Gamechanger? A crowd-sourced fully transparent rating agency

Annette Heuser, executive director of the Washington branch of the German Bertelsmann Foundation, 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!).

Posted in Business models, Globalization, Measurement systems, Regulation, Risk management | Leave a comment

Quotable: On power and corruption

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On disobedience and virtue

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On climbing to success…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On making change happen…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On having and desiring…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On changing times

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

7 years, 7 habits — a personal journey

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

Posted in change management, Stories from the front line, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Quotable: On change itself

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

How “big data” disrupts everything…

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…

Posted in change management, Globalization, Risk management, Technology | 2 Comments

Coping Techniques for Lonely Change Leaders (reprint)

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

Posted in change management, Reputation management | Leave a comment

Who do you trust?

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.

Posted in Measurement systems | Leave a comment

Quoable: On seeking your true self…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

You know the economy is improving when…

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….

Posted in Employment | Leave a comment

Quotable: on “real” and “reality”

REAL

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: on science fictional thinking…

 “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

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Leadership in the 21st Century

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.

Posted in Globalization, Reputation management | Leave a comment

Quotable: On making a life…

 

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: On finding peace…

1

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On being better…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: Change through model building

R. Buckminster Fuller

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: On convictions, philosophy, and choice

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.

Ayn Rand

Posted in Compelling quotes | 2 Comments

The investment logic for sustainability

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:

Posted in Business models, Externalities, Risk management | Leave a comment

Where good ideas come from

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sustainability, closed loop systems, and design thinking

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…

Posted in Business models, Consumption, Externalities, Technology | Leave a comment

Twitter in real life

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!

Posted in Business models, Reputation management, Technology | Leave a comment

Optimizing your social media strategy

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:

Posted in Business models, Reputation management, Technology | Leave a comment

Does success equal “grit”?

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…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Storytelling and brain chemistry

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.

Posted in Consumption, Stories from the front line | Leave a comment

On simplifying complex work environments

Fascinating TEDtalk from Boston Consulting Group’s Yves Morieux. Key take-away from LEGO’s CEO: “people should be disciplined not for failing, but for failing to help or failing to ask for help.”

Posted in Business models, Measurement systems | Leave a comment

Quotable: on procrastination

“The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.”

Rita Emmett, “Emmett’s Law” from Procrastinator’s Handbook

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: on valuing the journey

Chinese sage Lao Tzu

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: on death as motivating action

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotable: the meaning of impossible

“If someone says that’s impossible, you should understand it as according to my very limited experience and narrow understanding of reality, that’s very unlikely.

Paul Buchheit

Posted in Compelling quotes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quotables: on the power of thought

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Prince Hamlet, in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: on practical dreaming

“This changed world requires practical dreamers who can, and will put their dreams into action. The practical dreamers have always been, and always will be the pattern-makers of civilization.”

Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: On changing minds…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quotables: on resistance and creating

 

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotables: on overcoming procrastination

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotables: on accomplishment

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.

Marcus Aurelius

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.

Vince Lombardi

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

Harry S. Truman

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: On being unreasonable

Posted in Compelling quotes | Leave a comment

Quotable: On identifying Opportunity

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison

“That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.”

Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”

Posted in Compelling quotes | 1 Comment

Quotable: On forging your destiny

- Anonymous

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Backbone of our global trading world: Shipping

A short, fascinating look into the industry behind 90% of our global transportation system. Journalist Rose George’s TEDTalk covers the crew, fuels, piracy, and marine life. Upon reflection, it is surprising how little we ever hear about this industry, so if you are curious, take a few minutes to watch this talk.

 

Posted in Business models, Consumption, Globalization, Stories from the front line | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is like photography…

For the generations that realize there was chemical photography before the digital realm, this image says it all. Thanks to fellow blogger John at Doug Does Life for pointing this one out!

life

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Body language, chemicals, and the job interview

This 20 minute TEDtalk by Amy Cuddy highlights a fascinating insight into the real power of body language and the science behind it. Adopt her suggestions and improve your success in life!

Posted in Employment, Measurement systems, Stories from the front line, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The future of learning? A school in the clouds

Educational researcher Sugata Mitra conducted some really interesting experiments to determine what level of education young kids could reach if left to their own to learn. He talks about the results and the ideas that his findings have led him to in this inspiring 22 minute TEDtalk.

Posted in Business models, Globalization, Stories from the front line, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

China as the idol for emerging economies

A well presented argument (a 16 minute TEDtalk) for why China is rapidly becoming the new idol that emerging economies are increasingly trying to mimic:

Posted in Business models, Globalization, Heros and Zeros | Leave a comment

RIP: Ronald Coase and why firms exist

Markets, Firms and Property Rights: A Celebrat...

Markets, Firms and Property Rights: A Celebration of the Research of Ronald Coase (Dec 4-5, 2009) (Photo credit: k-ideas)

As part of pursuing my “business detox” research agenda, I have tried to pay due attention to the work of economist Ronald Coase who developed the first theories on “why firms exist”. As The Economist newspaper explains in their recent obituary for  Ronald Coase:

As he watched American car plants in action, he realised that the existence of the firm compensated for a critical flaw in the price-setting mechanism. In the real world it is often costly for buyer and seller to arrive at a final price. “Transaction costs”, like the need to negotiate or draw up contracts, prevent the price mechanism from working smoothly. Firms would exist, he reckoned, when it was cheaper and easier to co-ordinate activity within a centrally planned organisation than to spell out contract details for every step in the production process.

Of course, our modern technological world is rapidly driving down transaction costs and making outsourcing of all parts of the firm much more cost-effective and do-able than ever. Hence, the end of the traditional employee-centric firm as we know it today…

As my own nod to Ronald Coase and his brilliant insights into why firms exist, I have reprinted the 7th September 2013 obituary from The Economist in its entirety below. Rest in peace, Mr. Coase. Continue reading

Posted in Business models, Employment, Measurement systems, Stories from the front line | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The older I get…

True

(Thanks to blogger http://dougdoeslife.com/ for this gem…Thanks Doug!)

Image | Posted on by | 6 Comments