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jerryking : far-sightedness   13

‘Farsighted’ Review: How to Make Up Your Mind - WSJ
14 COMMENTS
By David A. Shaywitz
Sept. 11, 2018

..mission planners first systematically widened their thinking to define their options as broadly as possible, seeking a “full-spectrum appraisal of the state of things and a comprehensive list of potential choices.” Then they coned down the alternatives by playing out multiple scenarios, exploring all the ways the mission could go wrong........When faced with complex choices we tend to frame problems in a narrow fashion. .......seek participation from as broad and diverse a group as possible.....a diversity of viewpoints isn’t enough. Citing the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, Mr. Johnson observes that, although “groups often possess a rich mix of information distributed among their members,” when they assemble “they tend to focus on shared information.” Thus it is important to design a process that exposes “unshared information”—by meeting individually with stakeholders, for instance, instead of merely convening a town hall. Similarly, he cites research revealing that two-thirds of organizational decisions never contemplate more than a single option. There is a “gravitational pull toward the initial framing of the decision.” To overcome it, he suggests considering what might be done if the presumptive path forward were suddenly blocked....“Uncertainty can’t simply be analyzed out of existence,” ...What scenarios and simulations can offer is a way to “prepare you for the many ways that the future might unexpectedly veer.”..... Linear value modeling, for example, weighs the relative importance of different goals, while a bad-outcomes approach examines worst-case possibilities........given the challenges of making high-stakes global decisions. How should we respond, as a planet, to the challenges of addressing climate change, communicating with alien life forms or managing computers with superintelligence? The answer seems to be: by convening diverse experts and hoping for the best. ....... Great novels matter because “they let us experience parallel lives, and see the complexity of those experiences in vivid detail.”........ fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.
books  book_reviews  Cass_Sunstein  choices  decision_making  far-sightedness  howto  narrow-framing  novels  presumptions  scenario-planning  shared_experiences  Steven_Johnson  systematic_approaches  thinking_tragically  uncertainty  unshared_information  wide-framing  worst-case 
november 2018 by jerryking
Let’s give R.B. Bennett his due - The Globe and Mail
ARTHUR MILNES, FRANCES LANKIN, STEVE PAIKIN, DAVID LOCKHART AND ZACH PAIKIN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 20, 201
history  leaders  politicians  Canadian  far-sightedness  nation_builders  anniversaries 
august 2015 by jerryking
The Mind of Marc Andreessen - The New Yorker
MAY 18, 2015 | New Yorker | BY TAD FRIEND.

Doug Leone, one of the leaders of Sequoia Capital, by consensus Silicon Valley’s top firm, said, “The biggest outcomes come when you break your previous mental model. The black-swan events of the past forty years—the PC, the router, the Internet, the iPhone—nobody had theses around those. So what’s useful to us is having Dumbo ears.”* A great V.C. keeps his ears pricked for a disturbing story with the elements of a fairy tale. This tale begins in another age (which happens to be the future), and features a lowborn hero who knows a secret from his hardscrabble experience. The hero encounters royalty (the V.C.s) who test him, and he harnesses magic (technology) to prevail. The tale ends in heaping treasure chests for all, borne home on the unicorn’s back....Marc Andreessen is tomorrow’s advance man, routinely laying out “what will happen in the next ten, twenty, thirty years,” as if he were glancing at his Google calendar. He views his acuity as a matter of careful observation and extrapolation, and often invokes William Gibson’s observation “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”....Andreessen applies a maxim from his friend and intellectual sparring partner Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in LinkedIn and Yelp. When a reputable venture firm leads two consecutive rounds of investment in a company, Andreessen told me, Thiel believes that that is “a screaming buy signal, and the bigger the markup on the last round the more undervalued the company is.” Thiel’s point, which takes a moment to digest, is that, when a company grows extremely rapidly, even its bullish V.C.s, having recently set a relatively low value on the previous round, will be slightly stuck in the past. The faster the growth, the farther behind they’ll be....When a16z began, it didn’t have even an ersatz track record to promote. So Andreessen and Horowitz consulted on tactics with their friend Michael Ovitz, who co-founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, in 1974. Ovitz told me that he’d advised them to distinguish themselves by treating the entrepreneur as a client: “Take the long view of your platform, rather than a transactional one. Call everyone a partner, offer services the others don’t, and help people who aren’t your clients. Disrupt to differentiate by becoming a dream-execution machine.”
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  Silicon_Valley  transactional_relationships  venture_capital  vc  Peter_Thiel  long-term  far-sightedness  Sequoia  mindsets  observations  partnerships  listening  insights  Doug_Leone  talent_representation  CAA  mental_models  warning_signs  signals  beforemath  unevenly_distributed  low_value  extrapolations  acuity  professional_service_firms  Michael_Ovitz  execution  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
Can-Do Lee Kuan Yew - NYTimes.com
MARCH 23, 2015
Continue reading the main story

Roger Cohen

The measure of that achievement is that the ingredients of disaster abounded in Singapore, a country that is “not supposed to exist and cannot exist,” as Lee said in a 2007 interview with The New York Times. “We don’t have the ingredients of a nation,” he noted, “the elementary factors: a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.” Instead, it had a combustible ethnic and religious hodgepodge of Chinese, Malays and Indians gathered in a city-state of no natural resources....The fact that the elements for cataclysm exist does not mean that cataclysm is inevitable. Lee demonstrated this in an age where the general cacophony, and the need to manage and spin every political minute, makes statesmanship ever more elusive. The determining factor is leadership. What defines leadership above all is conviction, discipline in the pursuit of a goal, adaptability in the interest of the general good, and far-sightedness.

Lee’s only religion was pragmatism, of which religion (as generally understood) is the enemy, because, to some adherents, it offers revealed truths that are fact-resistant. Any ideology that abhors facts is problematic. (If you believe land is yours because it was deeded to you in the Bible, for example, but other people live there and have for centuries, you have an issue pregnant with violence.) Lee had one basic yardstick for policy: Does it work? It was the criterion of a forward-looking man for whom history was instructive but not imprisoning. He abhorred victimhood (an excuse for sloppy thinking and nationalist delusion) and corruption. He prized opportunity, meritocracy, the work ethic of the immigrant and education.
authoritarianism  city-states  far-sightedness  leaders  leadership  Lee_Kuan_Yew  nation_builders  obituaries  Roger_Cohen  Singapore  Southeast_Asia  statesmen  tributes  victimhood  work_ethic 
march 2015 by jerryking
The Christie’s Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen on Working the Room - NYTimes.com
Interview by ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
Published: January 3, 2014

How much do you think the auctioneer affects sale prices?
It’s very difficult to judge, but I think that a good auctioneer can certainly bring 20 percent to the value of major works of art.

Just as Detroit finally seems to be at the beginning of a revival, it faces the prospect of trying be once again be a great city without a great museum. Imagine New York without the Met, or Chicago without the Art Institute. If the DIA is forced down this road, the very collectors mentioned above, from Asia, Russia, and the Middle East, will snap up a collection that has required 128 years and the generosity and foresight of thousands of people to create, and which would likely never be seen in public again.
Andrew_Sorkin  collectors  art  auctions  Christie's  foresight  long-term  museums  far-sightedness  Detroit  generosity 
january 2014 by jerryking
What fatal flaw led us so deeply into debt?
October 18, 1997 | Globe & Mail | William Thorsell.

The Unheavenly City by Edward Banfield.

Wisdom has three practical dimensions (with intuition providing a fourth for the truly sage person). The first part of wisdom is knowledge, the second is context based on experience, the third is a long perspective on time......the more forward-looking you are, the higher your social class is. People who live a great deal of their intellectual life in the future derive two great advantages over those who do not: They avoid predictable damage to their interests, and they exploit opportunities that might otherwise be lost to others.

This requires a high tolerance for delayed gratification.

In his engaging book, Future Perfect, Stanley Davis argues that most people are stuck managing the results of things that have already happened....the aftermath. Great leaders manage what has not yet happened....the beforemath. "People who take out life insurance and have home mortgages are managing the beforemath...they are managing the consequences of events that have not yet taken place."
William_Thorsell  books  instant_gratification  delayed_gratification  sophisticated  social_classes  debt  debt_crisis  wisdom  long-term  intuition  far-sightedness  beforemath  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  aftermath 
july 2013 by jerryking
Carpe Diem Nation - NYTimes.com
February 11, 2013 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

Europeans who settled America gave their lives a slingshot shape. They pulled back so they could shoot forward. They volunteered to live in harsh conditions today so their descendants could live well for centuries. The pioneers who traveled West did the same thing. So has each generation of immigrants — sacrificing the present for the sake of the future.

This slingshot manner of life led to one of those true national clichés:..This future-oriented mentality had practical effects. For decades, government invested heavily in long-range projects like railroads and canals...Today, Americans have inverted this way of thinking. Instead of sacrificing the present for the sake of the future, Americans now sacrifice the future for the sake of the present...Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future? Part of the answer must be cultural. The Great Depression and World War II forced Americans to live with 16 straight years of scarcity. In the years after the war, people decided they’d had enough. There was what one historian called a “renunciation of renunciation.” We’ve now had a few generations raised with this consumption mind-set. There’s less of a sense that life is a partnership among the dead, the living and the unborn, with obligations to those to come....If the president were to propose an agenda for the future, he’d double spending on the National Institutes of Health. He’d approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He’d cut corporate tax rates while adding a progressive consumption tax. He’d take money from Social Security and build Harlem Children’s Zone-type projects across the nation. He’d means test Medicare and use the money to revive state universities and pay down debt.
David_Brooks  future  Obama  Great_Depression  WWII  instant_gratification  intergenerational_rivalry  delayed_gratification  foresight  far-sightedness  forward_looking  sacrifice  Keystone_XL  long-term  social_trust  consumption  the_Greatest_Generation  Carpe_diem  long-range  railroads  canals 
february 2013 by jerryking
The cable guy: David Campbell
Mar. 31, 2005 | The Globe and Mail| Doug Steiner.

Most great entrepreneurs I know are successful for one simple reason: They combine their observations of the world with their particular skill set....I asked Campbell years ago how he managed to find these business winners time after time. He said he imagined what he could do with something new, and then considered all the benefits that product or service would bring to customers. By doing so, he took his mundane skills as a radio engineer and parlayed them into a fortune.

The lesson I see in Campbell's experience: Innovators don't really innovate. Rather, they see a future that incorporates their view of the present. That might be a shock to those of you who think you can come up with a great idea and put it into action all by yourself. I believe that innovation and the development of new markets begins with customers....I asked Campbell years ago how he managed to find these business winners time after time. He said he imagined what he could do with something new, and then considered all the benefits that product or service would bring to customers. By doing so, he took his mundane skills as a radio engineer and parlayed them into a fortune.

successful entrepreneurs don't just have a snappy new invention, talent or concept that they want to sell. They don't just see a trend developing and have a vision of the future. They also see things that lots of people might actually need or want. The best of those entrepreneurs have the practical skills to run an organization themselves or to pick the right people to do it for them. And the very, very best of them, like Campbell, repeat the process over and over.

Let's carry Campbell's business acumen forward to today. If I were thinking like him, I'd be imagining how to reduce people's reliance on expensive internet access through regular cable and phone companies. I'd research the industry for new communications technologies--Mesh Radio, WiMax 802.16REVd or broadband wireless phones. Parks Associates, a Dallas-based telecommunications research and consulting firm, thinks that Asia will adopt this potentially ultracheap new technology before the U.S. What form will it take? I'd study various scenarios, form my own view of the future and imagine how a spanking new technology might fit the bill.
Doug_Steiner  entrepreneur  CATV  innovation  creativity  books  far-sightedness  business_acumen  the_right_people 
november 2011 by jerryking
Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood - 96.09
September 1996 | The Atlantic | by Robert D. Kaplan.

Here historical precedent rules. Officers study previous battles and
interventions, and the political circumstances surrounding them, the way
law students study torts. The underlying message is that knowledge of
the past helps foresight, and those with foresight accrue power....."The
military," Major Kellett-Forsyth told me, "is in the nation-state
world. The media represents the postmodern, or transnational world.
Overseas, [U.S. soldiers] sit down with each other. The American media
sits down with foreign journalists: that's its socialization group."
U.S._Army  Robert_Kaplan  military_academies  foresight  civilian-military_relations  think_tanks  far-sightedness  historical_precedents 
august 2011 by jerryking
Managing Water as Scarcity Looms - WSJ.com
SEPT. 27, 2010 | WSJ | By GERALDINE AMIEL. Suez
Environnement's CEO Taps Opportunities Amid Escalating Global Shortages;
a Particular Thirst for China. As the world's population grows and
migrates to cities, water shortages are happening in places where
scarcity was unthinkable only 5 yrs ago, such as the Spanish coast,...
London,--is described by the U.K. Environment Agency as "seriously water
stressed." And in March 2009, a report by the WEF said the lack of
water would "soon tear into various parts of the global economic system"
and "start to emerge as a headline geopolitical issue."...``on the U.S.
East Coast, "people are used to having water—they don't think further,
they don't think about future generations." Mr. Chaussade prefers
thinking for the long term. His main hobby is planting trees in his
garden and watching them grow, imagining what people will think of them
in 100 yrs. "The garden must be beautiful when you create it,--It must
remain so when you're gone."
water  scarcity  China  Suez  Veolia  CEOs  smart_grid  desalination  imagination  wastewater-treatment  sensors  HBS  gardening  long-term  far-sightedness  unthinkable  geopolitics 
september 2010 by jerryking
Recession Strategies: Companies Need to Focus on Future as Well as Present - WSJ.com
JUNE 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | Executive Briefing:

In Dr. Govindarajan’s three-box framework, Box One involves managing the present—for example, improving the efficiency of today’s businesses. Box Two involves selectively forgetting the past. And Box Three? That’s about creating the future. Often, Dr. Govindarajan maintains, companies spend too much of their time managing Box One—the present—and think that’s strategy. Instead, he argues, companies need to spend more time and energy on thinking about Box Two and Box Three.

Preparing for the Recovery
Despite the recession, companies must do more than just play defense.
When thinking about innovation, companies need to go beyond cost cutting
and spend more time thinking about what (Vijay Govindarajan) terms as
"Box Two and Box Three—selectively forgetting the past and creating the
future".

----
BUSINESS INSIGHT:Can companies really plan today for the year 2025?

DR. GOVINDARAJAN: You cannot plan for the year 2025, but you can prepare for it. There’s a big difference in my mind between planning for the future and preparing for it. Preparing for the future simply involves asking what the broad trends are. If people in your organization can at least have a shared perspective on some of the big, nonlinear shifts that may happen, you can begin to think about actions that may be relevant if such shifts occur—if say, technology in your business changes in certain ways. You want to do your current plan in a way that prepares your organization for the future.

The future is full of surprises; you know that. What you want is to be able to prepare to respond and adapt and benefit from surprises. And that’s what happens when you explicitly think about 2025 in 2009.
breakthroughs  contingency_planning  cost-cutting  economic_downturn  far-sightedness  foresight  forward_looking  high-risk  innovation  large_payoffs  nonlinear  offensive_tactics  recessions  scenario-planning  strategy  surprises  Vijay_Govindarajan 
june 2009 by jerryking

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