Success Skills 321

Success Skills 321: for the 3rd decade of the 21st century


This is a suite of courses that can be pursued on any weekend ( Saturday and Sunday) that is convenient to the learner. Expression of interest can be made on any day, and all requests received upto a Friday till 12 noon, will be placed in a cohort that would begin on the next Saturday.


To register for any of the flooring courses:

First pay the fee of Rs 1000/- by PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).

Then send a Whatsapp message to MM Pant ( *919810073724) with the following information :

List of weekend courses:

* WEL01: Complex Problem Solving

*  WEL02: Critical Thinking

*  WEL03: Creative Thinking

*  WEL04: People Management


*  WEL05: Co-ordinating with others

*  WEL06: Emotional Intelligence

*  WEL07: Effective Decision making

*  WEL08: Service Orientation


*  WEL09: Negotiation

*  WEL10: Cognitive Flexibility

*  WEL11: Computational Thinking

*  WEL12: First Principles

The flow of the topics for the above courses:

WEL01: Complex Problem Solving :

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

— Voltaire

Complex systems research is becoming ever more important in both the natural and social sciences. It is commonly implied that there is such a thing as a complex system, different examples of which are studied across many disciplines.

Topping the list as the most desired skill to have by 2020 is complex problem-solving ability — defined by the report as the capacity ‘to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings.’

What does that even mean?

In a nutshell, it’s about having the mental elasticity to solve problems we’ve never seen before, and being able to solve them in a landscape that’s changing at breakneck speed and getting more complex by the minute!

In a world filled with what economists describe as ‘wicked’ problems — problems that are not ‘evil’, but considered wicked because they are near-impossible to solve due to incomplete, contradictory or ever-evolving requirements (think climate change, poverty or terrorism) — complex problem-solvers will be in hot demand.

As the report details, ‘More than one third (36%) of all jobs across all industries are expected by our respondents to require complex problem-solving as one of their core skills.’

Now, don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that you’ll be expected to solve the world’s problems. Having strong complex problem-solving skills is about being able to see the big picture, zero in on minute details, and move things around to make a difference.

Thankfully this is not a skill that anyone is born with. It’s something that gets honed over time, and is built on a strong foundation of critical and lateral thinking.

So how do you acquire this holy grail of all skills? According to some studies, problem-solving skills can be improved by playing a lot of video games!

As our world and the workforce continue to rapidly evolve, it’s clear that we all need to develop alongside it if we’re going to keep apace with the changes. As Doc Emmett Brown put it in Back to the Future, ‘Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!’

But you might need a roadmap! So arm yourself with these 10 skills to future-proof your career.

Day1: Introduction: What is Complexity?

1.1: Simple, complicated and complex problems : characteristics of a complex system

1.2: Problem Solving approaches

1.3: Mathematics for Complex Problem Solving

1.4: Simplexity

1.5: Examples in Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Systems

Day 2: Understanding Complexity : the universal challenge

2.1: Measures of Complexity?

2.2: Approaches to Complexity: Tipping points ( phase transitions)

2.3. Emergence

2.4: Computational ( Information based) Complexity

2.5: The promise of Quantum Computing


WEL02: Critical Thinking :

Being a critical thinker will still be a valued skillset in the next four years, according to the survey. But what does critical thinking actually involve?

The answer is: logic and reasoning. Critical thinking involves being able to use logic and reasoning to interrogate an issue or problem, consider various solutions to the problem, and weigh up the pros and cons of each approach.

While IBM’s supercomputer Watson and its legal-savvy companion ROSS are giving humans a run for their money in the critical thinking department, organisations in 2020 will see critical thinkers as highly employable, and a welcome addition to any team.

Try these strategies to become a more critical thinker.

A learning weekend with first batch on March 30th/31st.


In popular listings of skills in demand in future ( critical thinking appears very close to top. Formal education actually discourages critical thinking, and imparts a lot of value to authority.

In the future of large amounts of data and ease of expression, it seems that critical thinking would almost be a survival skill.

This introductory course that can be pursued on a weekend is to create an interest in developing the skills of critical thinking, which according to one definition is “ thinking about thinking to improve your thinking while you are thinking”

The planned flow of the posts is:

Day 1: What is Critical Thinking?

1.1: Critical Thinking is not criticising someone, but is about thinking clearly and rationally on the basis of available evidence (data).

1.2: Reasoning: inductive and deductive

1.3: Critical Thinking in the 4th Industrial Age

1.4: Fallacies: Ad hominem, Ad ignorantiam, False dilemma,Ergo hoc propter hoc, Non sequitur

1.5: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Critical Thinking

Day 2: Critical Thinking in everyday life

2.1: How do I know ? Where the information came from and how it is presented.

2.2: Ponzi Schemes

2.3: Examining assumptions/ taking a position : the Devil’s advocate

2.4: Thinking about your thinking, while you’re thinking, in order to improve your thinking

2.5: Critical analysis of political speeches : 15 logical fallacies in 3 minutes :Donald Trump’s speech


The exact titles of the posts and their sequence may be tweaked during the delivery of the course.

WEL03: Creative Thinking

As the World Economic Forum senior writer, Alex Gray explains, ‘With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, employees are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes.’

‘Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet).’

Creativity is predicted to become a key skill in the future, so before you dismiss yourself as a ‘non-creative’ person, remember that creativity is not the exclusive domain of artsy types like musicians and writers.

If you’re able to connect the dots with seemingly disparate information, and throw all the ideas together to present something ‘new’, then you are a creative person.

The problem with the creative process is its inherent ‘non-process’ nature. There is simply no one way to creatively problem-solve something. In saying that, there are ways to unleash the creative within you by exercising curiosity and self-expression on a regular basis.

Some other things you can do include giving yourself time to let your thoughts wander (this is why some of our best ideas come to us in the shower!), making it a habit to sit down and create a body of work when you’re sleepy (because when your brain’s unfocused, it’s less inhibited), and using limitations as a starting point for creativity!

Day 1: What is creativity ?

Most creative people have a relaxed attitude of confident expectancy that causes their minds to function in original and imaginative ways.

1.1: The Eureka moment: measuring creativity: types of creativity

1.2: Arthur Koestler’s ‘Act of Creation’

1.3: Lateral Thinking: six thinking hats

1.4: Creativity and flow : Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

1.5: Can computers be creative?

Day2: Fostering Creative Thinking

Children are inherently creative but  formal education suppresses it.

Creative thinking can be stimulated by two things; intensely desired goals and pressing problems.

2.1: Curiosity: the key to creativity

2.2: Questioneering : asking good questions

2.3: Creative Problem Solving: the Delphi approach

2.4: Ways to unlock your creativity. Creativity and innovation

2.5: Creativity and Intellectual Property Matters

WEL04: People management

Irrespective of how many jobs get automated and how advanced artificial intelligence becomes, employees will always be a company’s most prized resource.

Human beings are more creative, better at reading each other, and able to piggyback off each other’s ideas and energy. But being human also means that we get sick, we get demotivated, and we get distracted.

So it’s vital that in the future, managers and team leaders know how to motivate their teams, maximise their productivity and respond to their needs.

Being a great manager has a lot to do with emotional intelligence, knowing how to delegate, and developing your own management style.

Day 1: Why people management is important?

1.1: Effective people management leads to success

1.2: Change management

1.3: Developing a sense of ownership

1.4: Trust and honesty

1.5: Transformational Leadership

Day 2: Developing People Management Skills

2.1: Remembering names

2.2: Appreciating People: complimenting them

2.3: Smile genuinely

2.4: Offer to help/ facilitate

2.5: Find a mentor/ coach

WEL 05. Coordinating with others

Social skills dominate the list again at number 5, and point to the emerging trend of companies putting more emphasis on strong interpersonal skills, and employees who play well with others.

Collaboration is crucial in any work environment and this is something that thankfully humans are still better at than robots!

‘Human interaction in the workplace involves team production, with workers playing off of each other’s strengths and adapting flexibly to changing circumstances,’ the WEF report explains. ‘Such non-routine interaction is at the heart of the human advantage over machines.’

Coordinating with others involves strong communication skills, an awareness of other people’s strengths and weaknesses, and being able to work with a range of different personalities.

There is an African proverb: if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Day 1: Communication

1.1: Clear communication

1.2: Becoming a better listener

1.3: The importance of feedback

1.4: Digital communication

1.5: Leveraging Social media

Day 2: Remote working

2.1: Understanding personality types

2.2: Time management and meeting deadlines

2.3: Check-in regularly to observe progress

2.4: Working across time zones

2.5: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for remote working

WEL06: Emotional Intelligence:

The overwhelming response from HR officers and company strategists was that when it comes to desirable skillsets, ‘overall, social skills—such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others — will be in higher demand across industries’ of the future.

Co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry explains that emotional intelligence ‘is the other kind of smart.’ It’s that intangible ‘something’ that helps us tune into the kaleidoscope of human emotions, and measures how adept we are at adjusting our behaviour depending on the mood of a colleague, partner, family member, or even our own internal feelings.

Emotional intelligence literally informs every interaction we have. As Bradberry explains in an article for Forbes, ‘It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.’

It’s a social skill that’s particularly important to managers and leaders, and you’ll be glad to hear that you can give your EQ (emotional quotient) a boost!

Day 1: What is emotional Intelligence?

1.1: The meaning and significance of emotional intelligence

1.2: Managing one’s emotions

1.3: Maintaining a positive attitude

1.4: Using criticism constructively

1.5: Enhancing Social skills

Day 2: Emphasis on empathy

2.1: Empathy and its distinction from similar terms

2.2: Affective and cognitive empathy

2.3: Measurement of empathy / scale of narcissism

2.4: Fostering empathy

2.5: Dangers of empathy

WEL07 : Effective Decision Making:

Backdrop :

People often say that they find it hard to make decisions.

Unfortunately we all have to make decisions all the time, ranging from trivial issues like what to have for lunch, right up to life-changing decisions like where and what to study, and who to marry.

Some people put off making decisions by endlessly searching for more information or getting other people to offer their recommendations.

Others resort to decision-making by taking a vote, sticking a pin in a list or tossing a coin.

The ability to make sound judgement calls and the knack for strong decision-making skills is forecast to move up the list to nab the seventh spot by 2020.

This isn’t surprising considering the sheer volume of data that organisations can now amass, and the growing need for employees who can sift through the numbers, find actionable insights, and use big data to inform business strategy and decisions.

How can you improve your decision-making skills immediately? Start getting a whole lot more comfortable with data. First, figure out what questions or problems you want to answer, then set aside time to explore new data tools and technologies that can help you collect this information. Once you have these two things, you’ll want to make Excel your best friend, learn how to manipulate the data and mine it for all it’s worth!

Day 1: Challenges and approaches to decision making

1.1: Why is Decision Making hard?

1.2: Intuitive Decision Making

1.3: Reasoned Decision Making

1.4: Data driven decision making

1.5: Decision Making under uncertainty

Day 2: Frameworks of Decision Making

2.1: Regret minimisation framework

2.2: Circle of competence

2.3: The Eisenhower matrix

2.4: Analysis Paralysis

2.5: Ethical Decision Making


WEL08: Service Orientation :

Defined as the ability to ‘actively loo[k] for ways to help people,’ having strong service orientation skills is all about shining a spotlight on consumers, and anticipating what their needs will be in the future.

As the WEF report points out, businesses in the energy, financial services and IT industries are ‘increasingly finding themselves confronted with new consumer concerns about issues such as carbon footprints, food safety, labour standards and privacy.’

From a skills perspective this means that businesses ‘will need to learn to more quickly anticipate these new consumer values, to translate them into product offerings and to become ever more knowledgeable about the processes involved in meeting these demands.’

Getting a grip on service orientation involves stepping into the minds of users and thinking about what they value, fear, and dislike; and developing new products or adapting services to future proof your company or brand.

Day 1: What is service orientation?

1.1: Elements of service orientation:

1.2: May I help you ?

1.3: Being thoughtful

1.4: Considerate

1.5: Co-operative

Day 2: How to develop a disposition of service ?

2.1: Valuing being helpful as more important than bring a winner

2.2: Servant Leadership

2.3: Persuasion instead of authority

2.4: Promise less and deliver more

2.5: From competition to co-operation

WEL09: Negotiation Skills:

With robots infiltrating the workforce and job automation flagged to become increasingly commonplace, social skills will be more important than ever in the future.

Why? Because we’re far better at social interaction and negotiations than robots are (for the time being, anyway).

Even people in purely technical occupations will soon be expected to show greater interpersonal skills, and being able to negotiate with your colleagues, managers, clients and teams will be high up on the list of desirable skills.

To find out how to become a better negotiator, here are five things great negotiators always do.

Day 1: The importance of negotiation

1.1: What is negotiation?

1.2: Almost everything is negotiable

1.3: The role of power in negotiation

1.4: The importance of time in negotiation

1.5: The value of information in negotiation

Day 2: The process of negotiation

2.1: The steps in the negotiation process

2.2: Styles of negotiation

2.3: Empathy in negotiations : creating a win-win situation

2.4: A checklist of negotiation skills

2.5: How AI can give you an edge….in negotiations

WEL10: Cognitive Flexibility :

Cognitive flexibility is all about being a mental gymnast. If you think of your brain as a gymnast’s floor, and imagine all the different apparatuses (e.g. the rings, parallel bars, and balance beam) as the different ways of thinking (e.g. the creative brain, mathematical brain, critical thinking brain etc.) — cognitive flexibility is how quickly (and easily) you can swing, leap and twirl back and forth between different systems of thought.

The more limber you are, the easier it becomes to see new patterns, and to make unique associations between ideas. It sheds new light on the concept of having a ‘nimble’ mind!

So how do we flex our cognitive muscles? By learning new things and in particular, learning new ways of thinking. If you’re ‘not a creative type’, make it a point to learn an instrument, take up hip-hop dancing or try your hand at an art class. If you’ve got the soul of a creative, but your eyes glaze over when you hear words like ‘financial markets’ or ‘the economy’, make it your mission to read The Economist or The American Economic Review.

Expand your interests, read outside your comfort zone, and embrace people who challenge your worldviews. Your career (and your brain) will thank you for it.


Day 1: What is Cognitive Flexibility?

1.1: The meaning of Cognitive Flexibility

1.2: Examples of Cognitive Flexibility

1.3: Why is Cognitive Flexibility a valued skill?

1.4: The importance of maintaining cognitive flexibility

1.5: Cognitive Flexibility in Everyday Life

Day2: Measuring and Developing Cognitive Flexibility

2.1: Indicators of Cognitive Flexibility

2.2: Measures of Cognitive Flexibility

2.3: Developing Cognitive Flexibility

2.4: Age and cognitive flexibility

2.5: Wrapping Up


WEL11: Computational Thinking :

The Backdrop :

Concepts, techniques, and analytical abilities from the field of computing can make anyone more efficient in the information age. Furthermore, their understanding can give us powerful mental tools in general for solving problems, performing tasks, planing, working with others, anticipating problems, troubleshooting, and more. We refer to this mental tool set as Computational Thinking (CT).

Developing capabilities of Computational Thinking enable the person to view, consider, analyze, design, plan, work, and solve problems from a computational perspective.

This Whatsapp delivered course helps develop acquire computational thinking capabilities. Neither programming background nor learning how to program is required, only a sense of curiosity and an open mind.

Pursuing this course can also be an excellent way to prepare someone to pursue a rewarding career in computing or information technology, in the age of Artificial Intelligence.

The materials are as much about computing as about sharpening the mind.

Target group : students at Classes 9 to 12 at school

Should be mandatory for classes 9 and 11

Maybe optional for those in class 10 and 12

Of course, all those who have already passed 10+2 are welcome!!

A weekend Whatsapp course :

Day 1: Saturday : What is Computational Thinking?

1.1: Origin, Definitions and its components

1.2: Computer Programming, Coding, Information Fluency, Computer Literacy and similar phrases

1.3: Computational Thinking in the age of Artificial Intelligence

1.4: Computational Thinking as automation of abstraction

1.5: Developing  Computational Thinking Skills?

Day 2: Sunday: Computational Thinking and Complex Problem Solving

2.1: Applications of Computational Thinking in the Physical Sciences

2.2: Applications of Computational Thinking in the Life Sciences

2.3: Applications of Computational Thinking in the Social Sciences

2.4: Applications of Computational Thinking in Engineering and Business

2.5: Applications of Computational Thinking in Governance.

WEL12: First Principles :

Day 1: What are first principles?

1.1: Philosophical Origins

1.2: Elon Musk on the importance of first principles

1.3: The 7 step approach to first principles thinking

1.4: What is not a first principle?

1.5: Barriers to First principles thinking

Day 2: Applications of first principles thinking:

2.1: Elon Musk’s first principles approach to innovative businesses

2.2: Richard Feynman and the Apollo Disaster

2.3: First principles in marketing strategy

2.4: First principles in law

2.5: Employing first principles in daily life

Enrolment and fee payment:

  • As the courses are being delivered through WhatsApp the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724.
  • The fee for each of the above 12 courses is Rs 1000/- and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).
  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account, the relevant information is :
  • Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

A/c 26451000000301


  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

To know more, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724