Today, I was invited to Canberra (Australia’s Capital) to lecture to an audience of over 1000 accountants in the National Convention Centre.

I discussed a number of themes including the need for a BVS–a much better way of looking at how we value the assets of a company.

Amazingly, most of today’s investment and business decisions are still based on an invention that has not yet been updated for over 500 years!

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In Venice in 1494, a Franciscan monk and Leonardo Da Vinci collaborator, Fra Luca Pacioli, invented double-entry bookkeeping and published the world’s first textbook on accounting principles and practice. Ever since, this has been the basis of investment decisions. Double-entry bookkeeping shows a map of how money and goods flow through a business.

But it has a major flaw. It is blind to the Intellectual Capital of the business, most of which walks out the door at 5pm every afternoon.

For more on this subject click through to What is the Real Value of a Business?

In Beijing, in 2000, I launched the first SOT program in China for people in the emerging IT industry. Since then SOT has continuously trained members in China through our online training programs.

In 2008 we are planning to conduct a series of SOT programs in Shanghai and we will post more information early in the new year.

images5.jpg SOT training, for over ten years, has been explaining the ideas of Confucius as an interesting alternative, a point of reference and as a useful comparison to Western thinking traditions.

For example, both Jesus and Confucius, as two of history’s most famous thinkers, have some things in common and there are also some interesting differences worth noting.

For more on these two thinkers click through to The Lord and The Master: Jesus and Confucius

From time to time SOT conducts advanced leadership training with a focus on Leadership Thinking and Strategic Thinking.

There are ten positions open for the next intake of SOT Leadership Training 01/07 which will start on 01/12/07 and finish on 31/12/07.

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If you would like to be considered for this 2007 intake you will need to personally commit, on your honour, to do one DFQ each day or 5 DFQs a week. Less than that will not qualify you for this training.

To express your interest write to Michael here.

Later this morning, I’m looking forward to talking to thousands of young Australians who’ll be meeting at the Melbourne Convention Centre to discuss the subject of LEADERSHIP.

The Halogen Foundation organises these meetings around Australia–National Young Leaders Days. Students attend from government, Catholic and private schools. Many travel from the country and remote areas.

The other speakers will be Olympian Brooke Hanson, AFL Legend Glenn Manton, and Polar Explorer Matt McFayden. We each have 20 minutes.

So, how do you discuss the subject of LEADERSHIP, in a meaningful way, in 20 minutes with an audience of 2000 young people?

I’ll try to leave them with just one idea to focus on and that will be the concept of ESCAPE.

Thinking is the skill of leading yourself, and Leadership is the skill of helping others to lead themselves. And, the most difficult feat in thinking is to ESCAPE from your current point-of-view.

• In science and technology we have to escape from old ways of looking at things and experiment with new ways.

• In business we have to escape from last year’s results and come up with much better results for this year.

• In sport we have to escape from previous ‘personal bests’ and past competition results and produce even better results.

• In education, we can’t teach students to use Green Hat thinking unless we can first teach them how to escape from Black Hat thinking.

It’s all about ESCAPE.

The problem is that at school we are mostly taught–through the traditional RIGHT/WRONG system–not to escape from our opinions but to defend the rightness of our point-of-view, to get the ‘RIGHT’ answers and to avoid ‘MISTAKES’. This has made us fearful of change, innovation, experiments, risk, and of escaping from ‘right’ ways of doing things.

But, at this morning’s big meeting if we are going to be talking about LEADERSHIP then we will be talking about ESCAPE.

For more on ESCAPE click through to the 59 Second Course on Thinking

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Earthlings are from Earth! And, that’s the truth. But what might happen if foreigners ever arrived from another planet?

Many thinkers have speculated about such things over the years from John the Baptist to HG Wells. Recently, Professor Richard Dawkins gives his version in the first paragraph of his famous book in the 30th Anniversary Edition of The Selfish Gene:

Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its existence. If superior creatures from space ever visit earth, the first question they will ask, in order to assess the level of our civilisation, is: ‘Have they discovered evolution yet?’.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: What do YOU think is the first question a visitor to earth might ask?

You can post your version here in 25 words or less …