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Collection of creativity metaphors

This e-book is mostly a collection of creative metaphors that I published n LinkedIn. Most of these metaphors are nature-based hoping this would make them living metaphors and also to find a thread of commonality among all the metaphors.
I hope the readers of this book to enjoy reading it. I warmly welcome comments from the readers.

This e-book is mostly a collection of creative metaphors that I published n LinkedIn. Most of these metaphors are nature-based hoping this would make them living metaphors and also to find a thread of commonality among all the metaphors.
I hope the readers of this book to enjoy reading it. I warmly welcome comments from the readers.



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Collection of creativity metaphors

  1. 1. This e-book is mostly a collection of creative metaphors that I published n LinkedIn. Most of these metaphors are nature-based hoping this would make them living metaphors and also to find a thread of commonality among all the metaphors. I hope the readers of this book to enjoy reading it. I warmly welcome comments from the readers. Collection of Creative Metaphors Metaphors mostly nature- derived Ali Anani
  2. 2. Collection of Creativity Metaphors This e-book is mostly a collection of creative metaphors that I published n LinkedIn. Most of these metaphors are nature-based hoping this would make them living metaphors and also to find a thread of commonality among all the metaphors. I hope the readers of this book to enjoy reading it. I warmly welcome comments from the readers. Ali Anani, PhD
  3. 3. A Forest of Ideas ...........................................................................................................................................3 Hairy Communication Feedback Loop ..........................................................................................................4 The Illusion of Control...................................................................................................................................5 Hairy Ideas- a wonderful creative world to explore .....................................................................................6 Coating of Pain..............................................................................................................................................7 Power of Jumping Ideas................................................................................................................................8 The Balance of Ideas .....................................................................................................................................9 Social Alertness and Response....................................................................................................................10 Ageing of Humans and Businesses..............................................................................................................11 Holding Believes Firmly...............................................................................................................................12 Sound of Rumors.........................................................................................................................................13 Overstretching the Stressed .......................................................................................................................14 Stressed Marriages and Corona..................................................................................................................15 Social Distancing and Emerging Problems..................................................................................................16 Avoid These Practices at Home...................................................................................................................17 Knowing what to do and not to do.............................................................................................................18 The Lotus Effect and the Corona Effect ......................................................................................................19 The Strangeness of a Paradox.....................................................................................................................20 Self-Cleaning ...............................................................................................................................................21 Emerging Social Character ..........................................................................................................................23 Turning the Cracks in Our Hearts to Beauty ...............................................................................................25 Business Strategies and Corona Strategies.................................................................................................27
  4. 4. A Forest of Ideas What sparked the idea of this post is the image below. I saw the image of a tree lamp and seeing it as tree of ideas growing in our minds. I stretched the idea further and saw the resemblance of a tree- like neurons networks in our minds. Ideas interact with each other and so new neurons networks appear- just as the neuron networks in our brains do. I am sharing one idea here. Not all trees adapt to changes including abrupt changes the same way. Some ideas behave like few trees who hard shells to protect the seed within. These shells break under fire and the seeds are released. This is an extremely antifragile behavior and is more than resilience. The released seeds thrive on having very little competition from other seeds and so find access for the scarce nutrients. Few ideas stay dormant in our minds. Suddenly, a burning fire of desire breaks the shells of these ideas and the released seeds of ideas are freed. These are the antifragile ideas that survive the fire of initial criticism. I recorded more than fifty ideas from the image above that I plan to share soon in a detailed post. What ideas this image inspires you with?
  5. 5. Hairy Communication Feedback Loop The hairy bees have a great way of communicating with plants using a three-way communication loop. This phenomenon is fascinating. Electroreception allows organisms to detect external electric forces, has long been known in animals living in aquatic, electrically conductive environments. But bees fly in the air and not in water and them still use electroreception for communication. The sensory basis for electric field detection in bumble bees appears to rely on the bees’ hairs, which are mechanically deflected by an applied electric stimulus. The mechanical deflection of these hairs in turn provokes neural responses, carrying information to the bee’s central nervous system. The interaction of the charged bees, the negatively-charged flowers and the electric field with both positive and negative charges is complex and is uneasy to resolve. It is the interactions of the three elements that make the bees locate the nectar-enriched flowers. We humans we need to cater more for attentive communication. It isn’t enough for our hairs and eyebrows to rise with surprises. Our bodies emit a bio-electromagnetic field. Humans have hairs as bees do. Why humans then fail to communicate as efficiently as bees do?
  6. 6. The Illusion of Control Today, I am exploring the control we exercise on employees and whether it is an illusion or not. You can’t comb the hair of a hairy ball. This is known as the Hairy Ball Theorem. It explains why all attempts to comb a hairy ball to flatten all the hairs shall end up in vain. The scientific reasoning is beyond the scope of this post. It is more than simply rubbing dry hair will generate static electricity. This is because electrons from the dry hair get transferred to the comb and now the comb induces a dipole that attracts. There are other factors. Controlling employees to flatten them is like controlling the hairs of a ball- it just doesn’t work. With representing every employee as a dry hair on a ball their alignment is difficult. The relationships among employees and employees and managers will be charged and shall repel each other. Angry employees being “charged’ they may attract conforming employees to line up with them. They repulsive force gains momentum and revolt more. Rubbing hair of hairy plants and rubbing employees will charge both. Managers need to be careful of what they do.
  7. 7. Hairy Ideas- a wonderful creative world to explore The title may sound funny; in truth it isn’t. What are the benefits of using hairy plants and animals as metaphors for creative ideas in our lives? I am drafting a series of posts on this topic. I was looking at hairy seeds and a question bounced in my head “do these seeds get static electricity if we comb them as humans’ hair do”? This question unlocked worlds for me to discover. - Of what importance are hairs for hairy plants and animals? More wonders to add to my excitement. - If hairs have such value for plants and animals why humans throw their hair away when they go to barber shops? Aren’t there uses for this waste hair? More surprises my research revealed. - What are the advantages of hairy seeds and what commercial products can we develop in emulation of these seeds? Great possibilities arose. - Can we make kind of “hairy offers” to attract the attention of potential customers? Creativity revealed great possibilities are embedded in this question. - Why is it impossible to comb straight hairy fruits? A great lesson for managers and leaders.
  8. 8. Coating of Pain An oyster gets irritated by a painful sand grain infiltrating in its shell. This pain triggers the oyster to respond by depositing layers of mineral coatings to ease the pain. But the grain remains inside, and so the oyster keeps adding more layers of protection and so a pearl forms. Humans suffer from many painful irritants such as emotional, social, environmental and physical painful invasion of sandy events that enter their lives. As long as humans keep the grains of pain inside them trigger different reactions. If they keep the pain inside it cascades into other pains and their health deteriorate. One way to relieve the pain is taking drug formulation with a coating of the active material so that it only releases into the desired part of the body. The pain remains and so more coating layers are needed to relieve the pain. Oysters produce pearls from their pain. Humans may produce pearls as well such as emotionally-moving stories, poems, movies and books. Even novel creative pain killers were the source of eliminating pain. The challenge is to turn the pain into a creative work and not in letting pain deteriorate our health. Painful lockdown these days is an opportunity to turn pain into pearl. How do you accept this challenge?
  9. 9. Power of Jumping Ideas We say sometimes that an idea jumps in my mind. What do we mean? When an idea jumps, how and why? These questions reminded me of recent research findings in that some crystals jump as we heat them. Heating changes the crystal other crystal forms. What happens is that these crystals change their structural arrangement due to the stress that heating causes to them. This is known as thermal stressing. Changing structure means relaxing them. Amazingly, this sudden and rare case of jumping occurs for distances up to two meters. This change happens at very high speed. This is the power of jumping. This jumping is hard to explain. However, just before these crystals change they produce sound waves that were recorded. The thermal stress and mechanical stress energies transform to acoustic energy. Jumping of ideas then may occur in our minds when we heat the ideas percolating in our minds with the heat of thinking, imagining and pondering on them. We stress those ideas and make change form into another creative idea. The emerging creative idea jumps in our minds for joy. Creativity is a jumping idea as a jumping crystal is
  10. 10. The Balance of Ideas Can you guess the analogy between ideas and wood? We run into times where we feel we are dry of ideas. Other times we feel the idea pouring like rain in our heads and we get dry. What is an optimal place to be? I thought of dry wood and wet wood. If wood is too dry it shall shrink chaotically as it begins to lose that excess moisture. Excess moisture will cause the tearing of the tools that are used to cut wood. Gluing cut pieces of wood will be difficult if they are wet because water reducing the gluing effect. Moist wood hosts mold and allow it to replicate. To the opposite of wet wood that shrinks when dried, dry wood will swell upon absorbing moisture randomly and loses its dimensional stability. It becomes difficult to work with. It also harms the working tools. Don’t be too dry or too wet with ideas; else you shall suffer from working them out. Generate ideas and then stop to smell them to produce more flowery ideas. It is a balancing game. Make sure the new fruity ideas don’t become dry or too wet again. Keep the cycle in balance
  11. 11. Social Alertness and Response t is critical to observe the social alertness to crisis such as theCovid-19. This is because if one person fails to follow the instructions it could lead to dramatic social expenses in lives and resources. For example, studies show the likelihood of one infected person with corona virus to infect three others. This is possible because the corona virus has a long lifespan compared to the previously known viruses. Visualization of the dramatic effect of one person unaware/hiding his infection with coronavirus in the graph. Visualization helps us see the problem more clearly. Social mocking of the infected, social retaliation in response such as spitting on money to infect others, selling ineffective masks, social tolerance to the defecting persons who don’t commit to the need to stay at home and crowded bakeries without keeping safe distance from others all show that social alertness is below bar. We need more visual and effective communication to solve above issues.
  12. 12. Ageing of Humans and Businesses Humans and businesses undergo similar phases through their lifespans. They both grow fast, mature and then decline rapidly. As humans age their bodies change. One example is the reduction of humans’ lungs’ capacities to hold up air for circulation throughout the body. Same with businesses their capacities vary over times and the “business lungs” mayn’t be able to hold the same “active and oxygen-like” customers. Only 20% of customers are like the oxygen in the air- 20% of them generates 80% of the profit for a business. I am drafting a lengthier post on this topic. For now, I want to highlight one key point. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should reflect this fact. Not all of them are relevant to both ageing and startups and growing and maturing businesses. KPIs should be relevant to the phase of a business they are in. The focus for the old business is to supply the lungs with fresher air (profitable customers) and release the unprofitable ones. Equally important is finding ways to expand the capacity of an old business. Do you think KPIs for businesses should be pertinent to the age of the business? I would love to hear your views and suggestions.
  13. 13. Holding Believes Firmly Don't hold too firmly to your ideas, beliefs and assumptions for you might break them. Do you agree?
  14. 14. Sound of Rumors Living species use different forms of communication. I am focusing on sound here. We even say sound comments. Cats may make sounds as if they were barking like a dog. Sound communication serves different purposes to send warnings, attract mates, defend terrains, and coordinate group behaviors. What purpose rumors about coronavirus serve? Rumors are public communications that reflect private assumptions about how the world works. They are efforts to add up in order to comprehend uncertain situations. Rumors are unconfirmed information of uncertain origin transfer by sound, which is by word of mouth. They are like viruses only reproduce if they reside in a living body. If the virus does not find a new host to infect rapidly it will lose its ability to infect. Rumors are like viruses. I wonder if we may manage them the way we manage the coronavirus!.
  15. 15. Overstretching the Stressed In these difficult times of global worry about corona we all need to stretch our stress away. Equally, we need to stretch the right way; otherwise stretching may be harmful. Unfortunately, there are examples of people behaving chaotically and make people do the wrong stretching or overstretching. Examples include: · spreading rumors by anonymous people · An infected man by corona who intentionally spitted on paper money to spread the virus · increasing the prices of basic food when people are running out of cash and have no income · passing wrong medical advice by laymen that may hurt or give false hopes In stressed times we need to stretch the right way and not make the darkness darker. I just wonder about the human behaviors that show only chaotic patterns. What is the motivation to behave in such a way when all it offers is increased stress without any benefit to the initiator? Do you have an explanation?
  16. 16. Stressed Marriages and Corona I noticed from my observation that couples may develop different trajectories of their lives after marriage. A "marriage gap" develops and this gap tends to grow fast after passing a tipping point and reach a point of no return. The Corona Effect on marriages is a testing time for marriages. Husbands and wives are lockdown a home. If their relations are strained then they may experience “emotional distancing” They mayn’t be talking to each other and if they do they aren’t listening. This proximity might stir anger and blame. With the stress of corona and lack of basic needs these strained relations may only get worse. Emotional distancing between couples may increase accordingly. Corona is a testing time for the healthiness of marriages. I wonder if corona would generate marriage disruption. What do you recommend for stressed marriages so that they may relax?
  17. 17. Social Distancing and Emerging Problems First a quick lesson from the past. During 1973 following the oil crisis regulations were made to stop air infiltration to the inside of heated buildings. Two years later people suffered from molds indoors. The act of excessively controlling air ventilation led to a huge problem indoors. Social distancing is a solution for controlling the spread of the coronavirus. People are staying indoors and I am not worried about humidity problems as much as about human building a “social gap” that may widen exponentially if this distancing is kept very strict for long times. Other issues include the need for eating well to enhance our immunity. But shelves are empty of vegetables and fruits. Even for the majority if they were available they have no money to buy them. How do you view social distancing and its pros and cons?
  18. 18. Avoid These Practices at Home We tend to do practices that lower drastically our immunity without even realizing we are doing so. I am writing this post because I heard a conversation on the phone that lowers the immunity of our bodies. A lady on the phone advised my wife to wash vegetables with a commercial product but with the addition of alcohol to the product so that it can better kill the germs. And for how many other ladies she passed this evil advice to I don’t know. It is well-known that adding alcohol to bleach or any product that has chlorine is an invitation for these substances to react and produce chemicals such as chloroform and more risky ones that impair the lungs, nervous systems, kidneys, skin and eyes. If enough chloroform is produced then more trouble is coming because we may suffer from nausea and dizziness and may lead to the loss of lives. We don’t want to trade one probable risk with a more assured one. The substances we use at home have reactive chemicals. When we mix them we may produce side effects that may endanger our lives. The producers of bleaches don’t add alcohol to the bleach. They know the harm that may generate. Somebody might have advised you to add vinegar to the bleach. Again, this is a recipe for greater risks.
  19. 19. Knowing what to do and not to do Coping with the corona virus requires balance between mild worry and excessive worry to do the right things and avoid what actions not to do. There is a sweet zone between the extremes.
  20. 20. The Lotus Effect and the Corona Effect The Lotus Effect refers to the self-cleaning properties of the lotus flower due to the structure of its leaves that make water form easily-running droplets on their surface. These droplets don’t adhere firmly to the leaves’ surfaces and flow easily carrying the dirt with them. These are the times that we need to have a social structure that is self-cleaning not only to halt the spread of the coronavirus, but also to clean us from the dirt of bad actions and intentions. We need to clean our minds and bodies from spreading rumors, fake news to blowout fear so that our minds and bodies remain healthy and possess greater immunity to the alarming virus. Enjoy the video below: Lotus-Effect® Self-Cleaning Facade Paint and Render Finish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHcd_4ftsNY
  21. 21. The Strangeness of a Paradox There are certain materials and species found in nature such as the Lotus flower and the wings of butterflies that amaze me with their paradox. Even though these materials and species are extremely hydrophobic (water-hating); yet they are the cleanest because they have the structure and chemicals to make water roll off their surfaces. In the process the running water carries with it dust, bacteria and dirt and make these surfaces self-cleaning. This is what we are experiencing with corona- as much as we hate it water in Sicily is purified and the environment is less polluted. What we hate most may be of much benefit to us. Our worst enemy may show up as our friend. Let us exercise self- cleaning by turning the corona that we hate most as our inspiration for cleaning our bodies and souls from harmful behaviors that benefit no body. Let the disruption of corona virus lead to the creation of new life styles. This is the way to go and it has all to generate from within every one of us.
  22. 22. Self-Cleaning These are difficult times fighting against the corona virus. This is an enemy that emerged suddenly and confused our minds. One condition for controlling this virus is keeping the environment hygiene. However; more important is keeping us hygienic. This requires that we only do activities that increase the value of keeping protected against the virus by refraining from throwing the wastes of our thoughts, habits and resulting behaviors on others. It is lean self-manufacturing that produces hardly any waste and increases the value of living a healthy life. In emulation of lean manufacturing we need to follow the 5S steps. These are sorting out our habits and behaviors to dispense with the wasteful ones. Nest is setting in order what we need to do. Sweeping is next to map our activities and visualize the value chain. Nest is to standardize our activities to keep them uniform. Last is sustaining and strengthening the good habits and behaviors. This way we may drop many activities such as smoking, making false claims and spreading rumors that weaken the society. A second approach is to apply the Blue Ocean Strategy on what we think, believe and behave. We need to remove or eliminate the bad ones and increase the good ones and be able to create new us
  23. 23. Emerging Social Character While individual character describes the richness of the character structure of an individual, the social character describes the emotional attitudes common to people in a society. Hit is how people perform under the grinding of a catastrophe or an epidemic such as the one we are experiencing now. The prevailing culture of a society is the emerging result of the interactions among individuals. The character of a society as determined by its tenacity- resistance to break- under extremely unfavorable conditions- is possibly the result of the interactions of the characters of the individuals in that society. The Chinese people proved they have a high tenacity and solid social character. They challenged the outbreak of corona together and worked in harmony to contain the virus. In some societies the social tenacity is questioned because of the acts of some individuals who do acts that are harmful to them and the society. They spread rumors, they expose themselves to unnecessarily to the corona risk, hide their health status and meanwhile carry the risk to others and even to their loved ones or create social hysteria such as that of the emerging toilet tissues . The weakest social group unfortunately determines the overall character of a society.
  24. 24. Turning the Cracks in Our Hearts to Beauty Two posts aroused my attention back to what we need to do to combat the corona virus. The post by Anne Thornley-Brown, In her post Anne wrote “"I emerged stronger than ever with prayer, peer support, and expert advice". This reminded me of my post in which I defined hashtag#creativityskills “creativity is to identify the hidden pearls of harmful traits and find new uses for them”. The big challenge in life s to turn weakness to strength that is greater than the weakness. This is what Nassim Taleb defined as antifragility. The challenge even gets bigger when it comes to broken hearts and how to not only amend them, but make them stronger than they were before becoming broken. The Japanese know well how to turn broken items into objects that are authentic and more attractive than they were before. The cracks in our hearts are what we may repair uniquely, depending on what cracks we have and finding a way to stick the cracked pieces together. This is the highest level of antifragility I can think of. Even if our hearts are broken with spreading corona and its cracking effects, we may piece together the cracks into new and upgraded selves. It is a testing time for us to turn the cracks into golden opportunities. Together we succeed.
  25. 25. Business Strategies and Corona Strategies The World Health Organization published a graph showing that corona is retreating in China, but spreading alarmingly in other countries. I thank Dr. Mohammed A. AlAnsari for sharing the graph. This brought to my mind the strategy that infected trees follow to containing the virus even though trees have no immune system as humans do, Trees do this by a three-pronged strategy. These are: 1- Minimizing the spread of damage to other parts of the infected tree and nearby trees- and by producing chemicals to halt the damage 2- By building new walls so that the trees may confine the damage, and 3- By growing new tissues around the infected zone to overtake further infection What strategies we follow is not different from what trees do. The major difference is that trees follow the recommendation for that serves their common interest. I read in the news today that somebody inflicted with corona escaped his confinement for he felt bored. It is these acts that make the spread of corona easier among humans than it is probably among trees

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