sharadsinha

Posts Tagged ‘Crowd Sourcing’

Doers vs.Thinkers or Doer-Thinker or Thinker-Doer

In Education, Research and Development, Startup on July 14, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Have you ever found yourself thinking about the topic of this post? Quite likely. And it is all the more likely that you tried to classify yourself as a doer or a thinker. Being human beings, we love to take sides most of the time. We (or others) are either this or that; we work this way or that way etc. Doers take pride in doing things while thinkers take pride in their ability to think deeply and profoundly. Many doers challenge thinkers by saying that they “only think” and do very little on the ground while many thinkers hold the ability to think and come up with ideas in the highest regard. A classic case is the question about work experience versus research experience which I discussed here.

If we stop for a moment and decide not to analyze these two traits from a usability perspective and detach them from their economic outcomes, what do you think will win the doer vs. thinker debate? I guess it will still remain open because in their absolute existence, these two traits offer two different kinds of results. While the former generally gives birth to something tangible, something that our sensory perceptions can respond to, the latter gives birth to something that our minds can (or cannot) comprehend. For instance, a carpenter can produce chairs, tables etc. while someone who studies trees and plants can propose a theory on growth of trees. These two guys can exist in isolation without any problems. Problems arise when we try to assign a monetary value to their efforts and it is then that the debate starts. Since the aim of practically all economic exercises is to maximize the return on money and time invested, whether a doer is more important or a thinker, depends on who brings more value in a given context.

However, instead of identifying yourself with one of these, you can as well be both of these: doer-thinker or thinker-doer. You are one of these two depending on the ratio of these two traits in your character. The good thing about being both is that you appreciate both. You do not become dogmatic and you understand the effort and the skills required for each of them. You can appreciate both kinds of people (who exist in the either or world). Your attitude, character and style of functioning becomes more fluid and you probably gain the knowledge to get  the best out of not only yourself but also out of those who exist in silos. All this becomes really helpful when you are in an organization or you are leading a team. Thinkers can inject new and fresh ideas while doers can execute them. But as you are both, you know very well that an interaction between these two may lead to even better results than the sum of their individual results.

Enterprise Collaboration for Research

In Education, Enterprise Collboration in Academia and Research, NTUGSC, Science & Technology Promotion and Public Policy on August 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM

I had submitted a proposal,when I was the President of NTU Graduate Students’ Club(NTUGSC), to establish a campus wide knowledge exchange and research collaboration platform in Oct-Nov. 2011. With the support of Student Affairs Office (SAO) and  Center for IT Systems (CITS) at NTU and Cisco Systems (USA) Pte. Ltd., we just launched the pilot trial of NTU Collaboration platform which is a pilot implementation of Cisco’s WebEx social in NTU. The platform aims to promote innovation, interdisciplinary research, exchange of ideas etc. between students and faculty from different schools. Majority of the pilot users are drawn from the graduate student community. I have been responsible for framing end user requirements specification, promoting the significance of the platform to graduate student community and some associated staff with the help of NTU Graduate Students’ Club. NTUGSC, CITS and Cisco Systems have all been working together as a team to take this project forward. It is hoped that such a platform will increase interaction between students from different schools. We hope to see an increase in productivity in research, generation and sharing of knowledge, social and recreational engagement and the development of a “community feeling” among the students.