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jerryking : interpretation   27

Thinking in Levels (How to Dig Deeper And Think Better)
Apr 21, 2018 | Medium | by Thomas Oppong.

Einstein once said, “You can’t solve a problem from the level of thinking that created the problem in the first place“.
*
[JCK: what follows is an example of thinking in layers] The process of thinking involves several levels, but only a few people think beyond the first level.....Thinking in levels can expose flaws in your decision making process, helping you to make choices with little or no blindspots....Robert Sternberg, a professor of psychology and education at Yale University, says that successful people use three kinds of intelligence: analytical, creative, and practical. A successful person, according to Sternberg, uses all three.......Instead of thinking on the fly, you use mental models to analyse every situation before making a choice.

The 3 thinking levels:
** Level 1
Level one thinkers observe, but rarely interpret or analyse what they see.
They take information on the face value. ..First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” ...Most people get stuck at level 1. They take in facts, statistics and information, but never question the reasoning behind them or make the effort analyse what they have seen, read or been taught. They obsessively seek out truth that confirms their worldviews and cling to it with little room for metacognition (thinking about their thinking)..

** Level 2
At this level, you allow yourself to interpret, make connections and meanings. Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted....At the second level, decision makers begin to interpret and analyze the pieces they have observed and put them together to form meaning.
This is the level at which we begin to look for alignments, contrast, repetition or improvements....Level two thinkers synthesis better — build up or connect separate pieces of information to form a larger, more coherent pattern. They are better at reorganizing or rearranging ideas to produce a more comprehensive understanding of the “big picture”.

** Level 3
This is the alpha stage of thinking.
Level 3 thinkers have the capacity to transfer knowledge, i.e., to apply a concept learned in one context to different contexts than the one in which the concept was originally learned.....Level 3 thinkers can view an issue or idea from a variety of viewpoints, standpoints, or positions to gain a more comprehensive and holistic understanding. They generate imaginative ideas, unique perspectives, innovative strategies, or novel (alternative) approaches to traditional practices.
Albert_Einstein  blindspots  books  business_acumen  connecting_the_dots  critical_thinking  decision_making  interpretation  metacognition  questions  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  weaknesses 
14 days ago by jerryking
Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs
Nov. 22, 2017 | WSJ | By Tatyana Shumsky.

“I don’t want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what is the data telling us (jk: i.e. "interpretation") ,” Mr. Garrett said. He is working on cutting Excel out of this process... for financial planning, analysis and reporting.

Finance chiefs say the ubiquitous spreadsheet software that revolutionized accounting in the 1980s hasn’t kept up with the demands of contemporary corporate finance units. Errors can bloom because data in Excel is separated from other systems and isn’t automatically updated. Older versions of Excel don’t allow multiple users to work together in one document, hampering collaboration. There is also a limit to how much data can be pulled into a single document, which can slow down analysis....Instead, companies are turning to new, cloud-based technologies from Anaplan Inc., Workiva Inc., Adaptive Insights and their competitors....The newer software connects with existing accounting and enterprise resource management systems, including those made by Oracle Corp. or SAP SE . This lets accountants aggregate, analyze and report data on one unified platform, often without additional training.
CFOs  errors  Excel  interpretation  financial_planning  spreadsheets 
november 2017 by jerryking
What Is the President’s Daily Brief? - The New York Times
By CHARLIE SAVAGEDEC. 12, 2016

The President’s Daily Brief is a summary of high-level intelligence and analysis about global hot spots and national security threats written by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. While the intelligence community produces many reports and assessments, the P.D.B. is written specifically for the president and his top advisers....The intelligence community tailors the P.D.B. to each president’s interests and style of absorbing information. At times, the briefing has included a “deep dive” into a specific question that a president may have asked or information that briefers believed he needed to know, such as the early August 2001 briefing Mr. Bush received at his Texas ranch reporting that Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mr. Bush received a supplement called the “threat matrix,” which listed more detailed intelligence about potential terrorist plans. Under Mr. Obama, the brief has taken on some new topics and different forms, including a periodic update on cyberthreats against the United States. ....getting the briefing every day is not strictly necessary, especially if Mr. Trump delegates substantial amounts of authority to his subordinates. But they stress that regular briefings are still important because it is helpful in a fast-moving crisis if a president already has a baseline of knowledge about topics, such as a foreign leader’s thinking and military abilities. Also, briefings permit a president to quiz briefers on inconsistencies and questions of fact or interpretation that form the basis for the most important national security decisions — those only the president can make.
cyberthreats  PDB  security_&_intelligence  CIA  memoranda  White_House  hotspots  threats  ODNI  baselines  inconsistencies  interpretation  decision_making 
december 2016 by jerryking
How Artists Change the World - The New York Times
AUG. 2, 2016 | NYT | David Brooks.

Frederick Douglass was not an artist but understood how to use a new art form. Douglass used his portraits to change the way viewers saw black people.....And that’s what Douglass did with his portraits. He took contemporary stereotypes of African-Americans — that they are inferior, unlettered, comic and dependent — and turned them upside down.....“Picturing Frederick Douglass,” curated by John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd and Celeste-Marie Bernier, and you can read a version of Gates’s essay in the new special issue of Aperture magazine, guest edited by Sarah Lewis.....Douglass was combating a set of generalized stereotypes by showing the specific humanity of one black man. ...Most of all, he was using art to reteach people how to see.

We are often under the illusion that seeing is a very simple thing. You see something, which is taking information in, and then you evaluate, which is the hard part.

But in fact perception and evaluation are the same thing. We carry around unconscious mental maps, built by nature and experience, that organize how we scan the world and how we instantly interpret and order what we see.

With these portraits, Douglass was redrawing people’s unconscious mental maps. ....“Poets, prophets and reformers are all picture makers — and this ability is the secret of their power and of their achievements,” Douglass wrote. This is where artists make their mark, by implanting pictures in the underwater processing that is upstream from conscious cognition. Those pictures assign weights and values to what the eyes take in.
David_Brooks  artists  photography  Frederick_Douglass  books  poets  prophets  mental_maps  interpretation  subconscious  portraits  humanity 
august 2016 by jerryking
‘Grown-up who steered the Fab Four to Stardom
12 March/13 March 2016 | FT | Ludovic Hunter-Tilney. Obit of George Martin, Beatles' producer.

"Martin was measured about his contribution. "I was purely an interpreter," he said, "The genius was theirs, no doubt about that"
Beatles  obituaries  '60s  trailblazers  music  engineering  producers  interpretation 
april 2016 by jerryking
'Virtual fieldwork' is no substitute for travel
Oct. 10, 2015| FT | Tyler Brule
From time to time this column takes on the part-time role of concierge for its readers. The requests that come across this desk are not unlike those that greet the men...
travel  due_diligence  concierge_services  market_research  sleuthing  primary_field_research  research_methods  Tyler_Brûlé  interpretation  forecasting 
november 2015 by jerryking
When Big Data Isn’t an Option
May 19, 2014 / Summer 2014 / Strategy + Business | by David Meer
When Big Data Isn’t an Option
Companies that only have access to “little data” can still use that information to improve their business.

Many companies—probably most—work in relatively sparse data environments, without access to the abundant information needed for advanced analytics and data mining. For instance, point-of-sale register data is not standard in emerging markets. In most B2B industries, companies have access to their own sales and shipment data but have little visibility into overall market volumes or what their competitors are selling. Highly specialized or concentrated markets, such as parts suppliers to automakers, have only a handful of potential customers. These companies have to be content with what might be called little data—readily available information that companies can use to generate insights, even if it is sparse or of uneven quality....the beverage manufacturer developed an algorithm based on observable characteristics, then asked its sales professionals to classify all the bars and restaurants in their territories based on the algorithm. (This is a classic little data technique: filling in the data gaps internally.)

. Little data techniques, therefore, can include just about any method that gives a company more insight into its customers without breaking the bank. As the examples above illustrate, mining little data doesn’t mean investing in expensive data acquisition, hardware, software, or technology infrastructure. Rather, companies need three things:

• The commitment to become more fact-based in their decision making.

• The willingness to learn by doing.

• A bit of creativity. ...

The bottom line: Companies have to put in the extra effort required to capture and interpret data that is already being generated.
small_data  data  analytics  data_driven  market_segmentation  observations  call_centres  insights  data_quality  data_capture  interpretation  point-of-sale  mindsets  creativity 
september 2015 by jerryking
It’s not a small world after all - The Globe and Mail
PICO IYER
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jun. 06, 2015

Yes, we may share the same cultural products. But go to a showing of Avatar in China, and tell me that it carries the same meaning for its audience as it would in Studio City. For the former, I’m sure, it’s as much about environmental destruction as to the latter it might be about a dazzling new technology. Watch the same movie in Baghdad and it becomes a parable about imperialism. Every country may draw from the same pop-cultural pool, but each translates it into its own context and language and tradition. We file into the same movie, but come out having seen a radically different film.

Again and again, in fact, what strikes me when I touch down in Jerusalem or Pyongyang is not how much it shares with Washington or London, but how much it doesn’t, in spite of common surfaces, (yes, nine months ago, I did see the two pizzerias and the 36-lane bowling-alley in North Korea’s capital). Which is why travel is more urgent than ever: Our screens vividly bring faraway places into our homes, projecting an image of closeness, but every encounter with the foreign in the flesh reminds us forcibly of how much lies far beyond our reckoning.
translations  contextual  national_identity  travel  interpretation  cultural_products 
june 2015 by jerryking
What to Learn in College to Stay One Step Ahead of Computers - NYTimes.com
MAY 22, 2015 | NYT | By ROBERT J. SHILLER.

The successful occupations, by this measure, shared certain characteristics: People who practiced them needed complex communication skills and expert knowledge. Such skills included an ability to convey “not just information but a particular interpretation of information.” They said that expert knowledge was broad, deep and practical, allowing the solution of “uncharted problems.”

These attributes may not be as beneficial in the future. But the study certainly suggests that a college education needs to be broad and general, and not defined primarily by the traditional structure of separate departments staffed by professors who want, most of all, to be at the forefront of their own narrow disciplines.....In a separate May 5 statement, Prof. Sean D. Kelly, chairman of the General Education Review Committee, said a Harvard education should give students “an art of living in the world.”

But how should professors do this? Perhaps we should prepare students for entrepreneurial opportunities suggested by our own disciplines. Even departments entirely divorced from business could do this by suggesting enterprises, nonprofits and activities in which students can later use their specialized knowledge....I continue to update the course, thinking about how I can integrate its lessons into an “art of living in the world.” I have tried to enhance my students’ sense that finance should be the art of financing important human activities, of getting people (and robots someday) working together to accomplish things that we really want done.
21st._century  automation  Colleges_&_Universities  college-educated  Communicating_&_Connecting  continuing_education  continuous_learning  curriculum  education  entrepreneurship  expertise  finance  future-proofing  generalists  Harvard  indispensable  interdisciplinary  interpretation  machine_learning  Managing_Your_Career  new_graduates  Robert_Shiller  skills  students  syllabus  uncharted_problems  Yale 
may 2015 by jerryking
Speaking the Language of Risk - NYTimes.com
By CARL RICHARDS MAY 11, 2015.

humans outside the financial world define risk differently. In everyday life, we tend to think of risk as uncertainty, or what is left over after we have thought of everything else.

With uncertainty comes variability within a set of unknown limits. It’s the stuff that comes out of left field, like Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swan events. Because we can’t measure uncertainty with any sort of accuracy, we think of risk as something outside our control. We often connect it to things like running out of money in retirement or ending up in a car crash.

But how did we end up with two such completely different definitions of the same thing? My research points to an economist named Frank Knight and his book “Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.” (Toronto Reference Library, Stack Request, 330.1 K54.11)

In 1921, Mr. Knight wrote: “There is a fundamental distinction between the reward for taking a known risk and that for assuming a risk whose value itself is not known.” When a risk is known, it is “easily converted into an effective certainty,” while “true uncertainty,” as Knight called it, is “not susceptible to measurement.”...I’m also betting that if you heard a term like “risk management model,” you really thought, “uncertainty management model.” Unfortunately, no financial firm offers uncertainty management.

Solving this problem doesn’t require a new definition. We just need to shift our thinking when we hear someone in finance mention risk. We need to remember, that person isn’t talking about the odds we’ll lose everything, but about something that fits in a box.

I suspect that is why financial professionals sound so confident when they talk about managing our risk. In their minds, managing risk comes down to a formula they can fine-tune on their Dial-A-Risk meter. In our minds, we have to learn to separate the formula from the unknown unknowns that cannot be accounted for in any model or equation.

Once we learn to recognize that we are not talking about the same thing, we can avoid terrible disappointment and bad behavior when financial risk shows up again. And it will.
risks  uncertainty  unknowns  books  interpretation  financial_risk  beyond_one's_control  Nassim_Taleb  black_swan  misinterpretations  miscommunications  disappointment  languages 
may 2015 by jerryking
Sandy Pentland on the Social Data That Business Should Use - WSJ
Feb. 10, 2014 | Journal Report - CIO Netowrk| WSJ's Steve Rosenbush speaking with MIT's Sandy Pentland.

MR. ROSENBUSH: For most of us, social data is Twitter, it's Facebook. What do you mean by it?

MR. PENTLAND: Those sorts of things are people's public face. On the other hand, for instance, there's badge data. Every corporation has name badges. Many of these record where people come and go, door swipes and things like that. That's a different type of social media. Or if I look at cellphone data, I can tell when people get together, what they search for, who they talk to. You can look at connections between people in ways you never could before. The way most people approach this is incorrect, because they're asking questions about individuals. A better way to approach is asking questions about interactions between people.
social_data  interpretation  Twitter  Facebook  social_physics  Communicating_&_Connecting  informed_consent  location_based_services  data  massive_data_sets  contextual  LBMA  interactivity  traffic_analysis  mobile_phones 
february 2015 by jerryking
Look beyond the obvious to understand an artwork
Sir, Gillian Tett (" The lost art of finance ", March 15) rightly argues that a more creative approach to finance would be beneficial and that art can be a useful means of gaining a fresh perspective....
finance  Wall_Street  art  museums  fresh_eyes  letters_to_the_editor  artists  artwork  art_galleries  Gillian_Tett  perspectives  paintings  interpretation  latent  art_appreciation 
may 2014 by jerryking
Why Imagination and Curiosity Matter More Than Ever - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 31, 2014 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

How can you foster imagination and curiosity? This was the subject of the 2011 book co-authored by JSB: A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. One of its key points is that learning has to evolve from something that only happens in the classroom to what that he calls connected learning, taking advantage of all the available resources, including tinkering with the system, playing games and perhaps most important, absorbing new ideas from your peers, from adjacent spaces and from other disciplines....How do you decide what problems to work on and try to solve? This second kind of innovation–which they call interpretation–is very different in nature from analysis. You are not solving a problem, but looking for a new insight about customers and the marketplace, a new idea for a product or a service, a new approach to producing and delivering them, a new business model. It requires the curiosity and imagination.
ideas  idea_generation  STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers  adjacencies 
february 2014 by jerryking
The Financial Bonanza of Big Data
March 7, 2013 | WSJ | By KENNETH CUKIER AND VIKTOR MAYER-SCHÖNBERGER:
Vast troves of information are manipulated and monetized, yet companies have a hard time assigning value to it...The value of information captured today is increasingly in the myriad secondary uses to which it is put—not just the primary purpose for which it was collected.[True, but this secondary or exhaust data has to be placed in the right context in order to maximize value]. In the past, shopkeepers kept a record of all transactions so that they could tally the sums at the end of the day. The sales data were used to understand sales. Only more recently have retailers parsed those records to look for business trends...With big data, information is more potent, and it can be applied to areas unconnected with what it initially represented. Health officials could use Google's history of search queries—for things like cough syrup or sneezes—to track the spread of the seasonal flu in the United States. The Bank of England has used Google searches as a leading indicator for housing prices in the United Kingdom. Other central banks have studied search queries as a gauge for changes in unemployment.

Companies world-wide are starting to understand that no matter what industry they are in, data is among their most precious assets. Harnessed cleverly, the data can unleash new forms of economic value.
massive_data_sets  Amazon  books  Google  branding  Facebook  Wal-Mart  Bank_of_England  data  data_driven  value_creation  JCK  exhaust_data  commercialization  monetization  valuations  windfalls  alternative_data  economic_data  tacit_data  interpretation  contextual  sense-making  tacit_knowledge 
march 2013 by jerryking
Value of big data depends on context
According to Hayek, it is not only localised and dispersed knowledge, but also tacit knowledge that is crucial for the functioning of the market system. Often, useful localised knowledge is tacit. By definition, tacit knowledge cannot be articulated and mechanically transferred to other individuals.[See Paul Graham on doing things that don't scale] Companies and governments have become more successful in collecting large volumes of data but it is nearly impossible to capture useful tacit knowledge by these data collection methods.

Furthermore, the value of big data is not about the volume and the amount of collected data but it depends on our ability to understand and interpret the data. As human faculties of interpretation and understanding differ greatly, the value of big data is subjective and dependent on particular context. Ironically, the skillful use of big data may require tacit knowledge.
data_collection  letters_to_the_editor  massive_data_sets  Friedrich_Hayek  tacit_data  contextual  sense-making  interpretation  tacit_knowledge  valuations  Paul_Graham  unscalability 
february 2013 by jerryking
Can Museums Help Make Cities More Intelligent?
June 8, 2011 | Center for the Future of Museums |

[L]istening to awesome speakers explore the potential for such systems of ubiquitous, networked data to transform the urban landscape.

Curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino. Susan identified museums’ roles in urban design as provoking active curiosity and increasing “urban literacy,” thereby inspiring people to take action...Here are some interesting nuggets I took away from the day:
(1) Access to data can shift power to the people
Many speakers acknowledged the troubling potential for governments to monitor (and misuse) such rich troves of data on peoples’ movement and activities. However, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, pointed out that the “ground up” use of technology enables citizens to band together to prevent government abuse. As an example of ground up citizen tech, she pointed to to Map Kibera, which enables Nairobi slum dwellers (aka “informal occupants”) to create a digital map of the informal economy and residential patterns. Prior to this, the Kenyan government did not recognize or gather data on the slum, depriving its residents of political recognition and services. What issues in your museum’s community might benefit from citizen use of data, and how might a museum help people access and interpret this information?

(2) The future of digital data rights. Caesar McDowell, professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, approached data privacy from another angle, proposing creating a Personal Digital Commons, controlling the rights that automatically accrue to data collected via social media. You could apply one of four licenses to the data collected by Facebook, LinkedIn and their ilk: free use; limited negotiated use; collective community use (use of aggregated data for community benefit); or no use. What data does your museum collect from users of your digital platforms, and what options do you give them for controlling how you use this information?

(3) How digital devices influence use of public space
I’ve heard many folks angst over how the use of smart phones, tablets etc. in museums will affect the experience.
museums  cities  urban  networks  data  grass-roots  Nairobi  informal_economy  sense-making  public_spaces  smart_cities  interpretation  engaged_citizenry  deprivations 
december 2012 by jerryking
A conversation that translates
June 7, 2012 | The Financial Times pg. 14 | Philip Delves Broughton.
(Pass on to Abdoulaye DIOP)
For global companies, creating an approach to risk that resonates across cultures can be a challenge, writes Philip Delves Broughton

Risk is a risky word. Already prone to misinterpretation among people who share a language and a culture, the difficulties multiply dangerously when it moves across borders.

What a Wall Street trader might define as moderately risky may seem downright insane to a Japanese retail broker; what an oil pipeline engineer in Brazil might characterise as gung-ho may appear overcautious to his revenue-chasing chief executive in London....The greatest pitfalls in managing risk across borders, he says, emerge from assuming too much. When dealing with fellow English speakers, it is easy to imagine that a shared language means shared assumptions - that the English, Americans and Australians think the same thing because they are using the same words.... Tips for managing risk across borders

Context is more important than language. Understand what matters most in the markets where you are doing business. Is it the law, logic or maintaining relationships?

Every word comes with its own "metadata" in different cultures. Be as specific as you can and never assume you have been properly understood without checking for potential misunderstandings.
cultural_assumptions  risks  risk-management  Communicating_&_Connecting  globalization  organizational_culture  transactions  national_identity  Philip_Delves_Broughton  translations  assumptions  misinterpretations  contextual  metadata  specificity  crossborder  cross-cultural  misunderstandings  interpretation  conversations  risk-assessment  words  compounded  risk-perception  multiplicative 
september 2012 by jerryking
Why Should We Care?
January 10, 2008 | WSJ.com | By PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO.

We all know art and art museums are important. But when it comes to articulating our reasons for this belief, we find it very difficult. We'd love to simply say, like our children, "Just because." When we try to be more specific, we end up with something rather abstract, such as: They are the repositories of precious objects and relics, the places where they are preserved, studied and displayed, which means that museums can be defined quite literally and succinctly, as the memory of mankind...The fact is, in the rooms of our museums are preserved things that are far more than just pretty pictures. These works of art, embodying and expressing with graphic force the deepest aspirations of a time and place, are direct, primary evidence for the study and understanding of mankind.... if we find our identity through works of art, then we have to identify them correctly, and works of art are not easy to decipher. They don't come with installation kits, lists of ingredients, and certificates of origin. In order to determine the time and place of their genesis, we have to ask of them: Who made them, where, when and why?

The answers to these questions are anything but obvious, because very few artistic traditions are pure -- that is, uninflected by outside influences. So, confronted with a work of art, we must be sure of its origin....The art museum then plays a key and beneficial role in teaching us humility, in making us recognize that other, very different yet totally valid civilizations have existed and do exist right alongside our own..in attempting to answer the question "why should we care?" I'd like to suggest a final, more broadly significant lesson. It is mankind's awe-inspiring ability, time and again, to surpass itself. What this means is that no matter how bleak the times we may live in, we cannot wholly despair of the human condition.
museums  art  value_propositions  provenance  artifacts  sublime  sense_of_proportion  galleries  art_galleries  humility  inspiration  interpretation  sense-making  Philippe_de_Montebello  the_human_condition 
august 2012 by jerryking
Want an edge? Call the CEO - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 03 2012 | The Globe and Mail | FABRICE TAYLOR.

Investing is a game of scarce advantages, yet an edge is difficult to come by in the stock market. You certainly don’t get one by just reading financial statements. A million others are doing that. Ditto with screening tools. They’re useful as a starting point but. again, they’re not exclusive to you.

It’s the same with the Internet. Any monkey can Google, so you’re not going to get an edge by spending hours scouring the darkest corners of the Web.

The only thing that can give you an edge is making connections that few others have, or interpreting what sources say to you.... No matter how much you read, how much time you spend, how elaborate your Excel model, you will never understand a business better than the CEO. Not only do they live and breath their work every day, and likely have for years, they also have information you don’t have. What you look at – the latest results – are dated. He or she has real time and, in fact, advance data.

Q1:one of my favourites is: “Who is the best analyst on your stock and why?”
Q2: Another good question for a CEO who doesn’t appear too promotional is whether it’s a good time to attract a lot of investor attention.

Sponge up insights about their companies and their suppliers, competitors and customers, as well as coming technological changes that could hurt or help a business....investing in one company on the basis of ideas received from another is a “bank shot,” like a basketball bouncing into the hoop. “The ability to look beyond just the numbers to see all different types of bank shots is something that can’t be replicated by a spreadsheet,”
slight_edge  CEOs  due_diligence  proprietary  informational_advantages  Communicating_&_Connecting  interpretation  real-time  questions  humint  financial_statements  insights  exclusivity  personal_knowledge  personal_connections  personal_meetings  personal_relationships  technological_change  bank_shots 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Limits of Intelligence - WSJ.com
December 10, 2007 | WSJ | By PETER HOEKSTRA and JANE HARMAN.

On one of our several trips together to Iraq, a senior intelligence official told us how she wrote her assessments -- on one page, with three sections: what we know, what we don't know, and what we think it means.

Sound simple? Actually, it's very hard....The information we receive from the intelligence community is but one piece of the puzzle in a rapidly changing world. It is not a substitute for policy, and the challenge for policy makers is to use good intelligence wisely to fashion good policy.

In fact, the new NIE on Iran comes closest to the three-part model our intelligence community strives for: It carefully describes sources and the analysts' assessment of their reliability, what gaps remain in their understanding of Iran's intentions and capabilities, and how confident they are of their conclusions....Nevertheless, Congress must engage in vigorous oversight -- to challenge those who do intelligence work, and to make site visits to see for ourselves.

Intelligence is an investment -- in people and technology. It requires sustained focus, funding and leadership. It also requires agency heads that prioritize their constitutional duty to keep the intelligence committees informed. Good intelligence will not guarantee good policy, but it can spare us some huge policy mistakes.
security_&_intelligence  critical_thinking  Iran  memoranda  policy  sense-making  unknowns  interpretation  interpretative  information_gaps  oversight  rapid_change  think_threes  assessments_&_evaluations  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Sunshine Warrior - NYTimes.com
By BILL KELLER September 22, 2002

His inclination to act derives, too, from his analytical style, a residue, perhaps, of the mathematician he started out to be. In almost any discussion, he tends to be the one focusing on the most often overlooked variable in decision making, the cost of not acting. ....the tensions between State and Defense are rooted in starkly different views of how America should deal with the world. The State Department tends to see the world as a set of problems to be handled, using the tools of professional diplomacy and striving for international consensus. This Defense Department tends to define leadership as more (in the Pentagon's favorite buzzword of the moment) ''forward leaning,'' including a willingness to act unilaterally if need be and to employ muscle. Rumsfeld and Cheney, who have been friends since the Nixon administration, are visceral advocates of this more assertive view, but Wolfowitz is its theorist -- its Kissinger, as one admirer put it. ...Dennis Ross went to work for Wolfowitz shortly after writing a paper trashing the work of Team B. ''What I always found in him that separated him from everybody else on that side of the political spectrum is not that he didn't have predispositions, but that he was much more open, much more intellectually open, to different kinds of interpretations,'' Ross says....''In the end, it has to come down to a careful weighing of things we can't know with precision, the costs of action versus the costs of inaction, the costs of action now versus the costs of action later.''
U.S._military  leadership  leadership_development  U.S._Army  military_academies  red_teams  Dennis_Ross  Paul_Wolfowitz  cost_of_inaction  Pentagon  U.S._State_Department  diplomacy  consensus  interpretation 
may 2012 by jerryking
The 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers
Mar 20, 2012 | | Inc.com | Paul J. H. Schoemaker.
Adaptive strategic leaders--the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment--do six things well:

1. Anticipate. Hone your “peripheral vision.” Reduce vulnerabilities to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. ... Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better
2. Think Critically. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill, you must force yourself to reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes. Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions.
3. Interpret. Ambiguity is unsettling. Faced with it, you are tempted to reach for a fast (potentially wrongheaded) solution. A good strategic leader holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. To get good at this, you have to:Seek patterns in multiple sources of data; Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously.
4. Decide. Many leaders fall prey to “analysis paralysis.” Develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive at a “good enough” position. To do that well, you have to: Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter, Balance speed, rigor, quality, and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers. Take a stand even with incomplete information and amid diverse views
5. Align. Consensus is rare. Foster open dialogue, build trust, and engage key stakeholders, especially when views diverge. To pull that off, you need to: Understand what drives other people's agendas, including what remains hidden. Bring tough issues to the surface, even when it's uncomfortable
Assess risk tolerance and follow through to build the necessary support
6. Learn.

As your company grows, honest feedback is harder and harder to come by. You have to do what you can to keep it coming.
Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons
Shift course quickly if you realize you're off track
Celebrate both successes and (well-intentioned) failures that provide insight
Do you have what it takes?
tips  leadership  habits  strategic_thinking  anticipating  critical_thinking  networks  biases  conventional_wisdom  decision_making  empathy  feedback  thinking  failure  lessons_learned  leaders  interpretation  ambiguities  root_cause  insights  paralyze  peripheral_vision  analysis_paralysis  reframing  course_correction  vulnerabilities  good_enough  debriefs  post-mortems  problem_framing  discomforts  wide-framing  outward_looking  assumptions  game_changers 
march 2012 by jerryking
In Africa, the Art of Listening - NYTimes.com
By HENNING MANKELL
Published: December 10, 2011

It struck me as I listened to those two men that a truer nomination for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats — and they in turn can listen to ours.

Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening.

So if I am right that we are storytelling creatures, and as long as we permit ourselves to be quiet for a while now and then, the eternal narrative will continue.
storytelling  listening  Africa  interpretation  Communicating_&_Connecting 
december 2011 by jerryking
BETTER THAN FREE
[2.5.08] | EDGE | By Kevin Kelly.

This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly....how does one make money selling free copies?

I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. What can't be copied?
(1) "Trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long).
(2) Immediacy
(3) Personalization
(4) Interpretation — As the old joke goes: software, free. The manual, $10,000.
(5) Authenticity — You might be able to grab a key software application for free, but even if you don't need a manual, you might like to be sure it is bug free, reliable, and warranted. You'll pay for authenticity.
(6) Accessibility — Ownership often sucks. You have to keep your things tidy, up-to-date, and in the case of digital material, backed up. And in this mobile world, you have to carry it along with you. Many people, me included, will be happy to have others tend our "possessions" by subscribing to them. We'll pay Acme Digital Warehouse to serve us any musical tune in the world, when and where we want it, as well as any movie, photo (ours or other photographers).
(7) Embodiment — At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you'd like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are fine, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather.
(8) Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.
(9)Findability — findability is an asset that occurs at a higher level in the aggregate of many works. A zero price does not help direct attention to a work, and in fact may sometimes hinder it. But no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. — being found is valuable.
network_effects  free  Kevin_Kelly  value_creation  digital_economy  immediacy  scarcity  personalization  abundance  findability  patronage  embodiment  accessibility  authenticity  interpretation  replication  Information_Rules  value_added  superfans  SaaS  ownership 
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  commoditization_of_information  concision  confidence  connecting_the_dots  contextual_intelligence  critical_thinking  curiosity  executive_management  fearlessness  interpretation  ksfs  leadership  Managing_Your_Career  mindsets  overlooked_opportunities  questions  subordinates  teams  the_big_picture 
april 2011 by jerryking
Nine hard truths
September 2005 | PROFIT magazine | By Rick Spence. The
immutable laws of being your own boss, and five ways to transcend them
all. 1. the 40-hr. workweek is not your friend. 2. Everyone is looking
for something new. But no one has any money for anything new. 3. All
the people you meet at a networking function are trying to sell you
something; 4. The phone doesn't ring by itself--make your own calls if
you want the phone to ring. 5. At any given time, everyone you want to
contact is in a meeting. 6. Basic courtesy is deader than Sir John A.
Macdonald. No one returns phone calls anymore. 7. Allies are like
employees: hard to find, hard to live without. 8. Opportunities are all
around you, but differentiating between an "opportunity" and a genuine
source of revenue-that's hard. 9. Most of the people you meet at large
corps. dream of working for themselves. KSFs: 1. Know what your market
wants. 2. Get yourself a peer group. 3. Trust in karma. 4. Be brave. 5.
Give it away.
motivations  inspiration  Rick_Spence  rules_of_the_game  ksfs  pay_it_forward  self-employment  owners  entrepreneurship  opportunities  karma  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  revenue_generation  interpretation  second-order  hard_to_find  courtesies  hard_truths  it's_up_to_me 
february 2010 by jerryking
globeandmail.com - Corporate survival: Be ready to chart a new course when industry winds blow
Oct. 1, 2007 G&M column by Harvey Schachter on Anita
McGahan's suggestions on how to interpret the signals of industry
change.

Determine whether your core activities or core assets are threatened - or both. Core activities are those actions that have historically generated profits for the industry, such as owning dealerships in the auto industry, which is less significant in an Internet era. Core assets are the resources, knowledge, and brand capital that have made the organization unique, like blockbuster drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

(1) Radical Change.our core activities and core assets are both threatened with obsolescence. This is similar to the concept of disruptive change outlined by Harvard's Clayton Christensen in his writings.

(2) Intermediating Change. Core activities are threatened while core assets retain their strength. Sotheby's, for example, remains top notch at assessing works of art but because of technology eBay can challenge on the matchmaking side of the business.

(3) Creative Change. Core assets are under threat but core activities remain stable, as in pharmaceuticals or oil and gas exploration, where relationships with customers and suppliers are fairly steady but assets turn over constantly. Innovation occurs in fits and starts.

(4) Progressive Change. Both core assets and core activities are stable, but significant change still threatens, as in discount retailing, long-haul trucking, and commercial airlines.
assets  Clayton_Christensen  Harvey_Schachter  strategy  industries  structural_change  preparation  readiness  warning_signs  howto  interpretation  core_businesses  obsolescence  taxonomy  change  pivots 
january 2009 by jerryking

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