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jerryking : first_principle   7

Abe Ankumah of Nyansa: Are You a ‘First Principle’ Thinker? - The New York Times
Corner Office
By ADAM BRYANT DEC. 2, 2016

We tend to be very “first principle” thinkers. What I mean by that is when you’re trying to solve a problem, you start by trying to understand the essence of the problem, rather than starting with what the answer should be and then working your way to justifying it.

So it’s all about making sure that everyone understands the problem we’re trying to solve. And to do that, you have to maintain a broader perspective and listen very carefully to people.

I have one-on-ones with every single person on the team and then connect the dots. So I ask a lot of questions and build a mental model of the outline of what we need to do.
data  African-Americans  HBS  engineering  Caltech  Ghanian  connecting_the_dots  problem_solving  first_principle  mental_models 
december 2016 by jerryking
Daniel S. Glaser: The Challenge of Keeping It Simple
JULY 15, 2016 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

When I joined Marsh more than 30 years ago, he said to me, “Danny, all I can tell you is that there’s going to be a lot of people who don’t think like an owner, and you should always be thinking like you are the owner of the business, and make your decisions like that.”..Empathy is more important as he matured: "Now I have a basic belief that almost everyone wants to contribute and do well. Some people, for a whole variety of reasons, have difficulty doing that, and at least an attempt or two should be made to try to help them."...I’ve always felt that the world is filled with smart people who love complicating stuff. Working to simplify, to try to get down to that first principle, is really important.....My feeling is that companies that do well for long stretches of time have a tendency to become either complacent or arrogant, and both of those are bad paths. So how do you prevent that? To me, you do that by trying to create this striving, challenging, questioning culture, where there’s always a smarter way of doing something, and you feel a permanent dissatisfaction with obtained results.
bonuses  empathy  CEOs  leadership  leaders  complacency  arrogance  hubris  hiring  organizational_culture  forward_looking  simplicity  Marsh_&_McLennan  owners  dissatisfaction  first_principle  restlessness 
july 2016 by jerryking
Schumpeter: The network effect
Jan 17th 2015 | The Economist| Anonymous.

How does one make the most of a networking opportunity, whether it is in a charming village in the Swiss Alps or in the conference hall of a soulless hotel next to a motorway? The first principle for would-be networkers is to abandon all shame. Be flagrant in your pursuit of the powerful and the soon-to-be-powerful, and when you have their attention, praise them to the skies...But shamelessness needs to be balanced with subtlety. Pretend to disagree with your interlocutor before coming around to his point of view; that gives him a sense of mastery. Discover similar interests or experiences. Go out of your way to ask for help. Lending a helping hand allows a powerful person to exercise his power while also burnishing his self-esteem....The second principle is that you must have something to say. Success comes from having a well-stocked mind, not just a well-thumbed Rolodex....Go to the main sessions and ask sensible questions. Reward the self-styled “thought leaders” in each session by adding them to your Twitter “follow” list....The third principle is that you need to work hard at networking. Swot up in advance on the most important people who will be at an event. If you manage to meet them, follow up with an e-mail and a suggestion to meet again...successful networkers must be calculating, ruthless and shameless, they do better when they somehow make it all seem spontaneous, accidental even (Sprezzaturra)...One of the best guidebooks on this subject, by Keith Ferrazzi, is called “Never Eat Alone”.
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  networking  shamelessness  Davos  conferences  preparation  WEF_Davos  WEF  books  Keith_Ferrazzi  asking_for_help  first_principle  disagreements  soulless 
january 2015 by jerryking
Know where your customers are headed - and get there first
Copyright 2012 Farm Management Canada By Glenn Cheater

It’s easy to say you believe in that all-important first principle of marketing – Know Your Customer – but it’s a lot harder to put in practice: Customers are definitely fickle creatures.

But understanding customers is critical to the success of Bay Growers Co-operative in Clarksburg in the heart of Ontario’s Georgian Bay apple country. It started up a dozen years ago when 22 local growers jointly built a storage facility, but its watershed moment came when it zeroed in on what its customers – grocery retailers – were doing.

“We could see the writing on the wall,” says co-op president John Ardiel. “The retail business was consolidating. There were fewer and fewer retailers, and the next logical step was that there would be fewer and fewer suppliers.
apples  Ontario  co-operatives  farming  agriculture  customer_insights  first_principle  marketing  know_your_audience  turning_points  retailers  supply_chains  grocery  consolidation  know_your_customer 
august 2012 by jerryking
Tackling Canada's thorniest issue
Dec 21, 2001 |The Globe and Mail. pg. A.19 | Jeffrey SimpsonJohn Stackhouse's magnificent series on Canada's aboriginals deepened his reputation as one of the two or three best journalists in the country.

Here was a series in The Globe and Mail crafted by an inquiring mind, written with a rare clarity of expression, and based on wisdom's first principle -- an appreciation of complexity.

Mr. Stackhouse was an eyewitness rather than an "I" witness. He invited readers to understand what he saw and heard rather than what he ate for lunch. The best journalists are shoe-leather sociologists who ask, listen and observe.

Mr. Stackhouse displayed a rare gift as a foreign correspondent for asking the right questions, understanding the answers and conveying the complexities of what he found. What worked for him in the developing world was perfectly suited to tackling Canada's thorniest issue: relations between aboriginals and the rest of us.

His series seemed effortlessly written, the way people at the top of their game make whatever they do appear easy.
5_W’s  aboriginals  complexity  curiosity  first_principle  Jeffrey_Simpson  John_Stackhouse  journalists  journalism  wisdom  developing_countries  asking_the_right_questions 
october 2011 by jerryking
Address by Mike Lazaridis, PI Board Chair, to the Public Policy Forum - Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
April 2, 2009 | Address by Mike Lazaridis, PI Board Chair, to the Public Policy Forum

First Principles: The Crazy Business of Doing Serious Science (Paperback)
by Howard Burton (Author) . It's an account of how the Perimeter Institute was built from scratch.

This year’s testimonial dinner was held on April 2, 2009, and honoured several Canadian leaders, including Mike Lazaridis, Founder and Board Chair of Perimeter Institute, who conveyed the importance of long-term thinking by those involved with shaping policy relating to science and technology. The following text, building on those remarks as reported by the national media, shares the messages provided to the PPF.
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So imagine this story. A granting council has been tasked with driving the economy, really building commerce and commercializing technology and doing important things for the country. And so, of course, what are they thinking? They’re thinking we need more horses, we need better ways to clean up the streets, and we need to figure out ways to build better stagecoaches and carriages. Now this physicist comes into the room and he sits down. And they ask him, "Dr. Einstein, why are you here?" He says, "Oh, I’d like to have an office and a stipend." "For what?" they want to know. So he explains, "Well, I need a desk and blackboard and maybe a shelf for my books and my papers. And I need a small stipend, so I can go to a few scientific conferences around the world and have a few postdoctoral researchers." They ask, "Why?" And he says: "Well, I have these ideas about light and it’s very complicated, but light can …" And the council members start wondering, "What’s that got to do with horses?"

So, that gentleman actually had to go and get a day job. He went to work at a patent office, where he came up with, a few years later, the four most important papers of all time. Ideas that transformed everything we knew and put mankind in a new direction. He came up with one of the basic ideas leading to quantum technology, when he predicted the quantum properties of light, explaining an observation called the photo-electric effect. He came up with special relativity, a new understanding of space and time. He also discovered that mass and energy are the same thing at a fundamental level. By thinking and calculating the way he did, he came up with E=mc2, the most famous equation of all time. These discoveries, over time, led to nuclear energy, semiconductors, computers, lasers, medical imaging, DVDs and much more. The powerful ideas happened from pure thought and research by someone who basically would have had to give up a comfortable salary at the patent office to take a research or teaching position at a university.

Now let’s fast-forward to today. We have all these issues. We’re running out of energy any way you slice it. And the energy sources that we have today are changing our climate and the environment catastrophically and irreparably. At the same time, we have this enormous need for value creation because our financial system basically ran onto a coral reef. We’re taking on debt to try to get ourselves off the reef, and there’s all this need for value creation and innovation. It’s kind of staring us in the face.

We only have to flashback to that gentleman thinking about light to realize that we need to fund our scientists and our researchers and our students. We not only need to fund them imaginatively, we need to have faith that what they are doing is going to be important in 20, 30, 40 or 50 years from now, and that we haven’t got a chance of understanding its relevance today.

And so we need to be very careful with policy, not to try to put everything in short-term context – not to try to figure out how something is only relevant today – because, if we do, we will make a mistake. We will go the wrong way. We will be investing in horses, carriages, and cleaning manure in the streets instead of fostering the research that can give rise to an idea or super technology that’s going to change the world.

Right now, there is some pandemonium in physics because we are running up against some paradoxes and some data that don’t make any sense. For example, Moore’s Law, which describes the miniaturization of computer chips, will reach its limit in 10 years. Everything we built our telecommunications industry and information age on is going to hit this limit, if we don’t find a new base. We need a new discovery. It’s going to happen, and we need to put major investments in these esoteric studies like quantum computing, quantum information science, quantum gravity, string theory and other areas, because I can guarantee you that one of the discoveries that will emerge is going to solve one of those scientific paradoxes and make sense of that weird data. And when that happens, 20 or 30 years from now, you won’t recognize things.
Albert_Einstein  Blackberry  books  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  first_principle  fundamental_discoveries  Mike_Lazaridis  miniaturization  Moore's_Law  paradoxes  Perimeter_Institute  physicists  public_policy  quantum_computing  RIM  semiconductors 
april 2009 by jerryking

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