Ella + Mel = Jazz

I once did a corporate gig with the legendary Mel Tormé in Bermuda in the 80s. I think it was a conference for Borg-Warner. I was the day talent and Mel was the evening talent. We travelled to and from New York together and he was a most interesting and intelligent companion ‘on the road’. He was, of course, one of the greatest ever jazz singers famous for his mellifluous voice. His nickname was Velvet Fog. New York Times music critic Will Friedwald once said, “Tormé works with the most beautiful voice a man is allowed to have, and he combines it with a flawless sense of pitch.”

Friedwald also wrote the following about another legendary jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald:

Unlike any other singer you could name, Fitzgerald has the most amazing asset in the very sound of her voice: it’s easily one of the most beautiful and sonically perfect sounds known to man. Even if she couldn’t do anything with it, the instrument that Fitzgerald starts with is dulcet and pure and breathtakingly beautiful. As Henry Pleasants has observed, she has a wider range than most opera singers, and many of the latter, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are among her biggest fans. And the intonation that goes with the voice is, to put it conservatively, God-like. Fitzgerald simply exists in tune, and she hits every note that there is without the slightest trace of effort. Other singers tend to sound like they’re trying to reach up to a note – Fitzgerald always sounds like she’s already there. If anything, she’s descending from her heavenly perch and swooping down to whatever pitch she wants.

I’m blogging this because I stumbled across this video of them both scat-singing at the 1976 Grammy Awards. Wow!!


The x10 Memeplex: Multiply Your Business by 10!

In this exciting text, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson introduces a new way to think about business. He describes the x10 meme – the innovative idea of multiplying your business by 10.

Currently the business growth meme in most people’s brain is 10% per anum. Here the author stresses that the market is changing rapidly and businesses cannot stay the same. The 10% per annum meme is outdated and needs to be upgraded.

x10 is the focus for future thinking and for customer-driven businesses bent on profit share. Using three easy-to-follow tutorials, Hewitt-Gleeson guides you through The x10 Memeplex. Finally, a case study plan helps people to transfer these ideas into their own business practices.

This book will change the way everyone thinks about business. Go ahead. Read the x10 gospel. Infect your mind with the x10 meme. Be like Larry Page and multiply your business by ten!




How to double your speed of thought …

Are you a speed thinker?

To find out if you are a speed thinker first give your quick answer to these five questions. Answer quickly with either a YES or a NO:

– In any situation can you instantly know how you feel about it?
YES                                         NO
– When criticised can you quickly defend your opinions?
YES                                         NO
– Is it easy for you to see the mistakes in the thinking of others?
YES                                         NO
– Are you good at convincing others when you are right?
YES                                         NO
– In deciding, can you see the obvious alternatives and choose the best one?
YES                                         NO

If you answered YES to any of these questions then chances are your thinking is much slower than it need be and you can easily double your speed of thought.

Why is this so?

It’s because the traditional, critical thinking we learned at school is judgmental.

It’s Black Hat thinking. It’s the ancient, Greek-based logical, European religious right/wrong, method. Vertical thinking. Get the ‘right’ answer and avoid the ‘wrong’ answer. It’s about defending your point-of-view. It’s about keeping yourself ‘right’ – sometimes at any cost. US vs THEM. Defend. Attack. Punish. Exclude. Neutralise. Righteousness is GOOD. Mistakes or mutations are BAD! And, of course, God is on OUR side.

For a classic example, we see this ancient method entrenched in the Westminster system of political decision-making still being used in the Houses of London, Canberra and elsewhere: We-are-right-and-you-are-wrong.

Contrast the traditional method with speed thinking which is about design.

Design is about evolving fresh possibilities. Creating new options or hypotheses. Lateral thinking. It’s about escaping from your point-of-view to find a much better one – thinking outside the square!

Experimentation. Innovation. Provocation. Escape and search. Applied scientific testing and more accurate measurement. Change. Risk and diversification. Inclusion. Co-operation. US and THEM. Green Hat thinking.

A classic example of this kind of thinking is the international space station and the Curiosity rover on Mars. To do this new kind of speed thinking you may need to upgrade your traditional brain software.

What is brain software?

Brain software is the basic program you use to do your thinking. Think of your brain as your ‘necktop computer’. Now, ask yourself this question: What software do I use in my necktop and where did I get it from?

Many people are slow thinkers, not because they are short on brainpower, but because they’re using very slow, outdated brain software. The software they were programmed at school to think with actually slows them down. Many of these people may not even be aware of the origin of this brain software nor how it arrived into their own brain in the first place.

Their brain software is the  2500-year-old Greek and biblical software – logic – which was developed by the Vatican and then, very successfully, spread around the world during the second millennium.

The history of papal hegemony is meticulously recorded in the Vatican archives. These records reveal a global effort maintained by centuries of sustained military crusades supported by covert papal inquisitions and the ongoing investment in their feudal missionary system. The export of logic around the world is Europe’s greatest cultural success story.

The downside is that this pre-scientific brain software is so, so sluggish that it makes it very difficult to change your mind, to escape from your point-of-view. Many people are still stuck with logic as their dominant thinking software, so that’s about as fast as they can go: thinking at the speed of logic.

In addition to logic, what is also needed in today’s world is: thinking at the speed of design.

Why be interested in increasing your own speed of thought?

If you don’t upgrade your brain software then you’ll be stuck with what you’ve got.

Although this sounds a bit like a TV advertorial (But wait there’s more!) I’ve listed some of the many real benefits that can come from increasing your own speed of thought:

– be more open-minded
– be better able to escape from your point-of-view
– be able to see more opportunities
– be faster at solving problems
– enjoy making decisions
– increase your survival skills
– be fitter in the marketplace
– be more effective at planning
– get much better results
– find it easier to be creative
– be faster to take advantage of changes in circumstances
– get things done quicker
– think more and worry less
– lower your stress levels
– increase your family’s peace and happiness
– see information in new and more useful ways
– generate better and better alternatives
– apply speed of thought to your personal and family life
– be better at sports and career problems and opportunities
– be a speed thinker!

How can I double my Speed of Thought?

A simple way is by daily training.

If you wish you can get this training pro bono from the School of Thinking.