The Fundamentals – International Institute for Strategic Research and Training (IISRT)

The Fundamentals


My brother Sam and I had a very interesting discussion about the use of our brain which may depend on the nature of the work we have to do. There is no doubt that faculty members have great opportunity to make use of their brain. Even then our conclusion is that in each activity there are elements of routine such as repetitive tasks during which we are so to speak on auto control; on the other hand, new situation forces us to be in the find mode and there is  an opportunity to be creative. Even then we probably make sixty to seventy percent use of our brain. When we do research we go several notches higher. When we attend a workshop and do brainstorming we go higher.  Here is an interesting experience:

At Oxford University, of course I benefited from substantive knowledge including curriculum design considering the job I was being prepared for. But I also learned a lot otherwise: We are twelve scholars residing at Queen Elizabeth House. Every morning at breakfast, one of us took the head chair. As we did so, we launched a discussion on a subject. Of course everyone participated. When I reflected upon the process, I concluded that the idea was to get the intellect going; it as like mental jogging. Lunch was with a group of professors. Of course the food was great with high quality nutrients and everyone drank beer. The process was to get good nutrients and energy but there were two other reasons; an English professor explained to me that beer drinking had two beneficial effects, one was to go to the bathroom and rid our body of impurities, the second was to make us more mentally relaxed; of course the other important point was to know one’s limits and never to go there; afternoon lectures flowed more creatively.
In the evening, we played bridge for couple of hours and whoever won paid a round of dry sherry which made the game more interesting and also more intellectually stimulating yet prepared us for a good night’s sleep. This is an interesting chapter of my mental growth. 

47 ways to boost brain power

Multitasking and priority setting

Practically, all jobs require us to do several things albeit do multitasking, in other words, engage in several sets of activities which can be undertaken concurrently. Obviously some juggling is needed, handling several balls making sure not to drop any ball which would be a disaster. On the other hands, there are tasks where we could set priorities based on urgency and criticality.

The following study helps us think through multitasking, in the light of which to become more realistic about what multitasking can do and perhaps to concentrate more on priority setting may be even more important.

On the other hand, with careful strategies, multitasking can work:

In light of the foregoing considerations, priority setting may be even more important.

Four methods:

Priority setting exercise:


(note: those are the tools which will put you ahead of the ‘game’ and keep you ahead always)

Be adequately informed by relevant info outside and inside a particular organization; not to be swamped by info overload in the age of too much info; scan quickly and determine relevancies to concentrate on

Lateral thinking (get involved in mental gymnastics albeit mental weight lifting):

A good friend and colleague invited Prof. Ed de Bono to the UN. We had very interesting conversation and organized workshops for our colleagues. Great way to increase creativity.

Enlightenment (build up your reasoning power; use the scientific approach)…1.0..2.103.3076.50j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..6..0i131i20i264.y0fj_Fz26GM

Enlightenment Now (even more important in the 21st century)

Strategic thinking…4.0..0.169.1493.20j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..0..35i39j0i67j0i20i264j0i131i20i264j0i10j0i10i67j0i131i67j0i20i263i264j0i131i20i263i264j0i131i20i263.yy_9ndBj7z4


Strategic planning (how to be ahead of the ‘game’)


Mixed scanning model (Amitai Etzioni)


Emotional intelligence

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters | Santander Business First (