jerryking + adaptability   47

China is changing the geopolitical climate. Canada has to mitigate, and adapt
MAY 16, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | EDITORIAL.

So what’s Canada to do? In the long run, Canadian governments dealing with Beijing need to keep four things in mind.

China is more threat than opportunity. Unlike our other major trading partners, China is not a democratic, rule-of-law country. There was once hope China could behave as a rule-of-law country internationally, even as it remained a dictatorship at home. There was also a belief that China’s economic advances would lead to an opening up of its political system. That hasn’t happened. If anything, the Xi Jinping regime is turning back the clock on individual freedoms.

That lack of Chinese political liberalization is at the root of what is fast turning into a new Cold War. Among the problems: In a world of liberalized trade, the rules end up benefiting the totalitarian state, since its companies can access the protections of our legal system, while our companies are subject to perfectly legal shakedowns in China.

China is not our enemy. But it is not our friend. There was once a fantasy that friendship would be as easy as establishing personal connections with Beijing’s ruling circle. They would surely melt at the mention of the sainted memory of Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who followed Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic and murderer of millions.

Mao wasn’t a sentimental man and neither are his heirs.

To counterbalance China, we need allies. Canada has long worked to build multilateral alliances to give us a bit of leverage when dealing with our giant neighbour, the United States. The giant across the ocean presents a similar, but more troubling, challenge. The good news is we have natural allies. That list includes the U.S., at least in the post-Trump world. It includes the European Union. And it includes China’s worried democratic neighbours: Japan and South Korea.

We need to avoid becoming trade-dependent on China. We have natural allies who want to do likewise. That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be about. That’s what pursuing greater and freer trade with Japan and South Korea is about.

Canada should never aim to shut down trade with China. But we have to make sure the future doesn’t leave us without room to manoeuvre, or to push back.
adaptability  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  China_rising  delusions  disillusioned  editorials  geopolitics  hostages  Huawei  kidnappings  Meng_Wanzhou  multilateralism  predatory_practices  reprisals  rogue_actors  threats  totalitarian  TPP  Xi_Jinping 
may 2019 by jerryking
An equation to ensure America survives the age of AI
April 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Cobbs.

Alexander Hamilton, Horace Mann and Frances Perkins are linked by their emphasis on the importance of human learning.

In more and more industries, the low-skilled suffer declining pay and hours. McKinsey estimates that 60 per cent of occupations are at risk of partial or total automation. Workers spy disaster. Whether the middle class shrinks in the age of artificial intelligence depends less on machine learning than on human learning. Historical precedents help, especially...... the Hamilton-Mann-Perkins equation: innovation plus education, plus a social safety net, equals the sum of prosperity.

(1) Alexander Hamilton.
US founding father Alexander Hamilton was first to understand the relationship between: (a) the US's founding coincided with the industrial revolution and the need to grapple with technological disruption (In 1776, James Watts sold his first steam engine when the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence)-- Steam remade the world economically; and (b), America’s decolonisation remade the world politically......Hamilton believed that Fledgling countries needed robust economies. New technologies gave them an edge. Hamilton noted that England owed its progress to the mechanization of textile production.......Thomas Jefferson,on the other hand, argued that the US should remain pastoral: a free, virtuous nation exchanged raw materials for foreign goods. Farmers were “the chosen people”; factories promoted dependence and vice.....Hamilton disagreed. He thought colonies shouldn’t overpay foreigners for things they could produce themselves. Government should incentivise innovation, said his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. Otherwise citizens would resist change even when jobs ceased to provide sufficient income, deterred from making a “spontaneous transition to new pursuits”.......the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to grant patents to anyone with a qualified application. America became a nation of tinkerers...Cyrus McCormick, son of a farmer, patented a mechanical reaper in 1834 that reduced the hands needed in farming. The US soared to become the world’s largest economy by 1890. Hamilton’s constant: nurture innovation.

(2) Horace Mann
America’s success gave rise to the idea that a free country needed free schools. The reformer Horace Mann, who never had more than six weeks of schooling in a year, started the Common School Movement, calling public schools “the greatest discovery made by man”.....Grammar schools spread across the US between the 1830s and 1880s. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the tools for success in industrialising economies. Towns offered children a no-cost education.......Americans achieved the world’s highest per capita income just as they became the world’s best-educated people. Mann’s constant: prioritise education.

(3) Frances Perkins
Jefferson was correct that industrial economies made people more interdependent. By 1920, more Americans lived in towns earning wages than on farms growing their own food. When the Great Depression drove unemployment to 25 per cent, the state took a third role....FDR recruited Frances Perkins, the longest serving labour secretary in US history, to rescue workers. Perkins led campaigns that established a minimum wage and maximum workweek. Most importantly, she chaired the committee that wrote the 1935 Social Security Act, creating a federal pension system and state unemployment insurance. Her achievements did not end the depression, but helped democracy weather it. Perkins’s constant: knit a safety net.

The world has ridden three swells of industrialisation occasioned by the harnessing of steam, electricity and computers. The next wave, brought to us by AI, towers over us. History shows that innovation, education and safety nets point the ship of state into the wave.

Progress is a variable. Hamilton, Mann and Perkins would each urge us to mind the constants in the historical equation.
adaptability  Alexander_Hamilton  artificial_intelligence  automation  constitutions  disruption  downward_mobility  education  FDR  Founding_Fathers  Frances_Perkins  gig_economy  historical_precedents  hollowing_out  Horace_Mann  Industrial_Revolution  innovation  innovation_policies  James_Watts  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  life_long_learning  low-skilled  McKinsey  middle_class  priorities  productivity  public_education  public_schools  safety_nets  slavery  steam_engine  the_Great_Depression  Thomas_Jefferson  tinkerers 
april 2019 by jerryking
What to Do When You’re Bored With Your Routines
March 29, 2019 | The New York Times | By Juli Fraga.

Boredom isn’t a character flaw. It’s a state brought on by a behavioral phenomenon called hedonic adaptation: the tendency for us to get used to things over time. This explains why initially gratifying activities and relationships can sometimes lose their luster. “Humans are remarkably good at growing accustomed to the positive and negative changes in their lives,” Sometimes this is a good thing, like when “it comes to adversities like losing a loved one, divorce or downsizing,” .....“We adjust fairly well, but this same flexibility can be detrimental to how we respond to positive life events.”....Think about the last time you got a raise, bought a new car, moved to a new city or fell in love. At first these experiences bring about an immense sense of joy, but over time they all just become part of the routine. We adjust our expectations and move on, ready for the next thing that will excite us again — this is called the hedonic treadmill. It’s why your favorite songs, TV shows and restaurants can start to feel dull after a while.......hedonic adaptation serves an evolutionary purpose.....“If our emotional reactions didn’t weaken with time, we couldn’t recognize novel changes that may signal rewards or threats,” we’d overlook cues needed to make important, daily decisions about our safety, relationships and careers.....understanding the connection between hedonic adaptation and boredom can help us maneuver around this “stuck” feeling. Psychologists have found that adaptation is more common when interactions with situations, people and events remain unchanged......

(1) Eat lunch with chopsticks (metaphorically speaking, that is):
eating food in unconventional ways can make eating and drinking feel more novel....The takeaway: Approaching tasks in imaginative ways could prevent boredom from sabotaging your (metaphorical) lunch hour.
(2) Work somewhere fresh:
Spending too much time in the same environment, as we all can, can cause a boredom buildup. If you work from home, mix things up by working in a new place, like a coffee shop or a library; if you work from an office, try changing up the layout of your desk or work area.......Changes don’t need to be large to have an impact. Simply accessorizing your desk with fresh flowers or approaching a work project in a novel way can make a difference....
(3) Entertain at home:
Not only is boredom a buzzkill, but it can be toxic to our partnerships. “Boredom is a common relationship issue that can lead to maladaptive coping skills,” .......While apathy can cause marital discontent, it can be tricky to recognize because relationships that are O.K. aren’t necessarily engaging, “Mixing up our social worlds can strengthen friendships and romantic partnerships because evolving relationships keep things interesting.” Try going out on a limb by doing something creative, like organizing a group cooking party, a themed dinner or an old-fashioned tea party.
(4) Pose a question:
Instead of asking well-worn questions like, “How was your day?” or “Did you have a good weekend?” get curious about a co-worker, friend or partner by asking something personal. Two standbys to try: “What are you looking forward to today?” or “Is there anything I can help you with this week?” If you really want to grab someone’s attention, try something quirkier like, “What’s one song that describes your mood today?” Interpersonal curiosity reminds those in our social circles that we’re interested in who they are. Not only that, but discovering new information about friends and co-workers can revitalize conversations and bolster intimacy.
(5) Mix up your commute:
Monotonous tasks like commuting to and from work can end one’s day on a stale note.If you drive, take a different route home or listen to a new podcast. If you walk or use public transportation, greet a stranger or put away your Smartphone and do some old-fashioned people watching.

Whatever you do to quell boredom, keep things interesting by altering your behavior often. Variety can not only interrupt hedonic adaptation; it might just be the spice of happiness.
adaptability  boredom  commuting  co-workers  creative_renewal  curiosity  habits  happiness  howto  psychologists  questions  relationships  routines  signals  variety 
april 2019 by jerryking
Why the cult of the early riser still captivates
March 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Jo Ellison

Will getting up before the sun has cracked its first rays make you a better, more brilliant person? In his book, The 5am Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate your Life, “leadership guru” Robin Sharma argues the case. The book is the 13th publication in an oeuvre that also includes the titles Who Will Cry When You Die? and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which has sold more than three million copies to date......club members must get up as soon as the alarm goes off at 4.45am before launching into “The Victory Hour”, which breaks down into 20 minutes of movement and hard physical exercise, 20 minutes of “reflection”, such as prayer, meditation or journal writing, followed by 20 minutes of “growth”, during which you might listen to “a podcast about leadership” or “consume an audiobook”.

This magical hour of solitude, contemplation and sweat allows one to focus on one’s goals and optimise one’s schedule for the day ahead, which is then split into 60- and 90-minute bursts of intensely focused work, with 10-minute intervals for mental growth, during which time the brain should roam freely. Sharma saves the afternoons for meetings and “lower value work” before going home to enjoy a “portfolio of joyful pursuits”, family time and/or nature walks.
adaptability  books  buffering  early_risers  GTD  gurus  habits  productivity  slack_time 
march 2019 by jerryking
I’ve Interviewed 300 High Achievers About Their Morning Routines. Here’s What I’ve Learned. - The New York Times
By Benjamin Spall
Oct. 21, 2018
Experiment with your wake-up time
While the majority of the people I’ve interviewed tend to get up early — the average wake-up time for everyone I’ve talked to is 6:27 a.m. — successful people like to experiment to find the sweet spot that works for them.......Make time for whatever energizes you
Most successful people carve out time in their morning to commit to things that make them feel relaxed, energized and motivated. That can mean working out, reading, meditating or just spending time with your loved ones.....
Get enough sleep
The quality of your sleep the night before directly impacts your ability to perform the next day and, indeed, your ability to enjoy your day. Your morning routine means nothing without a good night’s sleep behind it. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and might even decrease the effectiveness of your immune system.

Don’t become complacent about how much sleep you need; most people require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. If you’re constantly trying to get by on less than seven hours of sleep, it will catch up with you, likely sooner rather than later......Adapt your routine to different situations
While it might not always be possible to keep your full morning routine in place when you’re away from home, it is possible to have a travel-ready routine that is always there when you need it.....Don’t beat yourself up
Nearly everyone I’ve talked to said they don’t consider one, two or even three missed days of their morning routine a failure, so long as they get back to it as soon as they can.
GTD  productivity  routines  lessons_learned  insomnia  adaptability  best_practices  choices  serenity  sleep  high-achieving  early_risers  diabetes  immune_system 
october 2018 by jerryking
What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative
Feb. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Brad Plumer

In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers.

But first, Xebec had a question: What were the odds that the sites it was considering might be underwater in 10 or 20 years?......Yet detailed information about the city’s climate risks proved surprisingly hard to find. Federal flood maps are based on historical data, and won’t tell you how sea-level rise could exacerbate flooding in the years ahead.....So Xebec turned to a Silicon Valley start-up called Jupiter, which offered to analyze local weather and hydrological data and combine it with climate model projections to assess the potential climate risks Xebec might face in Charleston over the next few decades from things like heavier rainfall, sea level rise or increased storm surge....the reliability of Jupiter's predictive analytics is uncertain....that said, “In economics, information has value if you would make a different decision based on that information,”...... Congress has generally underfunded initiatives such as those at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to incorporate climate change into its federal flood maps.......to get a full picture of flooding risk, you need expertise in weather, but also climate and hydrology and engineering and running complex models on the latest computer hardware,” ... “All of those specialized disciplines are usually heavily siloed within the public sector or the scientific community.”....Jupiter, which acknowledges the uncertainties in climate forecasting, will have to prove that a market exists....flooding and other disasters have led to record losses by insurers.....[Those] losses raised the stakes in terms of trying to get the best possible science on your side when you’re pricing risk,” said John Drzik, president of global risk at Marsh,
climate_change  weather  start_ups  data_driven  forecasting  hard_to_find  predictive_analytics  tools  Charleston  South_Carolina  uncertainty  sea-level_rise  floods  commercial_real_estate  adaptability  specificity  catastrophes  catastrophic_risk  unpredictability  coastal  extreme_weather_events  insurance  FEMA  cartography  floodplains  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  mapping  historical_data 
february 2018 by jerryking
Innovation: less shock and more awe
And al­though people say they like new things, often what they want is mere­ly for existing things to work better.

Innovations must be bought repeatedly if they are to succeed commercially. As Simon Roberts, an anthropologist and director of Stripe Partners, an innovation agency in London, puts it: “Businesses often look on innovations as ‘new things’. But to understand how new things become part of the everyday, it’s more helpful to think of them as skills and habits consumers ac­quire.”

Innovations that fit current circumstances may stand a better chance of bedding in than those that tear up the rule book.

How to turn an innovation into a consumer habit

●Respect social norms and work around any existing infrastructure. Even disruptive innovations need to fit into the world as it is – at least initially.

●Choose your words Analogies can help people grasp how innovations work and by referencing familiar things make the unfamiliar less daunting – for instance using “checkout” for online shopping.

●Show, not tell Bombarding people with data rarely helps. Concentrate instead on creating opportunities for people to experiment with innovations first hand.

●Engage the senses Building prompts and cues into new technologies – the swoosh signifying a text message has been sent, the artificial shutter click on digital cameras – is reassuring for novices.

●Get verbal Names that sound good as verbs − as in Skyping or Googling − encourage consumers to think of innovations as things others are embracing, which they should perhaps do too.
robotics  automation  autonomous_vehicles  innovation  habits  prompts  cues  adaptability  anthropologists  experiential_marketing  skills  customer_adoption  cultural_divides  analogies  social_norms  experimentation  haptics  senses  digital_cameras 
november 2017 by jerryking
Folks, We’re Home Alone
SEPT. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

we’re going through three climate changes at once:

We’re going through a change in the actual climate — disruptive, destructive weather events are steadily on the rise.

We’re going through a change in the “climate” of globalization — going from an interconnected world to an interdependent one, from a world of walls where you build your wealth by hoarding the most resources to a world of webs where you build your wealth by having the most connections to the flow of ideas, networks, innovators and entrepreneurs. In this interdependent world, connectivity leads to prosperity and isolation leads to poverty. We got rich by being “America Connected” not “America First.”

Finally, we’re going through a change in the “climate” of technology and work. We’re moving into a world where computers and algorithms can analyze (reveal previously hidden patterns); optimize (tell a plane which altitude to fly each mile to get the best fuel efficiency); prophesize (tell you when your elevator will break or what your customer is likely to buy); customize (tailor any product or service for you alone); and digitize and automatize more and more products and services. Any company that doesn’t deploy all six elements will struggle, and this is changing every job and industry.

What do you need when the climate changes? Adaptation — so your citizens can get the most out of these climate changes and cushion the worst. Adaptation has to happen at the individual, community and national levels.

At the individual level, the single most important adaptation is to become a lifelong learner, so you can constantly add value beyond what machines and algorithms can do.

“When work was predictable and the change rate was relatively constant, preparation for work merely required the codification and transfer of existing knowledge and predetermined skills to create a stable and deployable work force,” explains education consultant Heather McGowan. “Now that the velocity of change has accelerated, due to a combination of exponential growth in technology and globalization, learning can no longer be a set dose of education consumed in the first third of one’s life.” In this age of accelerations, “the new killer skill set is an agile mind-set that values learning over knowing.”
GOP  Democrats  Donald_Trump  Tom_Friedman  climate_change  adaptability  extreme_weather_events  Dean_Acheson  weather  interconnections  interdependence  data_driven  wealth_creation  life_long_learning  the_single_most_important 
september 2017 by jerryking
A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth -
AUG. 30, 2017 | The New York Times | By SEAMUS McGRAW.

Seamus McGraw is the author, most recently, of “Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories From the Front Lines of Climate Change.” He is at work on a new book about water issues in Texas......Haskell Simon...is a man who has, in nine decades in Texas, developed a deep appreciation for the complex interplay between nature and the world we create......The cycles of storms and droughts are...an inevitable fact of life in Texas..... those storms and droughts are still more destructive than they ever were before, simply because there is more to destroy......in the 16 years since Tropical Storm Allison deluged Houston, that city, which famously balks at any kind of zoning regulation, and the surrounding region, which encompasses all or parts of 15 counties, have undergone a period of explosive growth, from 4.8 million people in 2000 to more than 7 million today. Harris County alone, which includes the city of Houston, has grown to 4.6 million, up from 3.4 million.....That’s millions of people guzzling water when times are dry.....A century’s worth of unchecked growth has brought prosperity to many. But it also has altered the landscape in ways that have made both the droughts and the floods more destructive and made that prosperity fleeting. Much of the region sits atop the overtaxed Gulf Coast Aquifer, and though efforts have made over the last 40 years to limit withdrawals from it, enough water has been sucked out of it that the ground still subsides in some places, altering runoff patterns and allowing flood waters to gather.

What’s more, those more than 2 million newcomers to the region are living in houses and driving on roads and shopping in stores built atop what once was prairie that could have absorbed at least some of the fury of this flood and the next. What once was land that might have softened the storm’s blow is now, in many cases, collateral damage in what could turn out to be a $40 billion disaster.....take a moment to consider how best to rebuild, to pause and rethink how and where we build, to reflect not just on whether we’re altering the weather, but whether there is a way to make ourselves less vulnerable to it. Perhaps we could build differently, or set aside land that would both help recharge the dwindling water supplies in times of drought and slow the floods when they come.
adaptability  climate_change  extreme_weather_events  floods  water  resilience  sustainability  Texas  Houston  natural_calamities  disasters  Hurricane_Harvey  land_uses  droughts  books  collateral_damage  buffering  zoning 
september 2017 by jerryking
The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching. - The New York Times
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, Photographs by JOSH HANER
JUNE 15, 2017

Mr. Ovink is the country’s globe-trotting salesman in chief for Dutch expertise on rising water and climate change. Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management.....From a Dutch mind-set, climate change is not a hypothetical or a drag on the economy, but an opportunity.....the Dutch strategy is It is, in essence, to let water in, where possible, not hope to subdue Mother Nature: to live with the water, rather than struggle to defeat it. The Dutch devise lakes, garages, parks and plazas that are a boon to daily life but also double as enormous reservoirs for when the seas and rivers spill over. You may wish to pretend that rising seas are a hoax perpetrated by scientists and a gullible news media. Or you can build barriers galore. But in the end, neither will provide adequate defense, the Dutch say.

“A smart city has to have a comprehensive, holistic vision beyond levees and gates,” as Arnoud Molenaar, the city’s climate chief, put it. “The challenge of climate adaptation is to include safety, sewers, housing, roads, emergency services. You need public awareness. You also need cyber-resilience, because the next challenge in climate safety is cybersafety. You can’t have vulnerable systems that control your sea gates and bridges and sewers. And you need good policies, big and small.

And what holds true for managing climate change applies to the social fabric, too. Environmental and social resilience should go hand in hand, officials here believe, improving neighborhoods, spreading equity and taming water during catastrophes. Climate adaptation, if addressed head-on and properly, ought to yield a stronger, richer state......the Dutch view: “We have been able to put climate change adaptation high on the public agenda without suffering a disaster in many years because we have shown the benefits of improving public space — the added economic value of investing in resilience.

“It’s in our genes,” he said. “Water managers were the first rulers of the land. Designing the city to deal with water was the first task of survival here and it remains our defining job. It’s a process, a movement.

“It is not just a bunch of dikes and dams, but a way of life.”
adaptability  climate_change  Dutch  floods  industry_expertise  Netherlands  opportunities  resilience  Rotterdam  sea-level_rise  sustainability  smart_cities  social_fabric 
june 2017 by jerryking
Marginal gains matter but gamechangers transform
25 March/26 March 2017 | FT | by Tim Harford.

In the hunt for productivity, the revolutionary long shot is worth the cost and risk.

.............................As Olympic athletes have shown, marginal improvements accumulated over time can deliver world-beating performance,” said Andrew Haldane in a speech on Monday, which is quite true. Mr Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist
........The marginal gains philosophy tries to turn innovation into a predictable process: tweak your activities, gather data, embrace what works and repeat.......As Mr Haldane says, marginal improvements can add up.

But can they add up to productivity gains for the economy as a whole? The question matters. There is no economic topic more important than productivity, which in the long run determines whether living standards surge or stagnate.
........
The idea that developed economies can A/B test their way back to brisk productivity growth is a seductive one.

An alternative view is that what’s really lacking is a different kind of innovation: the long shot. Unlike marginal gains, long shots usually fail, but can pay off spectacularly enough to overlook 100 failures.
.....
These two types of innovation complement each other. Long shot innovations open up new territories; marginal improvements colonise them. The 1870s saw revolutionary breakthroughs in electricity generation and distribution but the dynamo didn’t make much impact on productivity until the 1920s. To take advantage of electric motors, manufacturers needed to rework production lines, redesign factories and retrain workers. Without these marginal improvements the technological breakthrough was of little use.
....Yet two questions remain. One is why so many businesses lag far behind the frontier. .......The culprit may be a lack of competition: vigorous competition tends to raise management quality by spurring improvements and by punishing incompetents with bankruptcy. ....
But the second question is why productivity growth has been so disappointing. A/B testing has never been easier or more fashionable, after all. The obvious answer is that the long shots matter, too.
.....In a data-driven world, it’s easy to fall back on a strategy of looking for marginal gains alone, avoiding the risky, unquantifiable research (jk: leaps of faith). Over time, the marginal gains will surely materialise. I’m not so sure that the long shots will take care of themselves.
adaptability  breakthroughs  compounded  economics  game_changers  incrementalism  innovation  leaps_of_faith  marginal_improvements  moonshots  nudge  organizational_change  organizational_improvements  organizational_structure  productivity  productivity_payoffs  slight_edge  taxonomy  thinking_big  Tim_Harford 
march 2017 by jerryking
Beware of linearity: The shortest distance to your future may not be a straight line - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2016

linearity – dominates our thinking as we tackle problems. “Western thinkers are so habituated to thinking in terms of linear models that we allow them to inform not just what we think, but the fundamentals of how we think....Linearity is a critical and – apparently – inherent part of our cultural DNA....It’s not easy to forsake linearity...it’s essential to guard against slavishly following its tantalizing direction. Start by reading trade journals from another industry or studying a topic you have no interest in. Look for the less obvious interconnections around you. Think like a songwriter: Choruses and bridges signal a break with the preceding verse or the patterns that come before. But a true bridge, unlike a chorus, never repeats. They urge you to look for bridge moments rather than assume past is prologue.
=========================
Leaders are supposed to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. But fact checkers found Mr. Trump consistently at odds with the truth. And his supporters didn’t seem to care, assuming leaders lie anyway. TV host Stephen Colbert used the term “truthiness” to cover believing something that feels true even if it isn’t supported by fact. Says Fowler: “I wonder if truth-telling matters when people are interested in bigger issues?”
=========================
One of the highly touted productivity approaches is to tackle your most important thing (MIT) at the start of the day. Get it done before the chaos of the day overwhelms you.

But productivity writer Cal Newport, a Georgetown University computer science professor, feels the approach is insufficient – calling it “amateur ball” while the professionals play a more textured game.

The problem is that it implicitly concedes that most of your day is out of your control. But someone who plans every minute of their day and every day of their week will inevitably accomplish far more high-value work than someone who identifies only a single daily objective. The key, he feels, is to put enough buffers in your day to handle the unplanned stuff that hits you. With those slices of times and a spirit of adaptability you will find your work life not as unpredictable as you assume.
early_risers  linearity  Harvey_Schachter  thinking  humility  Donald_Trump  unplanned  unforeseen  buffering  GTD  productivity  discontinuities  nonlinear_systems  randomness  interconnections  Jim_Collins  truthiness  truth-telling  slack_time  adaptability  overwhelmed  time-management  unexpected  Cal_Newport  straight-lines  bridging  non-obvious 
december 2016 by jerryking
VC Pioneer Vinod Khosla Says AI Is Key to Long-Term Business Competitiveness - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVE ROSENBUSH
Nov 15, 2016

“Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important,” Mr. Khosla said. “So what do you do? You don’t plan for the highest likelihood scenario. You plan for agility. And that is a fundamental choice we make as a nation, in national defense, as the CEO of a company, as the CIO of an infrastructure, of an organization, and in the way we live.”....So change, and predictions for the future, that are important, almost never come from anybody who knows the area. Almost anyone you talk to about the future of the auto industry will be wrong on the auto industry. So, no large change in a space has come from an incumbent. Retail came from Amazon. SpaceX came from a startup. Genentech did biotechnology. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter did media … because there is too much conventional wisdom in industry. ....Extrapolating the past is the wrong way to predict the future, and improbables are not unimportant. People plan around high probability. Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important.
Vinod_Khosla  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  outsiders  gazelles  unknowns  automotive_industry  change  automation  diversity  agility  future  predictions  adaptability  probabilities  Uber  point-to-point  public_transit  data  infrastructure  information_overload  unthinkable  improbables  low_probability  extrapolations  pay_attention 
november 2016 by jerryking
Donald Trump Voters, Just Hear Me Out
NOV. 2, 2016 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

No one knows for certain how we deal with this new race with and against machines, but I can assure you it’s not Trump’s way — build walls, restrict trade, give huge tax cuts to the rich. The best jobs in the future are going to be what I call “STEMpathy jobs — jobs that blend STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, math) with human empathy. We don’t know what many of them will look like yet.

The smartest thing we can do now is to keep our economy as open and flexible as possible — to get the change signals first and be able to quickly adapt; create the opportunity for every American to engage in lifelong learning, because whatever jobs emerge will require more knowledge; make sure that learning stresses as much of the humanities and human interactive skills as hard sciences; make sure we have an immigration policy that continues to attract the world’s most imaginative risk-takers; and strengthen our safety nets, because this era will leave more people behind.

This is the only true path to American greatness in the 21st century.
open_borders  Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016  Tom_Friedman  STEM  manufacturers  Hillary_Clinton  adaptability  empathy  life_long_learning  humanities  safety_nets  signals  warning_signs 
november 2016 by jerryking
Ideas worth floating: architects adapt to rising sea levels - FT.com
March 4, 2016 |FT| Nicola Davison.

.....As authorities around the world scramble to build so-called “resiliency” to the rising sea, Dutch architects are providing guidance. “In the Netherlands we are living in a completely artificial world,” says Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio.nl, a practice that specialises in “amphibious” architecture. “If you just drive round Holland, you don’t see it, but if you know where to look, it’s all levees. It’s like a machine and if you stopped pumping 24/7, the water would rise within weeks.”....Since 1900, however, the oceans have risen; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that the average global sea level could rise more than a metre by 2100.

Higher seas mean Hurricane Sandy-like storm “surges” will hit coastal cities more frequently, while oceans will inundate low-lying areas from the Maldives to Miami. The OECD estimates that by 2070 $35tn worth of property in some of the world’s largest port cities will be at risk of flooding — though insurers will stop selling policies and banks will stop writing mortgages for seafront homes long before then.
The Netherlands began investing in water-resistant infrastructure...Dutch cities have also waterproofed. ...Rather than “fighting” the water with barriers and pumps, planners and architects are beginning to think cities should embrace the water....Climate scientists have different ideas about how quickly the sea around New York will rise, but rocks can be added to the breakwater to raise its height. Scape tries to build “flexible systems that can adapt”, says Elachi. “A lot of this is because we are designing for uncertainty.”
architecture  floods  sustainability  climate_change  Netherlands  resilience  adaptability  uncertainty  sea-level_rise 
april 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
In the age of disruptive innovation, adaptability is what matters most - The Globe and Mail
May. 13 2015 | The Globe and Mail |by EAMONN PERCY.

William Gibson, who coined the term Cyberspace, “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

It is not the innovation itself that matters, but its implications during this transition. For the individual, the key will be how to take advantage of these changes, while protecting one’s family, business, career, investments and way of life.....In 2013, a study authored by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McFee at the MIT Sloan School of Management argued that advances in technology are largely behind the sluggish job growth and flattening median incomes over the last 10 to 15 years. They believe that the recent rapid advances in technology are destroying jobs more quickly than they are being created, contributing to the recent stagnation in income and the growth of inequality in the U.S. ... However, around the year 2000, this correlation diverged, with productivity continuing to rise but employment levels stagnating. They call the gap between increasing productivity and employment ‘the Great Decoupling,’ and the authors believe technology is behind it....the best way to both survive and then thrive in this coming transition is simple; embrace it as an Age of Adaptability. There is nothing an individual can do to stop these massive global trends in technology, economics, and demographics, other than adapt. Even reacting to the trends is insufficient, since their scale and velocity are will leave you scrambling to catch up, not mind getting ahead. The only solution is to adapt by becoming a lifelong learner, failing fast if necessary, and learning to get ahead of the changes.

This ability to adapt starts with a mindset that the status quo is not a safe haven, but the place of greatest risk. It means accepting complete responsibility for your destiny, rather than subordinating your well-being to other groups or people. It requires you to take 100 per cent control of your circumstances, particularly if you are responsible for a family, or other people in the form of a business. It entails moving to a state of absolute clarity and awareness of the coming onslaught of change, and then taking a personal leadership role in making incremental, but permanent, changes to your life now.
mindsets  information_overload  disruption  the_Great_Decoupling  Erik_Brynjolfsson  MIT  Andrew_McFee  economic_stagnation  adaptability  innovation  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
The Evolving Automotive Ecosystem - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 6, 2015| WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

An issue in many other industries. Will the legacy industry leaders be able to embrace the new digital technologies, processes and culture, or will they inevitably fall behind their faster moving, more culturally adept digital-native competitors? [the great game]

(1) Find new partners and dance: “The structure of the automotive industry will likely change rapidly. Designing and producing new vehicles have become far too complex and expensive for any likely one company to manage all on its own.
(2) Become data masters: “Know your customers better than they know themselves. Use that data to curate every aspect of the customer experience from when they first learn about the car to the dealership experience and throughout the customer life cycle. Having data scientists on staff will likely be the rule, not the exception.
(3) Update your economic models: “Predicting demand was hard enough in the old days, when you did a major new product launch approximately every five years. Now, with the intensity of competition, the rapid cadence of new launches, and the mashup of consumer and automotive technology, you may need new economic models for predicting demand, capital expenditures, and vehicle profitability.
(4)Tame complexity: “It’s all about the center stack, the seamless connectivity with nomadic devices, the elegance of the Human Machine Interface.
(5) Create adaptable organizations: “It will take a combination of new hard and soft skills to build the cars and the companies of the future. For many older, established companies, that means culture change, bringing in new talent, and rethinking every aspect of process and people management.
Apple  automotive_industry  autonomous_vehicles  ecosystems  Google  know_your_customer  adaptability  CIOs  layer_mastery  competitive_landscape  competitive_strategy  connected_devices  telematics  data  data_driven  data_scientists  customer_experience  curation  structural_change  accelerated_lifecycles  UX  complexity  legacy_players  business_development  modelling  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  SMAC_stack  cultural_change  digitalization  connected_cars  the_great_game 
april 2015 by jerryking
From War Room to Boardroom: Leadership Lessons From Two Generals - WSJ
Dec. 8, 2014 | WSJ |

Start to build relationships so that you have something to fall back on when you disagree on the issues.

What leadership lessons should we take from the American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan?

GEN. MCCHRYSTAL: The first thing is we didn’t do due diligence before we went in. We didn’t understand the problem to the depth that we needed to. We didn’t take the time to do it, and we didn’t nurture the experts.

If we gathered all the Pashtun and Arabic speakers in the U.S. military, we could probably fit them on this stage. And yet, after World War II began, after Pearl Harbor, we trained more than 5,000 military members to speak Japanese. We just haven’t made that level of effort.

The other thing is we go at this with different parts of our government. Every agency wants to help but they want to protect their equities, and you can’t do a complex endeavor like this unless you can build a truly integrated team in which everybody is focused.
leadership  lessons_learned  shared_consciousness  operational_tempo  Stanley_McChrystal  teams  NSC  security_&_intelligence  generalship  ISIS  al_Qaeda  Taliban  learning_organizations  adaptability  decision_making  speed  languages  Arabic  Pashtun  relationships 
december 2014 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: The Marvel of American Resilience - WSJ
By BRET STEPHENS
Dec. 22, 2014

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.

A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.
resilience  Bret_Stephens  hydraulic_fracturing  flexibility  experimentation  failure  adaptability  autocracies  strengths  innovation  risk-taking  Cambrian_explosion 
december 2014 by jerryking
Korn/Ferry’s CEO: What Boards Want in Executives - WSJ
By LAUREN WEBER
Dec. 9, 2014

Korn/Ferry has been trying to boost its business in talent management, offering recruiting and development tools aimed at professional employees....Korn/Ferry’s slow transition by acquiring leadership-development firms like PDI Ninth House and Global Novations LLC, and converting its bank of knowledge about executive careers into a portfolio of products that organizations can buy or license, from interview guides to software that helps managers identify and cultivate high-potential employees.

Mr. Burnison: For the boardroom or the C-suite, the technical competencies are a starting point. What we’ve seen through our research is that the No. 1 predictor of executive success is learning agility. So we want to get a real line of sight into a person’s thinking style and leadership style. Right now, you’re seeing me how I want you to see me. What you really want to know is “How does Gary make decisions under pressure?”

WSJ: What is learning agility?

Mr. Burnison: It comes down to people’s willingness to grow, to learn, to have insatiable curiosity. Think about the levers of growth that a CEO has. You can consolidate, or tap [new markets], or innovate. When it comes down to the last two, particularly innovation, you want a workforce that is incredibly curious.
Korn_Ferry  executive_search  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs  talent_management  turnover  executive_management  learning_agility  adaptability  C-suite 
december 2014 by jerryking
Darwin's Famous Finding
To quote Darwin, although some don't credit him with it, "it is not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those most adaptable to change".
Charles_Darwin  adaptability  theory_of_evolution  Darwinism  change  quotes  from notes
october 2014 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview: Job Hunting in the Network Age - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
July 18, 2014 | WSJ |

Reid Hoffman has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age. Mr. Hoffman thinks that the transformation is just getting started and will take out anyone who stands in the way.

But what is a network? It's an identity, he explains, and how that identity interacts with others through communications and transactions. It's not just online, on Facebook and Twitter, but everywhere. It is the sum of those communications, conversations and interactions.

"Your identity is now constituted by the network," he says. "You are your friends, you are your tribe, you are your interactions with your colleagues, your customers, even your competitors. All those things come to form what your reputation is." In short, you are no longer the only one in control of your résumé...Mr. Hoffman had his own idea for a personal information managers (PIM) concept, but raising money proved tough. He got his first taste of venture capitalists in 1994 when he tried to find funding: "You probably should go learn how to launch software," potential investors told him.

So Mr. Hoffman joined Apple......Mr. Hoffman thinks that corporations still haven't figured out how to use LinkedIn and other platforms to their advantage. "All companies are being affected by globalization. All companies are being affected by technology disruption. Which means the innovation and adaptation cycles are getting shorter and shorter." How do you make your company more adaptive? "The answer is you need adaptive people working for you. It's much better for the company and much better for the employees—it accomplishes a network effect,"

Finding these adaptive employees is one thing, keeping them is another. LinkedIn forces companies to work at that.
accelerated_lifecycles  adaptability  Andy_Kessler  Communicating_&_Connecting  informational_advantages  innovation_cycles  job_search  learning_agility  LinkedIn  networks  networking  network_effects  network_power  Reid_Hoffman  reputation  résumés  retention  Silicon_Valley  tribes 
july 2014 by jerryking
Why Machiavelli Still Matters - NYTimes.com
By JOHN SCOTT and ROBERT ZARETSKY
Published: December 9, 2013

“The Prince” is a manual for those who wish to win and keep power. The Renaissance was awash in such how-to guides, but Machiavelli’s was different. To be sure, he counsels a prince on how to act toward his enemies, using force and fraud in war. But his true novelty resides in how we should think about our friends. It is at the book’s heart, in the chapter devoted to this issue, that Machiavelli proclaims his originality.

Set aside what you would like to imagine about politics, Machiavelli writes, and instead go straight to the truth of how things really work, or what he calls the “effectual truth.” [Effectual truth means not only that the truth will have an effect, a consequence, but also that its effect will show. Those who try to live by a profession of good will fail and be shown to fail. ] You will see that allies in politics, whether at home or abroad, are not friends....Machiavelli teaches that in a world where so many are not good, you must learn to be able to not be good. The virtues taught in our secular and religious schools are incompatible with the virtues one must practice to safeguard those same institutions. The power of the lion and the cleverness of the fox: These are the qualities a leader must harness to preserve the republic.

For such a leader, allies are friends when it is in their interest to be. (We can, with difficulty, accept this lesson when embodied by a Charles de Gaulle; we have even greater difficulty when it is taught by, say, Hamid Karzai.) What’s more, Machiavelli says, leaders must at times inspire fear not only in their foes but even in their allies — and even in their own ministers.
cynicism  Niccolò_Machiavelli  Medici  indispensable  advice  friendships  politics  power  virtues  interests  consigliere  leaders  self-interest  fear  adaptability  political_power  self-preservation  effectiveness  Charles_de_Gaulle  negative_space  primers 
december 2013 by jerryking
BlackBerrys once ruled the world - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Sep. 24 2013

BlackBerries ruled the world briefly, but their maker failed to see that future growth lay in the consumer market and in social media, not in the e-mail-obsessed business world.

When BlackBerry tried to adapt, it did so too slowly. It took years instead of the requisite months to launch an operating system that competed with the dominant players. Its corporate DNA was as unevolved as its products, and now the world has passed it by – even though its newest products can do virtually all the same things a Samsung or Apple smartphone can do.
BlackBerry  blindsided  RIM  PalmPilot  editorials  evolution  obsolescence  adaptability  windows_of_opportunity 
october 2013 by jerryking
Checked your demographics lately?
August 30, 2013 | Adam Smith, Esq.| Bruce MacEwen.

So, to all the non-equity partners in the crowd, this is not about you. Rather, what follows is written from the perspective of someone who thinks a lot about the industry’s long run.

One of the strongest indices of organizations’ competitive strength over time is the ability to align and renew itself faster than rivals. As Scott Keller and Colin Price wrote in Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage (Wiley, 2011):

Organizational health is about adapting to the present and shaping the future faster and better than the competition. Healthy organizations don’t merely learn to adjust themselves to their current context or to challenges that lie just ahead; they create a capacity to learn and keep changing over time. This, we believe, is where ultimate competitive advantage lies.

This is about, in a word, people.

We know talent matters, we pay through the nose roof for headhunters to deliver lateral upon lateral, the statistical majority of whom will disappoint, we recruit the “best and the brightest” from law school (the statistical majority of whom, etc.), and yet when it’s time for our organizations to be agile and responsive to changing client expectations and market conditions, we find ourselves throttled. How can this be?

Change—real not superficial, meaningful not trivial, lasting not flavor-of-the-month—requires people to go above and beyond. It’s not comfortable, and comfortable people won’t do it. This is where, I believe, the performance hazard of too many non-equity partners in a firm begins to come in.
law_firms  Bruce_MacEwen  workforce  workforce_planning  partnerships  complacency  change  organizational_effectiveness  organizational_learning  adaptability  learning_agility  books  disappointment  discomforts  competitive_advantage  talent  the_best_and_brightest 
september 2013 by jerryking
Change or die: could adland be the new Detroit?
Feb 18, 2011|Campaign |Amelia Torode (head of strategy and innovation at VCCP and the chair of the IPA Strategy Group) and Tracey Follows ( head of planning at VCCP)...

As the world changed with the globalisation of markets, the transformative power of digital technologies and a shift in consumer demand, the automotive industry and the city of Detroit did not. At a fundamental level, nothing changed. Detroit failed to adapt, failed to evolve.

We have started to ask ourselves: is adland the new Detroit?

Data: find stories in numbers

It's time to reimagine our role. We're no longer solving problems but investigating mysteries; no longer taking a brief, rather taking on a case. Like a detective, we start with behaviour, looking for patterns and anomalies. We assume that what we're being told is not entirely the "truth" so search for information that is given from various perspectives and tend to believe our eyes more than our ears.

Imagine the implications for how we approach data. Seen through the lens of "mystery", we're not simply seeing data as a stream of numbers but as a snapshot of behaviour and an insight into human nature. What we do with data is the same thing we do when we sit on a park bench or at a pavement café - people-watching,albeit from desktops. It's human stories hidden within numbers, and it takes away the fear that surrounds "big data".
shifting_tastes  data-driven  data_journalism  Detroit  advertising_agencies  data  storytelling  massive_data_sets  adaptability  evolution  United_Kingdom  Publicis  managing_change  sense-making  insights  behaviours  patterns  anomalies  assumptions  automotive_industry  human_experience  curiosity  consumer_behavior 
december 2012 by jerryking
Taking Risk To the Marketplace
March 6, 2000 | Fortune Magazine | By Thomas A. Stewart.

* "You should always value the ability to move and change, because that creates options, and options are valuable,"
* Traditional risk management, with its emphasis on real property and financial events, isn't enough for knowledge companies, whose big risks are intellectual assets, such as brand equity, human capital, innovation, and their network of relationships.
* you have to know what's at risk-- which isn't always easy for intangible assets.
* Each intangible asset has a different risk profile.
*Thinking like a portfolio manager works for risk management as well as for strategy, says Bruce Pasternak, head of the strategic leadership practice at Booz Allen & Hamilton. In either case, adaptability is a cardinal virtue; the top goal is organizational flexibility. All-or-nothing bets like insurance have limited use in protecting cash flows from intangibles because their value is so uncertain, says Anjana Bhattacharee, director of Aporia, a British startup developing tools to manage those risks. Hedging also has problems. Says Bjarni Armannsson, head of the Icelandic Investment Bank in Reykjavik: "It's difficult to find a counterparty for intellectual risks." To hedge against falling gas prices, Enron can sell the risk to someone who fears rising prices, like a utility, but how do you hedge against a loss of expertise or brand equity

* Markets are full of risk, but it turns out that they're a lot safer than rigid structures. Intellectual assets and operations obey no one's command and are subject to discontinuous--i.e., quantum--change. There are four ways to respond to risk: Avoid it, reduce it, transfer it, or accept it. The one thing you can't do, if it's intellectual risk, is tie it up and subdue it.
Thomas_Stewart  risks  risk-management  organizational_flexibility  adaptability  binary_decisionmaking  intellectual_risks  human_capital  insurance  intellectual_assets  brand_equity  intangibles  networks  interconnections  discontinuities  expertise  portfolios  options  portfolio_management  cash_flows  generating_strategic_options  optionality  brittle  antifragility  step_change  counterparties  network_risk 
december 2012 by jerryking
Whatever the weather
Nov. 24, 2012 | The Financial Times News: p10.|Gillian Tett who interviews Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Until now, Taleb says, modern society has generally assumed that people, systems or institutions fell into two camps: either they were fragile (and likely to break when shocks occur) or robust (and thus able to resist shocks without being impacted at all). Taleb insists there is a third category of people, institutions and systems that are resilient in a way we have been unable to articulate: they survive shocks not because they are immovable but precisely because they do change, bending in the face of stress; adapting and learning. This is the quality that he describes as "antifragile". (In the US the book is being published with the rather more explicit subtitle "Things that Gain from Disorder".)

Taleb goes on to explain how this works: while nation-states tend to be fragile (because they are highly dependent on one vision of the nation), city-states tend to be antifragile (because they can adapt and learn from history). Careers that are based on one large employer can be fragile but careers that are flexible and entrepreneurial are antifragile, because they can move with changing times. Similarly, the banking system is fragile, while Silicon Valley is antifragile; governments that are highly indebted are fragile, while those (such as Sweden) which have learnt from past mistakes and refuse to assume too much debt are antifragile. And Switzerland is presented as one of the most antifragile places of all, partly because its decentralised structure allows for plenty of experimentation...Taleb has plenty of advice to offer us on how to become more antifragile. We should embrace unpredictable change, rather than chase after an illusion of stability; refuse to believe anyone who offers advice without taking personal risk; keep institutions and systems small and self-contained to ensure that they can fail without bringing the entire system down; build slack into our lives and systems to accommodate surprises; and, above all, recognise the impossibility of predicting anything with too much precision. Instead of building systems that are excessively "safe", Taleb argues, we should roll with the punches, learn to love the random chances of life and, above all, embrace small pieces of adversity as opportunities for improvement. "Wind extinguishes a candle and energises a fire," he writes. "Likewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos, you want to use them, not hide from them."
adaptability  adversity  antifragility  books  chaos  city-states  Gillian_Tett  illusions  Nassim_Taleb  overcompensation  personal_risk  randomness  resilience  scheduling  self-contained  skin_in_the_game  slack_time  surprises  trauma  uncertainty  unpredictability 
november 2012 by jerryking
Nine key traits to make the shift from failure to success - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 09 2012

1. Rebounders accept failure: They hate to fail, but they accept it, and try to fail productively, learning from the experience, as the inventive Thomas Edison did with his many failed experiments.

2. Rebounders compartmentalize options: They are often emotional people, with drive and passion. John Bogle, who founded Vanguard Group, was furious when he was pushed out of a previous job and even had revenge fantasies. But he didn’t spend time trying to get even. Rebounders control the emotional fallout of their struggle (i.e. emotional mastery).

3. Rebounders have a bias toward action: After Tammy Duckworth lost both legs when her U.S. military helicopter was shot down in Iraq, her first impulse was to get to work at rehabilitation and her new life. Rebounders keep pushing, keep doing.

4. Rebounders change their minds: They can discard old thinking, give up on long-held dreams, and adjust their ambitions to evolving situations. They don’t cling to ideas that are proving hopeless.

5. Rebounders prepare for things to go wrong: They don’t expect things to go their own way. They are cautious optimists, always aware their plans may go awry.

6. Rebounders are comfortable with discomfort: They are willing to accept hardships and inconveniences as long as they feel they are getting closer to their goal. Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams could have signed a major recording deal years earlier if she had agreed to make the songs the music companies wanted, but she stayed true to her own vision, even if it meant often barely having the money to pay her rent.

7. Rebounders are willing to wait: They are determined to succeed on their own terms, and can accept that it might take a long time. “But rebounders don’t just wait positively for a lucky break, or do the same thing over and over. They constantly learn and get better, continually improving the likelihood of success until the odds tilt in their favour,” Mr. Newman observes.

8. Rebounders have heroes: Many of the rebounders he met are romantics, seeing their role as in some way historic, and they are entranced by some mentor or historical figure who they want to emulate. Vanguard’s Mr. Bogle, for example, often alluded to the naval battles of Admiral Lord Nelson and named his mutual fund company after his hero’s ship.

9. Rebounders have more than passion: We are told we need passion for success, but rebounders realize it requires more than that. They have a special drive and resilience that allows them to capitalize on their passion.
bouncing_back  resilience  Harvey_Schachter  emotional_mastery  personality_types/traits  ksfs  long-term  patience  preparation  contingency_planning  reflections  self-analysis  self-awareness  thinking_tragically  discomforts  strategic_patience  adaptability  inconveniences  passions  heroes  pragmatism  compartmentalization  action-oriented  hardships  next_play 
october 2012 by jerryking
Five key traits of successful consultants - The Globe and Mail
Harvey Schachter

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Monday, Sep. 24 2012,

Intellectual Capacity

You have to be smart, well-trained and experienced – and have the educational credentials to back you up, be it an MBA or specialized training in your specific field of focus. “Competition for management consultants is likely to remain keen, and those with the most education and experience will have the best prospects,” she writes. Maturity and lots of contacts from a long career can be helpful; younger individuals have youth on their side but should expand their portfolio through as many varied experiences as possible.

Self-Confidence

You must be strong and confident about your abilities, but also low maintenance, ego in check. Although a hired hand for the organizations you work with, you must be a leader, motivating others and working in a collaborative way to nudge clients to solutions they might not have reached on their own.

Moxie

You need courage, energy, vision – and spunk. “It is the capacity to go against the common view, to walk into a room of fractious stakeholders who don’t support the evaluation and don’t want to hear about the findings. It is the ability to land in a strange town at midnight, scrape the snow and ice off your rental car, and locate your motel without the benefit of a map. It is being able to get up the day after you have lost the best proposal you have ever written and start all over again,” she notes.

Adaptability

Your work is defined by the rigid parameters set out by proposals and contracts, but you must still be light on your feet as you operate with the whole world in a state of flux. Try to keep your proposals more open-ended to handle unexpected issues that will inevitably crop up as you progress with your work.

Endurance

Some people enter the field viewing it as a stopgap between paid employment, while others view consulting as offering independence that will be a welcome relief to the stultifying atmosphere in the organizations where they have worked.
ksfs  Harvey_Schachter  management_consulting  self-confidence  personality_types/traits  character_traits  chutzpah  endurance  adaptability  individual_initiative  open-ended 
october 2012 by jerryking
Why Men Fail - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
September 10, 2012

To succeed today, you have to be able to sit still and focus attention in school at an early age. You have to be emotionally sensitive and aware of context. You have to communicate smoothly. For genetic and cultural reasons, many men stink at these tasks.

But, in her fascinating new book, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin posits a different theory. It has to do with adaptability. Women, Rosin argues, are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.

This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.
failure  David_Brooks  women  gender_gap  men  adaptability  books 
september 2012 by jerryking
New Rules - NYTimes.com
September 8, 2012 | NYT | by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN


Obama should stop using the phrase — first minted by Bill Clinton in 1992 — that if you just “work hard and play by the rules” you should expect that the American system will deliver you a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one. That mantra really resonates with me and, I am sure, with many voters. There is just one problem: It’s out of date.

The truth is, if you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life today you have to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning and play by the rules. That’s not a bumper sticker, but we terribly mislead people by saying otherwise.

The world is now a more open system. Technology and globalization are wiping out lower-skilled jobs faster, while steadily raising the skill level required for new jobs. More than ever now, lifelong learning is the key to getting into, and staying in, the middle class.

There is a quote attributed to the futurist Alvin Toffler that captures this new reality: In the future “illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn and relearn.” Any form of standing still is deadly.
Tom_Friedman  21st._century  rules_of_the_game  skills  technological_change  Managing_Your_Career  children  job_destruction  job_displacement  continuing_education  continuous_learning  adaptability  life_long_learning  futurists  Alvin_Toffler  job_search 
september 2012 by jerryking
Thinking Small
Aug 1, 2004 | Inc.com | John Grossmann.

Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder "Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations".
Her six-show-room chain thrives on new ideas. Fishbein collects them in three-ring binders. Since 1995, she's filled four such binders -- at 10 to 20 ideas per page and 200-plus pages per binder, that's more than 10,000 ideas. And the best ones, she says, often turn out to be those that at first appeared simple, even mundane. "The point," she says, "is not the big hit but incremental improvements all the time."

What about the killer app, the bold, outside-the-box brainstorm that is supposed to transform organizations? If you really care about making ideas work for you, forget such ambitious notions, say Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder in their new book Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations. Rather than big, competition-leapfrogging advances, the authors argue that one of the keys to business success is the constant implementation of small ideas -- just like the steady stream of employee suggestions Fishbein collects in her binders. Why singles instead of home runs? The competition inevitably copies or counters your home runs, rendering those gains ephemeral. But after studying idea-generation tactics at 150 companies in 17 countries, Robinson and Schroeder concluded that small ideas, especially those particular to processes or systems, improve companies in almost Darwinian fashion with ongoing small adaptations that are often impossible to copy.
business  innovation  idea_generation  execution  small_business  slight_edge  ideas  process_improvements  books  minnovation  breakthroughs  incrementalism  marginal_improvements  adaptability  leapfrogging  Darwinian 
july 2012 by jerryking
Unforeseen consequences - FT.com
May 24, 2007 | Financial Times |By Robert Matthews.

The Germans have a word for it: Schlimmbesserung - literally, a "worse improvement". You may not recognise the word, but you'll know plenty of examples of what it means: efficiency drives that reduce efficiency, cost-cutting measures that prove punitively expensive, software upgrades that cause months of downtime.

All businesses can fall victim to such "revenge effects"....

Edward Tenner, a visiting scholar in the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Why Things Bite Back, the classic study of the phenomenon first published in 1996, believes there are several measures that businesses can take. Indeed, he has given lectures at Microsoft, Intel and AT&T on the subject.

Ensuring there is in-house expertise that can spot emerging revenge effects and deal with the consequences is crucial, Mr Tenner says. "Many companies fail to deal with revenge effects because they are 'outsourcing their brains'," he says. "Lean organisations are supposed to be more flexible, but they may also be giving up a lot of their capability to respond to change."

According to Mr Tenner, businesses can keep a constant watch for reports of potential revenge effects in news and research findings. This has never been easier, thanks to online tools such as Google news alerts and RSS (really simple syndication) feeds.

Even so, revenge effects have a nasty habit of affecting businesses in unexpected ways. "The precondition of vigilance is the selection and development of ability at all levels,"

thinking about the downside to new developments can save a lot of heartache. "Excessive optimism risks revenge effects," he says. "You have to be prepared to work in Murphy's Law mode - and to consider that every possible thing that can go wrong will go wrong."
unintended_consequences  books  limitations  in-house  specificity  outsourcing  unexpected  revenge_effects  Murphy's_Law  thinking_tragically  lean  adaptability  flexibility  responsiveness  change  downtime 
june 2012 by jerryking
For one U.S. CEO, China’s rise should not be feared but exploited - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 21, 2011 | Globe and Mail | by CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The China challenge, in Mr. Immelt's view, is about much more than a manipulated exchange rate and "cheap labour." "It is the adaptability, it is the speed with which they move, it is the unanimity of purpose, it is the productivity of thought," he said, adding that when he visits his interlocutors at the Ministry of Railways in Beijing, the mandarins are at work on Sunday....Mr. Immelt thinks he knows what America needs to do to thrive in this changed world. "If you want to be a great country, which the U.S. has every right to want to be, you have got to be thinking about being a better exporter," he said. "Our only destiny can be as a high-tech exporter, that creates jobs, high-paying jobs … Export-led growth is the key to national success."
==================================
See Tom Friedman's reference to "This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries)."
Chrystia_Freeland  China_rising  GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  China  Hu_Jintao  exporting  adaptability  speed  unanimity  mission-driven  purpose 
january 2011 by jerryking
What Knockoffs Can Teach Companies About Chinese Markets | Co.Design
Sep 8, 2010 | Fast Company | by Makiko Taniguchi & Eddie
Wu. Fakes and knockoffs often express unmet desires that big firms miss.
Learn from them...Countries, from the U.S. to Japan, regularly accuse
China of copying designs. Indeed,MNCs in these countries spend an
inordinate amount of time and money trying to prevent their products
from being copied. But Shanzhai -- "copycat" design --represents a vast
business opportunity. Shanzhai is an open platform for grassroots
innovation: Apple, Nokia, and Samsung smartphones get copied, but the
knockoffs adapt the original designs in ways that appeal to Chinese
customers. E.g., Shanzhai designers might add a flashlight, key in areas
with unstable electricity. The effect is to make products accessible to
common folks in terms of price, aesthetics, values, and needs. Shanzhai
designs are an opportunity for international companies to introduce
Chinese consumers to their brands, and then observe how local Chinese
culture adapts their offerings.
counterfeits  China  customer_insights  discoveries  pattern_recognition  ideo  opportunities  innovation  design  adaptability  patterns  copycats  unarticulated_desires  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  emerging_markets  brands  multinationals  aesthetics  knockoffs  creative_appropriation  cost-consciousness  low-income  affordability 
september 2010 by jerryking
Provide true value or advisers are 'toast'
April 12, 2010 | G & M | DAN RICHARDS. "punctuated
equilibrium" is working its way through the fin. industry. The late
scientist, Stephen Jay Gould, identified this concept. His insight was
that while change is a constant, the pace of change isn't - for
millennia, species have gone through centuries of slow, almost
imperceptible change, interspersed with short periods of incredibly
rapid and intense shifts. In the last 30 yrs, most industries have had
to adapt to an entirely new set of rules. Change agents like Wal-Mart,
Costco, & Amazon.com have reshaped retailing. Mfg has been
transformed by globalization & China. The Web has decimated the
traditional biz model for newspapers. Svcs. have seen the effects of
off-shoring. The investment industry is going through that same epochal
transformation. Defining tomorrow's winners is their ability to
demonstrate clear, compelling, discernible value: not a plan itself, but
what a plan accomplishes, and the communication of what the plan achieves.
financial_advisors  Dan_Richards  indispensable  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  adaptability  Charles_Darwin  evolution  value_creation  theory_of_evolution  financial_services  disequilibriums  change_agents  constant_change  value_propositions  Communicating_&_Connecting  accelerated_lifecycles 
august 2010 by jerryking
Technology Is Central To CIA's Strategic Plan - WSJ.com
APRIL 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SIOBHAN GORMAN.
The CIA announced a five-year strategic plan that would invest heavily
in new technologies to combat non-traditional threats like cyber attacks
from overseas and gain better intelligence on rogue states like Iran.
... Mr. Panetta released his five-year plan in remarks to agency
employees. "We govern either by leadership or by crisis," he said.
"That's why we're taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we
want our agency to look like five years from now."
threats  adaptability  instability  unpredictability  rogue_actors  security_&_intelligence  CIA  strategic_planning  cyber_warfare  asymmetrical  Iran  Africa  Pakistan  innovation  Pentagon  forward_looking  leadership  strategic_thinking  decentralization  non-traditional  technology  Leon_Panetta 
may 2010 by jerryking
More mileage to gain from bikes and B-52s
January 10, 2007 | Financial Times pg. 9 | By Alan Cane who
reviews "The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since
1900," by David Edgerton. Oxford University Press

Edgerton pursues three propositions:

First, that conventional histories of technological progress are partial, incomplete and weighted towards innovation and invention.

Second, that older technologies – the guillotine, the rickshaw, corrugated iron and the horse among them – have an importance in the modern world that is often overlooked by “innovation-centric” pundits.

Third, that “to rethink the history of technology is necessarily to rethink the history of the world”.
.....Edgerton targets what he perceives as sloppy and clichéd thinking that celebrates the new and innovatory and ignores the old and useful..... Edgerton attacks authors who treat the history of technology as a succession of “boys toys”, who laud their innovators and inventors as heroes, and who play down the importance of copying, adapting and transferring......Edgerton argues that Ikea, the Swedish retailer, is a “wonderful” example of his arguments. “First, of the continuing significance of what we take to be old, in this case, not just furniture, but wooden furniture, supplied obviously by forests. In terms of industry, it exemplifies beautifully the extension rather than the retreat of mass production, and its globalisation, producing fantastically cheap outputs. In terms of service industries it is an example of mass retailing and mass consumption of identical goods.”......not all technologies are successful, that economics and culture play a big part in the rate at which technologies are adopted by particular countries and how long they continue to be useful, and that innovation is not a sure road to prosperity.....investments in research and development does not necessarily lead to economic growth and that change is more frequently the result of the transfer of technologies between companies and countries.
book_reviews  reverse_innovation  think_threes  Ikea  furniture  R&D  books  policymakers  technology_transfers  copycats  technology  adaptability  mass_production 
february 2010 by jerryking
How to Be a Smart Innovator - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by Nicholas Carr,
who talks about the right way to be creative --and the wrong way. Mr.
Carr says, companies need to be prudent --even conservative --in where
and how much they encourage innovation. He reminds us that innovation
isn't free, that it's quite expensive and quite risky. Managers need to
bring the same kind of discipline to deciding where to innovate as they
would normally bring to any other kind of management question.
Innovation initiatives and innovation investments should be connected to
a firm's broader business strategy and its areas of competitive
advantage: mfg. processes or its supply chain or its products themselves
or branding and marketing areas. You don't need to always shoot for
home runs in innovation. Further, innovations can be useful if, instead
of causing disruptions, mend those disruptions or help regular customers
(late majority) adapt to new technologies or new innovations--bridging.
adaptability  breakthroughs  bridging  competitive_advantage  contrarians  Daniel_Pink  disruption  Freshbooks  howto  incrementalism  innovation  innovators  Nicholas_Carr  smart_people  strategy  taxonomy 
february 2010 by jerryking
The Protocol Society
Dec. 22, 2009 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. A protocol economy has
very different properties than a physical stuff economy. The success
of an economy depends on its ability to invent and embrace new
protocols, its' “adaptive efficiency,” -- how quickly a society can be
infected by new ideas. Protocols are intangible, so the traits needed to
invent and absorb them are intangible, too. First, a nation has to have
a good operating system: laws, regulations and property rights. Second,
a nation has to have a good economic culture: attitudes toward
uncertainty, the willingness to exert leadership, the willingness to
follow orders. A strong economy needs daring consumers (China lacks
this) and young researchers with money to play with (N.I.H. grants used
to go to 35-year-olds but now they go to 50-year-olds). See “From
Poverty to Prosperity,” by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz and Richard
Ogle’s 2007 book, “Smart World,” When the economy is about ideas,
economics comes to resemble psychology.
David_Brooks  innovation  books  culture  adaptability  ideaviruses  risk-taking  R&D  N.I.H.  property_rights  regulations  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  services  digital_economy  rules-based  intellectual_property  demand-driven  psychology  customer-driven  intangibles  behavioural_economics  protocols  poverty  prosperity 
december 2009 by jerryking
Hezbollah as 'a hot cell for innovation'Why our intentions 'don't just fail, they backfire'
Apr 19, 2009 | Toronto Star | Lynda Hurst.

we're still using anachronistic ideas to hold together a global order that no longer exists. A revolution is in progress where the unthinkable all too readily becomes the inevitable.

The result? More – and more dangerous – reversals of intent and outcome.

"What's happening today is that our intentions don't just fail, they backfire on us," says the Beijing-based geo-strategy analyst. "We deliver the opposite of what we intend because we so misunderstand the way the system now works."

The "war on terrorism" creates even more terrorists. The attempt to build a risk-proof financial system produces more risks than anyone is able to foresee. The bid to spread capitalism across the globe widens the chasm between rich and poor. The effort to contain nuclear proliferation leads to rogue states such as North Korea and Iran playing gimme-gimme games (or maybe not) with the final option.

Think Mikhail Gorbachev setting out only to reform the Soviet Union, but instead triggering its downfall, which in turn leads the U.S. to conclude its values have won the Cold War. Not so, Ramo says. Or George W. Bush reckoning he can inject democracy into Iraq and, presto, out comes peace: "Absurd in the extreme."

The new rules are
still being formed. They will be based on one central premise: countless
variations in the scheme of things will continue to occur at warp
speed, and adapting to them equally as quickly will be crucial. The
unpredictable demands of constant newness can immobilize institutions,
however, not just individuals. It can blind them to unsprung traps,
freeze once-honed navigation skills. The structure of the U.S. State
Department has barely changed since the end of World War II.

Governments can't prepare for everything in the future, but they can
build resilience into their systems. Real power will be the ability to
come back strong after an unexpected shock. That will mean persistently
assessing the big picture, not just its component pieces.
new_normal  uncertainty  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  geopolitics  unpredictability  resilience  21st._century  adaptability  managing_uncertainty  Hezbollah  unintended_consequences  unexpected  political_power  accelerated_lifecycles  U.S._State_Department  immobilize  paralyze  constant_change  revenge_effects  rogue_actors  unthinkable  misunderstandings  Cambrian_explosion  iterations  Octothorpe_Software  Mikhail_Gorbachev  the_big_picture  warp_speed  financial_system 
may 2009 by jerryking
Dangers of Clinging to Solutions of the Past - WSJ.com
MARCH 2, 2009, 4:09 A.M. ET by PHRED DVORAK

Companies "overestimate the value of experience," . "Experience becomes a
liability in times of change." Managers don't always learn the right
lessons from their experiences, particularly when they involve complex
projects. It's hard to judge cause and effect properly when there's a
long time lag between an action -- hiring a worker, for instance -- and a
result such as more output. Other conditions vary, further muddying the
picture. Managers typically don't change course easily, sticking with
old habits and goals, even when situations change.
change  managers  adaptability  overestimation  lessons_learned  conventional_wisdom  experience 
march 2009 by jerryking
Darwin, DNA and Destiny AND Dangerous Ideas
February 7, 2009 G&M by MARGARET WENTE looks at a new book,
The 10,000 Year Explosion by population geneticist Henry Harpending and
physicist/anthropologist Gregory Cochran, which argues that humans have
changed significantly in body and mind in the short period of recorded
history. The advent of agriculture around 8000 BC, they argue, set off a
new explosion in the pace of evolution that may be with us still.

The timing of the column is due to Feb. 12, marking the 200th birthday
of Charles Darwin, which Wente deems the most influential scientist in
intellectual history. Darwin's theory of evolution has been making
trouble for a century and a half, and shows no sign of stopping any time
soon. Darwin's dangerous idea dethroned mankind as the pinnacle of all
creation, and knocked God the Creator right out of the sky.
Margaret_Wente  Charles_Darwin  evolution  ideas  adaptability  theory_of_evolution  dangerous_ideas  radical_ideas 
february 2009 by jerryking

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