a fraudster and we were furious that someone got the balls to use his name to cheat us.

I kept thinking about this and finally, I decided that I should let Harry know. I picked up the phone and dialed Harry 

Hey, Harry how are you,” Thought of checking how you are doing and if you needed my help.

Thanks, Uncle for checking in. We are almost ready for the funeral and Dad was really helpful in organizing this. We are doing it like how he always wanted it to be.

“What, How !!” accidentally those words came out of my mouth.

  I could hear Harry smiling, I know you will also have received an email invitation saying “ Funeral invitation of Dr.Steve Spillman”. That is not fraud please accept the invitation. All I can say is, the invite is only for very few lucky ones.

“So see you on Jan 1st”

I was speechless, I knew he was crazy but this is crazy and creepy. 

 Like everyone else I also tried a lot to find out what is going to happen on that day. But like everyone else I was unlucky.

Finally, that day arrived Jan-1-2032

Only the ones which got the invitation from Dr.Steve was allowed to enter the church premise.

When I walked in the first thing I noticed was there were two “Caskets”

One is pitch black and the other one is pure white. The white one was closed and decorated with birthday flowers. Whereas the black one was traditional with white flowers.

I was thinking why there is a second one

By around 6:00 pm we could hear a hello from Dr.Steven. I was surprised for a second then, I realized this guy have recorded his funeral speech and is playing it now.

Every function was happening based on his instructions, the speech and the activities were so timed. We all were so amazed to see that. It seems like they practiced this so much that no one is missing the timings.

  Even in such great grief and pain I was listening to his speech and was amazed by the timing of everything that was happening.

We were doing our tributes when he called our names, and he shared a small memory with each one of us eventually my turn came in. 

My name was called out “ Mr.Donnovan, my friend who is always close to my mind and our family. I like to thank him for all the help and care he has shown to me and my family. I cannot explain the relationship with him in words” Donno, I know you really miss me but don’t worry, I will see you soon. He laughed loudly, his normal hysteric laugh.

I was sad while listening to his words but my mind was wandering around the two caskets which were kept there. I was staring at the white one.

Then the time came that we have to move on to the burial ground.

As we moved the Casket into the grave I noticed the white casket was moving. 

“ No it is not real !”, I thought maybe I felt that just because I was staring at it for a very long time.

Suddenly his voice stopped. It was an awkward silence for a moment.

That is when the white casket opened up with a loud noise and it was filled with red flowers.

At that moment everyone pulled back, we all were shocked and I felt my heart jump out of my chest. 

Harry smiled and walked towards that and extended his hand towards the casket.

Suddenly a hand popped out from that and everyone screamed out loud, some even ran away.

I was frozen and couldn’t breathe or move.

Then harry smiled and said. “ Happy birthday Dad, Welcome back”

We could hear only those words in between all those loud screams.

Then that happened, Dr. Steve Spillman came out from the white casket filled with red flowers.

All the screams stopped everyone was stunned and frozen.

He looked exactly similar to Dr.Steve, I was wondering how is this even possible. 

We didn’t have any clue or explanation of what we were seeing. 

He started talking “Thanks to all of you for attending the “resurrection function”.

That is when I realized the voice I was hearing till now through the speakers was not a recorded one. It is this guy who was talking from that Casket. 

But how and who is he?

 He continued, 

You guys will be wondering how and who is this guy. The short answer is :

It is me, but it‘s not me”.

Confused, yeah I know it’s surprising and overwhelming.

I would like to welcome you all to the new world of “Immortality”. As I mentioned before what you see in front of you is “Me, but not Me”!

If I simplify this, It’s the Humanoid version of Dr.Steve SPillman and today is my resurrection day. I will be immortal and will live among you forever. “The first Immortal”.

Everyone was silent and their mouths were wide open.

He continued…..

 15 years back, When my close friend passed away at that time we both were working on a project. With that, I just didn’t lose him but I also lost my project. That is when I realized that we humans have evolved but the way we document our history hasn’t changed.

We used to write history based on kings and wars and now we write that based on countries’ leaders and prominent personalities. But if you look at that every death is a loss of knowledge for us. I thought of addressing that problem. 

What if we can document the learnings of every person in a digital format and make it useful for future generations? That spark of thought has led me to this wonderful project “The Project Immortal”.

What if we can create a clone who has all the knowledge and experience you have like walking, talking, thinking, acting, and behaving like how you do? 

If I simplify this for you,

This was my pet project for the last 15 years. It mainly has two parts.

The Mind and The Body

The Mind is a Neural network and AI algorithm that is trained while you are alive. It feeds in all the data in your brain, it learns your behavior, character, etc. Basically, it replicates your thinking and will create a digital version of you who live in a digital reality.

The second one is what you see now “ The Body”. This is the humanoid shape of your body. So basically you keep this ready or someone can create this for you after you pass away.

Once you say goodbye to this world then it is time for your resurrection. You hook your mind to this humanoid and you are ready. 

He kept on talking, it was too overwhelming for me and I could not grasp the rest of the things because I was amazed by what I was seeing in front of me.

 I started looking at the burial site and was thinking,

“Even though we lost him, he is still with us not just as a memory but literally with us. I was not able to identify the feelings I was having.

My thoughts took me so far that I started thinking about a time when almost everyone is immortal. The Immortal world and I kept staring at that casket door. That is when it popped open 

When I looked up Dr.Steve walked up to me and extended his hand and said 

Mr. Donnovan welcome to the world of Immortals, It’s time for you to resurrect ”.

I grabbed his hand and stepped out from the casket of red flowers. When I came out of it I noticed the big banner where it is written 

Sep-13–2041 Resurrection day of Donnovan Smith

That is when I realized, it was my mind playing out the first memories of the resurrection event that I have witnessed.

The lost art of listening

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

 Which is more important being heard or hearing? If communication is not a one-way street then the latter makes sense.

Now let’s frame the question a little differently “Are you a good listener?

When was the last time you really listened without thinking about what you are going to respond to? Or When was the last time someone really listened to you?

Human psychology is tuned in a way to listen to our inner voice, and our heart, and rarely think of listening to others. Because of this, we would like to talk more and listen less.

But what does a good listener means? I asked this question to a couple of my friends and what I got was a strange stare. That was a surprise for me and I thought of extending the same question to the audience which is outside of my immediate circle. As the number of stares increased, I decided to add one more question to the survey “ What is a bad listener”.

That was a game-changer for the survey suddenly people started answering a lot more for the second question.

Among the answers technology was one of the major culprits. I don’t disagree, it is one of the main culprits. With mobile phones, smartwatches, and other smart devices plus the number of notifications on all these devices, we all are constantly distracted and end up being in the bad listener category.

But what/who is a good listening/listener

It’s not about turning the buddha mode on and holding the peace. It’s quite the opposite you facilitate the clarity of other persons’ thoughts, and through that process, you will solidify your own understanding. During this process, you end up asking the right questions.

I was talking to one of my friends who is a journalist he was saying “Anyone and any interview can be interesting as long as you remain curious and ask the right questions”. After that, I started looking at many of the interviews and realized that most of the interviewers came into the interview with a prejudiced mindset. The same is happening with us in all the meetings/conversations we listen to people with a prejudiced mindset. We categorize them based on the answers and approaches to those categories are predefined in our minds. This makes us bad listeners.

Why is it difficult to become a good listener? It is because our brains can think faster than how we talk and listen. The more you are well-versed in a particular area the chance of getting distracted is very high, we tend to read where the conversation is going towards or what the other person is going to say. There is no mantra or breathing technique for listening, there is only one way, ie listen to the speaker, control your inner noise and make yourself curious. The result will be an interesting conversation.

Same as any other skill listening is a skill that needs constant practice and polishing. If you don’t have the natural ability to listen then you have to work hard. “ practice will make you perfect”. The more people you listen to, the more aspects of humanity you will recognize eventually you will develop better instincts. It will help you in reading all those nonverbal communications. If you look at the great leaders they are not just good speakers but also good listeners and they could read what is not being said.

As humanity progress, this is one of the skills we are losing unknowingly. We all are in our small world which revolves around the smart gadgets we carry. We could do pretty much anything with a touch and a swipe. With all these, we are slowly building a small world of our own where we live and devise our own rules. These hard shells have made us bad listeners. In that small cocoon we are not used to listening instead we dictate how things should work in our world. Suddenly when we are being asked to listen to others it becomes a psychological shock.

Now a days with all the digital devices we always complain about the number of ads that show up on devices and the different ways by which companies pushed their products to us. But we can’t complain about that, because the world has become a group of non-listening dictators, and any company/product that is serving this community is a true reflection of the society. So we are getting what we deserve.

As Gandhiji once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. So let’s first break the dictatorship in you and start listening. Keep in mind “Talk less, listen more, and be curious”.

Digitization doesn’t mean building a skyscraper on top of an Old Pyramid

During the course of human civilization, we evolved a lot in terms of technologies, the way we build our houses, towns, buildings, etc.

When Dubai decided to build skyscrapers they didn’t think of transforming one of their old fortresses into skyscrapers nor did they make it on the top of an existing fort. Also, Burj khalifa is not the first skyscraper in downtown Dubai instead, they started building several others and as an epitome, they created Burj khalifa.

You might be wondering why I have started with this example/analogy. I believe keeping this example in mind will help you in connecting the things which I am going to discuss below.

When you analyze the retailers you will realize a pattern. Everyone is considering digitization/e-com/app as using their existing ecosystem. Remember when Dubai thought of building skyscrapers they didn’t build them on top of the existing buildings.

Retailers have to keep in mind that, earlier you used to bring the customers to your stores so that you can showcase your products. When they come into your stores you give them the best experience you can. But now the world has changed, now retailers are in the pockets of customers. They see and compare your products with many other retailers in the world. They can compare you with anyone of their choice.

There is no one size fits all strategy for digital transformation. But when you look at the successful retailers who have digitally transformed you will see some similarities to the first example I mentioned.

They never tried to force-fit digital into their existing fortress instead they approached digital as a new skyscraper and reused the materials they can from the old fortress. Those who tried to build a skyscraper over their old fortress are still limping, complaining, crying, and nailbiting.

Why retailers are doing this?

When you look at the retailers almost everyone is trying to build skyscrapers on top of their existing fortress. That made me think why is this happening?

So let’s go back in time, most of these big retailers started as small stores in a small community where they knew almost everyone. The customers also knew the store staff ( most of them were the owners of the shop).

From that small community store, they started growing and started opening stores in different communities throughout the country and eventually in different parts of the world. This journey was a natural transformation as they grow they started adding technologies that support the brick&mortar growth. As a customer, if I want something then I have to go to the nearest store to get the product, and if I have to return that I have to go to the store again. Customers didn’t find it difficult because there was a store in every community. This is when technology started changing, the internet and mobile became so common and approachable to almost everyone.

Along with this, a new wave of retailers started emerging who were telling the customers that “you don’t have to come to the store we will reside in your pocket or home, you watch/buy at the comfort of your home”.

The old brick&motor retailers didn’t take it seriously they laughed at it. “Blockbuster” was one among them, when Netflix started they might have laughed at it. But soon they became part of the history.

That was an eye-opener for many others they started realizing that they have to do something to onboard this bus. Many of them started digitizing their business but they approached it as if like building a skyscraper on top of the current forts/pyramid. This didn’t work out and many fortresses have fallen.

The reason for the failure was they all approached digital as an addition to their existing brick&motor technology and processes. When they extended their existing brick and motor technology to the pockets of customers it ended up like “Modifying an old Toyota corolla to look like a Tesla”. The moment customers pushed the pedal they started realizing its the same old petrol engine under the hood.

What should the retailers do?

Retailers have to understand that they are not just a shop which is inside a mall or a part of the community but with the technological changes, they also have to exist in the pockets, wrist, cars & homes of customers. When you move from mall to wrist of a customer you have to be nimble, agile, and quick.

The best way to adapt to this is to reverse your thinking. Right now many of these retailers are building a small digital extension of their old technology & processes and putting it in customers’ pockets as a website or app.

This is the same as modifying the Corolla to make it look like a Tesla. So reverse the thinking and put a digital-first strategy (Not just in your marketing campaigns or leadership talks). Redesign your landscape and processes to match with the new world then slowly modernize the old fortress in the meantime slowly correct the basics to adapt to the world of skyscrapers and start building the skyscraper using the knowledge you acquired over the period of time. You have to understand that “In order to offer flexible service the business itself has to be flexible”

If not,

The old fortress which you have will soon become part of history and will be remembered as a lost town of glory”.

The choice is yours and only you can decide how you want to be remembered in history and the future.

We see the past in the Sky

Let me open up with a weird question. 

“You are going out to watch a live match in the stadium how can you make sure that match is live. How and why do you believe that it‘s live?”

Now you might be thinking it’s not a weird question instead it is a stupid one. But keep in mind every brilliant idea seems to be stupid at the first point.

Now come back to the question why do you believe it is live. 

The answer is very simple “You saw it with your naked eyes and you realized that it is happening as you see it, so it’s live”.

So what about when you look up and thank God for the final minute penalty save or a goal. When you do that you will see the stars in the sky.

Is that also live.

Another stupid question right, “Of course it is “.

Here is the twist. I would say “Of course not “


“Because of the finite speed of light, when you gaze up into the night sky, you are looking into the past.”

Let me make it clear.

When you look at the stars we are actually seeing the light which started from the star’s light years ago. The brightest star in the night sky Sirius is 8.6 light-years away. That means the light hitting your eye tonight has been traveling for 8.6 years

NGC4845 Galaxy is one of the distant objects we could track it is 65 million light-years away. This means the light we see right now is 65 million years old.

Imagine NGC4845 galaxy as a picture and if you could zoom in then what you will be seeing now will be the look of NGC4845 galaxy 65 million years back. We don’t even know what is the current status of that galaxy because we don’t have a mechanism to travel faster than light and see what is happening there.

Let’s reverse the situation, imagine there is life in NGC4845 galaxy which is like 65 million light-years away, and if they are looking at earth what will they be seeing. They will of course see the light from the earth which is 65 million years ago. If they have the technology to zoom in then they could see dinosaurs getting extinct and not us.

They could see this only if they have technology beyond human reach. Imagine we try to zoom into NGC4845 galaxy using the current technology we can’t even see the planets which are orbiting the biggest star in that galaxy. You cant zoom in that far because by the time you reach that far there won’t be any photons that get reflected from a planet or a Trex so we can’t see it.

The next question is, “Is this theoretically possible?

“Yes it is”, that is why I said they can see us if they have technology beyond human reach.

In quantum physics, there is something called “Gravitational telescope”. It’s a proposed theory for studying exoplanets using an effect that occurs around massive celestial bodies where the gravity of the objects is strong enough to bend spacetime. An object viewed through this bent of spacetime will appear closer and larger than how you see in the ordinary telescope that is made by us.

We have the sun which is a large celestial body with substantial gravitational pull. If we point this camera towards the sun then we can zoom into exoplanets and see images in detail.

For us, there is a limitation because if we have to see the exoplanets that are clear then we will have to place the telescope at a point 14 times away from the distance between Sun and Pluto plus it has to be 20 times wider than earth.

That is why I said “theoretically possible” but might not be possible for us now, We are yet to reach outside the solar system.

I guess now we are clear “what we see in the sky is the past”

Now let’s add a fun fact to this, there is a list in the wiki which shows the brightest start in the night sky. If you sort the table on that page with distance and find the number closest to your age. That light has actually started traveling when you were born. ie “when you see it tonight you will see the light at the time of your birth”.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Life and Death

What happens after death was always a fascinating question to humans. What is really death? Death is that the absence of life? Since we don’t actually know we started believing in many things. Even with this advanced technology and science we still don’t know what happens after death. Hence we continue believing and creating new theories.

Death is simply the absence of life. Be it humans, animals, or even our earth. The moment life ends we call it “ Death”!

When loved ones pass away we started feeling a void, a disturbing void that we don’t know how to fill in. We start looking for answers to fill that void and will start chasing all possible theories we know. However hard we try that void will remain as it is. Only time can help you here but that too won’t fill that but will teach you to live with that.

We all have these voids in our life that we cant fill but we learned to live with them. What if we could find out what happens after death, will that help fill in the void? No I guess, because we will know our loved one is in another world we can communicate with them but we can’t touch them, we can’t feel them and they can’t be with us in our daily challenges. But that feeling of knowing that they live in another world is definitely a relief. 

Are they living in another world? Some people believe that we take different life forms ie, after death you will be reborn as another being. This theory could be right because the human population is increasing and the animal population is decreasing so more animals are getting reborn as humans. This also means that more humans are getting reborn as other humans. If this theory is right then all those who died till now are living among us in some form or other. If so we can also definitely say that they can’t remember their past life, because we don’t remember what happens in our past life. 

Some believe that based on how you live your life you will either go to heaven or hell. If that is the case then hell will have to be such a huge solar system :).Also, all those who are dead will be living there. This means you will have a chance to meet them only if you live the exact same life as them, ie “if they were bad then you will also have to be bad so that you can meet them in hell and vice versa.”

Some others believe, we go to another world and have a new life there. Like a parallel universe concept. It is like you finish your assignment on one earth and you are being transported to another world. Where you could full fill new challenges. Since there are an infinite number of universes and planets there is always a chance that you will get rebirth as you yourself and relive the same life. This is quite possible because the universes are also aging, dying, and getting reborn. With the death of every universe, a new one is getting created and that will have life eventually. If this theory is correct then that means that we are in that infinite loop of life and death. We will eventually live the same life again and again but in different universes. If that is the case then we can always see our loved ones again and again.

Since we don’t know the answer we can continue imagining as much as we can but we don’t know when we will meet them again and the void will remain. One day we will also sink into that void and hope on that day we will find out what happens after death. But the problem is , we don’t know how to communicate that knowledge to this world


 “What if death is actually the birth “

Photo credits:

Photo by Its Adonis on Unsplash
BLUR. – Download this photo by Its Adonis on

The goal of the road towards the goal

When you start the journey your destination is only an imagination or “It is like the dot in the horizon “

Before we start we will have to keep in mind that “there is no one way to the goal”. Choosing the right path and resources for that path is going to determine your success.

That makes me feel that the journey is more important than destiny because when you achieve the goal you will start chasing the next one.

If you can’t pick the correct roads then every goal will end up as a challenge for you.

If you have to achieve the goal then you have to enjoy the journey towards that. If you have to enjoy the journey then you have to be skillful enough to pick the road and the tools that make your journey an enjoyable one.

Sorry to make you confused, let me break it down.

Imagine you are planning the roadmap for the product. All stakeholders will have a lot of different wants and needs. All of them will throw their wants and needs onto the table.

Now as a product manager you have a lot of stakeholders to satisfy and a lot of targets to look at. On top of these, you will have your own list.

This leaves you in a tough position. When you look at all of them you should be able to see 100 different paths to the goal. At the same time, you should be able to identify the right one which should stand out from the rest.

That identification comes with experience. The experience which you have gained through failures and successes of the past.

This is where “ The Goal of the Road towards Goals” becomes important. When you are planning you should relook at the past roads which you have been through. Think about the areas where you have failed, what & who helped you in getting up from that.

Learn from each failure and success, then apply all of them in the current one.

Using these pick a road and tools which you believe will take you towards the goals. In other words “ Trust your Gut”.

Whenever you do this always remember the journey is important because if you are picking a journey that you can’t enjoy then you might achieve the goal but you won’t have the endurance for the next challenge.

I believe picking the “Goal of the road towards the goal” is more important than “achieving the goal somehow”. Because life is an endless chase of goals you should enjoy the journey rather than the destination.

As I said earlier when you reach the dot on the horizon, you will realize there is another dot on the horizon far away and you will have to chase that.

Photo by Sead Dedić on Unsplash

Photo by John Lockwood on Unsplash

Photo by Chris Hayashi on Unsplash

Need for Rediscovery


Recently I was having a meeting with a team about selecting a platform that they could use. In that meeting, one senior team member raised a point and which caught my attention.

We have established platforms, then why should we rediscover or try new methods, why can’t we just follow and use the existing ones !

Almost everyone agreed to that argument and I couldn’t complain, when you look at that argument peripherally it is all correct “Why should we rediscover everything?” 

But some things can be and have to be rediscovered right?

A couple of years back I was reading a famous book called “ One Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka.

In that, he was telling a story about his starting point. When he was young there was an established method of farming that was passed down and perfected by generations.

But he decided to challenge that with his method of agriculture which he famously called “ Do-Nothing Farming”.

Initially, everyone called him crazy and ignored him, but after some time those who ignored him were queuing up in his old village house to learn about his new techniques.

That was really an inspiration for me. We always accept things as it is and we rarely question why?

Somethings are done or was working in a certain way for ages doesn’t mean that it is always right and it is the only method. Instead, it means that that is the only way we know and hence we believe that it is the only way to do certain things. We can and we have to challenge the Status Quo.

When we start challenging, then everyone will bring up the next biggest question -, “ What if we fail !”.

We ask that question because we all are afraid of failures, we consider failure as an end result. When you consider failure as an end result then it is always a problem but if you consider failure as a step in the journey towards excellence and success then it is not a problem.

If you look at it that way then failure is a result of only one step towards your final journey.

As Thomas Alva Edison once said “ I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work

Now you could argue that “Thomas Alva Edison was not trying to rediscover Bulb

You are right he was not trying to rediscover bulb instead, “He was trying to find an alternative for candle light which was a norm at that time. A technique which was followed and perfected through generations of knowledge and experience”. He reimagined the ways of working he was ready to ask the why. He didn’t stop by just asking the why, he took the lead in finding an answer for that why.

There is no problem in not challenging the norms, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t challenge them or there is no need to challenge them. 

Those who challenge will discover new ways and during the journey they will gain the experience which no one else could acquire.

If you are ready for that journey then get ready to embrace the journey of rediscovery.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

From Awareness to Acceptance = Digital Transformation

Adapting to the new world and its ways of working is always a challenge. Especially for the organization that is still in the old Brick & Mortar ways of working. As a leader when you take up the task of Digital transformation, it is not always easy because you have a group of people & systems who still work in the old ways, on the other side you have technologies of the future and new ways of working.

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd, at the same time make sure his team is entertaining them”… Leading digital transformation is almost like this.

You have to lead and implement the new ways of working and system at the same time entertain, encourage, onboard the old systems, People, Processes, and ways of working.

In order to take the people to a new level, you have to first make them realize where they stand. Then you have to teach them how they have to change and why they have to change. So the first step is “Awareness”. Awareness of the current people, systems, and processes. Then we have to make them realize where they are and the changes you will need in people, processes, and systems.

Let’s look at some steps by which we can do this:

1. Vision

Don’t create a vision without knowing where you are. There is saying 

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”, 

in order to create a vision you have to first see what others see. That means understanding the strategic gaps, technologies, and processes used by the people. 

This will help you in seeing what they see and in creating a clear “Vision”. Even though that vision is invisible to others, it will be easy for you to make them understand and accept.

2. Get the right people involved

Once you have the vision the next step is to start selling it. But the question is to whom?

In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”. 

Most of the old organizations will be heavily hierarchical. So get the leaders on board and make them realize the vision. If you are able to align with the leaders the success rate will increase more than 1.5 times.

3. Culture

People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots

Before you start transformation understand the culture. Because as part of the digital transformation you have to create a new culture and that culture has to take inspiration and learning from the past. This way you are aligned with the leaders and you are not stopping there instead, you are touching the roots and slowly transforming the culture.

4. Gather the Right people

With the right mindset, with the right people, with the right tools, and with the right support, things happen”. 

You have to look for the right qualities in those people. Like willing to learn, willing to adapt, team players, open to challenges and changes. This will help you to evolve continuously.

5. Choose the right Technology

Technology has to be invented or adopted”. 

There are certain systems and functionalities which you can achieve by adopting the right technology platform. At the same time, every organization needs a certain amount of innovation. For those innovative ideas or exceptions, you have to build something of your own. This adoption will also include embracing legacy systems. 

The better way to transform is not just by changing everything which is old. Instead, it is done by embracing legacy. So invent and adopt.

Don’t think with these four-step we are done with digital transformation. It’s just the beginning of a journey in the right direction.

“Digital transformation is a Direction and not a Destination”

Photo credit:

An object in motion will always tend to stay in motion.

First Law Of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion states “ If a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force

This is the same in psychology also “ If we taste victory then we tend to do the same thing again and again. And for some in rest or in a different path and they will continue in their path unless someone forces them to change

I have felt this resistance when I engage with companies for their transformation projects.

Let break it down and see why this is happening and how you can overcome this.

  1. Comfort Zones:

As Newton’s first law states the object will continue in its state as long as a force is being applied on it. It’s because we look for comfort zones. Because we all have weaknesses and we don’t want to expose that to the world. So the best way is to find a comfort zone and hide inside that.

But when you look at the people who achieved great heights we will find that they never cared about these comfort zones. They expose themself to new environments and changes. That allowed them to learn and adapt.

Adapting to changes it’s there in our blood but are we are trying to run away from that instinct. The first step is for companies and individuals to come out of their comfort zones.

2. Fear of Failure

When I was talking to one of the senior executives of a company he was asking me “ We are not doing bad now, we know we have issues but somehow we are delivering results. Then why should we change the way we work? And what Guarantee we have that your approach will work.’’

Instead of answering that I asked him a counter-question “ Nokia as a company was doing great and they didn’t want to change the approach based on what is happening in the industry, at the end what happened?”

We always have to look outside and see what is happening and change our course according to that. You are like a captain of your ship, you have to constantly observe and change the course of your journey else the old route which you have taken might not take you to shore.

Do not fear for change embrace it and change according to it.

3. Busy in creating an Image

When we work in projects and teams, you will notice that some will be busy creating an image for themselves. It is needed but when we overdo it then it becomes a problem.

Why people tend to over to it? Because they lack the knowledge in that area and it becomes a necessity for them to create an image that is larger than themselves. This image creating will result in unnecessary politics in the office environment.

Companies and individuals have to identify these big images getting created in the echo system which is going to eventually throw the balance off.

We should also look at why they are getting created:

 a. There is a lack of knowledge in the group so that the one with little knowledge will be considered as the champion. This also means that there is no one capable at the leadership level to identify and correct this.

 b. Leaders themself creating a picture- I have seen this happening a lot of times, leaders will be busing in portraying and creating a bigger picture of their projects. But when you dig deep into it, you will realize that the leader is not having a good understanding of the project. These leaders will eventually become toxic. One of the common things I have noticed is that this leadership will support favoritism because that is one of the ways for them to protect the bubble they have created. Most of the time this bubble and project will fail together.

4. Force the change

The last one is the force. As Newton said if you have to change the course of movement then you have to apply force. Only a force can make a change.

It’s the same in our case if we want to change we have to force ourselves and companies have to force the change into the organization.

You can bring this change in two ways, for the first approach is to force the change across the organization. This means those who cant change will get frustrated. It is like shaking a fist tank, it will take a little time to settle down. Management has to force the change and appoint the right people to drive the change so the echo system can be rested based on the vision of the company. 

The second method is to be a servant leader and force the change along with others. To do this these leaders should have a great understanding of the full echo system and also a clear view of the end goal. In this case, the disturbance is less because everyone will get a view of what they are doing and why they are doing it.

In both the approaches one thing is mandatory “ The vision’’

There are many microelements that result in a successful transformation. Because when you change a moving engine all the parts of that engine have to work together for that change. Else it will be catastrophic and will result in a big failure. So create that vision and let that vision be the force to make that change.