jerryking + the_big_picture   30

How to prepare yourself for redundancy
SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Adrian Warner.

Don’t think that doing your job well is a guarantee you will keep it. Continuously prepare for losing your job.....always make sure you are ready to be shown the door — practically, psychologically and financially...Seeking advice and networking is a positive way of establishing a safety net. Even if you are happy in your job and have complete faith in your employer, always have a Plan B. You do not need to say you are looking for a move straight away. But keeping your options open and researching your next career move will make you more comfortable in your current job.

At the same time, accumulate enough savings to pay your bills for six months, should you lose your job....Also think about how you might employ your skills and contacts to change career. You might need to do some extra training to change direction completely....There are three stages to planning for redundancy: the first is talking to people about their experiences in other fields and thinking about what else you might want to do. The second is improving your position through extra studying and developing new skills. The third stage is asking people about openings.... if you take these precautions, you should be ready for any turmoil in your career......
I would recommend everybody to work hard on the first stage. You may never move to stage two or three but knowing you have options will make you feel more comfortable.

Five tips for dealing with redundancy
Anger — I was angry at being shown the door but I learnt to control it. Companies don’t hire people with emotional baggage.

Former colleagues — Many colleagues may struggle with what to say and keep their distance at first. Don’t take this personally and give them time.

Fresh start — A career change needs planning. Analyse your skills and think strategically about how you can use them for another role.

Networking — It’s estimated that 70 per cent of jobs are not advertised, so it’s crucial to regularly talk to contacts about openings.

Job hunting in 2019 — You need to get used to rejection. Computers may assess your CV, so beat the “bots” by including keywords in the job specification.
BBC  beforemath  emergency_funds  emotional_mastery  job_search  layoffs  loyalty  Managing_Your_Career  networking  personal_branding  Plan_B  preparation  rejections  safety_nets  the_big_picture  tips 
27 days ago by jerryking
Black Cancer Matters
MARCH 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By SUSAN GUBAR.

the economic consequences of racial discrimination increase cancer risk.....putting into play the words “race” and “cancer,” .....ponder the impact of race on cancer outcomes nationally — disentangled from local ecological factors. The big picture is grim.

A 2016 report of the American Cancer Society states that the “five-year relative survival is lower for blacks than whites for most cancers at each stage of diagnosis.” African-American men, for example, are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. Experts continue to debate why, even as many ascribe this scandalous phenomenon to inequalities in access to screening and treatment.

In women’s cancer, the mortality gap has widened. According to the 2016-18 report on Cancer Facts and Figures for African-Americans, “despite lower incidence rates for breast and uterine cancers, black women have death rates for these cancers that are 42% and 92% higher, respectively, than white women.” Investigators connect the ghastly numbers to the usual socioeconomic discrepancies but also to biological differences in the malignancies of black women.

With regard to breast cancer, is the mortality gap related to a greater percentage of black women than white women contending with an aggressive form of the disease that lacks estrogen receptors?

Dr. Otis Webb Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, rejects an explanation based on “biological difference,” pointing instead to dietary disparities....“The black-white gap in the onset of menstruation and body weight has dramatically widened, which means that the disease disparities will widen also.”

Disadvantaged Americans consume more calories and carbohydrates, “the sort of food that is available in poor areas of inner cities,”..... “Poverty is a carcinogen.”

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isn't just about race-- watch the trailer in which blacks and whites say the very same things about being poisoned by the Koch brothers' companies. This is a story about social justice and lack of sufficient government regulation of the enterprises owned by the "donor" class that owns most of our politicians. The most accurate predictor of people's life expectancy is their zip code [http://fortune.com/2017/05/08/us-life-expectancy-study/]. If you life in a polluted poisoned environment, you will suffer the consequences regardless of race.
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mortality  cancers  African-Americans  women  racial_disparities  the_big_picture  prostate  economically_disadvantaged  racial_discrimination 
march 2018 by jerryking
As an Investor, Do You Suffer from ‘Narrow Framing’? - WSJ
By Shlomo Benartzi
June 11, 2017

Many of the financial mistakes people make are caused by a fundamental shortcoming: They can’t see the big picture.

In behavioral economics circles, this is known as “narrow framing”—a tendency to see investments without considering the context of the overall portfolio. Many people are vulnerable to it.
investors  behavioural_economics  narrow-framing  the_big_picture  portfolio_management 
june 2017 by jerryking
Rules for Modern Living From the Ancient Stoics -
May 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Massimo Pigliucci.

Stoicism is practical and humane, and it has plenty to teach us. The philosophy may have been developed around 300 B.C. by Zeno of Cyprus, but it is increasingly relevant today, as evidenced by the popularity of events such as Stoicon, an international conference set to hold its fourth annual gathering in Toronto this October.

The Stoics had centuries to think deeply about how to live, and they developed a potent set of exercises to help us navigate our existence, appreciating the good while handling the bad. These techniques have stood the test of time over two millennia. Here are five of my favorites.

(1) Learn to separate what is and isn’t in your power. This lets you approach everything with equanimity and tranquility of mind. ...Understand and internalize the difference, and you will be happier with your efforts, regardless of the outcome.

(2) Contemplate the broader picture. Looking from time to time at what the Stoics called “the view from above” will help you to put things in perspective and sometimes even let you laugh away troubles that are not worth worrying about. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius made a note of this in his famous personal diary, “The Meditations”: “Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body, this interval is laboriously passed.”

(3) Think in advance about challenges you may face during the day. A prepared mind may make all the difference between success and disaster.

(4) Be mindful of the here and now (i.e. living in the moment). The past is no longer under your control: Let it go. The future will come eventually, but the best way to prepare for it is to act where and when you are most effective—right here, right now.

(5) Before going to bed, write in a personal philosophical diary. This exercise will help you to learn from your experiences—and forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Stoicism was meant to be a practical philosophy. It isn’t about suppressing emotions or stalking through life with a stiff upper lip. It is about adjusting your responses to what happens, enduring what must be endured and enjoying what can be enjoyed.
Stoics  philosophy  Romans  journaling  self-discipline  mindfulness  span_of_control  mybestlife  preparation  beforemath  sense_of_proportion  the_big_picture  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  GTD  perspectives  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  chance  living_in_the_moment  Greek  personal_control 
june 2017 by jerryking
A Quiet Giant of Investing Weighs In on Trump
FEB. 6, 2017 | The New York Times | Andrew Ross Sorkin

In his letter, Mr. Klarman sets forth a countervailing view to the euphoria that has buoyed the stock market since Mr. Trump took office, describing “perilously high valuations.”

“Exuberant investors have focused on the potential benefits of stimulative tax cuts, while mostly ignoring the risks from America-first protectionism and the erection of new trade barriers,” he wrote.

“President Trump may be able to temporarily hold off the sweep of automation and globalization by cajoling companies to keep jobs at home, but bolstering inefficient and uncompetitive enterprises is likely to only temporarily stave off market forces,” he continued. “While they might be popular, the reason the U.S. long ago abandoned protectionist trade policies is because they not only don’t work, they actually leave society worse off.”

In particular, Mr. Klarman appears to believe that investors have become hypnotized by all the talk of pro-growth policies, without considering the full ramifications. He worries, for example, that Mr. Trump’s stimulus efforts “could prove quite inflationary, which would likely shock investors.”.....“The big picture for investors is this: Trump is high volatility, and investors generally abhor volatility and shun uncertainty,” he wrote. “Not only is Trump shockingly unpredictable, he’s apparently deliberately so; he says it’s part of his plan.”

While Mr. Klarman clearly is hoping for the best, he warned, “If things go wrong, we could find ourselves at the beginning of a lengthy decline in dollar hegemony, a rapid rise in interest rates and inflation, and global angst.”...In his recent letter, he explained for the first time his decision to say something publicly. “Despite my preference to stay out of the media,” he wrote, “I’ve taken the view that each of us can be bystanders, or we can be upstanders. I choose upstander.”....How Mr. Klarman wants investors to behave in the age of Trump remains an open question. But here’s a hint: At the top of his letter, he included three quotations. One was attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
Seth_Klarman  investors  hedge_funds  Donald_Trump  investing  ETFs  value_investing/investors  money_management  Andrew_Sorkin  countervailing  the_big_picture  nobystanders  Thomas_Jefferson  quotes  stylish  principle 
february 2017 by jerryking
Why Starbucks Might Be Innovating Too Fast - Barron's
By Alex Eule Jan. 26, 2017

Big Picture: Starbucks is seeing rapid success with its mobile ordering system, but it might be coming at the expense of in-store service.......The company now has so many customers placing advance orders via smartphones that some of its stores are having trouble keeping up.... “mobile order and pay” made up 7% of U.S. transactions in the latest quarter, up from just 3% a year ago.

But, it turns out, the existing stores haven’t been set up to handle the changing consumer behavior.

(From personal experience, I’ve noticed that Manhattan Starbucks counters are often over-filled with advance orders and those customers walk in and out, while the wait for in-store service is now longer than before.)

Starbucks president and chief operating officer Kevin Johnson, who’s set to become CEO in April, told investors that smartphone order volume has “created a new operational challenge...significant congestion at the handoff point. This congestion resulted in some number of customers who either entered the store or considered visiting a Starbucks store, and then did not complete a transaction.”
innovation  Starbucks  congestion  handoffs  in-store  order_management_system  mobile_applications  smartphones  consumer_behavior  operations  wait_times  brands  large_companies  shortcomings  revenge_effects  the_big_picture 
january 2017 by jerryking
Center for the Future of Museums: Painting in Blue
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Painting in Blue

Often, I must repeat what I do for a living. You teach police about art? Not exactly. I teach them to improve their observation and communication skills by learning to analyze works of art. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs have proven to be transformative tools in professional training programs for authorities in law enforcement, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Agencies from around the country and around the world are turning to museum collections to bolster their efforts to combat crime, terrorism, and unrest in our increasingly threatened and complex world....The US spends about $15B each year to train doctors, and over $100B per year to train and maintain police forces. Shouldn’t museums, drawing a direct line from their resources to improved outcomes for these and other critical social needs, be included in that support? ..... In 2001, as Head of Education at The Frick Collection, I instituted a program for medical students, The Art of Perception. Based on a model program at the Yale Center for British Art, the course took medical students from the clinical setting into an art museum to teach them to analyze works of art—big picture and small details—and articulate their observations. When they returned to the hospital, they would, we reasoned, be better observers of their patients. (You can find an assessment of the program in Bardes, Gillers, and Herman, “Learning to Look: Developing Clinical Observational Skills in an Art Museum, Medical Education, vol 35,no.12, pp.1157-1161.) Humanities in medical training has a strong historical precedent and this program underscored the value of critical thinking and visual analysis in the disciplines of both medicine and art history.
perception  empathy  law_enforcement  policing  art  museums  Communicating_&_Connecting  inferences  observations  the_big_picture  historical_precedents  training_programs 
december 2016 by jerryking
A ‘war on terrorism’? No thanks. There are smarter ways to meet the threat - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 07 2015

What do terrorists want? ....They want us to react to them, and above all to overreact....Using the language of war dignifies their delusions and elevates their crimes. Better to meet and defeat them on our country’s preferred turf: old-fashioned police work, patient intelligence gathering, meticulous legal proceedings and the fairest of trials. We know how to do this....Over the past few weeks, the Prime Minister has seemed intent on riling people up and making the most of the terrorist threat. He has exaggerated the danger of ISIS and its connection to possible terrorism in Canada. That’s wrong. At a time like this, the PM should be the chief minister in charge of deflating hyperbole, putting things in perspective – and reminding Canadians that we must continue as we always have, on guard but free.
terrorism  Stephen_Harper  overreaction  ISIS  Canada  Canadian  lone_wolves  editorials  sense_of_proportion  the_big_picture  home_grown  self-radicalization  strengths  security_&_intelligence  perspectives 
february 2015 by jerryking
From one pollster to another: Stop trying to predict elections - The Globe and Mail
BRUCE ANDERSON
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 11 2014

To me, excellence in this profession is more about eternal curiosity, less about being convinced that you can predict tomorrow based on what you know about yesterday.

Lately, some in the polling industry have been indulging in an unhealthy, feverish competition to predict the outcome and seat distribution of every election. I think it’s a bit of a fool’s errand.

I’m personally enjoying the fact that the race for Ontario is down to the wire and the outcome is more uncertain than ever.

It’s a great time to remind ourselves that the suspense of a big unknown is more interesting than endless over-confident predictions about the chemistry of turnout rates and the implications of same for a handful of swing ridings.....the best value lies in the big picture, the context and the general reactions to parties, leaders and ideas.
elections  political_campaigns  predictions  opinion_polls_&_surveys  public_opinion  Bruce_Anderson  the_big_picture  contextual 
june 2014 by jerryking
What does the future hold for the CBC? - The Globe and Mail
SIMON HOUPT

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 11 2014,

you have to create an infrastructure of an organization that can adapt to whatever it is. And that’s a challenge around how do we think about ourselves, and our role, and how do we make ourselves as agile as we can?” In big-picture terms, she said, the CBC “is going to be smaller, it’s going to be faster, it’s going to be engaging.”...Under Ms. Conway, the CBC will strike more partnerships with private Canadian broadcasters and its foreign counterparts. It will also work more with marketers to create so-called branded entertainment (a.k.a. product placement) shows.
CBC_Radio  CBC_TV  Simon_Houpt  millennials  Vice_Media  the_big_picture  partnerships 
april 2014 by jerryking
Staying Focused
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review | by Adi Ignatius.

In “The Focused Leader” Daniel Goleman posits that a primary task for leaders is to “direct attention” toward what matters—so it’s imperative that they stay focused themselves. Building on neuroscience research, he argues that “focus” isn’t about filtering out distractions as much as it is about cultivating awareness of what truly matters. The executive’s goal should be to develop three things: an inward focus, a focus on others, and a focus on the wider world. The first two help to build emotional intelligence, while the third can help in devising strategy, innovating, and managing.
attention  distractions  editorials  emotional_intelligence  filtering  focus  HBR  incisiveness  inward-looking  leaders  people_skills  self-awareness  serving_others  strategy  the_big_picture  think_threes  what_really_matters 
december 2013 by jerryking
Looking for the Big Picture
By: Jakobson, Leo, Successful Meetings, 01484052, Nov2012By: Jakobson, Leo, Successful Meetings, 01484052, Nov2012

GET TOP EXECS BRAINSTORMING WITH THESE CREATIVE MEETING STRATEGIES

When Paul Fa...
ideacity  brainstorming  meetings  the_big_picture  from notes
november 2013 by jerryking
Manage your time as well as your staff - FT.com
October 1, 2013 | FT | Luke Johnson By Luke Johnson.

Not many entrepreneurs are great listeners, but those who have that skill are frequently the most impressive. They learn more. And I like bosses who are always well-informed about their market and competition – never too arrogant to copy rivals, and modest enough to understand that there is always room for improvement.

My favourite entrepreneurs are well-organised but not perfectionists. They see the big picture and do not fritter away energy on trivia. They juggle the multiple calls on their time well, and know what matters.
Luke_Johnson  time-management  entrepreneur  listening  personal_energy  multitasking  the_big_picture 
october 2013 by jerryking
The man who's selling us short
27 Apr 2013 | The Globe & Mail B.4 |Sean Silcoff.

Meet the 36-year-old fund manager who is wagering big money on big trouble for the Canadian economy

Vijai Mohan has made an all-in bet against C...
hedge_funds  Canada  housing  short_selling  the_big_picture  detail_oriented  from notes
april 2013 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Looking at the big picture from ground up
June 11, 2012
New CEO likes to roll up his sleeves and visit the medical labs and imaging clinics at company he plans to expand

RICHARD BLACKWELL
Freshbooks  the_big_picture 
june 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.20 | Wayne Harris.

I am a Jamaican-born Canadian. It disheartens me to see Selwyn Pieters (Boys Without Dads -- letter, Nov. 28) and others claim that "systemic racism" in institutions and schools is "forcing black kids to drop out" and that this is part of the "big picture" of why black youth is in such a quandary.

Your editorial (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- Nov. 26) says it like it is. The root cause starts in the home, not the community.

If the fathers were there to guide, teach, nurture and lead, then the community would not have to provide focused counselling and intervention.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  fatherhood  dysfunction  family  systemic_discrimination  the_big_picture 
november 2011 by jerryking
Corner Office - The 5 Habits of Highly Effective C.E.O.’s
April 16, 2011|NYT|ADAM BRYANT
* Passionate Curiosity.
Share stories re. failures, doubts & mistakes. Ask big-picture
questions re. why things work the way they do & can they be improved
upon? Know people’s back stories, and what they do. Relentless
questioning can lead to spotting new opportunities, or helping
understand subordinates, and how to get them to work together
effectively.
* Battle-Hardened Confidence
The best predictor of behavior is past performance, & that’s why so
many CEOs interview job candidates about how they've dealt with failure.

* Team Smarts
* A Simple Mind-Set
Be concise, get to the point, make it simple. ...There was a time when
simply having certain information was a competitive advantage. Now, in
the Internet era, most people have easy access to the same information.
That puts a greater premium on the ability to synthesize, to connect
dots in new ways and to ask simple, smart questions that lead to
untapped opportunities.
* Fearlessness - Not status quo!
CEOs  leadership  teams  ksfs  contextual_intelligence  Managing_Your_Career  executive_management  curiosity  questions  mindsets  concision  confidence  critical_thinking  overlooked_opportunities  interpretation  connecting_the_dots  fearlessness  the_big_picture  subordinates 
april 2011 by jerryking
Assumption hunters, a new consulting business?
March 5, 2008 | CultureBy | Grant McCracken.

What is the most vexing problem in management today?

Next to setting our objectives, running a tight ship and meeting our numbers, I would argue that it’s watching out for the blind side hit.

By blind side hit, I mean the kind of thing that Google did to Microsoft, that Barak did to Hillary, that hip hop did to Levi-Strauss, that Snapple did to Coca-Cola.

Watching for blind side hits is difficult because it means knowing our assumptions. And this is hard because assumptions are not for knowing, they are for making.
........The trouble with assumptions is that they are by definition invisible from view. (That’s why we call them "unknown unknowns.") We hold ideas about the world without full awareness of what these ideas are or how they make us vulnerable. .......So what to do. How about, for starters, this three step "assumption hunting" process?

1) ferret out the assumptions. Hire someone to go through the operation of daily business and capture every assumption. Philosophers are quite good at this. Anthropologists are very good at it. This is after all the way they study culture, which is, by and large, a set of assumptions that helps us think and act fluidly precisely because we don’t know we are making them.

2) identify the parts of the world that could present challenges. Figure out just what the challenge is and when and how it will "come ashore."

3) Keep watch with a big board. In effect, what we are doing is "sunsetting" our assumptions with a view to discovery when they reach they end of their useful lives.
assumptions  management_consulting  information_gaps  the_big_picture  uncertainty  unknowns  anthropology  blindsided  blind_spots  challenges  anthropologists  philosophers 
december 2010 by jerryking
Windows--the big picture
Oct 11, 2006 / Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. pg. 1 / Lynn Underwood.
ProQuest  Gadi_Prager  the_big_picture 
november 2010 by jerryking
Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence
How To Write a Compelling Nomination Letter.
1. Don't just say your nominee is outstanding – prove it! Use
examples and stories to illustrate how your nominee meets the award
criteria.
2. Focus on the big picture. The selection panel is looking for
nominees who meet all of the award criteria. Tell them how your
candidate excels in many ways.
3. Give different perspectives. Don't tell the same story three
times! The nominator letter and the two supporter letters should provide
examples from a range of views and perspectives. They cannot be written
by family members of the nominee(s). For example, a principal might
write a letter about outstanding academic performance. Then a student
might talk about the impact the nominee had on his life. While a parent
could profile how the nominee links the school with the community.
teaching  nominations  recommendations  coverletters  the_big_picture 
march 2010 by jerryking
Where are the Kissingers for the 21st century?
Feb. 26. 2010 | The Globe & Mail | by Jeremi Suri. At
its core, leadership is about connections and calculated risk-taking.
Mr. Kissinger excelled at both. He was a big-picture thinker who drew
actively on the work of people with diverse areas of expertise. Mr.
Kissinger might not have done the original research, but he knew how to
identify and exploit valuable new knowledge. In the decades after the
Second World War, Mr. Kissinger guided policy-makers in their responses
to the challenges of postwar reconstruction, communist containment, the
nuclear arms race, limited warfare, Third World revolutions and détente.
Henry_Kissinger  career_paths  leadership  risk-taking  the_big_picture  Communicating_&_Connecting  humanities  realpolitik  21st._century  statesmen  diplomacy  strategic_thinking  grand_strategy  APNSA 
march 2010 by jerryking
For Entrepreneurs, It’s All About Time
April 1, 2008 | NYTimes.com| By PAUL B. BROWN. Be more
productive within the existing 24 hrs. ¶Plan tomorrow today. Prioritize
and tackle the items on your list in order of their importance. ¶Do not
try to keep it in your head. Your mind is best used for the big picture
rather than all the details. ¶Sleep. ¶Take a speed reading class.¶Break
for lunch. Q: Where are the bulk of your revenues coming from? Are you
sure? When asked to explain their inability to manage their time, a
common reason people cite is “information overload.” Too much data to
keep up with. Dave Allen says," Too much information is not the problem.
If it were, we’d walk into a library and faint. Information overload
indicates we’re not managing our commitments effectively.” Implications
for JCK's clients & mission statement? “There are many ways to
avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be
procrastination,”
small_business  entrepreneur  time-management  lunchtime  productivity  Pareto_Principle  information_overload  procrastination  JCK  GTD  inspiration  affirmations  sleep  priorities  commitments  David_Allen  the_big_picture 
february 2010 by jerryking
Ambidextrous Marketing - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 11, 2005 | Wall Street Journal | by JOHN A. QUELCH.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Many marketing managers are failing their employers, showing little
interest in the balance sheet impact of their promotional programs. Such
marketers lack the quantitative, analytical skills necessary to drive
marketing productivity; and resist being held accountable for marketing
performance. So what must a marketing manager be able to do to succeed
in a world where information rules?

* Start with gathering and analyzing basic data.
* Supplement and refine this big picture approach by analyzing the
profitability of each customer account.
* Even when you know which customers to target, today's media
fragmentation has increased the complexity of achieving an optimal
allocation of marketing expenditures.
* Measure what's important.
Today's boards want chief marketing officers who can talk the language
of productivity and return on investment and are willing to be held
accountable.
marketing  howto  ROI  managers  accountability  HBS  decision_making  growth_hacking  metrics  data_driven  CMOs  measurements  John_Quelch  fragmentation  advertising  the_big_picture 
january 2010 by jerryking
The DNA Problem in American Spying - NYTimes.com
January 1, 2010 | New York Times | By SAM TANENHAUS. Sherman
Kent’s “Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy,” : the best
intelligence-gathering was the work “of devoted specialists molded into a
vigorous production unit,” who prized the arts of data accumulation and
nonideological analysis. Influenced by the Pearl Harbor attack, Kent’s
approach, betrays “a compulsive preoccupation with prediction, with the
elimination of ‘surprise’ from foreign affairs.” There is another
school of thought,popularized by political scientist Willmoore Kendall,
that the most useful intelligence provides a big “pictures” of the
world that decision makers needed for formulating broad policy.
Intelligence experts therefore should not just acquire and analyze
information; they should interpret it as well.
security_&_intelligence  books  book_reviews  the_big_picture 
january 2010 by jerryking
Chicago Reader Blogs: The Sports Page
"The Wall Street Journal doesn't just follow sports. We lead
the way. Sure you might call our sports coverage analytical, insightful
or even forward thinking, but one thing you can't call it is
conventional. When we report on sports, we focus less on what you've
already seen happen and more on what will happen next. We look behind
the scenes. At the big picture. We tell stories you don't expect from a
perspective as unusual as it is engaging. And we show you the shape of
things to come. It's a whole new take on sports. It's sports in the Wall
Street Journal. And it's 5 days a week. Sports coverage has gone pro."
next_play  WSJ  sports  unconventional_thinking  sportscasting  forward_looking  storytelling  interpretative  aftermath  the_big_picture 
june 2009 by jerryking
How to be wise before the event
March 9 2009 | Financial Times | By Stefan Stern.

Restraint is back in fashion in these recessionary times. People have lost their appetite for risk.

But hang on a minute. No risk will mean no reward. You need new markets and customers to grow, and that means taking steps into the unknown. I doubt that anyone will be suggesting, in this newspaper’s new series of articles on the future of capitalism, that risk-taking should be abolished.

Bad risk-management helped get us into the current mess. It is vital that we learn the right lessons about risk from the crisis. What are they?

The new edition of Harvard Business Review contains a lucid piece of analysis from René Stulz, professor of banking and monetary economics at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. While his principal focus is on the financial sector, the diagnosis will be helpful to managers in any business or organisation.

Prof Stulz describes six ways in which risk has been mismanaged. First, there has been too much reliance on historical data among today’s decision-makers. Extrapolating from the past can provide, at best, only partial guidance for the future. Financial innovation has created a new world. No wonder some managers were unprepared for the calamitous fall in asset prices and demand. This collapse was unimaginable to anyone basing their thinking on post-war performance alone.

Second, narrow daily measures – in banking these are known as “value at risk” measures – have underestimated the risks that are being run. The assumption behind a daily measure of risk is that action can be taken quickly (through an asset sale) to remove that risk. But, as the current crisis has shown, such rapid moves become impossible when markets seize up.

Third, knowable risks have been overlooked. Managers who work in silos may appreciate the risks that they personally are exposed to. But they may not see how risks being run elsewhere in the business could affect them too. Someone – a chief risk officer? – needs to track them all.

Fourth, concealed risks have been overlooked. Incentives have proved to be particularly dangerous in this regard. Some traders and lenders may have enjoyed taking risky decisions that in the short term appeared to be delivering well for them and their organisations. But they had no incentive to report any downside risk. And unreported risks tend to expand.

Fifth, there has been a failure to communicate effectively. It is dangerous, Prof Stulz says, when risk managers are so expert in their field that they lose the ability to explain in simple terms what they are doing. The board may develop a false sense of security by failing to appreciate the complexity of the risks being managed.

Last, risks have not been managed in real time. Organisations have to be able to monitor fast-changing markets and where necessary respond to them without delay.

Prof Stulz offers a useful technical analysis. But a true understanding of risk also requires a maturity of outlook, an ability to see the big picture, and deep experience. This last is a rare commodity: impossible to fake and acquired only over time.

In a new McKinsey publication called What Matters, the 90-year-old investment manager and author Peter Bernstein offers some sober insights. “What is risk management all about anyway?” he writes. “We use the words as though everybody understands what we are talking about. But life is not that simple. Risk means more things can happen than will happen – which is a fancy way of saying we do not know what is going to happen.”

Mr Bernstein’s central point – not revolutionary, but unarguable – is that downside risks must be assessed rigorously. Someone old enough to remember the Wall Street crash is probably worth listening to right now.[JCK: elder wisdom]

“Nothing is 100 per cent sure,” Mr Bernstein says. “While a 95 per cent probability is statistically significant, that still leaves us in the dark about the remaining 5 per cent; we may decide to accept that uncertainty and bet on the 95 per cent sure thing, but there is still a possibility of being wrong.

“The crucial question to ask is, ‘What would be the consequence if that 5 per cent chance comes to pass?’ ”

Welcome to the less exciting but more soundly based era of calculated risks. For the foreseeable future, business leaders will be trying to be wise before rather than after the event.
beforemath  business  communicating_risks  downside_risks  elder_wisdom  false_sense_of_security  fast-changing  hidden  management  McKinsey  overreliance  Peter_Bernstein  recessions  real-time  risks  risk-assessment  risk-management  Stefan_Stern  the_big_picture  VaR  what_really_matters  wisdom 
may 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
YAM March 2003 - Studies in Grand Strategy
March 2003| Yale Alumni Magazine | by Bruce Fellman

Article profiles participants in an innovative course called "Studies in Grand Strategy" learn how to see the big picture.
Yale  Colleges_&_Universities  curriculum  strategy  innovation  strategic_thinking  grand_strategy  the_big_picture  Sun_Tzu 
april 2009 by jerryking

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