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NYT Programs – Be a Better Reader in 7 Days
August 7, 2019 | NYT | by Tina Jordan.

(1) Choosing The Right Book
start by asking yourself some questions:
* Do you want to read for enjoyment or for knowledge?
* Do you want to stretch yourself in some way?
* Are you looking for escapism? (There’s nothing wrong with that!)
* Do you want to be part of the cultural conversation around the current “it” book?
* Are you curious about a book that has been atop the best-seller list for months?
However you answer these questions, find a book to focus on this week. You don’t need to buy one: Pluck a book from your shelves at home, borrow from a friend, download a book to your phone from participating libraries or simply swing by a Little Free Library on your way home to see what the reading fates have in store for you.

(2) Make a Reading Plan
A good reading plan is a commitment to keep reading a part of your life. How you go about that will depend a lot on your personality, of course. (what are my greatest challenges: Finding time? Turning off the TV?)

A reading plan doesn’t have to include a schedule — although that’s helpful — but it should include a goal or promise to yourself that will keep you motivated. The more specific and detailed your reading goal is, the better your chances are of reaching it: Goal-setting has been linked to higher achievement.

Neuroscience shows that it helps to put your plan in writing. “People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goal.”

So how are you going to finish that book you picked yesterday? As you make your reading plan, consider these factors:

* Set aside the time. Decide how much time you would like to devote to reading every day — a half-hour? an hour? — and where you could carve out that time: on your commute, during your lunch break, in lieu of watching TV. If you think you simply don’t have the time to read, try reading instead of using social media this week. If you keep a calendar — digital or paper — schedule your reading time like you would anything else.
* Allow yourself to quit a book. Nothing will derail you faster than books that don’t hold your interest. You could commit to reading 50 pages of a book before you make a decision. Or you could simply trust your gut: If you realize in a book’s opening pages that it is absolutely not right for you, then put it down and pick up another one, no guilt included.
* Find a reading buddy. Some people find it easier to commit to a reading challenge when they have a friend doing the same thing. Others incorporate book-reading challenges into family time. Feel free to forward this challenge to a friend and have your friend read the same book alongside you.
* Commit to your plan for this book in writing. And then stick to it.

Make a Life-Changing Goal
A reading plan can be for more than just one book; it can be for the rest of your life. Here are some worthy goals to consider:

Read a certain number of books — per week, per month or per year. You can do it on your own, or you can sign up for a reading challenge at Goodreads, Bookish, BookRiot, Popsugar or Reddit. (The nice thing about the Goodreads challenge is that it’s not tied to a Jan. 1 start date; it’s designed to begin at any point during the year.) Don’t be too ambitious: Start small, with manageable goals, and increase them slowly as you go along.
Commit to variety. You want to look forward to your reading time every day, so don’t make every book you pick up an intellectual challenge. Pick lighter titles some of the time, and mix fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
A Little Motivation
Create a (semi) perfect reading environment. One important step on your road to reading better is to find or create an ideal reading environment. A great chair and good lighting come first, of course, but after that, you have to consider the mood-killers of reading. You know what your biggest distractions are, so be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you need to do to set yourself up for success. If the lure of your phone will tempt you, stash it where you can’t see it (and mute your notifications so that you can’t hear it, either). If you need to tune out chatter on your morning train or the drone of your roommate’s TV, consider noise-blocking headphones.

Related Reading
Quartz: In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books
That decision to start reading was one of the most important decisions in my life.

The Atlantic: The Adults Who Treat Reading Like Homework
More and more people are making reading goals that most of them will not meet. Here's why.

(3) Read More Deeply
To read more deeply--at a level that stimulates your imagination, the single most important thing to do is take your time. You can’t read deeply if you’re skimming. Set aside at least 15 minutes today to read your book and try this exercise:

Notice if you start to skim or skip sections. Then, backtrack. It can help to use your finger on the page to underline text as you go.
Keep a dictionary nearby. If you’re uncertain about the definition of any words, stop and look them up.
Actively reread. If something is confusing you, reread it. If it’s an especially knotty passage, try to read it aloud or express it in your own words. And if all else fails, mark the troublesome text in some way, whether you highlight it or affix a sticky note. It’s likely that you'll find clarification later in the book, and this way you will be able to come back to it.
Use a highlighter (or sticky notes). Mark the passages of your book that resonate with you. Perhaps the ideas fascinate you, or perhaps you’re struck by the author’s language. When you finish the book, return to those pages to see if you still feel the same way.
Summarize. At the end of your reading session, sum up, in your own words, what you’ve just read. (There’s a reason your teacher asked you questions after every chapter in high school!)

(4) Read More Critically
When you are reading deeply and critically, you should be thinking more often about the book being read; sharpening your deductive reasoning; teasing out connections between different books, and discovering parallels between books and current events.
* Stop and ask yourself questions. Here are a few to try: “What is the author trying to say?” “What is the point of this chapter?” “Could the author have used better examples to buttress her argument here?” “What techniques is the author using to build so much suspense?
* Consider whether you agree with the book or disagree with it. Try to separate your personal beliefs and biases from the book. What questions do you have about what you’re reading? What issues is the book making you rethink or reconsider?
* Think about what makes good writing. It doesn’t matter what kind of book you’re reading — historical nonfiction, a classic, popular fiction.
* Take it Further: does note-taking point to related reading? A a biography of the novelist whose book I'm reading? a nonfiction book about the time period in which the novel takes place? Get ideas by examining the author’s sources in the bibliography and notes (also check out this https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-hate-reading.html).

(5) Explore Different Formats
Variety is the spice of reading, right? There’s a great deal of debate over the “best” way to read a book, but there’s no conclusive scientific evidence about any of it. So mix things up. Perhaps start by trying to read out loud, or by asking someone to read a chapter to you. Or turn from print to audio or digital versions of the same story.

Being open to different formats expands your reading possibilities. Having options means you’ll always have a book at your fingertips. Take a break from your current book format to try one of these options:

* Use your cell phone for good. Get a reading app — like Kindle or Overdrive — and download your book digitally. Now, when you’re stuck with time on your hands, spend that time reading instead of skimming through social media.
* Try an audiobook. The audio version of a book can be just as good as print, unless you’re multitasking.
* Mix & match formats. Sync your devices: Listen to a book for a few chapters, then read it digitally for a while, or vice versa.

(6) Read More Socially
Reading may be a solitary endeavor, but once we’re done with a book, most of us want to do the same thing: talk to other people about what we loved, what we hated, what we didn’t understand. No matter where you are in the book you are currently reading, today’s the day to find a place to talk about it.

There are many ways to do that:

* Join an online book club. Unless you’re reading a currently popular book, it’s unlikely you’ll find a local in-person book club to discuss it. But that shouldn’t deter you. You’ll find literally thousands of book clubs on Goodreads, Facebook and other social media sites.
( Find your author on social media. Stephen King, for example, often talks about what he’s reading and what he recommends on Twitter, and so do many other authors; many of them invite lively discussion of books. If you can, try to find the author of your book on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and see what type of conversation he or she is leading.
* Join a local book club or discussion group about your book. If you don’t know of one, call your local library — they will know about the book groups in your area. Hearing what other people think about a book helps expand your own ideas about it.

(7) Enhance Your Post-Book Experience

Here are some simple steps you can take to stay engaged with books, authors and the subjects you’re learning about.

Start a reading journal or reading log. Seeing a list of what you have read will help you branch out. Some people keep a reading log for years.
Create a future book journal. When you hear about a book that interests you, jot down the title. … [more]
critical_thinking  deep_learning  howto  reading  advice  self-betterment  self-improvement  goal-setting  questions  connecting_the_dots 
14 days ago by jerryking
To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  power_of_the_pause  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
What to Do When You’re Bored With Your Routines
March 29, 2019 | The New York Times | By Juli Fraga.

Boredom isn’t a character flaw. It’s a state brought on by a behavioral phenomenon called hedonic adaptation: the tendency for us to get used to things over time. This explains why initially gratifying activities and relationships can sometimes lose their luster. “Humans are remarkably good at growing accustomed to the positive and negative changes in their lives,” Sometimes this is a good thing, like when “it comes to adversities like losing a loved one, divorce or downsizing,” .....“We adjust fairly well, but this same flexibility can be detrimental to how we respond to positive life events.”....Think about the last time you got a raise, bought a new car, moved to a new city or fell in love. At first these experiences bring about an immense sense of joy, but over time they all just become part of the routine. We adjust our expectations and move on, ready for the next thing that will excite us again — this is called the hedonic treadmill. It’s why your favorite songs, TV shows and restaurants can start to feel dull after a while.......hedonic adaptation serves an evolutionary purpose.....“If our emotional reactions didn’t weaken with time, we couldn’t recognize novel changes that may signal rewards or threats,” we’d overlook cues needed to make important, daily decisions about our safety, relationships and careers.....understanding the connection between hedonic adaptation and boredom can help us maneuver around this “stuck” feeling. Psychologists have found that adaptation is more common when interactions with situations, people and events remain unchanged......

(1) Eat lunch with chopsticks (metaphorically speaking, that is):
eating food in unconventional ways can make eating and drinking feel more novel....The takeaway: Approaching tasks in imaginative ways could prevent boredom from sabotaging your (metaphorical) lunch hour.
(2) Work somewhere fresh:
Spending too much time in the same environment, as we all can, can cause a boredom buildup. If you work from home, mix things up by working in a new place, like a coffee shop or a library; if you work from an office, try changing up the layout of your desk or work area.......Changes don’t need to be large to have an impact. Simply accessorizing your desk with fresh flowers or approaching a work project in a novel way can make a difference....
(3) Entertain at home:
Not only is boredom a buzzkill, but it can be toxic to our partnerships. “Boredom is a common relationship issue that can lead to maladaptive coping skills,” .......While apathy can cause marital discontent, it can be tricky to recognize because relationships that are O.K. aren’t necessarily engaging, “Mixing up our social worlds can strengthen friendships and romantic partnerships because evolving relationships keep things interesting.” Try going out on a limb by doing something creative, like organizing a group cooking party, a themed dinner or an old-fashioned tea party.
(4) Pose a question:
Instead of asking well-worn questions like, “How was your day?” or “Did you have a good weekend?” get curious about a co-worker, friend or partner by asking something personal. Two standbys to try: “What are you looking forward to today?” or “Is there anything I can help you with this week?” If you really want to grab someone’s attention, try something quirkier like, “What’s one song that describes your mood today?” Interpersonal curiosity reminds those in our social circles that we’re interested in who they are. Not only that, but discovering new information about friends and co-workers can revitalize conversations and bolster intimacy.
(5) Mix up your commute:
Monotonous tasks like commuting to and from work can end one’s day on a stale note.If you drive, take a different route home or listen to a new podcast. If you walk or use public transportation, greet a stranger or put away your Smartphone and do some old-fashioned people watching.

Whatever you do to quell boredom, keep things interesting by altering your behavior often. Variety can not only interrupt hedonic adaptation; it might just be the spice of happiness.
adaptability  boredom  commuting  co-workers  creative_renewal  curiosity  habits  happiness  howto  psychologists  questions  relationships  routines  signals  variety 
april 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad - The New York Times
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

April 2, 2019

What do the most effective leaders today have in common? They wake up every morning and ask themselves the same questions: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I educate my citizens about this world and align my policies so more of my people can get the best out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

So what world are we living in?

(1) We’re living in a world that is becoming so interconnected — thanks to digitization, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, the cloud and soon-to-be 5G wireless transmissions — that we are becoming interdependent to an unprecedented degree. In this world, growth increasingly depends on the ability of yourself, your community, your town, your factory, your school and your country to be connected to more and more of the flows of knowledge and investment — and not just rely on stocks of stuff........The key to creating economic value has been to acquire some proprietary knowledge stocks, aggressively protect those knowledge stocks and then efficiently extract the economic value from those knowledge stocks and deliver them to the market. The challenge in a more rapidly changing world is that knowledge stocks depreciate at an accelerating rate. In this kind of world, the key source of economic value shifts from stocks to flows......yet Britain is ruled today by a party that wants to disconnect from a connected world....
(2) Understand that in a world of simultaneous accelerations in technology and globalization, keeping your country as open as possible to as many flows as possible is advantageous for two reasons: You get all the change signals first and have to respond to them and you attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers, who tend to be the people who start or advance new companies.....The best talent wants to go to the most open systems — open both to immigrants and trade — because that is where the most opportunities are. Britain is about to put up a big sign: GO AWAY.
(3) wise leaders also understand that all the big problems today are global problems, and they have only global solutions: climate change, trade rules, technology standards and preventing excesses and contagion in financial markets......small states/middle powers need to be part of a wider coalition like the European Union.
(4) the best leaders know a little history. Trump is fine with a world of competitive European nationalisms, not a strong European Union. So is Vladimir Putin. So, it seems, are the Brexiteers. How quickly they’ve all forgotten that the E.U. and NATO were built to prevent the very competitive nationalism that ran riot in Europe in the 20th century and brought us two world wars.
open_borders  accelerated_lifecycles  Brexit  Tom_Friedman  United_Kingdom  21st._century  EU  historical_amnesia  history  information_flows  interconnections  middle-powers  proprietary  questions  small_states  interdependence  talent_flows 
april 2019 by jerryking
Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” These words, often attributed to Peter Drucker, are frequently quoted by people who see culture at the heart of all great companies. Those same folks like to cite the likes of Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom, and Zappos, whose leaders point to their companies’ cultures as the secret of their success.

The argument goes something like this: “Strategy is on paper whereas culture determines how things get done. Anyone can come up with a fancy strategy, but it’s much harder to build a winning culture. Moreover, a brilliant strategy without a great culture is ‘all hat and no cattle,’ while a company with a winning culture can succeed even if its strategy is mediocre. Plus, it’s much easier to change strategy than culture.” The argument’s inevitable conclusion is that strategy is mere ham and eggs for culture.

But this misses a big opportunity to enhance the power of both culture and strategy. As I see it, the two most fundamental strategy questions are:

1. For the company, what businesses should you be in?

2. And for each of those businesses, what value proposition should you go to market with?

A company’s specific cultural strengths must be central to answering that first question. For example, high-margin, premium-product companies that serve wealthy customers do not belong in businesses where penny-pinching is a source of great pride and celebrated behavior. Southwest has chosen not to enter a NetJets-like business, and that’s a sound decision.

Likewise, companies whose identity and worth are based on discovery and innovation do not belong in low-margin, price-competitive businesses. For example, pharmaceutical companies that traditionally compete by discovering novel, patentable drugs and therapies will struggle to add value to businesses competing in generics. The cultural requirements are just too different. This is why universal banks struggle to win in both commercial and investment banking. Whatever synergies they might enjoy (for instance, from common customers and complementary capital needs) are more than offset by the cultural chasm between these two businesses: the value commercial bankers put on containing risk and knowing the customer, versus the value investment bankers have for taking risk and selling innovative financial products.

Maintaining cultural coherence across a company’s portfolio should be an essential factor when determining a corporate strategy. No culture, however strong, can overcome poor choices when it comes to corporate strategy. For example, GE has one of the most productive cultures in the world, and its former leader, Jack Welch, concedes that his acquisition of Kidder Peabody was a failure because its cultural needs did not fit GE’s cultural strengths. The impact of culture on a company’s success is only as good as its strategy is sound.

No culture, however strong, can overcome poor choices when it comes to corporate strategy.

Culture also looms large in answering the second question above. In most businesses, customers consider more than concrete features and benefits when choosing between alternative providers; they also consider “the intangibles.” In fact, these often become the tiebreaker when tangible differences are difficult to discern. For example, most wealthy individuals choose financial advisors more for their personal chemistry or connections than their particular range of mutual funds. Virgin Airlines tries to attract passengers who like its offbeat, non-establishment attitude in how it operates. Culture experts are right to point out Southwest, Nordstrom, and Zappos because these companies have instilled norms of behavior that are essential features of their winning value propositions: from offering consistently low-price, high-quality service in Southwest’s case, to consistently delivering surprising staff service at Nordstrom and leading customer satisfaction at Zappos. What these companies really demonstrate is how culture is an essential variable—much like your product offering, pricing policy, and distribution channels—that should be considered when choosing strategies for your individual businesses. This is especially so when the behavior of your people, and particularly your frontline staff, can give you an edge with your customers.

Strategy must be rooted in the cultural strengths you have and the cultural needs of your businesses. If culture is hard to change, which it is, then strategy is too. Both take years to build; both take years to change. This is one of the many reasons that established companies struggle with big disruptions in their markets. For example, all the major credit card companies are seeking to transition from traditional payments to digital commerce. This shift in strategy will be difficult to pull off. It not only requires a cultural change, but also a change in companies’ target customer, value propositions, and essential capabilities—the three most fundamental choices a business strategy comprises!

Consigning strategy to just a morning meal for culture does injustice to both. Confining culture to the narrow role of “enabling” strategy prevents it from strengthening strategy by being part of it. It also weakens the power of strategy to turn your company’s cultural strengths into a source of enduring advantage.

Don’t let culture eat strategy for breakfast. Have them feed each other.
cultural_clash  cultural_change  intangibles  management  organizational_culture  Peter_Drucker  questions  quotes  strategy  synergies  value_propositions  via:enochko  unscalability 
march 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
Amazon offers cautionary tale of AI-assisted hiring
January 23, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

the task of working out how to get the right people on the bus has got harder since 2001 when Jim Collins first framed it, as it has become clearer — and more research has underlined — that diverse teams are better at innovation. For good reasons of equity and fairness, the quest for greater balance in business has focused on gender, race and background. But these are merely proxies for a more useful measure of difference that is much harder to assess, let alone hire for: cognitive diversity. Might this knotty problem be solved with the help of AI and machine learning? Ming is sceptical. As she points out, most problems with technology are not technology problems, but human problems. Since humans inevitably inherit cultural biases, it is impossible to build an “unbiased AI” for hiring. “You simply have to recognise that the biases exist and put in the effort to do more than those default systems point you towards,” she says...........What Amazon’s experience suggests is that instead of sending bots to crawl over candidates’ past achievements, companies should be exploring ways in which computers can help them to assess and develop the long term potential of the people they invite to board the bus. Recruiters should ask, in Ming’s words, “Who will [these prospective candidates] be three years from now when they’re at their peak productivity inside the company? And that might be a very different story than who will deliver peak productivity the moment they walk in the door.”
heterogeneity  Amazon  artificial_intelligence  hiring  Jim_Collins  machine_learning  recruiting  teams  Vivienne_Ming  cautionary_tales  biases  diversity  intellectual_diversity  algorithms  questions  the_right_people 
january 2019 by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett  Pulitzer_Prize 
november 2018 by jerryking
Want to Seem More Likable? Try This
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

There’s an easy way to simultaneously coming off as more likable while working to build a deeper, more genuine connection with someone: Ask questions.

A study published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology analyzed getting-to-know-you conversations between platonic conversation partners, along with face-to-face speed-dating conversations, and found that in both settings “people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners.” (It even led to an increase in second dates among the speed-daters.)

Those follow-up questions, the study found, are especially helpful to increase how much we are liked because they show that we are listening sincerely and trying to show we care.
5_W’s  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  ice_breakers  likeability  listening  questions  second-order  small_talk  follow-up_questions 
september 2018 by jerryking
12 CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO BETTER DECISION-MAKING:
May 31, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here are 12 crucial factors that consultant Nathan Magnuson says you should consider in decision-making:

* Are you the right person to make the decision?
* What outcomes are you directly respons...
benefits  clarity  core_values  costs  data  data_driven  decision_making  delighting_customers  long-term  managing_up  Occam's_Razor  personal_control  priorities  questions  the_right_people 
may 2018 by jerryking
Fine-Tune Your B.S. Detector: You’ll Need It - WSJ
March 19, 2018 | WSJ | By Elizabeth Bernstein.

HOW CAN YOU SPOT B.S.?
Check the source. Is this person an expert or in a position to know the information? Why is he or she telling me? What does the person have to gain?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that we all suffer from confirmation bias—we’re more likely to believe something that confirms what we already think or want.

Ask questions. Research shows people are more likely to B.S. when they feel they can get away with it. “Ask them simply: ‘Why do you think that? How do you know that is true?’” ......“This will get them thinking critically.”

Don’t trust your gut. People who pause and think about whether information is true are better able to detect false information, research shows. “Rely on your prior knowledge,”

Ask for evidence. This is different than an explanation, which people can continue to spin. Facts don’t lie—but check them to make sure they are real.

Pay attention to people who discount evidence. “I don’t care what the experts say” is a red flag that the person is using B.S.

Stay offline when you’re tired. Research shows we’re more vulnerable to false claims when our cognitive resources—that is, brain power—are depleted.
infoliteracy  Elizabeth_Bernstein  confirmation_bias  misinformation  howto  skepticism  evidence  critical_thinking  questions  gut_feelings  unshared_information  5_W’s  bullshitake  pay_attention  power_of_the_pause 
march 2018 by jerryking
Getting smarter, knowing less
March 16, 2018 | FT | by Robert Armstrong.

The point is that for me, and perhaps most people, the main barrier to being smart is not what we do not know. It is the masses of things we know and mistakenly believe to be relevant.

My wife and I have been thinking about the next stage of our kids’ education. Being central-casting middle-class professional types, we hired an educational consultant to talk us through a range of state schools. She provided briefings about each school, crammed with facts about test scores, teacher turnover, class sizes, and so on.

Feeling slightly dizzy, I asked which bits I should pay attention to. She responded — with glorious honesty for someone being paid by the hour — that there was only one piece of information that really mattered: how many students are late or absent on a regular basis. If a school is the kind of place where almost everybody shows up and shows up on time, then it is the kind of place where kids and teachers can achieve a lot together. The rest is noise.

That comment made me smarter, not because it was a surprising revelation but because it allowed me to clear a lot of junk out of my head — and avoid putting a lot more junk into it. What we all need is the cognitive equivalent of decluttering guru Marie Kondo, who can help us to go into our own heads and throw out all the beliefs that have outlived their usefulness.
decluttering  problem_framing  signals  noise  information_overload  questions  smart_people  incisiveness  education  schools  pretense_of_knowledge  pay_attention  what_really_matters 
march 2018 by jerryking
Should You Buy Bitcoin? Ask a Different Question First
JAN. 5, 2018 | The New York Times | By CARL RICHARDS.

Goals >> Process >> Investments

asking if we should all buy Bitcoin is the wrong question, and that we should ask a different one instead. The question we should be asking ourselves is this: Does buying Bitcoin fit into my investment plan?

That is a much more important question and one that we can all answer much more easily. It places the attention on the process of investing correctly and not on the outcome of events that we have no control over.
Bitcoin  investing  personal_finance  questions  Philip_Mudd  problem_framing 
january 2018 by jerryking
China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge - The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman NOV. 14, 2017

The saying — “When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” — and it perfectly sums up the contrast between China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump.....All along, Xi keeps his eye on the long-term prize of making China great again. Trump, meanwhile, touts every minor victory as historic and proceeds down any road that will give him a quick sugar high.

Trump literally has no idea what he’s doing and has no integrated strategy — because, unlike Xi, Trump’s given no thought to the big questions every effective leader starts his day with: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I align my country so more of my citizens get the most out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

What world are we in? One in which we’re going through three “climate changes” at once.
(1) Destructive weather events and the degradation of ecosystems are steadily accelerating.
(2) globalization: from an interconnected world to an interdependent one; from a world of walls, where you build your wealth by hoarding resources, to a world of webs, where you thrive by connecting your citizens to the most flows of ideas, trade, innovation and education.
(3) technology and work: Machines are acquiring all five senses, and with big data and artificial intelligence, every company can now analyze, optimize, prophesize, customize, digitize and automatize more and more jobs, products and services. And those companies that don’t will wither.
Tom_Friedman  China  U.S.  Donald_Trump  globalization  technology  climate_change  TPP  international_trade  questions  think_threes  wealth_creation  grand_strategy  foundational  existential  extreme_weather_events 
november 2017 by jerryking
How I Avoid Confirmation Bias When Investing
Nov 8, 2017 | - The Experts - WSJ | By Ted Jenkin.

(1) Examine all evidence with equal rigor. If you have been sitting on cash during the stock market’s run this year or have been conservative with your investments choices, you may be feeling that you’ve missed out on big returns. And this could lead you to jump into some investments simply because you believe that the market highs will continue (and they have, after all), not because they are the right choice for your portfolio. I can remember a few years back when I thought I missed out on the 3-D printing run when those stocks were blazing.

You need to try to avoid such tendencies to accept confirming evidence without question by looking for real empirical data and evidence–and examining the evidence on both sides with equal rigor. For instance, consider whether the U.S. market is a better bet than international right now. Or, how the GOP tax plan will impact the markets. Make sure you ask yourself the tough questions.

In my case, I forced myself to first consider the downsides to investing in the emerging 3-D printing industry or what consolidation might happen along the way–and the effects it could have on the stocks I was considering. In the end, I took a pass.

(2) Get someone to play devil’s advocate. It has happened to the best of us, no matter our education or background in investing. You are at a dinner party or having a conversation in the kitchen at work when you hear someone say, “I just made 100% profit buying ABC stock, and this thing is just taking off.” When we hear of opportunities to make money, our interest is undoubtedly piqued. And if you hear a tip from a person you trust and like, chances are you will become convinced that it is, of course, a good idea.

Do yourself a favor and find someone you trust just as much to play devil’s advocate and argue the opposite. Ask the person to build a counter-argument using questions such as: What is the strongest reason to do something else? The second strongest reason? The third? What is the worst-case scenario? And can you live with it, if it happens? Then, consider this position with an open mind.

For me, it was a former boss. At times, I would grow frustrated with him because on the surface he would never agree with me when I presented an idea. Over the years, however, I realized it wasn’t really him challenging me as much as it was him challenging me to challenge my own thought process so I could be a better decision maker. His sage advice has made me a better investor today.

(3) Be honest with yourself about your motives. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can see John Brown through John Brown’s eyes, you can sell John Brown what John Brown buys?” I think it applies to the way I’ve looked at investments in the past–and the motives behind my decisions. We often don’t realize the power of our own motives–and we aren’t honest with ourselves about what they are.

For instance, when I’ve made money in a stock in the past, I’ve felt that those gains justify holding onto to the stock for the long term–even if the stock isn’t performing as well as it once did. So now, when I start doing research about that stock’s prospects, I need to make sure that I am really gathering information to help figure me out the right time to sell the stock. This will help me to determine whether any long-held desire to keep an investment is rooted in sound financial reasoning or is just based on pride or another emotion.

(4) Don’t ask leading questions. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an investor is to ask questions that set you up to get the answer you want–not the answer you need.....if you find that your financial adviser always agrees with your investment ideas, it may be time to find a different adviser. Healthy and heated debates with my adviser have allowed me to make better personal and business decisions over the years.
personal_finance  investing  confirmation_bias  questions  financial_advisors  worst-case  devil’s_advocates  biases  self-delusions  motivations  hard_questions  counter-arguments  red_teams  open_mind 
november 2017 by jerryking
7 Closing Strategies to Double Your Average Sale Size
August 11 | Entrepreneur Magazine | Marc Wayshak - GUEST WRITER
Your success depends on closing bigger, better deals. Put your time and energy into prospects with the power to make large investments and introduce you to others who can do the same.

1. Get over your fear.
Many salespeople are simply too scared to sell to huge companies...... large companies face the same problems as your small customers do, just on a bigger scale. This means they need a bigger version of your solution -- and they have the budget to match. Get over your fear.

2. Stand apart from the crowd.
High-level prospects hear from an average of 10 salespeople every day. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll never get through to them or earn their trust. To double your average sales size, you must be intentional about standing apart from the crowd in your industry. While others pitch, you should ask questions. While others are enthusiastic, you should be low-key and genuine. While your competitors focus on their products, you should focus on your prospect’s deepest frustrations and show how you can solve them.

3. Stop selling to low-level prospects.
Selling low-level prospects harms your close rate and decreasing your average sale size. Low-level prospects simply don’t have the power or budget to tell you “yes." They’re not the decision-makers. If you want to increase the size of your sales, stop selling to prospects who lack the budget to invest in your solution.

4. Sell to decision-makers.
It’s a best practice to head straight to the top of the food chain and sell to directors, vice presidents, and C-level executives. They have the power and budget to say “yes” to your offer. If someone refers you back down the chain, you’re still landing an introduction to the right person -- by his or her boss, no less.

5. Stop cold-calling.
Cold calls are miserable. Try implementing a sales-prospecting campaign. Plan your calls, letters and emails as follow-ups to a valuable letter or package you send via FedEx. This could be a special report, unique sample or company analysis. These intentional, repeated touches over a series of months will set you up as a familiar name by the time you actually get your prospect on the phone. When a huge sale is on the line, you can afford to invest time and money to catch a single prospect’s attention.

6. Know the decision-making process.
If you’ve closed only small deals at small companies in the past, you might be accustomed to working with just one or two decision-makers at a time. In large corporations, the decision-making process can be much more complicated. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is failing to understand the decision-making process. Get a grasp of this early on, and you can stay in front of the right people, build value for them and close your sales at higher prices.

7. Leverage sales for introductions.
When you close one large sale at a big organization, don’t stop there. Ask new customers for introductions to others in their company or network who could benefit from your offering. You have nothing to lose by asking for introductions, but failure to do so will cost you massive opportunity and revenue.
Gulliver_strategies  sales  fear  large_companies  differentiation  sales_cycle  buyer_choice_rejection  cold_calling  referrals  prospects  JCK  executive_management  campaigns  Aimia  LBMA  strategic_thinking  close_rate  questions  thinking_big  enterprise_clients  C-suite  low-key  authenticity  doubling  the_right_people 
august 2017 by jerryking
Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk - WSJ
By Sue Shellenbarger
Updated May 23, 2017

Only one in four people sees value in asking probing questions of strangers, based on a Contacts Count survey of 1,000 people. Doing so can be risky, says Lynne Waymon, the firm’s CEO and co-author of a book on networking. “I’m demanding more of you when I ask thought-provoking questions. I’m making an assumption that you’re in this conversation to make something of it—that you’re not going to see somebody across the room and say, ‘Oh, I need to go talk to Susan or Bob,’” she says. “But the connections you make are going to be much more dramatic and long-lasting.”
Sue_Shellenbarger  conversations  ice-breakers  questions  Communicating_&_Connecting  open-ended  small_talk 
may 2017 by jerryking
The Great Questions of Tomorrow: David Rothkopf: 9781501119941: Books - Amazon.ca
“Asking the right question is the biggest challenge we face. People typically let the immediate past shape their questions—how do we avoid another shoe bomber is an example, when that’s not a risk that we’re likely to face. Or they let their area of expertise and their desire to be useful shift their focus. This is kind of the when-all-you-have-is-a-hammer-everything-looks-like-a-nail problem, and it leads people who feel the future is drone warfare to ask questions that end in answers that require drone warfare. Or, to choose an example, it leads people who have spent much of their adult lives fighting Saddam Hussein to ask questions after 9/11 about his role, even though he didn’t have one. And that did not turn out well.”

So, in the end, Hamlet had it wrong. “To be or not to be” is not the question. The question of questions is, “What is the question?” In this respect, history tells us to start with the basics, the foundational questions that we have for too long taken for granted. There are questions like: “Who am I?” “Who rules?” “What is money?” “What is a job?” “What is peace?” and “What is war?”
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Podcast : http://dcs.megaphone.fm/PNP5814408937.mp3?key=6548e439290ceeb43bb04f17f90d55bf
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"The biggest problems with Trump is that his daily melodramas are distracting us from the big challenges of our age," says David Rothkopf, whose book, The Great Questions of Tomorrow, seems to have bypassed the White House. "You cannot tweet or bully your way to leadership in complex times." [29 April/30 April 2017 | FT Weekend pg. 4 | by Edward Luce]
5_W’s  Amazon  asking_the_right_questions  books  David_Rothkopf  distractions  Edward_Luce  existential  expertise_bias  foundational  metacognition  podcasts  questions  recency_bias 
april 2017 by jerryking
Remembering David Livingstone: The man who knew outfits and interviews inside out - The Globe and Mail
BERNADETTE MORRA
Special to The Globe and Mail (includes correction)
Published Friday, Apr. 21, 2017

Many times we would be watching an outfit come down the runway and he would lean over and say something like, “those shoes remind me of that song …” and then he would quote the lyrics of a jazz tune sung by someone I’d never heard of. Long before there was an Internet or easy access to databases, Livingstone was salting his copy with obscure references from films and literature.

Photographers and publicists who sat in on his interviews with designers, actors and models all have stories of the depth and breadth of his knowledge, and how he applied it to the seemingly trite world of fashion.....“He was a massive fan of cinema – he would see one film by a Hungarian director then hunt down their entire library. He was always so well-prepared at interviews, he would form an instant, genuine connection. He put his heart and soul into everything he did.”

Livingstone’s dedication to editorial excellence was both staggering and maddening.....his prose was unbeatable. A diamond cuff bracelet was “as wide as a crosswalk.” The lighting in his overpriced European hotel was so bad, reading his laptop was “like trying to read the marks left by a stick in dirty water.”...“He asked questions no one else asked,” notes Dawn Bellini, senior director of marketing and public relations for Hugo Boss Canada. “Often it was about the button stance or why you had to have something on a lapel. Interviews went way over time. He took much longer than anyone else. But to him details and the back story mattered.”....“He didn’t want to talk about skirt lengths. The conversation was about books and movies. He always made us think. And afterward, we would reflect and grow from that.”....The lack of accuracy and context in today’s 140-character world irked my friend and colleague to no end. But that didn’t stop him from mentoring young talent when he saw potential.
tributes  obituaries  fashion  journalists  journalism  detail_oriented  questions  mentoring  industry_expertise  inside_out 
april 2017 by jerryking
Informed Patient? Don’t Bet On It
MARCH 1, 2017 | The New York Times | By MIKKAEL A. SEKERES, M.D. and TIMOTHY D. GILLIGAN, M.D.

■ Ask us to use common words and terms. If your doctor says that you’ll end up with a “simple iliac ileal conduit” or a “urostomy,” feel free to say “I don’t understand those words. Can you explain what that means?”

■ Summarize back what you heard. “So I should split my birth control pills in half and take half myself and give the other half to my boyfriend?” That way, if you’ve misunderstood what we did a poor job of explaining, there will be a chance to straighten it out: “No, that’s not right. You should take the whole pill yourself.”

■ Request written materials, or even pictures or videos. We all learn in different ways and at different paces, and “hard copies” of information that you can take time to absorb at home may be more helpful than the few minutes in our offices.

■ Ask for best-case, worst-case, and most likely scenarios, along with the chance of each one occurring.

■ Ask if you can talk to someone who has undergone the surgery, or received the chemotherapy. That person will have a different kind of understanding of what the experience was like than we do.

■ Explore alternative treatment options, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. “If I saw 10 different experts in my condition, how many would recommend the same treatment you are recommending?”
■ Take notes, and bring someone else to your appointments to be your advocate, ask the questions you may be reluctant to, and be your “accessory brain,” to help process the information we are trying to convey.
Communicating_&_Connecting  clarity  doctor's_visits  questions  mens'_health  learning_journeys  medical  probabilities  plain_English  referrals  note_taking  appointments  advocacy  worst-case  best-case  medical_communication 
march 2017 by jerryking
What Comes After Acheson’s Creation? - WSJ
By PEGGY NOONAN
Feb. 9, 2017

The U.S. military needs to know what the U.S. government seeks from it. The White House need to communicate an overarching plan because if there’s no higher plan they, in turn, can’t make plans to meet the plan.....like tornado victims, those interested in foreign policy have been [shellshocked]—staring in shock at the wreckage of the post-War II international system.

But something has to be rebuilt. Everyone now has to be an architect, or a cement-pourer, or a master craftsman carpenter.

It’s been instructive the past week to reread a small classic of statecraft, “Present at the Creation” by Dean Acheson, published in 1969. As undersecretary and then secretary of state he was involved in the creation of the postwar order.

What is inspiring about Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is that he’s like a lot of those we have developing foreign policy right now.

Acheson, though he did not present it this way, provides useful lessons for future diplomats in future crises.

• Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch.
• Don’t mess things up at the beginning.
• Be able to see your work soberly. Keep notes so history will know what happened.
• Cheer up. Good things can come of bad times, great things from fiercely imperfect individuals.
• Even though you’ll wind up disappointed. All diplomats in the end feel frustrated over missed opportunities and achievements that slipped away. “Alas, that is life. We cannot live our dreams.”

Still to be answered: What is America’s strategy now—our overarching vision, our big theme and intent? What are the priorities? How, now, to navigate the world?

That soldier needs an answer to his question: What do you need from us? What’s the plan?
questions  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  diplomacy  Dean_Acheson  Marshall_Plan  Peggy_Noonan  priorities  change  statecraft  books  Cold_War  international_system  rebuilding  dislocations  The_Establishment  crisis  crisis_management  Communicating_&_Connecting  grand_strategy  statesmen  imperfections  U.S._military  note_taking  missed_opportunities 
february 2017 by jerryking
Those who focus on police reform are asking the wrong questions - The Globe and Mail
AMANDA ALEXANDER
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 29, 2016

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile underscore two truths about the United States: We make it difficult for people to get by and harder yet to care for each other. After decades of slashing welfare budgets and increasing investments in prisons, federal and state governments have charted a path for the country’s poorest: aggressive policing and incarceration. We’ve locked people out of the formal job market and criminalized their survival.

It is not coincidental that officers in New York and Baton Rouge killed Eric Garner and Alton Sterling, respectively, in the course of policing informal economies (selling loose cigarettes and CDs). We simply make life hard for people – until we extinguish it entirely....Each day, we require black people to risk their lives to be cafeteria workers, teachers, therapists. The United States demands impossible sacrifices from black people to sustain its economy, and has since slavery.

What does this have to do with police reform?

Very little. Reformers are asking the wrong questions. They have turned to increased police training and altered use-of-force protocols to end this nightmare. Fortunately, some among us demand another way. Young black activists are not just asking, “How do we make cops stop shooting us?” but instead, “What do our communities need to thrive? How do we get free?” They’re not begging for scraps; they’re demanding the world they deserve. If there’s a future for any of us, it’s in asking these questions, demanding fundamental shifts in resources and organizing like hell.....Meanwhile, cash-strapped cities continue to raise revenue from policing and fining the poor. And because of insufficient social service investment, Americans rely on police to be first responders to crises of mental health, addiction and homelessness.
policing  African-Americans  reform  informal_economy  mental_health  addictions  existential  foundational  homelessness  community_organizing  incarceration  institutional_path_dependency  structural_change  questions  Black_Lives_Matter  cash-strapped  cities  reframing  political_organizing 
july 2016 by jerryking
The Power of ‘Why?’ and ‘What If?’ - The New York Times
JULY 2, 2016 | New York Times | By WARREN BERGER.

business leaders want the people working around them to be more curious, more cognizant of what they don’t know, and more inquisitive — about everything, including “Why am I doing my job the way I do it?” and “How might our company find new opportunities?”....Companies in many industries today must contend with rapid change and rising uncertainty. In such conditions, even a well-established company cannot rest on its expertise; there is pressure to keep learning what’s new and anticipating what’s next. It’s hard to do any of that without asking questions.

Steve Quatrano, a member of the Right Question Institute, a nonprofit research group, explains that the act of formulating questions enables us “to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.” This makes questioning a good skill to hone in dynamic times.....So how can companies encourage people to ask more questions? There are simple ways to train people to become more comfortable and proficient at it. For example, question formulation exercises can be used as a substitute for conventional brainstorming sessions. The idea is to put a problem or challenge in front of a group of people and instead of asking for ideas, instruct participants to generate as many relevant questions as they can.......Getting employees to ask more questions is the easy part; getting management to respond well to those questions can be harder.......think of “what if” and “how might we” questions about the company’s goals and plans........Leaders can also encourage companywide questioning by being more curious and inquisitive themselves.
asking_the_right_questions  questions  curiosity  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  unknowns  leadership  innovation  idea_generation  ideas  information_gaps  cost_of_inaction  expertise  anticipating  brainstorming  dynamic  change  uncertainty  rapid_change  inquisitiveness  Dr.Alexander's_Question  incisiveness  leaders  companywide 
july 2016 by jerryking
President Obama Quotes Carl Sagan at Rutgers: “Embrace What is True Rather Than What Feels Good”
It calls to mind the words of Carl Sagan, who graduated high school here in New Jersey, he said: “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
questions  quotes  Obama  affirmations  self-delusions  courage  arduous 
june 2016 by jerryking
Life’s Work
May 2915 | HBR | Alison Beard

"In the business of storytelling, you're looking for originality in the subject and point of view....which ideas feel authentic and new?"

Can curiosity be taught? Some people have more than others, but to use it as a tool takes work. You have to assault a topic kind of like a scientist and ask endless questions.

"But I still had to do what Lew Wasserman told me: Start manufacturing ideas"

"When people look at you, you have a chance to be a leader"
HBR  Brian_Grazer  curiosity  storytelling  films  movies  ideas  idea_generation  Hollywood  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  self-actualization  creativity  creative_renewal  studios  producers  questions  originality  perspectives  authenticity  pitches  independent_viewpoints  personal_accomplishments  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
april 2016 by jerryking
A rigorous Canadian innovation policy needs to be able to evolve and pivot - The Globe and Mail
BILAL KHAN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

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But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.

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innovation  innovation_policies  public_policy  agility  risk-taking  Todd_Hirsch  curiosity  organizational_culture  inquisitiveness  questions  bottom-up  hard_questions  asking_the_right_questions  tax_codes 
april 2016 by jerryking
Being John Ibbitson
August 1, 2006 | Ryerson Review of Journalism | Barry Hertz.

What his columns lack in personal detail, he makes up for in research. He is one of the few columnists who actually reports rather than simply sitting back and spouting his opinions. He noticed a weakness of his colleagues – too much analysis, not enough research – and began to emulate his favourite drama critic, Nathan Cohen. “He offered a good recipe for analyzing public policy as he did for theatre, which was just asking three questions,” explains Ibbitson. “What are you doing? How are you doing it? And, is it a good idea in the first place?”
John_Ibbitson  questions  worthiness  public_policy  columnists  discernment  think_threes  5_W’s 
april 2016 by jerryking
Lessons in listening | Evernote Web
February 6, 2016 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper

(1) Ask people about themselves. Actually listen.
(2) Banish the idea that the person you're listening to is boring and predictable.
(3) Shut up!!!!!
(4) Make an encouraging remark or ask for elucidation.
(5) Allow silences to exist/occur.
(6) Ask questions
(7) A consultant who, instead of telling clients what he has to offer, usually asks them, "what's top of mind?"....[they respond]...[you counter with] "it so happens that we've for just the product for that".
(8) If folks are truly boring, get them to talk about their lives.
(9). Seduce. Ask people, "so what do you think we should change around here?"
Simon_Kuper  listening  howto  dating  questions  management_consulting  prospecting 
february 2016 by jerryking
The One Question You Should Ask About Every New Job - The New York Times
Adam Grant DEC. 19, 2015

The culture of a workplace — an organization’s values, norms and practices — has a huge impact on our happiness and success.....
But how do you figure out the culture of a company you’ve never worked for? As Nicole tried to evaluate company cultures, she kept asking the Passover question: “How is this organization different from all other organizations?” And, as with Passover, I told Nicole, the answer should come in the form of a story. Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn’t elsewhere....If you’re still unsure where to work, start asking for stories about one practice that says a lot about a culture — a practice that consumes more than half of the time in big organizations. When people find it productive and enjoyable, that’s a good sign.
new_graduates  job_search  storytelling  organizational_culture  Managing_Your_Career  questions  Adam_Grant 
january 2016 by jerryking
The charismatic lord of chaos
November 2015 | FT | Janan Ganesh.

“More time to study”, Mourinho theorises, is what makes undistinguished footballers great managers. ...knew early on that management was his calling....Already multingual and obsessed by the fine margins that decide matches, he left business school after a day to study sports science at the Technical University of Lisbon.From there he chased coaching qualifications and passed through several clubs until a beguiling offer came in 1992. Bobby Robson, Sporting Lisbon's new English manager, needed an interpreter. The job would divert Mourinho from coaching but would acquaint him with a wise elder of the game.... Proximity to megastars taught him his tactical mastery would amount to nothing without the charisma to bend millionaires to his will. He took the education home, where he worked his way to Porto as head coach.....The Mourinho method blends logic with emotion. The coach wins by devising sophisticated game plans, but also by creating an intense working atmosphere that eventually burns itself out.
soccer  coaching  strategic_thinking  questions  logic_&_reasoning  emotions  Janan_Ganesh 
november 2015 by jerryking
How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice - The New York Times
SEPT. 26, 2015 | NYT | By MARGARET MORFORD.

(1) Make the meeting convenient. Ask for time frames that would work well, and meet at a place that is convenient for them, even if you have to drive across town.
(2) Buy their coffee or meal.
(3) Go with a prepared list of questions. People whose advice is worth seeking are busy.
(4) Don’t argue about their advice or point out why it wouldn’t work for you. You can ask for clarification by finding out how they would handle a particular concern you have, but don’t go beyond that. You get to decide whether or not to use their advice.
(5) Don’t ask for intellectual property or materials.
(6) Never ask for any written follow-up. It is your job to take good notes during your meeting, not their job to send you bullet points after the meeting. No one should get homework after agreeing to help someone.
(7) Spend time at the end of the meeting finding out what you can do for them.
(8) Always thank them more than once. Follow up with a handwritten note — not an email or a text.
(9) Do not refer others to the same expert.
(10) Ask an expert for free help only once. If the help someone offered you was so valuable that you would like them to provide it again, then pay for it the next time.
(11) As you ask people for help, always consider how you in turn can help others.
best_of  tips  torchbearers  networking  questions  gratitude  serving_others  note_taking  mentoring  advice  handwritten  leeches  brevity 
september 2015 by jerryking
Mark Toole's answer to What can you teach me that can be useful in my life? - Quora
Initiative:
If there is something that you want, something that would improve your life, find a way to take positive action towards it. Maybe it isn’t your job. Maybe you can get away with not doing it. Take action anyways. Turn on the light.

Ask forgiveness, not permission:
If the likelihood of harming yourself or someone else is low, do what needs to be done and deal with any problems if they come up. So many people are paralyzed by this, so developing this habit alone will change your life.

Help people, expect nothing:
Be the person who makes things better for other people. Leave things better than you found them. Wipe off the counter when someone else leaves a mess.... Most people will never notice or appreciate it. Some people will. These are the only people who matter.

Keep learning, keep asking questions:
If you want to know something, try to find out the answer. Ask people. When you think you know something, answer other people’s questions about it. Teaching or explaining something expands your own knowledge on the subject. Read a lot on a variety of subjects, fiction and nonfiction. Take online courses.... Ask thought provoking questions. Constantly improve. Maintain your curiosity.
life-changing  life_skills  Quora  curiosity  questions  serving_others  life_long_learning  individual_initiative  foregiveness  permissions 
september 2015 by jerryking
Technology Questions Every CMO Must Ask
Will the technology advance a critical marketing priority?
questions  CMOs  technology  marketing  HBR  LBMA 
september 2015 by jerryking
Learn to Ask Better Questions - HBR
John Baldoni
FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Be curious.... Being curious is essential to asking good questions.

Be open-ended. Leaders should ask questions that get people to reveal not simply what happened, but also what they were thinking. Open-ended questions prevent you from making judgments based on assumptions, and can elicit some surprising answers.

Be engaged. When you ask questions, act like you care. Yes, act — show that you are interested with affirmative facial expressions and engaged body language. ... An interested interviewer will get the person to talk in depth about how he or she rebounded from failure. That trait is worthy of consideration in recruiting. But interviewees will only open open up — especially on sensitive subjects — if you actively show interest.

Dig deeper.... when information surfaces in your dialogue, dig for details without straying into recrimination. Get the whole story. Remember, problems on your team are, first and foremost, your problems.
questions  HBR  howto  curiosity  second-order  body_language  open-ended  follow-up_questions 
june 2015 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
David Carr, a Journalist at the Center of the Sweet Spot - NYTimes.com
By A. O. SCOTTFEB. 13, 2015

David’s public contribution to the profession — his columns and feature stories, his interviews and investigations — is part of the record, and part of the glory of this newspaper. He covered every corner of the media business (including, sometimes, his own employer) with analytical acumen, ethical rigor and gumshoe tenacity.

He managed to see the complexities of digital-age journalism from every angle, and to write about it with unparalleled clarity and wit.

....“What else?” was the question that would punctuate every conversation with him. What were you working on? What did you think of this or that political event, show-business caper or piece of office gossip? How was your family? What were you thinking? This was sincere, friendly curiosity, the expression of a naturally gregarious temperament. But it was also the operation of a tireless journalistic instinct. David was always hungry for stories. He was a collector of personalities and anecdotes, a shrewd and compassionate judge of character. A warrior for the truth.
David_Carr  journalists  journalism  tributes  business_acumen  obituaries  digital_media  NYT  newspapers  curiosity  questions  memoirists  anecdotal 
february 2015 by jerryking
It’s a Whole New Data Game for Business - WSJ
Feb. 9, 2015 | WSJ |

opportunistic data collection is leading to entirely new kinds of data that aren’t well suited to the existing statistical and data-mining methodologies. So point number one is that you need to think hard about the questions that you have and about the way that the data were collected and build new statistical tools to answer those questions. Don’t expect the existing software package that you have is going to give you the tools you need....Point number two is having to deal with distributed data....What do you do when the data that you want to analyze are actually in different places?

There’s lots of clever solutions for doing that. But at some point, the volume of data’s going to outstrip the ability to do that. You’re forced to think about how you might, for example, reduce those data sets, so that they’re easier to move.
data  data_collection  datasets  data_mining  massive_data_sets  distributed_data  haystacks  questions  tools  unstructured_data 
february 2015 by jerryking
The Sex Question Readers Want Answered Most - WSJ
By ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN
Feb. 10, 2014

To rekindle the flame, skip the flowers and chocolate. Ditto the plan to get something going on your birthday or anniversary. "These are clichés,"..."We've been there and done that. The novelty has worn off."...Step One is to have a conversation with your spouse—and choose your words carefully...."The heart of all this sex stuff is emotional intimacy," she says. "If you actually want to make changes in your sex life, that's where you start."
Communicating_&_Connecting  Elizabeth_Bernstein  clichés  relationships  sex  sexuality  men  marriage  intimacy  questions 
february 2015 by jerryking
The network effect
Jan 19th, 2015 | Comments to article in the Economist by guest-smamejj.

Networking is not a one off event. All the best networkers work hard at two things.

1. Building a broad network of qualit...
networking  Communicating_&_Connecting  network_effects  listening  questions  attentiveness 
january 2015 by jerryking
Small words make a big difference: how to ask incisive usability questions for richer results | Loop11
abbreviated “ASK” – which helps me to focus on crafting constructive questions. Here it is:

A. Avoid starting with words like “Are”, “Do”, and “Have”. Questions that start with these type of verbs are a surefire way to nip insights in the bud. It can lead to what’s called a closed question, i.e. something that can literally close a conversation with a “Yes” or “No” answer. While it may be useful to gather this sort of data at times, try instead to open it up. Using open questions, as Changing Minds notes, gives us time to think, reflect, and provide opinions.
S. Start with W. The 5 W’s – i.e. who, what, when, where, and why – are the building blocks for information-gathering. It’s a tool from rhetoric, historically attributed to the Greeks and Romans. Essentially, the 5 W’s help us pull out the particulars. The magic behind them is that none of them can be answered with just a “yes” or “no”, so we’re always going to get a bit more of an expressive answer from subjects.
K. Keep it short. As researchers, we can often let curiosity get the best of us. Excited, we may list out a string of questions, asking more than necessary. By asking more than one question at a time, we ruin the focus of a conversation. We should try to keep our questions short and sweet, so that they may be digested more appropriately.
questions  open-ended  brevity  howto  insights  rhetoric  Romans  Greek  focus  incisiveness  5_W’s  small_moves 
december 2014 by jerryking
‘Being Mortal’ Explores the Benefits of Setting Goals for Death - NYTimes.com
OCT. 6, 2014 | NYT |By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D.

Being Mortal
Medicine and What Matters in the End.
By Atul Gawande, M.D.
Metropolitan Books. 282 pages. $26. Credit Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

Another is the author’s palpable enthusiasm as he learns that many of the most difficult conversations doctors should have with their patients can be initiated with only a few questions. (What are your fears? Your hopes? The trade-offs you will and will not make?) One suspects a new checklist may be in the offing.
Atul_Gawande  books  book_reviews  stressful  conversations  end-of-life  tradeoffs  questions  medical_communication  difficult_conversations  checklists  what_really_matters 
october 2014 by jerryking
How CEOs Can Manage Information Technology - WSJ
By JEANNE W. ROSS And PETER WEILL
April 25, 2011
Question No. 1
Are we using technology to transform our business, or are we just adding bells and whistles to existing processes?
Question No. 2
Are you ignoring important business differences as you standardize processes
across the company?
Question No. 3
Who is making sure the company's digital strategy is being implemented?
Question No. 4
Is electronic data empowering your people or controlling them?
Bonus: Question No. 5
What is the investment in reducing IT cost to Run-the-Business versus investing in business advantage initiatives in order to Change-the-Business?
CEOs  questions  IT  company  transformational  cost-cutting  CIOs  digital_strategies 
october 2014 by jerryking
Five questions to hone your business strategy - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Sep. 28 2014

1. Why does our business deserve to succeed?
2. What would a new CEO do?
3. Imagine it is three to six years in the future and the proposed strategy has been unsuccessful. Why did it fail?
4. What would have to be true for our strategy to succeed?
5. Would I put my own money into this?
strategy  business_planning  Harvey_Schachter  execution  effectiveness  assumptions  anticipating  questions  biases  overconfidence  self-delusions  skin_in_the_game 
september 2014 by jerryking
A few questions to ask yourself
August 22, 2014 | - Western Alumni | by Robert Collins, BA'77.

Attending events. Helping arrange them by joining branch committees. Volunteering to speak or host events. These are all ways to bring forward your Western connection and ensure its ongoing relevance.

But let me also share a few questions you can ask yourself about staying connected and getting involved: When you read the Alumni Gazette, and other publications, ask the question, “Are there people, research ideas or developments underway I could assist in via my social or workplace connections?” As our career services for alumni, in addition to our career services for students and recent graduates, evolve, ask yourself, “How can I assist? Can I become a mentor, share my company’s vacancies or host a work experience?”

As students develop their entrepreneurial talents through some new services underway on campus, ask yourself, “Could I become a mentor, an ‘angel’ investor or a purchaser of their products and services?” Perhaps even in all things, ask yourself, “Do I have a talent, resource or connection that would benefit another Western student or alumnus?”
serving_others  Ivey  UWO  Colleges_&_Universities  questions  alumni  volunteering 
september 2014 by jerryking
Four Ways to Spot a Great Teacher - WSJ
By DANA GOLDSTEIN
Updated Sept. 4, 2014

Great teachers:

• Have active intellectual lives outside their classrooms.

• Believe intelligence is achievable, not inborn.

• Are data-driven.

• Ask great questions.
education  howto  teaching  teachers  questions  best_of 
september 2014 by jerryking
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ
Aug. 29, 2014 | WSJ | By HENRY KISSINGER.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
U.S.foreign_policy  Henry_Kissinger  geopolitics  dual-consciousness  crisis  Kissinger_Associates  strategic_thinking  strategy  questions  21st._century  international_system  grand_strategy  history  national_identity  unilateralism  multilateralism  arduous  APNSA 
august 2014 by jerryking
If you ever wondered how math class could help you later in life, here’s your answer - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 18 2014 | The Globe and Mail | ERIN ANDERSSEN

Jordan Ellenberg’s new book, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.

In a world brimming with information, math is an important tool to help spot statistical glitches and everyday fallacies, but it’s being lost. “Math is the science of not being wrong about things,” he writes. “Knowing math is like wearing a pair of X-ray specs that reveal hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of the world.”....Mathematical amateurs have all kinds of reasons to use math. It helps them learn the difference between correlation and causation, to see the flaw in statistics, to spot a sneaky sell.

“Math is the science of not being wrong.” Ellenberg writes. In the real world, it doesn’t just find the right answers – it teaches us to ask the right question in the first place.
mathematics  books  messiness  correlations  anomalies  numeracy  mistakes  sleaze  questions  tools  ratios  asking_the_right_questions  causality  statistics  in_the_real_world 
june 2014 by jerryking
Q&A: Tips From a Serial Job Interviewer - At Work - WSJ
Jun 10, 2014| WSJ |By ADAM RUBENFIRE.

WSJ: Over the course of 100 interviews, you’ve been asked a lot of questions. Which ones caught you by surprise?

Faruqi: The ones that caught me by surprise were the ones that were either really good or really bad. Some of the best that I’ve been asked were: “What values did you grow up with? What makes you proud of who you are?” Also, “What’s the most exaggerated point on your résumé?”
interview_preparation  job_search  questions  interviews  hiring  financial_services  Wall_Street  Wharton  alumni 
june 2014 by jerryking
The Most Important Question You Can Ask
APRIL 25, 2014 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

The answer to “In the service of what?” is to add more value to the commons than we take out, and not to discount any good that we can do.

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference,” said the children’s rights advocate Marian Wright Edelman, “ignore the small daily differences we can make, which, over time, add up to big differences that we cannot foresee.”

Personal accomplishments make us feel good. Adding value to other people’s lives makes us feel good about ourselves. But there is a difference. The good feelings we get from serving others are deeper and last longer. Think for a moment about what you want your children to remember about you after you’re gone. Do more of that.
work_life_balance  Tony_Schwartz  serving_others  hedge_funds  questions  slight_edge  legacies  values  life_skills  compounded  personal_accomplishments  foundational  cumulative 
april 2014 by jerryking
Chef Michael Bonacini’s five top tips for success
COURTNEY SHEA
Published Sunday, Mar. 16 2014
Keep your eye on the oven

In terms of the mistakes I see from the contestants on Masterchef Canada, the most common thing is that a cook will lose focus. When you’re in the kitchen, this is the most important thing and it’s that much harder because of the competition and the cameras. It’s so easy to let your mind wander for a second and all of a sudden you’re heading off in three or four different directions. Focus is what will allow you to stick to a vision and hopefully deliver a good product. T
Pay to be picky [jk...be conservative, be discerning, be picky, be selective, say "no"]
Peter [Oliver] and I get a lot of offers to do restaurants – a new build, taking over an existing establishment, a hotel. The first question we ask ourselves is, does it fit the brand? The landlord, the building, the location – do all of these things align with who we are and where we want to go? Then there are the business aspects. What is the rent? What are the build-out costs? There are so many checkpoints that we go through. Eight times out of 10, it’s a pretty quick no. Being very discerning about the projects we get involved with has allowed us to maintain our reputation for so many years.
Lots in a name
Don’t be a rose-tinted restaurateur
Consistent is better than cool
chefs  restaurants  restauranteurs  ksfs  entrepreneur  tips  questions  brands  selectivity  checklists  reputation  consistency  focus  discernment  say_"no"  personal_branding 
march 2014 by jerryking
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race — Tech News and Analysis
By John Foreman, MailChimp
Jan. 18, 2014

meat space is an internet-first way of viewing the world.

The research questions that might be answered with this type of tracking data are endless:

What menu items served at breakfast at the resort hotel restaurants will result in the longest stay at the park?
Do we detect an influx of park-goers into the bathrooms for long stays on the toilet? Perhaps they all ate at the same place, and we can cut off a foodborne illness problem before it gets worse.
Is there a roller coaster that’s correlated with early park departure or a high incidence of bathroom visits? That means less money in the park’s pockets. How might that coaster be altered?
Is there a particular ride and food fingerprint for the type of park visitor that’s likely to buy in-park high-dollar merchandise? If so, can we actively get vendors in front of this attendee’s eye by moving hawkers to them at just the right time?
data  privacy  Disney  RFID  sensors  massive_data_sets  data_driven  data_scientists  theme_parks  personalization  tracking  scheduling  queuing  meat_space  digital_first  questions 
january 2014 by jerryking
The Power of Asking | Adam Smith, Esq.
December 3, 2013

Today we have a column by my partner in Adam Smith, Esq., Janet Stanton.
questions  IDEO  Bruce_MacEwen 
december 2013 by jerryking
The damaging legacy of discovery learning - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 05 2013

The 2012 math rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, in which Canada slipped to 13th place, are based on average test scores..... it’s important to distinguish between what Canada’s notable drop in international student rankings can and can’t tell us about how our kids our doing.

First, some context: The two most damaging developments to hit public education have been the power of teaching fads and the proliferation of standardized testing. Fads are dangerous because they are often based on shaky hypotheses about how children learn, and are blindly embraced by impressionable teachers keen to make a difference but lacking in the experience and training needed to transmit knowledge or the talent to light the spark in their students.

Standardized testing is not bad in itself. But education policy has become hostage to testing data. The result is a disproportionate focus on raising the average scores of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and less emphasis on producing top students, regardless of income....As education historian and influential U.S. testing critic Diane Ravitch blogged after the latest PISA results were released, “what we cannot measure matters more. The scores tell us nothing about students’ imagination, their drive, their ability to ask good questions, their insight, their inventiveness, their creativity.”....[ Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.]. The decade-long drop in math scores among students outside Quebec corresponds with the spread of “discovery learning” in the classroom. The idea that students must be free to solve problems based on their unique learning styles popped up in the education literature in late 1960s and went mainstream in the 1990s. But there was a huge revolt when U.S. parents discovered Johnny couldn’t multiply; the pendulum has since swung back to teaching the basics.

Yet most English-Canadian school boards embraced some version of discovery learning even after it was being questioned south of the border. It fit with the “equity” mantra that permeated the jargon of education bureaucrats and ministers. “Reaching every student” became the theme of education policies aimed at bringing up the bottom with “student-centred learning.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  education  high_schools  rankings  PISA  STEM  mathematics  test-score_data  standardized_testing  metrics  students  imagination  drive  questions  insights  inventiveness  creativity  discoveries 
december 2013 by jerryking
Do Things that Don't Scale
July 2013 | Paul Graham

The question to ask about an early stage startup is not "is this company taking over the world?" but "how big could this company get if the founders did the right things?" And the right things often seem both laborious and inconsequential at the time.
advice  start_ups  Y_Combinator  Paul_Graham  scaling  recruiting  experience  management_consulting  barriers_to_entry  product_launches  partnerships  customer_acquisition  user_growth  Steve_Jobs  unscalability  founders  questions 
november 2013 by jerryking
Avoid e-mail at first light - The Globe and Mail
Three tools to manage passwords

Entrepreneur Nicholas White checked out various password managers and picks Dashlane as the best, with 1Password as runner-up and Passpack as second runner-up.
===========================================================
Trainer Zachery Rose recommends asking these questions at the end of a job interview: Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me? As an employee, how could I exceed your expectations? What excites you about coming into work?
passwords  productivity  e-mail  questions  interview_preparation  job_search 
october 2013 by jerryking
George Stephanopoulos on the Art of Conversation | Inc.com
October 2013| Inc. magazine| by Burt Helm

1. Prepare extensively. Good preparation leads to better questions. It also demonstrates a genuine interest, Stephanopoulos says. “Knowing what you’re talking about breeds respect on both sides,” he says. Before a 2009 interview about health care with President Barack Obama, Stephanopoulos prepared extensively to show his guest he had deep knowledge of the subject.

2. Don’t be a know-it-all. After all that prep work, you might feel like an expert. But keep things simple by starting with direct, open-ended questions. Then, use your knowledge to get your subject to expand on pat answers. “I used to try to show off how much work I did,” Stephanopoulos says. “But sometimes it was all wind-up and no question.”

3. Ask “Why?” Ask “What do you do?” at a cocktail party, and people go on autopilot. Ask “Why?” and people give fresher, more thoughtful answers. The same is true for television interviews, Stephanopoulos says.

4. Watch for facial cues. During a conversation, facial cues can indicate if someone wants to say more or less about a topic. For instance, Stephanopoulos says he can tell someone is having a new thought when his or her eyes light up. “You can see it more than you can hear it,” he says. Then, he guides the conversation in that direction.

5. Force yourself to be interested. If you’re bored by the person sitting across from you, your audience will be, too. The key is to find the one thing that does pique your curiosity. Stephanopoulos interviews a lot of actors, but he doesn’t always like their movies. His solution? He finds one scene that he finds remarkable for some reason and focuses on it.
conversations  preparation  George_Stephanopoulos  panels  Communicating_&_Connecting  open-ended  body_language  questions 
october 2013 by jerryking
When it comes to innovation, Canada needs more inquisitive minds
Sept. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by TODD HIRSCH.

There are solutions to Canada’s innovation deficit. The Conference Board of Canada, which prepared the Canadian analysis for the WEF report, makes several smart suggestions. Encouraging more spending on R&D, making better use of advanced technology, and increasing the research linkages between universities and industry all make sense.

But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.
bottom-up  Todd_Hirsch  economists  innovation  competitiveness_of_nations  Canada  Canadian  WEF  rankings  curiosity  counterintuitive  public_policy  inquisitiveness  literacy  reframing  problem_framing  children  parenting  fascination  asking_the_right_questions  questions 
september 2013 by jerryking
Keeping Up With Your Quants
July-August 2013 | HBR | Thomas Davenport.

Article places people into two buckets, as either producers or consumers of analytics. Producers are, of course, good at gathering the available data and making predictions about the future. But most lack sufficient knowledge to identify hypotheses and relevant variables and to know when the ground beneath an organization is shifting. Your job as a data consumer is to generate hypotheses and determine whether results and recommendations make sense in a changing business environment—is therefore critically important....Learn a little about analytics.
If you remember the content of your college-level statistics course, you may be fine. If not, bone up on the basics of regression analysis, statistical inference, and experimental design.

Focus on the beginning and the end.
Ask lots of questions along the way.
Establish a culture of inquiry, not advocacy.
HBR  Thomas_Davenport  massive_data_sets  data_scientists  data  data_driven  howto  analytics  decision_making  quants  questions  endgame  curiosity 
july 2013 by jerryking
The Secret Life of Data in the Year 2020
July-August 2012 | World Future Society Vol. 46, No. 4 |By Brian David Johnson.

A futurist for Intel shows how geotags, sensor outputs, and big data are changing the future. He argues that we need a better understanding of our relationship with the data we produce in order to build the future we want....Data is only useful and indeed powerful when it comes into contact with people.

This brings up some interesting questions and fascinating problems to be solved from an engineering standpoint. When we are architecting these algorithms, when we are designing these systems, how do we make sure they have an understanding of what it means to be human? The people writing these algorithms must have an understanding of what people will do with that data. How will it fit into their lives? How will it affect their daily routine? How will it make their lives better?...the only way to make sense of all this complex information—by viewing data, massive data sets, and the algorithms that really utilize big data as being human. Data doesn’t spring full formed from nowhere. Data is created, generated, and recorded. And the unifying principle behind all of this data is that it was all created by humans. We create the data, so essentially our data is an extension of ourselves, an extension of our humanity.
future  data  algorithms  Intel  sensors  massive_data_sets  storytelling  ethnography  questions  sense-making 
july 2013 by jerryking
Getting Ahead by Having Answers Instead of Questions - NYTimes.com
By

ADAM BRYANT

When I talked to them, I learned that they really wanted to create something in their labs that helps people and the company.

Q. Why wasn’t that happening?

A. I think the disconnect was from a lack of focus on what success was. Success wasn’t around the number of patents you had or how many papers you published. Success needed to be defined as creating products that mattered. One of the ways we did it was by a semantics shift from “R.& D.” to “D.& R.” to show people that while we invest in research, let’s prioritize the development side.

Q. Other career advice?

A. I think most people don’t realize that everybody comes to the C.E.O. with problems. Most people don’t come to tell me good news. The people I rely on or view as high-potential folks are people who come with a problem but also bring ideas for the solution. It may not be the right solution. We may do something entirely different, but they’ve been thoughtful about it.

Earlier in my career, when I went to my C.E.O.’s, I walked in and said, “Here’s the problem and I have two ideas for what we can do.” I never walked in without trying to be thoughtful, and at least two steps ahead. If people are looking to advance their career, they may want to be more thoughtful about bringing some ideas for solving a problem, and not just presenting a problem.

Published: May 27, 2013
CEOs  Bausch_&_Lomb  indispensable  problem_solving  questions  movingonup  overachievers  high-achieving  solutions  solution-finders 
may 2013 by jerryking
Handout_Sheet - Handout_Sheet_Stuart-Knight-Gala.pdf
The Art of
Powerful
Conversation
Part Two Questioning
It’s all about asking a question on the answer. Don’t switch topics
– ask a question based on the answer they've given you. Stick to
this format of questioning on the answer until you find
something that you have in common
follow-up_questions  questions  Stuart_Knight 
may 2013 by jerryking
The Science of Serendipity
Q3 · 2011 | Think Quarterly by Google | WORDS BY Dave Allan, Matt Kingdon. The co-founders of ?WhatIf!, the world’s largest independent innovation company, explain how.

The best innovation leaders are good at asking questions that help make an idea real: what does it weigh? Can I put it in my pocket? What will be the consumer’s experience? What will they stop buying when they switch to our product?

One client of ours wanted to cut the time and expense of launching a new restaurant. They had budgeted $3m and several months. We took $150,000 and in three days had a pop-up restaurant running. We made plenty of mistakes, but we made them fast and cheap and we learned things that saved our client time and money.
innovation  serendipity  pop-ups  buyer_choice_rejection  restaurants  customer_experience  product_development  cheap_revolution  product_launches  questions  Michael_McDerment 
april 2013 by jerryking
What are the first three questions you should ask before investing in a private company? - Institute for Individual Investors
February 22, 2008

1) What is the background of the key people in this business and what have they each accomplished in this type of business in the past? As part of that question, what is their best accomplishment and what is the worst mistake they have made in business?
2)What competitive advantages does the business have? The competitive advantages should be laid out in the business plan.
3)What could go wrong and prevent the start-up from achieving its goals? If the key people do not have a list of what could go wrong, you should not invest in the start-up, because they have not done a thorough job of planning to make the start-up successful.
angels  due_diligence  privately_held_companies  thinking_tragically  think_threes  team_risk  investing  investors  questions  competitive_advantage 
march 2013 by jerryking
A Liberal Arts Foundation for Any Career - Room for Debate
March 24, 2013 | NYTimes.com | William Pannapacker

When it comes to choosing a major, you should engage with things that you care about, that interest you and that will produce your strongest efforts. Your major must not be the path of least resistance or an excuse for narrowness. Don’t be the English major who says, “I’m scared of math and computers.” Don’t be a chemistry major who says, “I never read books.”

Become the kind of person who is interested in everything and can do anything.

I keep hearing the same thing from potential employers: “We love students with liberal-arts degrees. They are curious; they know how to ask good questions. They know how to conduct research. They are effective writers and speakers. And they learn quickly.“...Liberal-arts colleges are now engaging with the “digital humanities.” Simply put, that means we are producing history and music majors who are as good at working with technology as they are at developing research projects and performing on stage....In a period of rapid, unpredictable change, a combination of traditional liberal-arts education, collaborative research, workplace experiences, and a “can-do” attitude is the safest bet for future employment, as well as the foundation for good citizenship and a life that’s engaged with culture and thought.

Updated March 24, 2013,
liberal_arts  humanities  Colleges_&_Universities  education  questions  attitudes  curiosity 
march 2013 by jerryking
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