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jerryking : discontinuities   9

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.
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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?”
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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
John Steele Gordon: The Little Miracle Spurring Inequality - WSJ
By JOHN STEELE GORDON
Updated June 2, 2014

Extreme leaps in innovation, like the invention of the microprocessor, bring with them staggering fortunes....The great growth of fortunes in recent decades is not a sinister development. Instead it is simply the inevitable result of an extraordinary technological innovation, the microprocessor, which Intel brought to market in 1971. Seven of the 10 largest fortunes in America today were built on this technology, as have been countless smaller ones. These new fortunes unavoidably result in wealth being more concentrated at the top.

But no one is poorer because Bill Gates , Larry Ellison , et al., are so much richer. These new fortunes came into existence only because the public wanted the products and services—and lower prices—that the microprocessor made possible. Anyone who has found his way home thanks to a GPS device or has contacted a child thanks to a cellphone appreciates the awesome power of the microprocessor. All of our lives have been enhanced and enriched by the technology.....technology opens up many new economic niches, and entrepreneurs rush to take advantage of the new opportunities....The Dutch exploited the new trade (with India and the East Indies) so successfully that the historian Simon Schama entitled his 1987 book on this period of Dutch history "The Embarrassment of Riches."...attempt to tax away new fortunes in the name of preventing inequality is certain to have adverse effects on further technology creation and niche exploitation by entrepreneurs—and harm job creation as a result. The reason is one of the laws of economics: Potential reward must equal the risk or the risk won't be taken.
Silicon_Valley  wealth_creation  innovation  income_distribution  income_inequality  productivity_payoffs  plutocracies  software  Thomas_Piketty  microprocessors  historians  history  entrepreneurship  books  Industrial_Revolution  Gilded_Age  Simon_Schama  Dutch  discontinuities  disequilibriums  adverse_selection 
march 2015 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.
all-or-nothing  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
Irrational Act
02.14.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

Few can can explain why capitalism works. Economists, trapped in the closed loop of supply and demand, can only make a dismal pseudo-scientific hash of it. Out in the real world people are inspired by ideas. Some are even willing to suffer irrational odds in an effort to turn their ideas into innovations. Most fail, but even the failures add to our knowledge. The pursuit of innovation by entrepreneurs willing to give before they get creates discontinuities that shatter the predictable loop of supply and demand. Entropy and monopoly alike are defeated by innovation. That is how capitalism works. It starts with an irrational act of giving.

Why does tithing work? Nobody knows. Only that it does for many.
in_the_real_world  Rich_Karlgaard  capitalism  tithing  discontinuities  innovation  irrationality  leaps_of_faith  ideas  economic_dynamism  economists  ideaviruses 
august 2012 by jerryking
Oil guru points to substitutes keeping lid on energy prices
Apr. 19 2010 | Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

"Essentially, all forecasting, no matter what's being forecast, is a straight-line extrapolation of what has been experienced very recently," he said in an interview in Toronto yesterday.

"All of our work is aimed at forecasting changes of direction and discontinuity, because that is the reality of the world. For the last several decades, our forecasts are nearly always this contrast with the consensus."
oil_industry  pricing  energy  substitution  forecasting  straight-lines  discontinuities  extrapolations  step_change  linearity 
june 2012 by jerryking
What's Your Story?
January 2005 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra and Kent Lineback.

Ibarra and Lineback say that few people use storytelling to help them pursue their professional goals, and those who do, do so ineffectively. Tales of transition can easily have the elements of a good drama—a protagonist the listeners cares about, a catalyst inducing action, trials and tribulations, a turning point, and a resolution—but they also bring special challenges. One problem comes from minimizing the discontinuities involved, thereby making the person appear safe, dull, and unremarkable. This is a response to fearing that listeners, hearing about our change of direction, will doubt our commitment to the new professional goal.
HBR  storytelling  Herminia_Ibarra  Communicating_&_Connecting  protagonists  persuasion  discontinuities  narratives  transitions  turning_points 
april 2012 by jerryking
The Industrialized Revolution
December 19, 2007 | Fast Company | By Polly LaBarre.

1986
McKinsey & Co. partner Richard Foster invokes Schumpeter in Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage, and elaborates on the concept of technology S-curves and the “discontinuities” that turn the cash cows of leading companies into dead meat.
books  cash_cows  Clayton_Christensen  discontinuities  disruption  Innosight  innovation  Joseph_Schumpeter  leadership  S-curves 
april 2012 by jerryking
The fight of Richard Rainwater's life - Fortune Management
November 7, 2011 | Fortune | By Peter Elkind and Patricia Sellers, with Doris Burke.
The renowned dealmaker built a fortune using little besides his wits. Now he's funding a crash program to stop the disease that's destroying his mind.

Rainwater's deals were just as eclectic and creative. But a pattern quickly emerged. Rainwater always looked for a big event. A blowup in energy prices. A revolution in health care reimbursements. A real estate bubble. Then he looked for a powerful way to exploit the upheaval -- not just to bet the trend but to turbocharge the bet. To snatch up drilling assets at panic-sale prices and hand them to the oil patch's most astute operator. To build a chain of super-efficient hospitals. To buy premium downtown office space (the quickest to bounce back) on the cheap after a market crash.
Bass_brothers  big_bets  bubbles  creativity  cunning  dealmakers  discontinuities  event-driven  events  leverage  Richard_Rainwater  turbocharge 
november 2011 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Our Three Bombs - NYTimes.com
October 6, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. "As
we continue to build up carbon in the atmosphere to unprecedented
levels, we never know when the next emitted carbon molecule will tip
over some ecosystem and trigger a nonlinear climate event....people are
worried that our next dollar of debt — unbalanced by spending cuts or
new tax revenues — will trigger a nonlinear move out of the dollar and
torpedo the U.S. currency."

If people lose confidence in the dollar, we could enter a feedback loop,
as with the climate, whereby the sinking dollar forces up interest
rates, which raises the long-term cost of servicing our already massive
debt, which adds to the deficit projections, which further undermines
the dollar.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  nonlinear_systems  debt  step_change  tipping_points  apocalypses  feedback_loops  interest_rates  discontinuities  think_threes 
october 2009 by jerryking

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