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jerryking : trial_&_error   22

In business and government, think differently - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL SABIA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 16 2015

here’s the paradox. At a time when creativity is relentlessly driving change in so much of our world, many would limit governments to managing their way through, rather than working with others to solve problems.

It started in the 1980s and ’90s, when we decided governments needed to become “more like businesses,” adopting the metrics – and vocabulary – of corporations. Citizens became “clients.” Compliance replaced creativity.

The job of government was defined in terms of its “efficiency,” and the emphasis was placed on the minimal “must do” instead of the aspirational “can be.”

Of course, governments have to demonstrate good stewardship of public resources. But if all they do is count change, it limits their ability to effect change. The fact is when big problems arise – whether it’s a financial crisis like 2008 or a tragedy like Lac-Mégantic – people’s first instinct is to look to government for a solution.

Yet opinion researchers tell us that people are increasingly disappointed with our collective response to the issues that matter most: income inequality, health care for the elderly, climate change and so on....It’s about different government. This is about government moving away from a manager’s obsession with doing things better to a leader’s focus on doing better things. Think of fostering innovation, being open to new ideas, encouraging experimentation, rewarding risk-taking. And, frankly, accepting failure as a condition precedent to success.
Michael_Sabia  CDPQ  thinking  CEOs  innovation  leadership  experimentation  risk-taking  failure  trial_&_error  government  public_sector  open_source  disappointment  business  stewardship  compliance  replaced  creativity  efficiencies  effectiveness  think_differently 
may 2015 by jerryking
Innovation vacuum imperils Alberta’s economic juggernaut - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH
Innovation vacuum imperils Alberta’s economic juggernaut Add to ...
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Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 22 2014

The province ranked second to the bottom in research and development spending, employment in high-tech and knowledge-intensive services, and investment in machinery and equipment. It ranked dead last in labour productivity growth in construction. In fact, most of Alberta’s serious shortfalls point to two broad areas of concern: innovation and productivity.

Innovation is the “it” word these days in economic circles, but to be honest, it’s a bit slippery to define. The Alberta Economic Development Authority (AEDA) uses the Conference Board of Canada’s definition of the former: “The extraction of economic and social value from knowledge.” And productivity is simply the ability to produce more with fewer resources. Economists agree that without these, you’re doomed.

Some of Alberta’s shortcomings in innovation have explanations. Lower-than-average R&D spending reflects the uniqueness of oil and gas extraction. The petroleum industry doesn’t operate like other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology, or consumer-driven manufacturing where research is done in a laboratory and spending is easy to track. Oil and gas “research” is much more likely to take place at the drill site or in the actual physical exploration. It’s done through trial and error – tweaks to methods and practices are constantly improving efficiency and reducing costs. It never gets counted as “spending on R&D” but it doesn’t mean research isn’t happening.

Alberta’s last place ranking in labour productivity growth in construction corroborates a Statistics Canada report on business innovation, released in February. Apparently, only 12.5 per cent of Alberta construction companies are actively investing in new technologies, compared to about 33 per cent in Ontario and 30 per cent nationally.
Alberta  innovation  innovation_policies  oil_industry  Todd_Hirsch  shortcomings  R&D  laggards  trial_&_error  productivity  innovation_vacuum  economists 
september 2014 by jerryking
If I Were 22: Face It, You're Going to Be Kissing Some Career Frogs
May 19, 2014 | LinkedIn | Sallie Krawcheck.

At this early stage of your career, there’s a real temptation to go into a field of work because your friends are or because it’s “hot.” But there’s also an enormously small likelihood that it will still be hot 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. So, rather than wedding yourself to an industry, instead shift your focus to gaining experiences and learning as much as you can, so that you build transferrable skills.

For you, Sallie-at-22, that will be in the banking and media industries; in the finance, marketing and sales functions; and in writing and financial analysis. Keep a running note of what works and what doesn’t work for you, what you like and what you don’t like, what you’re good and what you aren’t, the work styles that suit you and what doesn’t, where you passions lie and what leaves you cold. The chance of the stars aligning on these fronts in your first job, or even your first couple of jobs, is very low, so you’ll have to keep searching.

By building up this store of knowledge, you’re going to have what feels like a lightning bolt insight that you should be in equity research at the mature old age of 29.
career_paths  new_graduates  advice  trial_&_error  Managing_Your_Career  Sallie_Krawcheck  equity_research  journaling  reflections 
may 2014 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing | @andrewchen
The rise of the Growth Hacker
The new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

This isn’t just a single role – the entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than a VP of Marketing with a bunch of non-technical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers. The process of integrating and optimizing your product to a big platform requires a blurring of lines between marketing, product, and engineering, so that they work together to make the product market itself. Projects like email deliverability, page-load times, and Facebook sign-in are no longer technical or design decisions – instead they are offensive weapons to win in the market.

The stakes are huge because of “superplatforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers
These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to 10s of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox. New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular. Whereas the web in 1995 consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.

Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development. Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passe. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.

Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids have emerged.
growth  marketing  hacks  blogs  Silicon_Valley  executive_management  virality  experimentation  trial_&_error  coding  platforms  executive_search  CMOs  measurements  growth_hacking  APIs  new_products  lagging_indicators  offensive_tactics 
december 2012 by jerryking
Learning to Love Volatility: Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Antifragile
November 16, 2012 | WSJ | Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In a world that constantly throws big, unexpected events our way, we must learn to benefit from disorder, writes Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Some made the mistake of thinking that I hoped to see us develop better methods for predicting black swans. Others asked if we should just give up and throw our hands in the air: If we could not measure the risks of potential blowups, what were we to do? The answer is simple: We should try to create institutions that won't fall apart when we encounter black swans—or that might even gain from these unexpected events....To deal with black swans, we instead need things that gain from volatility, variability, stress and disorder. My (admittedly inelegant) term for this crucial quality is "antifragile." The only existing expression remotely close to the concept of antifragility is what we derivatives traders call "long gamma," to describe financial packages that benefit from market volatility. Crucially, both fragility and antifragility are measurable.

As a practical matter, emphasizing antifragility means that our private and public sectors should be able to thrive and improve in the face of disorder. By grasping the mechanisms of antifragility, we can make better decisions without the illusion of being able to predict the next big thing. We can navigate situations in which the unknown predominates and our understanding is limited.

Herewith are five policy rules that can help us to establish antifragility as a principle of our socioeconomic life.

Rule 1:Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.

We are victims of the post-Enlightenment view that the world functions like a sophisticated machine, to be understood like a textbook engineering problem and run by wonks. In other words, like a home appliance, not like the human body. If this were so, our institutions would have no self-healing properties and would need someone to run and micromanage them, to protect their safety, because they cannot survive on their own.

By contrast, natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times.

Rule 2:Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes,not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.

Some businesses and political systems respond to stress better than others. The airline industry is set up in such a way as to make travel safer after every plane crash.

Rule 3:Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.

Experts in business and government are always talking about economies of scale. They say that increasing the size of projects and institutions brings costs savings. But the "efficient," when too large, isn't so efficient. Size produces visible benefits but also hidden risks; it increases exposure to the probability of large losses.
Rule 4:Trial and error beats academic knowledge.
Rule 5:Decision makers must have skin in the game.

In the business world, the solution is simple: Bonuses that go to managers whose firms subsequently fail should be clawed back, and there should be additional financial penalties for those who hide risks under the rug. This has an excellent precedent in the practices of the ancients. The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed (jk: personal risk and skin in the game).
Nassim_Taleb  resilience  black_swan  volatility  turmoil  brittle  antifragility  personal_risk  trial_&_error  unknowns  size  unexpected  economies_of_scale  risks  hidden  compounded  disorder  latent  financial_penalties  Romans  skin_in_the_game  deprivations  penalties  stressful  variability 
november 2012 by jerryking
Drugs That Are as Smart as Our Diseases | Mind & Matter - WSJ.com
SEPT.17, 2011 | WSJ | By MATT RIDLEY. The very opposite of
Moore's Law is happening at the downstream end of the R&D pipeline.
The number of new molecules approved per billion dollars of
inflation-adjusted R&D has declined inexorably at 9% a year and is
now 1/100th of what it was in 1950....

Drugs must be designed to nudge whole networks rather than single
targets. e.g., to develop a treatment for the hospital infection
Clostridium difficile, e-Therapeutics drew a sort of spider's web of how
all the proteins on the outside of the bacterium interacted. From that
web, they identified crucial nodes in the network and, by trial and
error, selected a combination of molecules that could attack those
nodes.

A similar approach is showing promise for cancer and even neurological
disease. It means hitting multiple targets simultaneously, the targets
chosen by network analysis. Where diseases are complex, the cures will
be complex, too.
drugs  pharmaceutical_industry  R&D  decline  research  cancers  networks  complexity  disease  biochemistry  Moore's_Law  molecules  trial_&_error  multiple_targets  Clostridium_difficile 
september 2011 by jerryking
Ten ways to become a tenacious marketer -
Sep. 16, 2011 | G & M | RYAN CALIGIURI.

Here are 10 ways to become a more tenacious marketer:
(1) Test and benchmark. test different strategies and gauge what works best. One technique is called split testing.
(2) Always have a strategy. A strategy pts. you in the right direction & ensures your actions build to something.
(3) Always be on the lookout for revenue-generating opportunities.
(4) Be direct-response driven
(5) Get personal
(6) Get more out of a website.
(7) Deliver more value
(8) Show commitment
(9) Be driven by referrals
(10) Focus on the most likely buyers
direct-response  marketing  tips  experimentation  benchmarking  trial_&_error  strategy  commitments  opportunistic  websites  referrals  JCK  growth_hacking  Ryan_Caligiuri  strategic_thinking  tenacity  revenue_generation  overdeliver 
september 2011 by jerryking
How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career
December 2002 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra.

But change actually happens the other way around. Doing comes first, knowing second, because changing careers means redefining our working identity--our sense of self in our professional roles, what we convey about ourselves to others and, ultimately, how we live our working lives. Who we are and what we do are tightly connected, the result of years of action. And to change that connection, we must first resort to action--exactly what the conventional wisdom cautions us against....First, determine with as much clarity and certainty as possible what you really want to do. Next, use that knowledge to identify jobs or fields in which your passions can be coupled with your skills and experience. Seek advice from the people who know you best and from professionals in tune with the market. Then simply implement the resulting action steps. Change is seen as a one-shot deal: The plan-and-implement approach cautions us against making a move before we know exactly where we are going....It all sounds reasonable, and it is a reassuring way to proceed. Yet my research suggests that proceeding this way will lead to the most disastrous of results, which is to say no result. So if your deepest desire is to remain indefinitely in a career that grates on your nerves or stifles your self-expression, simply adhere to that conventional wisdom, presented below as a foolproof, three-point plan....what consumed 90% of the year he spent looking for a new career, is what the conventional models leave out-a lot of trial and error....that it is possible to discover one's "true self," when the reality is that none of us has such an essence. (See the sidebar "Our Many Possible Selves "for a discussion of why one's true self is so elusive.) Intense introspection also poses the danger that a potential career changer will get stuck in the realm of daydreams....We learn who we have become-in practice, not in theory-by testing fantasy and reality, not by "looking inside." Knowing oneself is crucial, but it is usually the outcome of-and not a first input to-the reinvention process....To launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads. We need to act....But when it comes to reinventing ourselves, the people who know us best are the ones most likely to hinder rather than help us....Mentors and close coworkers, though well meaning, can also unwittingly hold us back...So if self-assessment, the advice of close ones, and the counsel of change professionals won't do it, then where can we find support for our reinvention?....Reaching outside our normal circles to new people, networks, and professional communities is the best way to both break frame and get psychological sustenance.
Managing_Your_Career  career_paths  career  HBR  reinvention  Second_Acts  Herminia_Ibarra  analysis_paralysis  trial_&_error  action-oriented  self-assessment  self-awareness  pragmatism  counterintuitive  conventional_wisdom  change 
august 2011 by jerryking
RETHINKING EVERY RULE OF REINVENTION
May 1, 2006 | Advertising Age | by Scott Bedbury. Great
brands like Nike and Starbucks have transcended the commodity nature of
their categories and become global brand leaders. Essential to both
brands is a nontraditional view toward marketing, particularly in the
area of consumer research, and a cultural commitment to risk taking and
the inevitable mistakes that happen through continuous innovation. For
these brands reinvention is not a one-time event but an ongoing
commitment. Here are four things to keep in mind as you consider ways to
reinvent your brand: 1. Study your competition above all else. 2. Test
your way into it. 3. Think in terms of current distribution. 4. Avoid
mistakes.
consumer_research  branding  risk-taking  incrementalism  innovation  reinvention  Nike  Starbucks  organizational_culture  brands  experimentation  trial_&_error  competition  distribution_channels 
january 2010 by jerryking
Randomized testing is fast and cheap, but few seem interested
Lenore Skenazy. Advertising Age. (Midwest region edition). Chicago: Oct 1, 2007. Vol. 78, Iss. 39; pg. 22, 1 pgs
testing  research_methods  randomness  randomized  trial_&_error  fast  cheap  fast-paced 
august 2009 by jerryking
How Hard Could It Be?: Start-up Static | Printer-friendly version
March 2009| Inc. Magazine | Joel Spolsky

A new business is like a shortwave radio. You have to fiddle patiently with all the dials until you get the reception you want.
morale_management  failure  start_ups  Paul_Graham  new_businesses  pattern_recognition  tinkering  Joel_Spolsky  Y_Combinator  experimentation  trial_&_error 
april 2009 by jerryking
Want to join the great innovators?
17/09/07 G&M article by DAVID DUNNE.

Designers approach problems differently than typical business people. In
contrast to the analytical perspective taken in business, designers
excel in framing and reframing problems and in collaborating with others
to develop solutions.

These six components - systems thinking, prototyping, ethnography,
diversity, imagination and constraints - to the design process.
design  design_thinking  innovation  systems_thinking  trial_&_error  reframing  prototyping  ethnography  diversity  imagination  constraints  problem_framing 
march 2009 by jerryking
Ping - How Google Decides to Pull the Plug - NYTimes.com
February 14, 2009 NYT article By VINDU GOEL on how Google
evaluates budding projects, its key tests for continued incubation, its
use of its own employees as a test bed, and its use of product-specific
blogs to communicate and listen to, the public.
attrition_rates  stage-gate  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  decision_making  business  innovation  Google  exits  trial_&_error  commercialization  projects  kill_rates  test_beds  assessments_&_evaluations  Communicating_&_Connecting  testing  blogs  new_products  Michael_McDerment  culling 
february 2009 by jerryking

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