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jerryking : constraints   28

Do less this year but do it better
January 7, 2018 | FT| Andrew Hill.

Accumulating multiple commitments poses other risks, too. If you try to do more than one thing, you will not be as efficient as if you concentrated on a single task. A 2001 paper found that people toggling between tasks took longer to solve complex maths problems than those who concentrated on one job.....Doing less “comes with this harsh requirement that . . . you have to obsess [about what you choose to do],”.........people who pursued a strategy of “do less, then obsess” ranked 25 percentage points higher than those who did not embrace the practice. ....Beware the danger of collaborating too little — or too much.....Sometimes achieving more requires more than individual effort. Managers can play a role in helping thier employees exercise self-discipline. Too often, organizations measure success by volume of work done — the law firm’s billable hours, say — or try to match the size of a team to the perceived importance of the project. Sometimes, though, the best approach may be to simplify a process, cut the size of a team, or impose a new strategic focus. How can you and your team achieve more this year? Try taking something away: impose constraints.
Antartica  busyness  commitments  constraints  monotasking  obsessions  overcommitted  overwhelmed  productivity  resolutions  Roald_Amundsen  self-discipline  South_Pole  teams 
january 2018 by jerryking
Charlie Parker and the Meaning of Freedom
AUG. 29, 2017 | The New York Times | By ARTHUR C. BROOKS.

The jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, also known as Bird, was born on Aug. 29, 1920.

Freedom in Parker’s music was the freedom to work within the melody and chords to make beautiful, life-affirming music. That meant the self-mastery to dominate his craft through years of careful practice, and the humble discipline to live within the rules of the music itself.

Many artists have known this truth. Leonardo da Vinci said, “You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.” But the lesson goes far beyond art. Indeed, this is one of life’s great lessons for all of us......The lesson: To be truly free to enjoy the best things in life, set proper moral standards for yourself and live within them as undeviatingly as Charlie Parker did in his music.
art  Arthur_Brooks  boundaries  constraints  jazz  Leonardo_da_Vinci  musicians  practice  restraint  self-discipline  self-mastery  self-restraint  soul-enriching 
august 2017 by jerryking
Political leadership in the Caribbean –
Feb 05, 2017 Features | Kaieteur News | By Sir Ronald Sanders.

The aspirations of today’s Caribbean leaders are no different to Castro’s; their circumstances are different. Caribbean economies are small and, when there is an economic downturn or some major calamity in the countries with which we trade or from which our foreign investment comes, our economies become constrained. It’s not that the leaders would not like to do better, they are operating in restricted circumstances, and they do the best they can. They have no champion as Castro had with the Soviet Union.
But, they miss opportunities by not doing more together. .....CARICOM is a valuable tool for the advancement of the Caribbean people and for Caribbean countries individually and collectively. Unfortunately, since independence, a kind of false nationalism has crept into our psyche; one which, in some cases, cannot admit to being as much a citizen of the Caribbean region as a national of a country within it. Part of the reason is that leaders don’t give effective leadership on this issue.....In almost every Caribbean country, there exists an anathema to migrants from other Caribbean countries, displayed particularly at Airports where Caribbean people face discrimination.......There has not been sufficient advocacy of Caribbean integration by the leadership of the region to help people to understand that, whether or not we came in the same ship, we are now in the same boat and that boat is in turbulent waters. All of us in that boat have to row it together, if not we will sink together....The point is that our circumstances are such that we need each other; no single country in the Caribbean – none, not Trinidad and Tobago, with its oil and gas resources, not Guyana with its vast land and natural resources, not Jamaica with its large population can survive on its own.
The world is tough, and it is only by the marrying and integrating of our resources at all levels that we can hope to do better. If we continue to let integration languish, I am afraid we are writing our own suicide drama and we are acting it out. We have to overcome it. And, political leadership matters – from governing and opposition parties alike.............
Caribbean  Caricom  coalitions  collective_action  competitiveness_of_nations  constraints  disunity  human_psyche  integration  leadership  loyal_opposition  missed_opportunities  nationalism  parochialism  politicians  small_states  strategic_alliances 
february 2017 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data 
april 2016 by jerryking
Want to kickstart the Canadian economy? Try "indovation", says U of T prof | U of T News
January 26, 2015 | U of T News | Terry Lavender.

Professor Dilip Soman heads up U of T's India Innovation Institute. He explains how necessity can be the mother of innovation. Indovation is a portmanteau of the words “Indian” and “innovation” and it means taking existing constraints – such as a shortage of funds or raw materials – into account when developing a response to actual problems.... “Frugality is at the essence of it,” Soman says. “In India, unless you can drive down costs, your idea is a non-starter.

“For example, mobile banking. That’s a classic ‘indovation’. It came about as a response to a particular problem, and it was developed in India and adopted in the west,” says Soman.

we’re working on developing a dataset on reverse innovation; the idea that innovations that have developed in the global south can be scaled back to the western world,” Soman says. “We have white papers on several topics: crowd-funding, agriculture, and retail and investment opportunities. The goal is to build up a database of information that both researchers as well as practitioners can use.”
constraints  innovation  India  Rotman  uToronto  trickle-up  frugality  necessity  reverse_innovation  jugaad  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  datasets  Indians 
february 2015 by jerryking
Want success? Limit your options - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 20 2014

Like Cortez who burnt his ships, limit your options to be successful. Careers blogger Penelope Trunk says having a lot of alternatives makes you lazy, increases anxiety, and leads to decision avoidance. Ignore the fear of some formidable project or career leap; just go for it, without fallback possibilities.
Harvey_Schachter  GTD  constraints  optionality  alternatives 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Art of Focus
June 2, 2014 | - NYTimes.com | David Brooks.

The way to discover a terrifying longing is to liberate yourself from the self-censoring labels you began to tell yourself over the course of your mis-education. These formulas are stultifying, Phillips argues: “You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself. Because the point of knowing oneself is to contain one’s anxieties about appetite.”[JCK: anti the valorization of self-awareness??]

Thus: Focus on the external objects of fascination, not on who you think you are. Find people with overlapping obsessions. Don’t structure your encounters with them the way people do today, through brainstorming sessions (those don’t work) or through conferences with projection screens.

Instead look at the way children learn in groups. They make discoveries alone, but bring their treasures to the group. Then the group crowds around and hashes it out. In conversation, conflict, confusion and uncertainty can be metabolized and digested through somebody else. If the group sets a specific problem for itself, and then sets a tight deadline to come up with answers, the free digression of conversation will provide occasions in which people are surprised by their own minds.
children  constraints  curiosity  David_Brooks  fascination  focus  howto  metabolism  mis-education  passions  self-awareness  self-censorship  self-discovery  sustained_inquiry  uncertainty  unknowns 
june 2014 by jerryking
Humanity takes millions of photos every day. Why are most so forgettable? - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | IAN BROWN.

In what should be a golden age of photography, our preoccupation with technical brilliance, technique, and technological advances is overwhelming our ability to collectively use our cameras to tell the simplest of stories...As a result, Ian and his fellow judges at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival photography competition to tell a visual story--a photo essay--about wildlife or wilderness, declined to identify a winner--or even a runner-up--from 500 entries....none of them managed to tell the simplest of stories.

A story is a cohesive account of events in which something is at stake – a beginning, middle and end tied together with characters, scenes and details (long shots, mid-shots, closeups) that lead to a climax and resolution (or not). A story is content.

Even the entries that were remotely in the neighbourhood of telling a story – and most were hopelessly lost – were edited incomprehensibly. (Not experimentally. Incomprehensibly.) In other words, if photographic sequences evoke no perceptible story, they have no significance.

* Don't try to compensate for a lack of vision with a bag of technological tricks.
* Don't take photographs because you can. First, determine if you should (i.e. will there be story?). Think--pretend the resource you're consuming is finite.
* Don't sit down awaiting to be entertained, go out and seek a story.

We crave the instant gratification and collective approval that the Internet deals out to us and photograbs are the fastest way to get it, the visual equivalent of a hypodermic drip....The Online Photographer, the blog of Mike Johnston, a digital photographer who writes about his attempts – his successes, but more often his failures – to tell cogent and moving stories in pictures. It’s the struggle that makes visual work interesting....“Time changes the image.” allowing photos that didn't like to become favourites and vice versa....Good pictures that tell a story, he said, are always about other people. But when “everybody with a phone thinks they’re a photographer,” the result is “the autobiographical and the narcissistic.”

Ian fears for organizations such as the Chicago Sun-Times, which last month laid off all of its camera pros in favour of cheaper, crowd-sourced iPhonography. They will get what they pay for.
storytelling  photography  contests  digital_media  information_overload  curation  narcissism  Banff  failure  visual_culture  finite_resources  instant_gratification  constraints  problem_framing  golden_age 
june 2013 by jerryking
3 global revolutions that make it tough for states and corporations to stay on top
Mar. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Kate Taylor.

Journalist and scholar Moises Naim argues that three global revolutions are eroding traditional bastions of political, economic and social power in his new book, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be. Together, he says, the three shifts are making it easier to gain power but more difficult to use and maintain it....

The “more revolution” – there are more of us, and we have more resources – overwhelms power. The “mobility revolution” circumvents power by moving people and information further and faster. And the “mentality revolution” undermines it by making people less deferential....Governments are hobbled giants where you have a lot of political actors who have just enough power to block, but no one has the power to move forward. The American “fiscal cliff” and the sequester, climate change – you see everyone worried but incapable of acting. The massacre in Syria continues but no one seems to have the power to do anything. Or the European economic crisis, we have a situation where no one has the power to contain it.
books  multinationals  constraints  Moises_Naim  think_threes  political_power  journalists  power_to_obstruct  gridlocked_politics 
march 2013 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: Changing the game
Posted by Seth Godin on November 01, 2007

Google announced an open interchange that allows users to take their social graph with them from one site to another. MySpace just joined in. This changes the rules for FaceBook, because now users have a choice of picking from dozens, soon to be hundreds of open sites... or just one closed one.

How can you change your game?

Consider the plight of Mike Huckabee and John Edwards. Both are making strong runs for the nominations of their parties, but both suffer because they're not seen as front runners. So why not change the game? Instead of waiting for a TV network to invite them to a debate, why not make your own TV show? Debate each other, in public, in Iowa. Broadcast the whole thing on YouTube. When you're done, challenge others in the opposite party to debate you, one on one. On your channel. What are they, chicken?

Consider the sandwich/burger shop/deli on a street crowded with choices. What to do? Why not get rid of all the meat and become a vegetarian/kosher sandwich/burger shop/deli? Now, it's five competitors and you. Anyone with a friend who eats carefully will bring her to your shop, the one and only one of its kind.

Usually, when you destroy the barriers in an existing industry, everyone loses... except you.
game_changers  entrepreneurship  risk-taking  barriers_to_entry  Seth_Godin  change_agents  thinking_big  scaling  constraints  vegetarian 
september 2012 by jerryking
Ten Laws Of The Modern World
04.19.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

• Gilder's Law: Winner's Waste. The futurist George Gilder wrote about this a few years ago in a Forbes publication. The best business models, he said, waste the era's cheapest resources in order to conserve the era's most expensive resources. When steam became cheaper than horses, the smartest businesses used steam and spared horses. Today the cheapest resources are computer power and bandwidth. Both are getting cheaper by the year (at the pace of Moore's Law). Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) is a successful business because it wastes computer power--it has some 120,000 servers powering its search engine--while it conserves its dearest resource, people. Google has fewer than 3,500 employees, yet it generates $5 billion in (current run rate) sales.

• Ricardo's Law. The more transparent an economy becomes, the more David Ricardo's 19th-century law of comparative advantage rules the day. Then came the commercial Internet, the greatest window into comparative advantage ever invented. Which means if your firm's price-value proposition is lousy, too bad. The world knows.

• Wriston's Law. This is named after the late Walter Wriston, a giant of banking and finance. In his 1992 book, The Twilight of Sovereignty, Wriston predicted the rise of electronic networks and their chief effect. He said capital (meaning both money and ideas), when freed to travel at the speed of light, "will go where it is wanted, stay where it is well-treated...." By applying Wriston's Law of capital and talent flow, you can predict the fortunes of countries and companies.

• The Laffer Curve. In the 1970s the young economist Arthur Laffer proposed a wild idea. Cut taxes at the margin, on income and capital, and you'll get more tax revenue, not less. Laffer reasoned that lower taxes would beckon risk capital out of hiding. Businesses and people would become more productive. The pie would grow. Application of the Laffer Curve is why the United States boomed in the 1980s and 1990s, why India is rocking now and why eastern Europe will outperform western Europe.

• Drucker's Law. Odd as it seems, you will achieve the greatest results in business and career if you drop the word "achievement" from your vocabulary. Replace it with "contribution," says the great management guru Peter Drucker. Contribution puts the focus where it should be--on your customers, employees and shareholders.

• Ogilvy's Law. David Ogilvy gets my vote as the greatest advertising mind of the 20th century. The founder of Ogilvy & Mather--now part of WPP (nasdaq: WPPGY - news - people )--left a rich legacy of ideas in his books, my favorite being Ogilvy on Advertising. Ogilvy wrote that whenever someone was appointed to head an office of O&M, he would give the manager a Russian nesting doll. These dolls open in the middle to reveal a smaller doll, which opens in the middle to reveal a yet smaller doll...and so on. Inside the smallest doll would be a note from Ogilvy. It read: "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants." Ogilvy knew in the 1950s that people make or break businesses. It was true then; it's truer today.
Rich_Karlgaard  matryoshka_dolls  Moore's_Law  Metcalfe's_Law  Peter_Drucker  Ogilvy_&_Mather  Gilder's_Law  hiring  talent  advertising_agencies  transparency  value_propositions  capital_flows  talent_flows  David_Ogilvy  inexpensive  waste  abundance  scarcity  constraints  George_Gilder 
june 2012 by jerryking
Thinking ‘Outside the Box’ Wastes Time
November 28, 2007 |The Informed Reader - WSJ | Robin Moroney.

managers are at their most creative when focused on specific, provocative questions. This brings out the best in people who are used to being creative within limits, while also keeping the ideas within the realm of the possible.

Ideally, the questions should force managers to approach their product or business from an unconventional direction, and should be carefully selected before the sessions have even begun. Instead of asking generic questions like “How could we cut costs?” a supervisor could ask “What element of our business would we have to eliminate to cut costs 50%, and are there customers who do not need that element?”

As another hint, the authors recommend dividing any large brainstorming meeting into groups of four people, to encourage shy individuals to talk and blowhards to listen to them.
brainstorming  creativity  howto  specificity  questions  unconventional_thinking  constraints  out-of-the-box 
april 2012 by jerryking
Take the Subway - NYTimes.com
March 3, 2012 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

Two recent, smart books. The first is called “The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource Limited World,” by James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady. Moody, who works at Australia’s national research agency, and Nogrady, a science journalist, argue that, since the industrial revolution, we’ve seen five long waves of innovation — from water power to steam to electrification to mass production and right up to information and communications technologies. They argue the sixth wave will be resource efficiency — because rising populations, with growing appetites, will lead to both increasing scarcity of resources and dangerously high pollution, waste and climate change.

This will force us to decouple consumption from economic growth.

Amory Lovins, the physicist who is chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, begins in his new book, “Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era,” which is summarized in the current Foreign Affairs. The Rocky Mountain Institute and its business collaborators show how private enterprise — motivated by profit, supported by smart policy — can lead America off both oil and coal by 2050, saving $5 trillion, through innovation emphasizing design and strategy.

“You don’t have to believe in climate change to solve it,” says Lovins. “Everything we do to raise energy efficiency will make money, improve security and health, and stabilize climate.”
Amory_Lovins  books  climate_change  constraints  economic_growth  electric_power  energy  energy_efficiency  Moscow  physicists  pollution  resource_efficiency  scarcity  steam_engine  sustainability  Tom_Friedman  waste  water_power 
march 2012 by jerryking
Agriculture Focus
Agriculture Focus
December 16, 2011 | By KNews | Filed Under Editorial.

The initiative identifies several critical elements that must be confronted if agriculture is to deliver its potential to our economy. “These key elements are: agriculture is a business; agriculture is holistic, spanning the entire agri-product chain and with organic links to other productive sectors; the increasing importance of value-added food products and non-food products must be recognised; emphasis on national activities with sub-regional and regional activities included when they add value to national initiatives”.
Most importantly, ten constraints to agricultural development were identified. These were: limited financing and inadequate levels of new investments; outdated and inefficient Agricultural Health and Food Safety (AHFS) systems; inadequate research and development; a fragmented and disorganised private sector; weak land and water distribution and management systems; deficient and uncoordinated risk management measures; inadequate transportation systems, particularly for perishables; weak and non-Integrated information and intelligence systems; inadequate marketing arrangement and lack of skilled and quality human resources.
agriculture  Guyana  editorials  development  perishables  fragmentation  disorganization  challenges  farming  constraints  agribusiness  fresh_produce 
december 2011 by jerryking
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking
Building Wealth - 99.06
J U N E 1 9 9 9 |The Atlantic | by Lester C. Thurow. The new rules for individuals, companies, and nations.

Rule 1 No one ever becomes very rich by saving money.
Rule 2 Sometimes successful businesses have to cannibalize themselves to save themselves.
Rule 3 Two routes other than radical technological change can lead to high-growth, high-rate-of-return opportunities: sociological disequilibriums and developmental disequilibriums.
Rule 4 Making capitalism work in a deflationary environment is much harder than making it work in an inflationary environment.
Rule 5 There are no institutional substitutes for individual entrepreneurial change agents.
Rule 6 No society that values order above all else will be creative; but without some degree of order (institutional integrity??), creativity disappears.
Rule 7 A successful knowledge-based economy requires large public investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development.
Rule 8 The biggest unknown for the individual in a knowledge-based economy is how to have a career in a system where there are no careers.
Lester_Thurow  wealth_creation  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  deflation  career_paths  Managing_Your_Career  cannibalization  disequilibriums  anomalies  JCK  unknowns  high-growth  change_agents  individual_initiative  technological_change  digital_economy  messiness  constraints  knowledge_economy  public_education  new_rules  capitalism  personal_enrichment  ROI  institutional_integrity 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Unexamined Society - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
July 7, 2011

Eldar Shafir of Princeton and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard have a
book coming out next year, exploring how scarcity — whether of time,
money or calories (while dieting) — affects your psychology, how it
produces its own cognitive traits. It is a 3rd theory alongside two
more traditional understandings of poverty: The first presumes people
are rational. They are pursuing their goals effectively and don’t need
much help in changing their behavior. The second presumes that the poor
are afflicted by cultural or psychological dysfunctions that sometimes
lead them to behave in shortsighted ways. Neither of these traditional
theories has produced much in the way of effective policies.
David_Brooks  scarcity  psychology  decision_making  books  constraints  policymaking 
july 2011 by jerryking
The Dangerous Miscalculation of 'Scarcity Drives Innovation'
March 31, 2011 | BNET | By Sean Silverthorne.

If you want to be an innovative company, don't do it by cutting off resources in the hopes that it will inspire people to be more creative.

"This artificial scarcity can make people creative all right, but it makes them creative at finding resources, not at solving the central problem or inventing the next big thing," warns Teresa Amabile, a Harvard Business School professor who is an expert on creativity.

No, the real mother of invention is constraint. Hand a person a blank piece of paper, and they freeze about what to do next. But if the paper has a squiggle on it, they have a place to start.

For companies who want to be more innovative this means handing your bright people an idea with boundaries, Amabile says.

"Creativity-friendly constraints include: (1) a clear problem definition with clear goals, like the specific challenges of online innovation competitions, or the Iron Chef 'secret ingredient' constraints; and (2) a truly urgent, challenging need, like bringing the Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to earth."
scarcity  constraints  innovation  creativity  miscalculations  problem_framing  resourcefulness  problem_definition  urgency  life_and_death 
april 2011 by jerryking
Focusing on the 'Human' in HR
Apr 2010 | HRMagazine. Vol. 55, Iss. 4; pg. 34, 2 pgs | Bill
Leonard. Officials opted not to fill open jobs, and the additional
workload on individuals has become a top concern for Jackson, who has
seen her own staff decrease almost 10 % -from nearly 240 in 2007 to
approximately 220 at the end of 2009. All commonwealth employees' pay
has been essentially frozen for two yrs., while they are being called on
to do more. "One of the toughest problems that I face with this economy
is how to reward staff for a job well done," she says. Meanwhile,
Jackson and other top executives volunteered to cut their own pay by 10
%. Budget constraints have made development of an employee engagement
model essential to ensure that the Kentucky government succeeds as an
employer of choice, Jackson insists. When she began working for
Beshear, the HR function was based on an antiquated model focused on
handling transactions and "creating policies and procedures and then
sending the policy edicts out."
ProQuest  employee_engagement  constraints  human_resources 
september 2010 by jerryking
Scarcity, Fountain of Innovation - The CSR Blog - corporate social responsibility
Sep. 16 2010 | Forbes | Posted by Gregory Unruh. "Panel members
came at scarcity from diverse disciplines.(e.g. perspective of
environmental sustainability), where scarcity has been a polemic since
at least the 18th century....Talk of resources scarcity, tends to focus
on energy and material constraints, but that’s only ½ of the story
because it overlooks a 3rd important resource: human
creativity (jk: human ingenuity)...Scarcity is relative. And the mere act of perceiving
scarcity changes the game...Great designers understand this. Charles
Eames says design is all about innovating around constraints. And it’s
the constraints – the scarcity – that fires the designer’s
creativity...Nature is the ultimate example of leveraging the power of
self-imposed constraints. 95% of every living thing is made out of just 4
elements: C, H, O2 and N. Scarcity of design options has not limited
nature’s creativity. There are tens of millions of diverse species and
even more miraculous functions.
constraints  creativity  design  DNA  evolution  human_ingenuity  innovation  nature  self-imposed  scarcity 
september 2010 by jerryking
IDEO's Axioms for Starting Disruptive New Businesses | Co.Design
August 24 | Fast Company | by Colin Raney who leads the
Business Design Community within IDEO. TAKE ACTION: Designing for Life's
Changes

1. Go early, go often
Building experimentation into your business is harder than you think.
Start small and stay focused. Try everything, but don’t try it all in
one prototype.

2. Learning by doing
Build value for the business as you prototype. If you fail, what will
you have learned? What will you salvage?

3. Inspiration through constraint
Don’t exhaust yourself searching for money and resources. The tighter
your constraints, the more creative your prototypes will be.

4. Open to opportunity
Look for unanticipated ways customers are using your offering. Their
improvisations may be the future of your business.
lessons_learned  food_trucks  start_ups  tips  rules_of_the_game  ideo  experiential_learning  prototyping  design  disruption  experimentation  new_businesses  constraints  unanticipated  improvisation  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  value_creation  unarticulated_desires 
september 2010 by jerryking
Master Planner: Fred Brooks Shows How to Design Anything
July 28, 2010 | Wired Magazine | By Kevin Kelly who
interviews Fred Brooks who has written a new book, The Design of Design.
It’s a collection of essays that extends his ideas into the fields of
architecture, hardware systems, and leadership..Know Your
Scarcity.....Brooks: The critical thing about the design process is to
identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very
often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant
but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material
below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be
your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team
understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.
design  advice  books  failure  programming  creativity  scarcity  Kevin_Kelly  interviews  moonshots  constraints  NASA  optimization 
july 2010 by jerryking
Four Lessons from Y-Combinator's Fresh Approach to Innovation
June 12, 2009 | HarvardBusiness.org | by Scott Anthony.
1. You can do a lot for a little.
2. Tight windows enable "good enough" design.
3. Business plans are nice, not necessary.
4. Failure is an option.
Also: Their main motto is (that startups should) "make something people
want". Another prominent theme in their approach is its
hacker-centricity.
Scott_Anthony  innovation  decision_making  lessons_learned  Paul_Graham  Y_Combinator  frugality  demand-driven  constraints  failure  design  customer-driven  insights  market_windows  good_enough 
october 2009 by jerryking
The Role Of Abundance In Innovation | Techdirt
May 29th 2009 | Techdirt | by Mike Masnick

abundance, innovation, invention, patents

Permalink.
The Role Of Abundance In Innovation
from the it-increases-it... dept

A few weeks back, Dennis wrote about a recent Malcolm Gladwell article
in the New Yorker about innovation, but I was just shown another article
from the same issue, by Adam Gropnik, which may be even more
interesting. Gopnik points to evidence challenging the idea that
"necessity is the mother of invention," by noting that more innovation
seems to occur in times of abundance, rather than times of hardship. The idea is that in times of hardship you're just focused on getting through the day. You don't have time to experiment and try to improve things -- you make do with what you have. It's in times of plenty that people finally have time to mess around and experiment, invent and then innovate.
abundance  innovation  scarcity  patents  Mike_Masnick  inventions  constraints  hardships 
july 2009 by jerryking
Want to join the great innovators?
17/09/07 G&M article by DAVID DUNNE.

Designers approach problems differently than typical business people. In
contrast to the analytical perspective taken in business, designers
excel in framing and reframing problems and in collaborating with others
to develop solutions.

These six components - systems thinking, prototyping, ethnography,
diversity, imagination and constraints - to the design process.
design  design_thinking  innovation  systems_thinking  trial_&_error  reframing  prototyping  ethnography  diversity  imagination  constraints  problem_framing 
march 2009 by jerryking
How Hard Times Can Drive Innovation - WSJ.com
Dec. 15, 2008 WSJ interview of Dr. Clayton Christensen by MIT/Sloan Management Review Senior editor Martha E. Mangelsdorf.
innovation  adversity  constraints  scarcity  tension  rethinking  disruption  Clayton_Christensen  hard_times 
february 2009 by jerryking

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