Thursday, January 16, 2014


Travel to far away places to find the long lost spirit.  Can each trip be a pilgrimage?  Can we cleanse ourselves of all the worries, burdens, scars, and the dark corner of our hearts?  If the source of the ill is deep in our soul, can we forgo it?  

Admin or not Admin

After so many years, I start to realize that most admin are either too busy or too incompetent to be effective.  My worries are that I am becoming one of them. Some admin climb the rank because they don't do anything. Often they don't remember details that they should know.

Some of us take on the admin position simply to prevent someone to do it because they might bring disasters to the organization. 

Outline of my latest Invincible Company through Innovation workshop

Innovation Management
- building an invincible company by sustained innovation

by Eric Y. Tao, Ph.D.  (see bio

Dr. Tao, a professor of technology management and director of Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, leads executives through a journey of innovation that started from a deep appreciation of how individual brains work in innovation, to enabling everyone to become more innovative, to cultivating innovative teams and conclude with how innovation can lead to not just one successful product, but a long lasting, invincible company.  

Many innovation management theories by the top scholars over the last fifty years, Peter Drucker (father of modern management), Clayton Christensen (Harvard Professor, author of Innovator’s Dilemma), Tim Brown (Stanford scholar and CEO of Ideo) will be discussed and practices in the workshop.  Through stories, hands-on exercises, team-projects and brainstorming, Dr. Tao guide the executives completing the workshop with a new mindset, a set of usable strategy and a plan to make their company invincible through sustained innovation.

16-hour lecture and workshop for executives

Hour 1-2 Start the innovation journey

  • What is innovation
  • What is design thinking
  • Innovation stories that we can learn from
  • “Innovate or die” - is it true
  • Discussion the sample and importance of innovation

Hour 3-6   Becoming an innovative individual

  • Know how your brain work
  • 5 good habits to make you more innovative
  • Individual innovation games
  • Innovation now! (in class exercise)

Hour 7-10   Build an innovative team

  • Why some team are more innovative?
  • How to promote innovation in your team
  • How the human resources department can help
  • Team innovation game
  • Reflection on current company policy (in class exercise)

Hour 11-12 Balance between innovation and efficiency

  • Efficiency is crucial for survival
  • Learn from efficiency stories and theories
  • Innovator’s dilemma
  • Essential efficiency strategies
  • Balance innovation and efficiency

Hour 13-18 Build an invincible company via innovation

  • The design thinking and innovation process
  • Analyze the market place and trends
  • What are the competitors doing
  • Change management challenges
  • Design new product/services to the markets (in class exercise)
  • The long term goal - invincible

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spending time on investment or not

During the last few years, my investment in stock and real estates are doing fine.  I studies, analyzed and braved the turbulence of the market since 2009.  Often I woke at at 6:15AM PST to survey the major news of the world in general, and the companies whose stock I was watching in perticular.  I will spend about an hour on these and I would decide the sell and buy limits, instruct my onlne brokerage on my trades and let the waves of the market determine my actually trade.

I figure out the longer trends of the real estate and stocks and project its growth.  When the price raised shapely, I will sell, when it drop below the price I feel it deserves, I buy.   I usually stay with value stock and the major players pick, such as major banks, insurance companies and volatile (yet has foundamentionals to support the grow) ETF.

I will work on these until 8, when my day job starts.

Lately I start to resent the time I have to spend on these activities purely for money.  Sometime it is just for intellecture challenge to beat the market, most of the time it is just trade my valuable time for money.  I felt distained about the time while my wealth, although limited, is enough to sustain my living for good.

I re-read the auto-biograhpy of Benjamin Franklin, and reflect upon the people I respect, such as Sklansky, Moroh, chairman Jiang.  I felt a little better, these people also put a lot of effort to managing their finance.   I felt it is not just waste of my time, which can be used to help students and faculty on the Monterey and San Jose campuses, but a healthy regiment and I have to do as an succeful, independent, well-rounded person.  When done in an maderate, intelligent way, spending time on my finanical health is as valuable and necessary as spending me on my phyical, spiritual and relational health.

And when I read the Franklin book, I also surprrised a great man as he was, he pained the earninging and loss of every shilling in his early days.  So importatn to him that he can record who, where, how much change hand 40 years after the matter had happened.

As I was brought up in the chinese intellectual way that worriing about oneselves is selfish.   The old Ben's book comforts me.  Thanks!  I passed a note to him when I walked by the public library of Boston with his status and words.


Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...