Archive for the ‘Year In Review’ Category

Creating the Causes and Conditions for Self Growth – once a week for the last eight years.

With this blog post, I’ve written a blog post every Wednesday night for eight years, with no misses and no repeats.

It started while on vacation at a friend’s house where he suggested I write a blog. I had no idea what a blog was or how to write one. I didn’t know that a blog usually sits on a website and I didn’t know how to make a website or even how to pay someone to make one. And once I stopped hiding behind the transactional work, I realized I didn’t know what to write about or how to start.

Right out of the gate I learned that starting is difficult. I was anxious and afraid and I told myself all sorts of scary stories that didn’t come true. As I pushed through the basics of creating a website, there were plenty of opportunities to stop, but I didn’t. There was a force pushing me, and though I didn’t know where it came from I was happy when it woke up with me every morning and stayed by my side.

Before starting I had no website and then I had one.  I moved from no to yes.  Creating something from nothing feels great when you’re done, but not beforehand. But I wasn’t even done starting.

The first time I faced the blank screen I was paralyzed. I had many ideas and none of them good enough. I wrote and rewrote paragraphs and scrapped them. I wrote whole drafts and scrapped them. I didn’t have the confidence to say what I wanted to say and let people judge my work. What would they say about me? Would they think about me? Do my words make sense? Are they interesting? Are they right?

At some point I got too tired, my resistance weakened and I hit the publish button. I was still afraid, but in a moment of weakness I sent it anyway. Though I catastrophized before sending, nothing bad happened when I sent it. Nothing good happened either, and I was fine with both.

Self-judgment is a powerful blocking mechanism, but I broke through for the first time. Now, going on 416 times, I’ve started with a blank screen, pushed through my self-judgment and wrote a post.  It’s easier now, but it’s still not easy. And it won’t be easy next year. In fact, what I learned is the posts that caused the most uneasiness in me made the largest impact on others. I learned if I put my deepest personal thoughts into my writing, others appreciated it.  But more importantly, I stood three inches taller after writing it.

With my posts, every week I must to create something from nothing. Every week I must think deeply, distill and write clearly. At the end of every post, I know more about the subject I wrote about. In that way, I can be my own teacher. And every week I must push through my self-doubt and publish. And in that way, every week I create the causes and conditions for self-growth.

Everything gets better with practice. And my practice of starting with nothing and ending with something has helped me be more effective in domains of high uncertainty.  I still feel anxious, but I know it won’t hurt me. And now I use my anxiety for good – as a leading indication that I’m working in new design space. And when I don’t feel anxious, I know to stop what I’m doing and work on something else.

Image credit – Steve Jurvetson

 

Celebrating Seven Years of Blog Posts – what I’ve learned about writing.

%desxToday marks seven years of weekly blog posts.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

When you can write about anything, what you choose tells everyone what you’re about.

Sometimes you’ve got to start writing to figure out what you have to say.

Some people think semicolons are okay; others don’t like to show off.

When you don’t want to write and you write anyway, you feel good when you’re done.

Use short sentences. Use fewer words.

Writing is the best way to learn you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Writing is a good way to have a deep conversation with yourself.

Worrying about what people will think is the surest way to write like crap.

Writing improves by writing.

When the topic comes slowly, start writing. And when the words don’t come at all, repeat.

If you don’t know what you are talking about before you start writing, no worries. You’ll know when you’re done.

When you have nothing to say it’s because what you have to say is too personal share.

For me, writing is learning.

 

Image credit David Kutschke

 

Celebrating Six Years of Blog Posts

Happy Birthday AmandaToday marks six years of blog posts published every Wednesday evening.  300 weeks in a row and I haven’t skipped, forgot, or repeated.  All written without an editor, though you knew that by the typos and grammar stumbles.

It’s a challenge to write every week, but it’s worth it.  Writing demands thinking things through, which can be difficult especially if you want to write clearly, but thinking things through creates knowledge.  Deep knowledge.

Over the last year I wrote a lot about self-awareness, mindfulness and intentions.  I’m better for my meditations, and through osmosis, so are some of the people closest to me. I expect you’ll hear more on these themes over the next year.

I’ve put myself out there with my writing.  With some posts I’m afraid to hit the publish key, and those are the posts that matter.  My fear is the signal there’s something important in the post.  I hope to write more of those.

I strive to write clearly and densely and avoid buzzwords.  Innovation is the buzzword that trips me up.  But like He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, I’ll see if I can avoid calling it by name. (And never three times in the same post.)  And my call-to-arms will be clearer, plainer, denser.

I’m not sure what next year will bring, but I hope it will be 52 more posts.

Thanks for reading.

Mike

Image credit – Bart.

 

 

 

Celebrating 5 Years of Writing

20141001-193440.jpgToday is a celebration.

I have written a blog post every Wednesday evening for the last five years. No guest blogs, no ghost writer, no repeat blogs, and no editor. Just me.

The main theme last year was around doing new. Though I used the word innovation too many times, I provided real examples and grounded observations on what to do and why. There are many tools, processes, and philosophies around innovation – too many to cover fully even over a year or two of blogs – but there are two things that apply to all of us.

Innovation is context specific. Whatever you do going forward is strongly shaped by what you did to make the present what it is. And because every company’s history is different, every company’s go-forward activities will be different. Yes, become knowledgeable about best practices, but use only the ones that fit and don’t use them as-is – twist them to match the curves of your company. Yes, understand what other companies have done, but don’t copy them.

Innovation is all about people. If you can get people to try new things, you’re well on your way. And to get them to try new things, figure out why they’re afraid and do the small things, the everyday things, that make is safe to try.

My goal for year six – another year of meaningful writing.

Thanks for reading.

Mike

Image credit – woodleywonderworks.

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013!

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013Top 40 Innovation Bloggers just announced.

Blown away to be in the top 5!  Proud to be part of such an amazing group!

FROM INNOVATION EXCELLENCE — After two weeks of torrid voting and much passionate support, along with a lot of gut-wrenching consideration and jostling during the judging round, I am proud to announce your Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013:

  1. Jeffrey Baumgartner
    Jeffrey BaumgartnerJeffrey Baumgartner is the author of the book, The Way of the Innovation Master; the author/editor of Report 103, a popular newsletter on creativity and innovation in business. He is currently developing and running workshops around the world on Anticonventional Thinking, a radical new approach to achieving goals through creativity — and an alternative to brainstorming.


  2. Paul Hobcraft
    Paul HobcraftPaul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.


  3. Gijs van Wulfen
    Gijs van WulfenGijs van Wulfen leads ideation processes and is the founder of the FORTH innovation method. He is the author of Creating Innovative Products & Services, published by Gower.


  4. Jeffrey Phillips
    Jeffrey PhillipsJeffrey Phillips is a senior leader at OVO Innovation. OVO works with large distributed organizations to build innovation teams, processes and capabilities. Jeffrey is the author of Relentless Innovation and the blog Innovate on Purpose.


  5. Mike Shipulski
    Mike ShipulskiMike Shipulski brings together people, culture, and tools to change engineering behavior. He writes daily on Twitter as @MikeShipulski and weekly on his blog Shipulski On Design.

Click here for the whole list.

 

Accomplishments in 2013 (Year Four)

PRODUCT PROCESS PEOPLE

Accomplishments in 2013

  • Fourth year of weekly blog posts without missing a beat or repeating a post. (251 posts in total.)
  • Third year of daily tweets – 2,170 in all. (@mikeshipulski)
  • Second year as Top 40 Innovation Bloggers (#12) – Innovation Excellence, the web’s top innovation site.
  • Seventh consecutive year as Keynote Speaker at International Forum on DFMA.
  • Fourth year of LinkedIn working group – Systematic DFMA Deployment.
  • Third year writing a column for Assembly Magazine (6 more columns this year).
  • Wrote a book — PRODUCT PROCESS PEOPLE – Designing for Change (Which my subscribers can download for free.)

 

Top 5 Posts

  1. What They Didn’t Teach Me In Engineering School — a reflection on my learning after my learning.
  2. Guided Divergence — balancing act of letting go and shaping the future.
  3. Innovation in 26 words — literally.
  4. Lasting Behavioral Change — easy to say, tough to do.
  5. Prototype The Unfamiliar — test early and often.

 

I look forward to a great year 5.

Celebrating Four Years!

PRODUCT PROCESS PEOPLEToday is a celebration – four years of Shipulski On Design!

To celebrate, I’m introducing my new book — Product Process People – Designing for Change.

And as a gift, I’m offering for free (pdf format) to my subscribers. If you’re a subscriber, click  below to download the pdf.  If you’re not a subscriber and you want the book, simply subscribe to my blog (see the box on the right) and download the pdf. (It’s the honor system.)

 Download it, read it, and share it with all your friends. (They don’t have to subscribe because you do.)

I hope the book helps you have a meaningful discussion about the future.

And for me, to help spread the message, if you download it please share it.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to a great year 5.

Mike

Celebrating Three Years of Shipulski On Design

Today is a celebration – three years of Shipulski On Design!

 

I get lot’s of great feeback, but the best is when you tell me my writing touched you and helped you do your work differently. You may see this as my gift to you, but I see it as your gift to me.

 

Thank you for reading and commenting.

 

Below are some highlights for 2012:

 

Accomplishments in 2012

  • Third year of weekly blog posts without missing a beat or repeating (203 posts in total).
  • Second year of daily tweets – 1520 in all (@mikeshipulski).
  • Top 40 Innovation Bloggers – Innovation Excellence, the web’s top innovation site.
  • Sixth consecutive year as Keynote Speaker at International Forum on DFMA.
  • Started Pinterest page – cool engineering pictures  and video content – (ShipOnDesign).
  • Third year of LinkedIn working group – Systematic DFMA Deployment.
  • Second year writing a column for Assembly Magazine (6 columns this year).

 

Top 5 Posts

  1. Why it’s tough to decide — how to spot unmade decisions – gremlin style.
  2. Choose your path — the three paths explained – short and good.
  3. Impossible — well, almost.
  4. What is Design for Manufacturing and Assembly — the basics – video style.
  5. When It’s Time For a New Cowpath — great photo

 

I look forward to a great year 4.

2010 – Mike’s year in review

I looked back at 2010 and put together the list of things I shipped. (I got the idea from Seth Godin.)  I made the list for me, to make sure I took some time to feel good about me and my work.  I do.

I want to share the list with you (because I’m proud of it).  So here it is:

65 posts (goal was 52)

4 articles –

Workshop on DFMA Deployment

Keynote presentation DFMA Forum

Started a LinkedIn working group on Systematic DFMA Deployment

Pretended to be a country

Wrote an obituary for Imagination

Sought out Vacation’s killer

Put out a warrant on Dumb-Asses

Wrote about balsamic vinaigrette

Looked into the DoD’s affordability eyeball

Told Secretary of Defense Gates how to save $50 billion (He hasn’t returned my calls.)

I hope you had a good year as well.  Mike

Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner