Friday, December 21, 2007

One of those days

It has been a very lazy day. It’s the first day of my Christmas holiday and even though I have plenty of things to do I choose to do nothing. I took a long walk and then spent rest the day in front of my computer watching videos, reading blogs and just doing nothing important. During my walk I watched stones and mountains shaped from the ice age and suddenly I felt an urge to watch a documentary about this era. And by documentary I don’t mean the animated movie Ice Age. I putted this on top of my to-do-list, above practicing excel and read a book about project management. At least I will enter my internship in January full of knowledge about the ice age.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to revolutionize an educational system

10 weeks of final project is over and we had our final presentation today. During these weeks we have worked hard on a new concept that is going to reform the Swedish educational system. We came up with an idea called “Livskunskap”, (English translation would be Life Knowledge), which is a four week long course for young people in seventh grade. During these weeks they will get a broader knowledge about themselves and be able to build a good self-esteem. The course will also focus on prevent victimizing, gang formation and create a better school environment. The concept isn’t based on standard lectures. Instead we want to give them knowledge by let them experience what we are talking about, learning by doing and discussions. We also have a plan how to carry through with this idea and it’s based on a collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Teacher Training College and National Defence Collage. We have a long and detailed report about our project but I just wanted to give a fast summary.

This isn’t really what I want to work with in the future but it was a very interesting and developing project to develop. I’m a bit torn between my proud feelings over the project and my thoughts that perhaps I could have done something totally different. Maybe something that could have been a future job? But I wouldn’t want to be without all the things I have learned during this period either.

Now it’s holiday for me until 7th January when my internship begins.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I miss Japan

I can’t believe it has been over one month since I left Japan. Going straight from Tokyo to Oslo and then to my hometown is a bit strange and the differences become clear. I spend my days working hard with my final project and now and then I take a look at my phone that I blinged out in Japanese style during my trip and dream away. I spend my nights watching Heroes and trying to understand Hiro speaking Japanese. That’s a good measure on how much I miss Japan.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Leaving Oslo

I’m heading home today to wrap up our final project, be a part of the class exhibition and hold a presentation about our concept. But I’m coming back to Oslo soon since I decided to do my internship at Apt. It will be both challenging and fun! Finally some practice of what I have learned during school and a lot of new knowledge as well.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

If I made cameras # 2

I would make one with a digit combination lock. Bringing a camera to a party almost guarantees that someone looks at all the taken photos. Today’s memory cards are so big that there is room for weeks of photos. You don’t always have the time to upload them and therefore you leave them on the camera. A digit combination in the camera makes sure that you can bring the camera anywhere but still have some integrity. You would still be able to take photos with the camera, but without the digit combination you can not preview the pictures. This would also solve the problem with people deleting photos on your camera without you knowing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There isn't just one right answer

Why are people so focused on finding the right answers? I believe there are many. In school the right answer is the answer that a teacher expects. In real life I believe there is many right answers, we just don’t look for them. There isn’t just one right way to do things, look at commercials, products, building, and shoes for an example. They show us that things can be done in a lot of ways. We find more right answers when we don’t satisfy with the first answer that comes up in our mind.

A leader once had a sign on his wall that said “Think for yourself”, and he always pointed to this sign when an employee came in to his office. Beside that sign were another one with the message “Think again”, which he reminded himself to do everyday. Think for yourself and think again could be two keys for finding more rights.

You can change you career in one day

You just have to make a decision. I’m going to hold another lecture tomorrow, and this one is going to be focused on goals in life and how you can reach them. By teaching some of the methods I have learned at Hyper Island and by reading, I’m going to try to make the students learn how to coach themselves. This is going to be a fun challenge!

Our final project here in Oslo is going as planned. We did some minor changes of our concept. We try to work as effective as possible by having some meeteing focused on follow up the group process now and then. I constantly remind myself of all the things I have learned at school. It is fun to practise what I have learned.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How do you communicate about communication?

I held a lecture today about communication. I prepared the lecture the whole evening yesterday. I made a powerpoint and some notes what to speak about. Well, I made all sort of preparations. And then just 10 minutes before the lecture I started to ask myself how do I communicate about communication in the best way? I know that only 10% of verbal communication reaches a receiver. The rest is my voice, tone and body language. So I dropped all my preparations and decided to improvise.

I putted all the chairs in a circle to make an open atmosphere for discussion. I started the lecture by telling them that I was a bank, but instead of deposit money I wanted them to give me questions, thoughts and a discussion. The more they deposited the more knowledge they would receive. By improvising, let them decide what they wanted to learn and keep a discussion, it became a very good lecture I think. And at the end they learned everything I had on my powerpoint but in a different way. I can only hope that more than 10% of my communication about communication reached to them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Communication and understanding

Communication is so much fun! It is always a challenge to communicate so everybody understands. Our current final project in Norway got me thinking today. Going from teaching for students to educate teachers means you must change your message. And it’s the adaptation that thrills me. What is the message and who is the receiver? How can I make people understand as easy as possible? I believe making people understand a message is more important then people may think and sometimes they tend to forget this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If I worked at Google

I would develop a complementary search engine for them. I found myself in the need of a new kind of search engine yesterday. I wanted to search for a thing but I didn’t even know the name of the thing. That makes it kind of hard to search, doesn’t it? So why now develop a place where you can find the right names for stuff so you easier can find them when you want to Google them?

In my case I wanted to search for an accessory for aquarium and didn’t know the name of the thing. The search engine that would help me find the right word could work like this: I want to know the name for object X and the only thing I know about the object X is that it has something to do with Aquariums. So I start the search for Aquariums and then I get a lot of words that is related to Aquariums so I can continue to look for the word. Google knows what kind of words that can be related to Aquarium and shows them for me with both words and pictures. I would choose the word suitable for me and get more options related to those two words. By choosing new words connected to my first word I will narrow it down to the word I am looking for. Eventually I would find the right word and then get all the links listed underneath just like Google works today. The difference is only that Google helped me search by finding me the right word.

It would almost be like playing the Guess Who? board game I played as a child.

Friday, November 2, 2007

You are what you buy

I found this commercial on the train station and I felt like take a picture of it. This message is all over Tokyo, in shopping centers, next to big buildings and on stations. Ironically enough the train arrived a couple of seconds after this picture was taken and the message on that train was “Better Job – Better Life”. Get money, spend money. Is that all that life is all about?

Final project

All my focus isn’t on my upcoming internship or at my time here in Tokyo. Because my new course Final Project started two weeks ago. During the project we invent a new and innovative business idea and carry through with the idea. I work together with two classmates and it has been a struggle to work from distance in this phase of the project. But nothing is impossible and I look forward to meet them on the train on Wednesday when we travel together to Oslo. I’m going straight from Tokyo to Oslo. I basically live in two bags right now.

I can’t tell you more at this point except that this also is a sharp project for us. A part of our project will be executed during four weeks in Norway together with 60 students on a media school. Perhaps I will give you an update about this in the future, otherwise I will tell you more when the course is over. The exhibition of the projects in my class will be held at 17th December and everyone is more than welcome. Read more about the exhibition at our website.

We went to an Oxygen bar yesterday. It’s fantastic that you can sell something that already exists everywhere.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If I made cameras

I would make one for people to shy to ask for a picture. We sat beside a group of Visual Kei boys yesterday. My friend was certain that they were members of a band and really wanted a picture of them but was too shy to ask for one. That’s when I invented a special camera that looks like a normal one but it takes pictures on the side with a hidden lens. So you can pretend to take a picture of your friend but then it’s actually the boys next to you who are the target. I don’t know how big the market is but my friend needed one yesterday.

Today it’s Halloween and Tokyo is preparing for celebrating. We are going to buy a costume for the night and go crazy celebrating with our Japanese friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Internship interview

I went to my interview at IKEA today and met the store manager Gordon Gustavsson. What an inspiring man, he really managed to give IKEA in Funabashi a real touch of Sweden and the feeling of the brand and at the same time adjust to the Japanese costumer. There are some differences between IKEA in Sweden and IKEA in Japan and it was fun to walk around and discover them. For example the measure system in Japan is different so they have adjusted both some furniture’s and the show rooms. And everywhere around me peopled measured furniture’s, I guess their small homes needs a perfect fit. This IKEA had a pretty unique thing, their own daycare for their employees. The biggest difference was of course seeing people trying to eat meatballs and potatoes with chopsticks.

IKEAs slogan “Home is the most important place in the world” is hard to implement in a country where work is the most important place. But they succeed with that challenge in my opinion, though there is still room for development in that area. I would like to see IKEA revolutionize the Japanese’s way of thinking when it comes to work and implement a healthier attitude.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I love brand fusions

Mix Absolut Vodka and the Jukkasjärvi Icehotel and you get an Absolut Icebar. I have just discovered there is one in Tokyo. I think it’s so fun when companies cooperate because totally new things get to see the daylight.

And now H&M is going to lend a hand from IKEA when they start up I Japan. I can’t wait to see what will come out of that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Eww, it's squid and it touched my tounge!"

Being a vegetarian for more then 7 years and then trying new food in Japan can be an adventure...

But so is going on the subway in rush hour, walking new streets up and down, see things I never seen before and meet new people. Everything seems so different to Sweden and a few times we have whispered "only in Japan" to eachother about amazing stuffs. Can you love a city?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Finally in Tokyo

So many people, so much to see and such a different culture.

On the way here we traveled with British Airways and I saw a funny thing. When I traveled to Thailand a couple of years ago I spend my time on the plane by thinking of how to make flight chairs more comfortable to sleep in. One of my ideas was to put a small pillow on the side of the big pillow on the seat. So when your head falls aside when falling asleep you can rest it on the small pillow.

And someone has been thinking just like me! Because there was two small pillows on each side of the seat and I slept well on my trip to Japan by using them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Set yourself impossible high standards

Just because you can and because it’s fun to try reach them. I believe there is a way to accomplish anything.

The cybernetic process concerning my internship is continuing. Yesterday I decided to let a subtenant rent my apartment. And two hours later it was done. Now I’m ready to leave and explore.

On Tuesday I’m going to Tokyo and today I met a man with contacts there that I might use for a future internship. In three weeks I’m going to Oslo for my final project in school. I have some adventurous weeks ahead of me. Since I believe that my future dream job could be anywhere in the world I got a big cybernetic process going on. I will see where it takes me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If I worked at Nintendo

and made the Wii remote I would put a microphone port on it. Just like the microphone on Nintendo DS. Imagine talk, scream or sing while gaming. Why not put more interactive functions in games, maybe blow away stuff in adventure games or hold conversations with characters in role playing games. And karaoke games could take a totally different way on the Wii console. Sometimes companies could make things even better by combine their products.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Have you ever heard about the cybernetic process?

Well, so have I and it’s fascinating. It’s an often used word in goal coaching that describes the conscious and unconscious process of the brains ability to experience.

When you decide a goal a cybernetic process starts, sort of a reprogramming of your brain. You start to think in a new way without being aware of it and you change your brains experience ability. You discover new paths and take different ways. Every choice you make is, in on one way or another, a step on your journey against your goal. And other people get involved in this process as well since you cross them on your way to your goal.

So hereby I start my cybernetic process by telling you that I’m looking for an internship at a creative thinking company, with a lot of fun project and a good atmosphere. I might cross you on my way to my goal. Let’s sit down and talk more about the cybernetic process then.

What you do every day is a part of the journey to your goals

This is what we talked about yesterday in school. We worked with a model and wrote all the things we did during a normal day. Then we compared how these things took us closer to or goals in life or not. We made goals in our future health, private goals and careers and wrote down where we wanted to be in five years.

And what really hit me was how a normal daily task like walking the dog could take me closer to achieving goals in my career. For example my career goal is to become desired as a project manager and be able to choose fun things to work with. When I walk the dog I get ideas and this is a part of the journey to this goal. The best part of the model is that it “approved” me playing video games, it’s giving me relaxing, and some ideas for my blog.

So look around and discover how thing in your life either leads to you goals, or away from them. Then take action.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Feed your ego on feedback

My group and I held a lecture about feedback at a company today. What really stroked me was how starving of feedback people really are. When it comes to feedback are we untrained, not used to either give or take and sometimes clumsy when we actually do it.

We gave them some models about feedback and then trained to give and receive feedback. It went well and it was so fun to see their reactions when they got positive feedback from their co-workers.

I see feedback as a present, when I get feedback I get it from people who, in one way or antoher, cares about me. They want me to either continue with something or develop by changing something. They care about me enough to tell me this. It's up to me how I "open up" this present and how I choose to take care of it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Think the opposite

My new course Coaching & Mentorship has been running for two weeks. Today we had a very interesting lecture about goals in life and how to coach people to reach them. We learned how to make an action plan to reach these goals. The funny thing about this action plan is that you start from the end when making the plan. First you imagine your goal and picture it. Then imagine what happened just before it came true, and then you visualise every step by step backward until you get to the first step. Of course you have to learn how to ask the right questions. It’s so funny and educating to learn the goal coaching and I will have a lot of use of it in my life.

I can’t wait to implement this way of thinking when I’m going to make a project plan in my next project in school, I think there can be a totally different and good result. Because there isn’t just one right way of making things in life, there are many!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Scientifically proven gossip

A couple of days ago I read an article about gossip. Now it’s scientifically proven why humans need to gossip. In our brainstem we have room for up to 150 people. These people are in one way or another connected to us, almost like a horde. And it’s the gossip that makes us keep these people in right place in our brain, we need gossip to keep remember these peoples position in our horde. Finally a good explanation to why Facebook is so popular.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If I worked at Electrolux

I would have a magnetic poetry function on their web page. Poetry on refrigerators is something that seams to entertain people. So why don’t a company who sells kitchen equipment have a magnetic poetry function on their web page? This would be a great idea for making people spend more time at their webpage and interact whit their brand. And it would be fun if there was a common poetry where people could change each others poems, just like in real life.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

If I worked at a toothpaste company

I would make toothpaste in both day and night edition. This would give me more costumers, always guaranteed that people bought two tubes of toothpaste every time and make me innovative. I don’t understand why it’s only the cosmetic industry that makes products in night and day edition. Perhaps the day toothpaste could work extra long to protect against dental caries all day while the night toothpaste could do some extra bleaching during the night?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If I made video games

I would connect a treadmill to an Xbox 360 and then make a new way of use you treadmill and connect with people at the same time. Then you would be able to run marathons online on Xbox Live with your friends, train together in a group, meet new training companions or just battle against the game itself. There is a lot of video games out there who encourages exercising but this would be the ultimate way of training.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If I were to give you a secret

I would tell you what a lecturer once told me. He runs his own business and said that if he didn’t understand the project he was hired to do, he charged 20 % extra. Because it would be of great importance for the costumer if someone really understood and asked all those stupid questions. So he was hired to be the “idiot” in a project and clarify all the question marks.

Sometimes we need more “idiots” to make things become easier to grasp and understand. This made me think of a quote from Einstein: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction”.

This is what came to my mind after reading Seth Godin’s blog post Two kinds of 'don't know'.

If I made car keys

I would make them rechargeable. My friends car key stopped working today since her batteries ran out. Why don't the key batteries recharge through the car's alternator system when you're driving? Now we got stuck outside because the car didn't have a key hole and therefore couldn't be opened manually.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If I were to give you an advice

I would tell you the story about my first internship and the good idea I got when I was looking for it. Instead of turning to a company or a bureau I decided to do my internship with someone who inspired me and who I wanted to learn from. I turned to Fredrik Härén, a creative genius.

So I ended up at, which was my first choice. The founders of are Fredrik and Teo Härén, authors of The Ideabook and speakers about creativity and ideas. The brothers have lectured to tens of thousands of people in at least 25 different countries on the subjects of creativity and innovation. Their audience is made up of a wide range of people: from high school students and teachers to nurses and doctors, from advertising agencies to large, multi-national corporations.

I was responsible for the campaign behind their upcoming book. We collected histories about good and bad service as materiel for the book and gave away 100 000 Swedish crowns to the stories that was interesting enough to be published in the book. I was in charge of the making of the campaigns website, publicity and press releases. I managed to get an article in Metro and over all the campaign was a success with a massive flow of histories coming to us.

The brothers also encouraged me to come up with new ideas concerning their company and I finished a few of them on my own.

So sometimes it can be a great idea to look at future jobs outside organizations or business and find them with people who inspires you and makes you do grand things.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finished project

We just finished our project in the course organization diagnostic. During four weeks we worked with Aura Light International AB. Organization diagnostic is all about looking at a company with clear eyes and analyze all their components to find their development areas. The course isn’t only about finding these areas, we have to concentrate on improving one selected area as well. Yesterday we held a presentation for the company about the area that we concentrated on and gave our suggestions how to develop it. They approved our ideas and the plan is to complete our project in a couple of weeks. Since we agreed to their secrecy contract I can’t write detailed about our project.

We held our presentation for the students and the staff of my school today. Everyone was happy with the result and we passed the course without any problems.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If I made a blog

it would be something like this. Full of my ideas, thoughts and things that confuses me. I’m a project manager, born on a sunny Sunday and named Elin.

I’m a former Business Management student of Hyper Island working as a project manager. Currently working with digital projects but always open for new opportunities.

To freely explore, get new knowledge and develop as an individual is pure happiness to me. I often get ideas or new solutions for old problems and decided to collect these in this blog. Feel free to pick my brain and let me know if you like my thoughts.