There is so much attention being paid today on how to embrace change. But management expert Gary Hamel, the bestselling author of What Matters Now, says that leaders need to understand that change itself has changed. Grasping the evolution of change will prepare leaders to anticipate shifts and the unstoppable innovations that drive them. Continue reading
Thanks to Quora contributor Nilay Parikh for this one. While I really like the message here, I have always had a soft spot for Gary Larson’s take on a more traditional view of Hell…!
The following short extract is taken from Dan Pink’s recent 2014 Weinberg College convocation speech, given at Northwestern University earlier this year. It’s a great summary of the “got to have a plan” approach versus the “just gonna do it” approach that many of us struggle with throughout our professional and personal lives. For fully committed Dan Pink fans, I’ve also embedded the actual commencement speech, which clocks in at some 15 minutes…
Sometimes you have to write to figure it out…
This advice wasn’t just savvy guidance for how to write — it might be the wisest advice I know for how to live… The way to be okay, we all believe, is to have a specific plan — except may it’s not…
The smartest, most interesting, most dynamic, most impactful people … lived to figure it out. At some point in their lives, they realized that carefully crafted plans … often don’t hold up… Sometimes, the only way to discover who you are or what life you should lead is to do less planning and more living — to burst the double bubble of comfort and convention and just do stuff, even if you don’t know precisely where it’s going to lead, because you don’t know precisely where it’s going to lead.
This might sound risky — and you know what? It is. It’s really risky. But the greater risk is to choose false certainty over genuine ambiguity. The greater risk is to fear failure more than mediocrity. The greater risk is to pursue a path only because it’s the first path you decided to pursue.
Great 12 minute TED Talk about a new way of thinking about innovation — basically start doing it now and deploy it quickly, experiment, learn, and improve.
Here is a beautiful (short, at less than 2 minutes) little animation showing all the transatlantic flight paths of 2,524 planes during a day. Globalization is alive and well!
I came across this gem in the latest copy of the online version of the Economist magazine (which is one of my favorite reads!). Here is a link to the full article.
From the article: “It turns out that aliens are considerate. They seldom disturb earthlings during working or sleeping hours. Rather, they tend to arrive in the evening, especially on Fridays, when folks are sitting on the front porch nursing their fourth beer, the better to appreciate flashing lights in the heavens (see chart). The state aliens like best is Washington—a finding that pre-dates the legalisation of pot there.”
Thanks to John and “Doug Does Life” for bringing this “quotable” to my attention!
Having just clocked in with another birthday, I was amused and just a little frightened at this infographic. I have absolutely no idea about the accuracy of these charts (how would you go about plotting these things out, I wonder…?) however here is what I take away from it, as it applies to me at my current age:
- could I be a failure? Well, apparently I’m getting up there…
- could I be awesome? Not yet, but much hope for me in the next 25 years
- could I be high? Apparently not.
- could I be a loser? Good chance.. wait a minute, is that the same as being a failure?
- could I be important? Diminishing daily… if I can get to be 100 things will turn around!
- could I be an entrepreneur? Falling off quickly…
- could I be depressed? Every chance of that, it seems.
- could I be misunderstood? Apparently, not much chance of that.
- could I be a liar? Yes. No wait, no. What was the question again?
- could I have all the answers? Come back when I’m 100 and I’ll tell you.
Short and to the point, this advice to recent graduates from Nicholas Negoponte (founder of the famous MIT Media Lab) basically can be summarized as “do what moves and excites you”.
Quite candidly, I usually stay away from these types of “top 10 skills you need for the future” because generally I find them quite one-dimensional and often even quite simplistic. However, I am impressed with this one (presented in an infographic format) and I think it does a very reasonable job of pointing out some broad drivers of change (they identify 6) and then linking those to their “10 important work skills”. The work skills Continue reading
I just got back from a short (less than 5 minutes) TV interview this morning on the topic of “resume tips”. It was a gorgeous morning to sit outside and be interviewed! Check it out here…
I’ve been asked to appear on one of the local morning TV shows early next week and talk to the “top 5 resume tips” for students seeking summer employment. So far, so good.
Only, I’m not a big fan of “resume focus” because I fear that this is too often done to the exclusion of understanding what’s really going on behind the scenes — in other words, how the hiring process REALLY WORKS. People inherently believe that the job application is a “matching game” (which is of course the way companies and job boards promote it) and so applicants play the game by embedding the “action words” from the job listing directly into Continue reading
Thanks to blogger Doug Does Life for bringing this to my attention — well worth repeating!
“Stumbled upon” this recently (literally!). I’m doing some of this, and I realize I probably need to do more of them:
a friend sent me this great parody YouTube clip of what company management might tell you if they were being brutally honest about how they align their words and their actions. Warning — the language is a bit rough….!
“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.”
David E. Trueblood
Here is a 10 minute TED Talk from June 2013 given by Annette Heuser, executive director of the Washington branch of the German Bertelsmann Foundation. In this talk, Ms. Heuser presents a blueprint for a new, non-profit solution to loosen the market grip that the 3 current rating agencies have on the global economy. She doesn’t quite go as far as building it around crowd-sourcing concepts, however the idea has the power to change the current playing field in a provocative and engaging fashion. An interesting experiment worth watching (and contributing to, if rating agency reform is your cup of tea!).
Recently while on one of my daily walks, I was reflecting on how much my day to day life had changed – for the better – with the adoption of various habits over the past several years. I started thinking about how many major habits I had built into my life, and determined that there have been 7 major habits that I have successfully adopted over the past six or seven years.
This has not been a planned annual activity of adding a new habit per year, although some people do in fact suggest that kind of approach. With me, it has been an ongoing process over the years of identifying new areas where I decided I could benefit from some specific improvement in my regular routine. I would then “design” an appropriate habit and would go about working to “program” that improvement into my daily life. Also, these are not the only Continue reading
Talk about your “disruptive technologies”. Philip Evans of BCG makes a compelling case for how and why the emergence of “big data” is going to drive massive disruption and transformation of our traditional business and governance institutions. Guaranteed to be painful and not at all pretty…
I came across this little jewel in a recent (February 2014) HBR blog post, authored by Sachin Jain. The general advice certainly “rings true” with my previous experiences as an internal change agent to large corporations, and in my ongoing consulting roles as a “business performance catalyst”. Here is the complete reprint of the article: Continue reading
Interesting chart — “generationally speaking”, it seems that the younger you are the less you buy into the concept that “most people can be trusted”. Worth pondering? Blogger Steve Boese highlights a few reasons why this might be so.
A very interesting chart from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2013, showing labor turnover. This was brought to my attention by blogger Steve Boese in a recent post. The full BLS government report is available for your viewing pleasure if want to see more analysis and detail.
What I found interesting was the clear correlation between the reduction in company-driven layoffs (a sign of improved business performance and probably greater company confidence in the situation going forward) and the measurable increase in number of employees quitting (probably an indicator of improved confidence in their prospects, or long standing attempts to find something “better” starting to pay off). Either way, it speaks somewhat to the ongoing volatility of employment — from an employee’s perspective: “…either business sucks and you’ll lay me off, and in better times, I’ll end up quitting since the job sucks!”. Heck of a foundation to build a vibrant economy on….
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be… This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.”
– Isaac Asimov
I’ve recently started collaborating with Paul Gibbons on podcast interviews with various thinkers and practitioners into the broad topic of what “leadership looks like in the 21st century”. It’s still early days in our initiative however it is starting to take shape and leading to some interesting conversations. More on that in another post, sometime in the future.. in the meantime, I’ve just come across this 9 minute TEDtalk by Roselinde Torres on the subject of “what it takes to be a great leader”… enjoy.
If you know a man’s convictions, you can predict his actions.
If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course.
But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.
Chris McKnett of State Street Global Advisors presents the case for institutional investors becoming the driving force of influencing corporations to take stronger action with sustainability initiatives in this 12 minute TEDtalk:
The liquid network. The slow hunch. The coffee house. The cafeteria table. Connecting ideas over protecting them. These are the suggestions that Steven Johnson covers off in this insightful 18 minute TEDtalk.
Designer Leyla Acarogluc provides an educational and insightful tutorial into the complex nature of some of our “sustainability choices”. Paper versus plastic is not as straight-forward as we sometimes like to think it is…
Twitter always struck me as equivalent to the person wandering the streets, talking loudly to no one in particular. So I found this short YouTube video to be a good illustration of “Twitter in real life”, and a good chuckle for your day. Enjoy!
One of themes in my company’s personal branding public workshops is to think about how to best promote your brand via social media. However, it takes a lot of time and energy to “feed the machine” and so you want to be very selective about choosing the mix of social media tools that is right for you, your message, and how you work. Here is a great parody YouTube video that drives the point home about ensuring you have some deliberate objective for what you ultimately choose to do in the world of social media:
Here’s a short TEDtalk (6 minutes) suggesting that we can link success to the measure of “grit”. Grit, by some definition, seems to be the combination of passion and persistence, and is linked to having a “growth mindset”. Silly me, I thought “grit” was just part of the title of a Western about an old, drunk, gunslinger and a persistent little kid…
At workshops I deliver about how to be an effective networker, I talk a bit about brain chemistry, and particularly about how the chemical Oxytocin is released by our brains and promotes caring and empathy towards others. This short YouTube video lays out some interesting research into this, and illustrates how effective storytelling drives this particular brain response:
If you are interested, here is a short article linked to the video from one of my favorite blogs, PsyBlog, that provides a bit more background and context.