A Diversity Journey

A Diversity Journey


Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Mon, February 05, 2018 19:15:54

Kreativitet og struktur klarer seg ikke uten hverandre. Kreativitet uten strukturen er kaos og struktur uten kreativitet er livløs.

Men kjærlighetsforholdet mellom struktur og kreativitet er ikke en dans på roser. Kreativitet vil være fri og prøver å bli kvitt struktur, systemer og prosesser. Struktur, på sin side, vil ha fremdrift, og prøver å fokusere, anvende og drifte kreativitetens lidenskap.

Mellom struktur og kreativitet oppstår det naturlig spenningen, en slags søt musikk som driver innovasjon.

Norsk lederstil aspirer mot harmoni og trivsel og legger vekt på oppløsning av spenninger og konflikter. Men det er noen organisatoriske spenninger vi ikke bør forsøke å løse. Det er for eksempel nødvendig med krigføring mellom utforskning og kunnskapsbygging i praksis og dens implementerer gjennom prosessen. Når du utforsker skal du være nysgjerrig og søkende og i gjennomføringen skal kunnskapen anvendes raskt og målrettet. Isolert kan spenningen mellom disse kreftene være ødeleggende, men når spenningen fokuseres på å løse konkrete oppgaver, blomstrer nytenking og verdiskapning

Denne balansen er selvfølgelig ikke lett å oppnå. Prosessen legger vekt på den hierarkiske, kontrollsiden av organisasjonen - strukturen som gjør ting gjort. Mens det utforskende mindset intuitivt bryter regler og utfordrer hierarki. Nøkkelen ligger i balansen mellom rammer og autonomi.

Kreativitet kveles av rigiditet, mens det får vind under vingene når rammene er stramme og tydelige. Autonomi innenfor rammene gir fart, mens styring skaper motstand. Tydelig ambisjon er motiverende, mens generelle mål er irrelevante.

Frustrasjon er en undervurdert kraft og er helt nødvendig for å skape ny verdi, så lenge alle har samme mål og «konflikten» handler om å løse oppgaven på en best mulig måte.


Små team med høy kompetanse og stor grad av frihet er, som regel, mest verdiskapende når de:
· Deler kunnskap
· Tar kollektivt ansvar
· Har en effektiv flyt mellom autonomi og samskaping

Alle må kunne spille hele spillet, mens hver enkel bør ha sin ekspertiseområdet. Slike tette, nyskapende, agile team kan fostre fram best praksis, også i store selskaper.

De beste teamene er de som klarer å opprettholde fremdrift, favoriserer verken kreativitet eller struktur, har respekt for både praksis og prosess, og evner å gjøre begge deler samtidig.

Amela Koluder/OSLO

Creative leadership - an emerging philosophy in action

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Thu, November 16, 2017 19:13:57

Do we need management?
I believe that the whole idea of managing people is obsolete. People are perfectly able to manage themselves. What we all need is great leadership.

Management is about controlling people and motivating them to do tasks in a “right” way. Leadership is about inspiring and releasing potential of everyone to do the right things in their own way within defined constrains and clear goal.

Creative leadership is an emerging philosophy in action. It is about creating an environment that promotes innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Creative leadership embraces change, courage, collaboration and creativity. It encourages sharing, generosity, purpose and pragmatism. It creates value in action; from critical analysis, experimentation, bold decisions, calculated risk taking, agility and hard work. The main purpose is the triple bottom line: planet, people, profit.

Leadership Theories from the past

Leadership theories have been around since storytelling was created. Let’s mention some of them:

· “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself” - Plato’s dialogue on leadership in Republic
· “It is better to be feared than loved” - Machiavelli’s The Prince
· “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” - Lao Tzu’s polar definition

At the end of the industrial revolution, we have seen a progression from a dominant leader style from the early 20th century, to a more egalitarian style, in which interpersonal communication has lost its hierarchy, and value is judged on more than consumer satisfaction alone.

·“Maximizing employees’ effectiveness through specialism” - Scientific Management, Taylor (1905)

· “Leaders are born, not made” - The Great Man theory (1840s)

· “Only men with the inborn characteristics for leadership will be successful, and have the innate ability to take their natural place when crises arise” - The Trait theory (1930s)

· “Three organizational leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire, with varying levels of management involvement and directive” - Lewin et al. (1939)

· “Leaders show great concern for employees, and include them in the decision-making” - the Participative Leadership theory, Dr. Rensis Likert

· “The best leadership style is the one that best fit a given situation” - the Contingency Theory of Leadership, Fred Fiedler (1973)

· “Leader is characterized as “dominant”, having a strong desire to influence others, being self-confident, and having a strong sense of one’s own moral values” - Charismatic Leadership, Robert House (1976)

· “Conscious joint decision, and delegation of authority” - of the Participative Leadership Gary Yukl (1971)

· “The maturity or developmental level of the follower” - Situational Leadership, Dr. Paul Hersey and Dr. Ken Blanchard (1977)

Currently, the limitations of big companies are renewing interest in leadership qualities associated with small enterprise development.

· Entrepreneurial leadership can be defined as the ability to anticipate opportunities, envision new concepts, collaborate and respond fast to changes or opportunities. (Kuratko, 2007).

Due to big global issues that are already influencing people and planet, social entrepreneurship might be the only way for future leadership. In addition to entrepreneurial leadership qualities, focus is on creating value with higher purpose, sharing resources and working as community in small flexible teams.

As time passes, leadership theories will come and go. What will stay is the impact leader makes and created value, for people and planet.

How do you want to be remembered? What has been your impact?

Oslo/Amela Koluder

A TROUBLE CAN BE FUN - the virtue of resilience

ImpressionsPosted by Amela Koluder Sun, November 05, 2017 21:24:34

“When everything goes fine, put a small stone in your shoe.” – says an old Bosnian proverb, I have heard so many times in my childhood. I remember thinking about it, but never understanding the logic of voluntarily being uncomfortable.

Later, in Norway, I met something similar: “Du må yte, før du skal nyte.” Again, no logic for a young mind.

I had enough to struggle with and many things to achieve that demanded an effort – why should I wish for uncomfort!?

After a while, my life became quite settled and comfortable - I have achieved my goal!

So, what do you do when all your dreams come true?

I was happy. I was enjoying. Then I started to feel restless, maybe bored too.

I needed to find new dreams. And pursue them. I needed to leave my comfortable life and struggle again.

It has been hard and scary, but most of all rejuvenating – like being born again. Somewhere on the way I understood why conformism we all indulge in, is so dangerous. Why I should always put that small stone in my shoe.

Being too comfortable is diminishing your RESILIENCE – the ability to re-invent yourself and quickly bounce back no matter what.

And if there is anything certain in life, it is the fact that unexpected change or misfortune will occur!

What is resilience?

Resilience is developed under pressure: “if something does not break you, it makes you stronger.” Under pressure we mobilize all our resources and follow our intuition. We engage, we put effort, we fight back. We learn, we master and even if we do not achieve what we want, we become smarter, better and stronger. And that makes us content!!!

Resilience is about readiness and agility.

READINESS - being ready for whatever might happen:

Unexpected change or misfortune does not mean one cannot make any preparations.

1. Feel the change in the air, have your sensory system on and listen to your intuition.

2. Buffer up for unexpected situations and expenses.

3. Invest in genuine relationships and collaborate. By sharing in good fortune, by creating opportunities for everybody, you nurture the social capital that will become critically valuable if you ever need it.

AGILITY - responding quickly and sharply in any situation:

We can train up our response ability, so that we can follow the intuition and not only our instincts.

1. Never waste a good crisis. A setback gives you an opportunity to reframe, to change, to meet your fears and grow. The best thing with a crisis is that you must act immediately. It means mobilizing your resources and experiences. That is how we learn to trust our gut-feeling.

2. Be smooth. Resilience is about high degree of flexibility, elegance and grace, but also precision, quick adjustments and focus. It is like a dancer and boxer in one.

3. Give away a little now to take up a stronger position in a future. The essence of resilience is to put short-term considerations within longer-term contexts.

It is a mindset of being sound and solid. Practicing resilience and reducing conformism is not only applicable on personal level, but also for a family, group, organization or even nation.

Now I have my “small stones” to put in a shoe. Because for me, there is such a beauty in a struggle while pursuing a vision of my dream!

Oslo/Amela Koluder


ImpressionsPosted by Amela Koluder Sun, September 03, 2017 12:58:03

Publisert i Aftenposten 11. september 2017:
Det er 13. juli 1995, en helt vanlig dag, midt i fellesferien. En ung jente lander på Fornebu. Hun har aldri vært i Norge før. Hun er spent. Hun skal endelig treffe sin søster som har bodd i Norge siden 1993. De har ikke sett hverandre i over 2 år. Pass kontroll tar tid. Uniformer og dokumentkontroll vekker ikke noen gode minner og følelser. Etter en kort stund får hun passet sitt tilbake. Mannen i uniformen smiler varmt til henne og sier: «Welcome to Norway!» Øynene hennes fylles med tårer. «Endelig er jeg velkommen» - jubler hennes flyktning-hjerte. Etter drøye 3 år i krig, med daglig bombing, tvangsflytting, fangenskap, sult og kulde, er hun nå trygg og velkommen.

Det var slik Norge og Nordmenn tok imot oss, Bosniske flyktninger i starten av 1990-tallet. Det var en folke-dugnad på alle nivå, for å hjelpe oss – mennesker i nød, mennesker på flukt. De fleste av oss har vår Nordmann, vår norske familie som har støttet oss, som har integrert oss. De har invitert og inkludert oss i sosiale aktiviteter og lært oss å bo i Norge. Vi har lært både det fantastiske og det rare med å være norske, de mange uskrevne reglene og de mange fantastiske mulighetene. Slik blir man glad i hverandre. Slik blir man takknemlig og har et brennende ønske om å gi tilbake etter beste evne.

Å ha flerkulturell bakgrunn er i utgangspunktet en styrke, for det å se verden gjennom flere «briller» bidrar til å se flere og nye muligheter. Jeg og flere andre har snakket og skrevet om det vidunderlige med mangfold som forutsetning for innovasjon og verdiskapning. Mangfold øker kunnskap og trigger kreativitet. I spenningen mellom ulike perspektiv skapes de beste og mest robuste løsninger. Og vi vet alle at Norge i framtiden vil trenge enda mer verdiskapning, enda flere innovative løsninger, enda flere gründere og enda mere arbeidskraft.

I det siste har jeg flere ganger hørt et merkelig kompliment: «Det er slike som deg, vi i Norge vil ha.» De som sier det, mener det oppriktig. De er ikke klare over at slike utsagn oppfatter jeg mer som en fornærmelse enn en kompliment. Tenk å si til ett av barna dine: «Du er så flink og grei. Det er bare deg vi vil ha. Din bror er syk og slitsom og din søster bryter alle regler og ødelegger for hele familien.»

For, jeg er blitt slik jeg er i dag på grunn av Nordmenn som tok meg imot da jeg og min familie trengte det mest. Derfor elsker jeg dette landet. Derfor er jeg en stolt norsk-bosnier, i dag.

Grunnlaget for Flyktningkonvensjonen, som ble utarbeidet av FN i kjølvannet av andre verdenskrig handler om at vi alle kan bli flyktninger en dag, og at det å hjelpe flyktninger også er å hjelpe oss selv, ved å bidra til stabilitet. Det er ikke bare krig som kan føre mennesker på flukt.

Vi, bosniske flyktninger har klart oss veldig bra overalt fra Australia, Midtøsten, Europa og Amerika. Det er mange fremragende individuelle historier, forskere, politikere, forretningsfolk, gründere, kunstnere, osv. Men som gruppe, kollektivt, har vi best integreringsstatistikk i Sverige og Norge. Det er sikkert flere grunner til det.

Men hvis du spør oss, er vi skjønt enige om at hovedgrunn er at vi ble ønsket hjertelig VELKOMMEN TIL NORGE!

Oslo/Amela Koluder








ImpressionsPosted by Amela Koluder Wed, August 30, 2017 12:11:03
"Dette kan jeg ingenting om - jeg blir med." - Anita Schjøll Brede

Jeg er nysgjerrig på alt som gir nye perspektiver, som kan endre eller skape noe nytt, noe bedre. Buzzord: innovasjon

For tiden bobler det i Norge. Jeg ser initiativ overalt. Det er en slags innoavsjonsfeber. For de fleste kan det oppleves som et stort kaos hvor alle prøver å gjøre noe, men ingen har grep om helheten. Men det er akkurat det som er naturen til den kreative energien – skapelsestrangen. Den utfordrer det etablerte og strukturerte. Den utfordre oss til endring: forbedring, tilpasning, forenkling, …

For å kunne navigere seg rundt i dette «kaoset», for å finne ut hva er relevant og ikke, hjelper det med analytiske evner bare til en viss grad, har jeg lært. Det som virkelig gjelder er å bruke «begeistringsbarometer» - følge hjerte!

Nylig, ble jeg svært begeistret. Det var på boklansering til den prisvinnende journalisten Maria Amelie: Alt eller Ingenting - Hvorfor feiler gründere?

I løpet av de siste to årene har Maria Amelie intervjuet over 50 norske gründere og investorer, komprimert all kunnskapen og laget en bok som avdekker noe av hemmeligheten bak deres suksess.

Forfatteren selv får en herlig introduksjon og tar publikum med storm. Maria Amelie leverer kvalitetsinnhold. Det er relevant, det er interessant og der er annerledes. Akkurat som henne selv: selvsikker og ydmyk, morsom og alvorlig, alt på en gang. Den røde kjolen understrekker energi og mot.

«Alt eller ingenting» er en bok som skal inspirere flere til å bli grundere, til å skape. Den handler ikke om prosess, metode og verktøy. Den handler om mennesker bak suksesshistoriene, brennende lidenskap, mening og uforklarlig, irrasjonell pågangvilje.

De fleste, Maria Amelie har intervjuet har skapt store verdier, etablert minst et internasjonalt selskap og skapt arbeidsplasser. Likevel er de lite kjent i Norge. Hvorfor er det slikt?

Norge har mange grunner til å være stolt av sine forsknings- og fagmiljøer. Det er kompetanse i verdensklasse og stor investeringsvilje.

Så, hva er den norske innovasjonsmodellen? – utfordrer forfatteren og byr på egne refleksjoner. Sammenlignet med flere andre land og kulturer, jobber vi i Norge noe annerledes:

1. vi bruker mye mer tid på samarbeid

2. vi tar ansvar og tenker selv

3. vi har tillitt til hverandre og at strukturelle rammer skal fungere

Mens Maria Amelie forteller om læring fra suksessfulle grundere – hva må til for å lykkes og hvorfor det feiles - tenker jeg på min erfaring med innovasjonsledelse i norske bedrifter.

Den store fordelen med en stort etablert bedrift er tilgang på ressurser. Du satser ikke med egne penger. På den andre siden, den største ulempen er byråkratispøkelse. Det tar tid å agere.

Felles for alle som drives av å skape er lidenskap – den kreative energien som oppstår i spenningen mellom ulike perspektiver.

Det handler om å satse alt, med flammer i hjerte, for å få til det «umulige»:


Amela Koluder, Oslo

I always remember June 19th

ImpressionsPosted by Amela Koluder Mon, June 19, 2017 13:04:12

from my fantasy novel Yutoland, chapter 10 Broken Heart

……… It's morning. Kali wakes up and instantly remembers – it is happening today. Her colors change from glowing red to light yellow. She was not aware that it is even possible to change colors so quickly and so often. “It is good that not all colors show”, thinks Kali for herself.

Mom and dad Kib are changing colors a lot this morning as well. Everyone is trying hard to keep calm. Everyone in the family Kib knows that this is a right decision. They barely look each other in the eyes. Nobody wants to show how hard it is. There is a big, heavy thought soaring around family Kib’s Yuto House this morning: "Will Kali and the rest of her family see each other ever again?" A question absolutely no one can answer.

A small yutocar stops outside the house. Kali’s friends are already on board. Kali hugs Mom Kib, Grandma Kib and Dad Kib. It is especially hard to say goodbye to her sister Ki. On the way to Yutocar, something Kali has never experienced before happens. Dad Kib, the big, strong Yutoman, starts to cry like a little child. Then several of the neighbors, who have gathered to say goodbye to Kali, begin to cry too. But Kali does not cry. Kali looks at everyone with the big dark eyes. She is apparently calm. Kali is now orange with purple flower leaves, but without any glow. She cries from within, in her heart, but no one can see it. Her heart is shut down, so it would not burst.

The journey begins. Yutocar rolls smoothly between small and large Yuto Houses. Kali and her friends are completely quiet. They know all parts of their Yutotown so well. Once upon a time it was such a beautiful place. Their Yutotown was known for the light, its glowing colors and sharp contrasts.

Now it's just fog all over, an invisible shadow, and only gray colors.

The yutocar begins to fly and they are on their way out of the darkness. The youth can see their home place in its worst edition, so infinitely sad and broken. Tornadoes are still ravaging. They see them coming from all directions. The red smoke can be seen almost everywhere. "Can it really get worse?" Kali thinks quietly. They cannot look each other in the eyes. They may be relieved to be escaping, but everything they love is left in the darkness, caught by the dangerous monster Sme. This feeling of uncertainty and worry will mark Kali and her friends for a long time to come.

Yutocar is small and it navigates fast between tornadoes. It somehow knows how to avoid all small tornadoes they encounter on the way.

Kali is heading towards the coast again. This time, Kali knows that it will not be just a short trip. She hopes, of course, that she will be back very soon. But, deep inside, Kali knows that it will take a long time before she can come back. That Kali cannot imagine at all, is how long it will take before she returns.

Kali’s heart is almost black. It is the color she has never experienced before. It is the color of a broken heart. The heart that will never be the same again. The heart that is losing its home. The refugee heart.

source: Yutoland by Amela Koluder


Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Fri, June 09, 2017 16:12:49

How to trigger the uncontrolled, creative thinking?
Be tired. Walk. Do simple activities. But first of all engage with passion in collecting and analyzing data.

Creativity is equally magical and frustrating. Creating something of value requires hard work from two contrasting thinking states: controlled and uncontrolled.

While you are gathering information, and thinking of ideas consciously, you are also feeding your unconscious. The more effort you put, the harder your brains will work. And you want your unconscious mind to be involved - it processes data 500.000 times faster than your conscious mind.

We have two modes of thinking:

1. the cognitive mode - creating focused, controlled thinking
2. the default mode - mind wandering, (day) dreaming, free association, intuition and sensation

The default mode - uncontrolled thought is triggered when the cognitive control shuts down or relaxes. The most obvious example of this is dreams. Most of us do not remember our dreams, but we can all remember that we have been dreaming.

How to trigger the uncontrolled, creative thinking?

Be tired.

Research has shown that a tired mind is often a more creative mind. It may sound counter-intuitive, but early birds should try solving problems late at night, while night owls should attempt to come up with solutions early in the morning.

The best time for “great, new ideas” is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, occurring before being fully awake and just before you are about to drop off to sleep.

Edison famously tried to tap into this “Twilight Zone” with metal balls: he would sit upright in a chair and take a nap while holding a large metal ball in each hand. Once asleep, the balls would drop out of his hands and startle him awake, and he would immediately write down what was in his mind at the time.

Do something simple.

Simple activities that do not demand much thinking are very good for triggering creative insight, for instance while doing the dishes, walking, taking a shower, and driving home from work.

Einstein would work hard on a problem for a couple of hours and then stop to play the violin. Playing a piece, he knew well would require little conscious effort allowing his mind to wander and ideas to arise. By his account, “The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition.”

While doing simple activities, your controlled thinking takes its foot off the gas, making room for your uncontrolled thinking and allowing your mind to wander.


Many of history’s great creatives used to walk while solving challenges, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Freud, Milton, Dickens and Darwin. Steve Jobs was famous for holding meetings while he was walking and Mark Zuckerberg is now following in his footsteps.

Dr. Oppezzo and Schwartz, professors at Stanford University, have compared the levels of creativity in people while walking and sitting. Their research showed that their creative output increased by 60% when they were walking.

No creativity without relevant insight and analytic effort

New, creative thoughts and solutions will not come if you haven’t previously put in the conscious effort into the subject. But if you have and you are patient, you will be rewarded with a gift from your unconscious.

As the painter Joan Miró said,

“I work better when I am not working than when I am.”


Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Wed, March 29, 2017 15:21:20

Do you want to be more creative, engaged and boost your energy?
Be yourself and break rules!

Throughout our lives and careers, we are taught to conform — to the status quo, to the opinions and behaviors of majority, and to information that supports our views. After a while, conformity has been so hammered into us that we stop to question the status quo.

Organizations, especially the big ones, have been focused on designing efficient processes and getting employees to follow them.

Now days, the conformity is bigger challenge than efficiency. Lack of “questioning and disruptive behavior” hurts the business.

The most innovative companies promote “constructive nonconformity”:
behavior that deviates from organizational norms, others’ actions, or common expectations, to the benefit of the organization.


There are three main reasons why we fall in conformity: social pressure to fit in, acceptance of status quo and interpretation of information in a self-serving manner.

What is the danger?

When majority sticks with the status quo, it can lead to boredom., which fuels complacency and stagnation. The result is people who feel they can’t be themselves on the job, are bored, and don’t consider others’ points of view. Big companies like BlackBerry or Polaroid, not to mention Kodak once had winning formulas. Overly comfortable with the status quo, they fell back on tradition and avoided the type of nonconformist behavior that could have secured their success.

In addition, we tend to prioritize information that supports our existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges them. We also tend to view unexpected or unpleasant information as a threat and to avoid to face it — a phenomenon psychologists call motivated skepticism.


Nonconformity promotes innovation, improves performance, and enhances authority. For example, research at the Columbia Business School and Harvard, showed that observers judge a keynote speaker who wears red sneakers, a CEO who makes the rounds of Wall Street in a hoodie and jeans, and a presenter who creates her own PowerPoint template rather than using her company’s as having higher status than counterparts who conform to business norms.

Going against the crowd gives us confidence in our actions, which makes us feel unique and engaged and translates to higher performance and greater creativity.


How to encourage and promote constructive nonconformity?


a. what makes you feel authentic? What is your mission?

b. In collaboration focus on what job needs to be done rather than how to do it

c. Let others solve problems on their own



a. Ask “Why?” and “What if?”

b. Nobody is perfect

c. Urge for excellence not basics


a. Maximize variety

b. Try new ways of doing “old” tasks

c. What is your personal agenda for learning and growth?

d. Give others responsibility and accountability


a. View problems from multiple angles

b. Use simple language and reduces self-serving bias

c. Engage people with diverse perspectives


a. Look for disconfirming evidence

b. Create different opinions by default

c. Be courageous in opposition


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