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How to Build Castles in the Air – Teachers Going Gradeless
"One of the more profound ironies of “going gradeless” is realizing just how fundamental grades are to the architecture of schools.

Grades undergird nearly everything we do in education. By threatening late penalties and administering one-shot assessments, we focus our famously distracted students on the task at hand. By regularly updating our online gradebooks, we provide an ongoing snapshot of student performance so precise it can be calculated to the hundredths place.

Grades inform our curriculum and instruction too. Because so much rides on them, it’s essential we build upon the rock of “objective” data, not the shifting sands of human judgment. Thus, we limit ourselves to those kinds of learning that can be easily measured and quantified. A multiple choice quiz testing students’ knowledge of literary devices can be reliably scored by your 10-year-old daughter (not saying I’ve ever done that). A stack of bubble sheets can be scanned on your way out of the building for the summer. Check your results online in the driveway, then go inside and make yourself a margarita.

If you want to evaluate something more complex, like writing, you had better develop an iron-clad rubric and engage in some serious range-finding sessions with your colleagues. Don’t put anything subjective like creativity or risk taking on that rubric — you’re already on shaky ground as it is. Make sure to provide an especially strict template so that the essay is fully prepared to “meet its maker.” Word choice, punctuation, sentence variety, quote incorporation — these are the nuts and bolts of writing. If the Hemingway Editor can’t see it, isn’t it just your opinion?

Hopefully, you see the irony here. Grades don’t communicate achievement; most contain a vast idiosyncratic array of weights, curves, point values, and penalties. Nor do they motivate students much beyond what it takes to maintain a respectable GPA. And by forcing us to focus on so-called objective measures, grades have us trade that which is most meaningful for that which is merely demonstrable: recall, algorithm use, anything that can be reified into a rubric. Grading reforms have sometimes succeeded in making these numbers, levels, and letters more meaningful, but more often than not it is the learning that suffers, as we continually herd our rich, interconnected disciplines into the gradebook’s endless succession of separate cells.

So, as I’ve said before, grades are not great. Nor are the ancillary tools, tests, structures, and strategies that support them. But as anyone who has gone gradeless can tell you, grades don’t just magically go away, leaving us free to fan the flames of intrinsic motivation and student passion. Grades remain the very foundation on which we build. Most gradeless teachers must enter a grade at the end of each marking period and, even if we didn’t, our whole educational enterprise is overshadowed by the specter of college admissions and scholarships. And since grades and tests rank so high in those determinations, we kid ourselves in thinking we’ve escaped their influence.

Even in a hypothetical environment without these extrinsic stresses, students are still subject to a myriad of influences, not the least of which being the tech industry with its constant bombardment of notifications and nudges. This industry, which spends billions engineering apps for maximum engagement, has already rendered the comparatively modest inducements of traditional schooling laughable. Still, the rhetoric of autonomy, passion, and engagement always seems to take this in stride, as if the Buddha — not billionaires — is behind this ever-expanding universe.

Let’s go one more step further, though, and imagine a world without the tech industry. Surely that would be a world in which the “inner mounting flame” of student passion could flourish.

But complete freedom, autonomy, and agency is not a neutral or even acceptable foundation for education. The notion of a blank slate on which to continuously project one’s passion, innovation, or genius is seriously flawed. Sherri Spelic, examining the related rhetoric of design thinking, points out how “neoliberal enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and start-up culture” does little to address “social dilemmas fueled by historic inequality and stratification.” In other words, blank spaces — including the supposed blank space of going gradeless — are usually little more than blind spots. And often these blind spots are where our more marginalized students fall through the cracks.

Even if we were able provide widespread, equitable access to springboards of self-expression, autonomy, and innovation, what then? To what extent are we all unwittingly falling into a larger neoliberal trap that, in the words of Byung-Chul Han, turns each of us into an “auto-exploiting labourer in his or her own enterprise”?
Today, we do not deem ourselves subjugated subjects, but rather projects: always refashioning and reinventing ourselves. A sense of freedom attends passing from the state of subject to that of project. All the same, this projection amounts to a form of compulsion and constraint — indeed, to a more efficient kind of subjectification and subjugation. As a project deeming itself free of external and alien limitations, the I is now subjugating itself to internal limitations and self-constraints, which are taking the form of compulsive achievement and optimization.


One doesn’t have to look too far to find the rhetoric of “harnessing student passion” and “self-regulated learners” to understand the paradoxical truth of this statement. This vision of education, in addition to constituting a new strategy of control, also undermines any sense of classrooms as communities of care and locations of resistance.
@hhschiaravalli:

A5. Watch out for our tendency to lionize those who peddle extreme personalization, individual passion, entrepreneurial mindsets. So many of these undermine any sense of collective identity, responsibility, solidarity #tg2chat


Clearly, not all intrinsic or extrinsic motivation is created equal. Perhaps instead of framing the issue in these terms, we should see it as a question of commitment or capitulation.

Commitment entails a robust willingness to construct change around what Gert Biesta describes as fundamental questions of “content, purpose, and relationship.” It requires that we find ways to better communicate and support student learning, produce more equitable results, and, yes, sometimes shield students from outside influences. Contrary to the soaring rhetoric of intrinsic motivation, none of this will happen by itself.

Capitulation means shirking this responsibility, submerging it in the reductive comfort of numbers or in neoliberal notions of autonomy.

Framing going gradeless through the lens of extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation, then, is not only misleading and limited, it’s harmful. No teacher — gradeless or otherwise — can avoid the task of finding humane ways to leverage each of these in the service of greater goals. Even if we could, there are other interests, much more powerful, much more entrenched, and much better funded than us always ready to rush into that vacuum.

To resist these forces, we will need to use everything in our power to find and imagine new structures and strategies, building our castles in air on firm foundations."
grades  grading  equity  morivation  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  measurement  schools  schooling  learning  howwelearn  socialjustice  neoliberalism  arthurchiaravalli  subjectivity  objectivity  systemsthinking  education  unschooling  deschooling  assessment  accountability  subjectification  subjugation  achievement  optimization  efficiency  tests  testing  standardization  control  teaching  howweteach  2018  resistance  gertbiesta  capitulation  responsibility  structure  strategy  pedagogy  gpa  ranking  sherrispelic  byung-chulhan  compulsion  constraint  self-regulation  passion  identity  solidarity  personalization  collectivism  inequality 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Frances Whitehead
"WHO WE ARE

Frances Whitehead is a civic practice artist bringing the methods, mindsets, and strategies of contemporary art practice to the process of shaping the future city. Connecting emerging art practices, the discourses around culturally informed sustainability, and new concepts of heritage and remediation, she develops strategies to deploy the knowledge of artists as change agents, asking, What do Artists Know?

Questions of participation, sustainability, and culture change animate her work as she considers the surrounding community, the landscape, and the interdependency of multiple ecologies in the post-industrial city. Whitehead’s cutting-edge work integrates art and sustainability, as she traverses disciplines to engage with engineers, scientists, landscape architects, urban designers, and city officials in order to hybridize art, design, science, and civic engagement, for the public good.

Whitehead has worked professionally as an artist since the mid 1980’s and has worked collaboratively as ARTetal Studio since 2001. She is Professor of Sculpture + Architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago."


HOW WE THINK

strategic
edge-dwelling
collaborative
cultural futures
experimental
complexity
ethics + aesthetics
place-based culture
change
participatory
urban ecologies
systemic
re-directive
post normal
art + science
integrative
adaptive"


WHAT WE DO

Whitehead works in disturbed urban and rural sites, to integrate art and cultural expertise into their transformation. A series of linked civic initiatives include the Embedded Artist Project with the City of Chicago, SLOW Cleanup, a culturally driven phytoremediation program for abandoned gas stations, climate-monitoring plant programs throughout the USA and Europe, and an urban agriculture plan with the city of Lima, Peru. Currently, Whitehead is Lead Artist for The 606, a rail infrastructure adaptation project in Chicago, and serves as Advisor to re-imagine the environmental art program at the Schuylkill Center, in Philadelphia."
franceswhitehead  via:anne  art  science  cities  urban  urbanism  remediation  heritage  participation  sustainability  culture  culturechange  culturecreation  community  landscape  interdependence  ecology  civics  artetalstudio  chicago  collaboration  strategy  urbanecology  urbanecologies  ethics  aesthetics  systems  systemsthinking  participatory  complexity  future  futures  edge-dwelling  phytoremediation  lima  perú  the606  engineering  urbandesign  interdisciplinary 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Why Talking About The Future of Museums May Be Holding Museums Back | Know Your Own Bone
"Many resources focusing on “the future” are actually communicating about emerging trends that are happening right now…and when we call them “the future” we do our organizations a grave disservice.

Here’s why:

1. Things that are characterized as the future within the museum industry generally are not about the future at all

Check this out: Embracing millennials, mastering community management on social media, opening authority, heightening engagement with onsite technologies, breaking down ivory towers with shifts from prescription to participation, engaging more diverse audiences, utilizing mobile platforms, understanding the role of “digital,” breaking down organizational silos…These are things that we frequently discuss as if they are part of the future. But they aren’t. In fact, if your organization hasn’t already had deep discussions about these issues and begun evolving and deploying new strategies at this point, then you may arguably be too late in responding to forces challenging our sector today.

2. Calling it the future excuses putting off issues which are actually immediate needs for organizational survival

What if we called these things “The Right Now?” Would it be easier to get leadership to allocate resources to social media endeavors or deploy creative ways to grow stakeholder affinity by highlighting participation and personalization? Are we excusing the poor transition from planning to action by deferring most investments to “The Future?”

Basically, we’ve created a beat-around-the-bush way of talking about hard things that separates successful and unsuccessful organizations. For many less successful organizations struggling to find their footing in our rapidly evolving times, their go-to euphemistic solution for “immediate and difficult” seems to be “worth thinking about in the future.” When we call it “the future,” we excuse ourselves from thinking about these issues right now (which is exactly when we should be considering if not fully deploying them).

Contrast this deferment strategy with those of more successful organizations who invariably and reliably “beat the market to the spot.” It isn’t pure chance and serendipity that underpins successful engagement strategies – these are the product of ample foresight, planning, investment and action…all of it done many yesterdays ago!

3. The future implies uncertainty but trend data is not uncertain

Moreover, common wisdom supports that “the future” is uncertain. “We cannot tell the future.” Admittedly, some sources that aim to talk about the future truly attempt to open folks’ brains to a distant time period. However, much of what is shared by those we call “futurists” is not necessarily uncertain. In fact (and especially when it comes to trends in data), we’re not guessing. I’ve sat in on a few meetings within organizations in which trends and actual data are taken and then presented as “the future” or within the conversation of “things to discuss in the future.” Wait. What?

Certainly, new opportunities evolve and trends may ebb with shifting market sentiments…but why would an organization choose uncertainty over something that is known right now?

4. We may not be paying enough attention to right now

I don’t think that referring to “right now trends” as “the future” would be as potentially damaging to organizations if we spent enough time being more strategic and thoughtful about “right now trends” in general. Many organizations seem to be always playing catch-up with the present. If organizations are struggling to keep up with the present, how will they ever be adequately prepared for the future?

5. Talking about the future sometimes provides a false sense of innovation that may simply be vanity

To be certain, we all need “wins” – especially in nonprofit organizations where burnout is frequent and market perceptions are quickly changing. The need for evolution is constant and the want for a moment’s rest may be justified. That said, it seems as though talking about “the future” (which, as we’ve covered, is actually upon us) is often simply providing the opportunity for organizations to pat themselves on the back for “considering” movement instead of actually moving. To have the perceived luxury of being able to think about the future may give some leaders a false sense of security that they aren’t, in fact, constantly trying to keep up with the present.

Talking about “the future” seems to mean that you are talking about something that is – yes – perhaps cutting edge, but also uncertain, not urgent, not immediate, and somehow a type of creative brainstorming endeavor. While certainly brainstorming about the actual future may be beneficial (there are some great minds in the museum industry that do this!), it may be wise for organizations to realize that most of what we call “the future” is a too-nice way of reminding organizations that the world is turning as we speak and you may already be a laggard organization.

Think about your favorite museum or nonprofit thinker. My guess is that you consider that person to be a kind of futurist, but really, you may find that they are interesting to you because they are actually a “right-now-ist.” They provide ideas, thoughts, and innovative solutions about challenges that are currently facing your organization."
museums  innovation  future  futurism  now  programs  excuses  vanity  change  procrastination  certainty  uncertainty  2014  strategy  talk  leadership  administration  socialmedia  communitymanagement  authority  millennials  engagement  technology  edtech  mobile  digital  organizations  nonprofit  personalization  obsolescence  colleendilen  nonprofits 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Jill Lepore: What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong : The New Yorker
“Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history. Theories of history used to be supernatural: the divine ruled time; the hand of God, a special providence, lay behind the fall of each sparrow. If the present differed from the past, it was usually worse: supernatural theories of history tend to involve decline, a fall from grace, the loss of God’s favor, corruption. Beginning in the eighteenth century, as the intellectual historian Dorothy Ross once pointed out, theories of history became secular; then they started something new—historicism, the idea “that all events in historical time can be explained by prior events in historical time.” Things began looking up. First, there was that, then there was this, and this is better than that. The eighteenth century embraced the idea of progress; the nineteenth century had evolution; the twentieth century had growth and then innovation. Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.”

[See also: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/06/clayton_christensen_and_disruptive_innovation_is_the_concept_a_myth.single.html
disruption  innovation  history  jilllepore  2014  claytonchristensen  buseiness  strategy  startups 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Everyone is doing strategy right now. – disambiguity
"Everyone wants the strategy job. It’s much sexier than the ‘implementing the strategy’ jobs. That’s why the people who have managed to get the strategy jobs have a vested interest in making sure that doing strategy stuff seems very important and serious and senior. And confusing. You don’t understand exactly what these strategy people do, do you? (Except make frameworks or models and wave their hands around a lot). That’s kind of the plan. You continue to be intimidated by strategy and keep doing the implementing while the strategy guys get to go to the fancy lunches.

Fact is, everyone is doing strategy stuff all the time. If you choose to do one thing and not the other (which we all do every day), we’ve got a strategy. We might not know what that strategy is, but it’s there."
strategy  leisareighelt  bullshitjobs  hierarchy  hierarchies  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Essay: 'Designing Finnishness', for 'Out Of The Blue: The Essence and Ambition of Finnish Design' (Gestalten)
"Knowing what to do when there is nothing to do
"The press conference is over, and in comes Jari Litmanen, from behind the door. And I looked at his face and I looked at his eyes, and I recognised something in those eyes. And I thought, this is a man with a great willpower. Because he was not shy, not timid, but he was modest. He is not a man who will raise his voice, or bang with his fist on the table and say, ‘We do it this way.’ No, he was more of a diplomat, not wanting to be a leader, but being a leader." [Former AFC Ajax team manager David Endt, on legendary Finnish footballer Jari Litmanen]

Finland has proven that it can take care of itself locally and globally. At home, its sheer existence is a tribute to fortitude, guile and determination, never mind the extent to which it has lately thrived. Globally, through Nokia, Kone, Rovio and others, through its diplomatic and political leadership, and through its design scene in general, it has punched well above its weight. Having been a reluctant leader, like Litmanen, will Finland once again step up to help define a new age, a post-industrial or re-industrial age? Unlike 1917, there are few obvious external drivers to force Finns to define Finnishness. So where will the desire for change come from?

Finland, and Finnishness, is not immune to the problems facing other European countries; the Eurocrisis, domestic xenophobia, industrial strife. Challenging these is difficult for an engineering culture not yet used to working with uncertainty, and in collaboration.

That requires this sense of openness to ambiguity, to non-planning, which is quite unlike the traditional mode of Finnishness. And yet there are also valuable cues in Finnishness, such as in the design—or undesign, as Leonard Koren would have it—of Finnish sauna culture.
"Making nature really means letting nature happen, since nature, the ultimate master of interactive complexity, is organized along principles too inscrutable for us to make from scratch. … Extraordinary baths … are created by natural geologic processes or by composers of sensory stimulation working in an intuitive, poetic, open-minded—undesign—manner." (Koren, ibid.)

Equally, the päiväkoti day-care system demonstrates a learning environment built with an agile structure that can follow where children wish to lead. The role of expertise—and every teacher in Finnish education is a highly-qualified expert—is not to control or enforce a national curriculum, but to react, shape, nurture and inspire. As such it could be a blueprint not only for education generally, but also for developing a culture comfortable with divergent learning, with exploration and experiment, with a broader social and emotional range, and with ambiguity.

Chess grandmaster Savielly Tartakower once said “Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do, strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” Indeed, Finland's early development was driven by tactics—survival, consolidation and then growth in the face of a clear set of "things to do"; defeat the conditions, resist the neighbours, rebuild after war.

With that, came success, comfort and then perhaps the inevitable lack of drive. The country is relatively well off and stable, and perhaps a little complacent given the recent accolades.

Design in recent years has seen a shift towards the ephemeral and social—interaction design, service design, user experience design, strategic design and so on. Conversely, there has been a return to the physical, albeit altered and transformed by that new modernity, with that possibility of newly hybrid “things”: digital/physical hybrids possessing a familiar materiality yet allied with responsiveness, awareness, and character by virtue of having the internet embedded within. With its strong technical research sector, and expertise in both materials and software, Finland is well-placed. Connect the power of its nascent nanotech research sector—interestingly, derived from its expertise with wood—to a richer Finnish design culture capable of sketching social objects, social services and social spaces and its potential becomes tangible, just as with the 1930s modernism that fused the science and engineering of the day with design in order to produce Artek.

Finnish design could be stretched to encompass these new directions, the aforementioned reversals towards openness, ambiguity, sociality, flexibility and softness. Given that unique DNA of Finnishness — both designed and undesigned, both old and young—Finland is at an interesting juncture.

The next phase, then, is knowing what to do, despite the appearance of not having anything to do.

Buckminster Fuller, a guest at Sitra's first design-led event at Helsinki’s Suomenlinna island fortress in 1968, once said “the best way to predict the future is to design it.” Finland has done this once before; it may be that now is exactly the right time to do it again."
finland  2014  design  danhill  cityofsound  sitra  buckminsterfuller  education  strategy  culture  exploration  experimentation  ambiguity  emergentcurriculumeurope  undesign  leonardkoren  nature  complexity  simplicity  davidendt  jarilitmanen  unproduct  efficiency  inefficiency  clarity  purity  small  slow  sisu  solitude  silence  barnraising  helsinki 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Kokoro & Moi – Your ninjas on the ceiling
"Well hello. We are a full-service creative agency transforming brands with bold ideas and progressive concepts. Our focus is on strategy, identity and design."



"Kokoro & Moi, established in 2001, is a full-service creative agency transforming brands with bold ideas and progressive concepts. Our focus is on strategy, identity and design.

The mindset? We are always asking questions, challenging norms and piecing together new worlds to solve tasks in unique ways. It's a playground out there, so let's play with what we can with no preconceptions. In a world overloaded with messages, we use the power of design to help our clients stand out.

We create authentic and innovative strategies, craft imaginative solutions and make an impact in the required media – from print and digital to products and environments. There's always a way. However we define it here, each case is unique and a collaboration. We've worked alongside a broad and international range of commercial players, from multinationals to start-ups as well as a variety of cultural and public institutions.

This is how we intend to continue – setting the standard, then continuing to evolve it.


Our Services

1) Strategy
Positioning, Brand Architecture, Brand & Communication Strategy, Brand & Concept Development

2) Identity
Naming, Visual Identity, Art Direction, Tone of Voice & Storytelling

3) Design
Print, Digital & Interactive, Spaces & Environments, Events & Exhibitions, Editorial & Publishing, Products & Packaging, Signage & Wayfinding, Consultancy & Curation"
kokoro&moi  finland  graphic  design  graphicdesign  strategy  identity  branding 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Rory Hyde Projects / Blog » Blog Archive » Potential Futures for Design Practice
"Here follows a brief survey of these new roles for designers, each representing potential futures for design practice.

The Community Enabler

The healthy boom of the past two decades has led the architect to become accustomed to producing boutique solutions for private clients; a comfortable scenario that has distracted us from our responsibility for society at large. By reconceiving the role of the architect not as a designer of buildings, but as a custodian of the built environment, the space of opportunity and tools at our disposal are vastly expanded.

The Renew Newcastle project, established and led by Marcus Westbury, illustrates the value of people in the improvement of a public space. While millions had been spent by local government on rebuilding the physical aspects of Newcastle’s rundown and largely deserted Hunter St mall, the simple gesture of opening up vacant spaces for use by creative practitioners and businesses has kick-started its revival. [5]

The Visionary Pragmatist

The stereotype of the architect as an obsessive, black skivvy-wearing aesthete who produces detailed artefacts of beauty is a pervasive one that may sometimes live up to the truth. This is a potentially dangerous perception however, as it promotes our interest in form over our value as strategic thinkers. By promoting our capacity to challenge the underlying assumptions of a problem and to develop responses informed by a larger context, we can hope to be invited into projects at an earlier, more decisive stage, and not as mere cake-decorators.

Chilean practice Elemental, led by Alejandro Aravena, views the larger contexts of policy, financing and social mobility as equally important territories for the architect to understand and engage. The multi-unit housing project in Iquique proposed a unique solution to the issue of the limited funding allocated per unit of social housing. By providing ‘half of a good house’ [6], and configuring it in a way that enabled future expansion, the residents can create housing of real personal value and utility.

The Trans-Disciplinary Integrator

The complex, manifold and integrated issues of today cannot be solved by architecture alone. To be truly instrumental, we need to open ourselves to new constructive alliances with thinkers and makers from beyond our discipline.

RMIT’s Design Research Institute, established in 2008 by Professor Mark Burry, is a research centre directed toward collaboration and information sharing between students and professionals from over 30 disciplinary backgrounds. By harnessing collective expertise, the DRI is able to address major social and environmental dilemmas that do not conform to the traditional boundaries of design training. [7]

By transcending our own expectations and limits, we can in turn recast society’s expectations of what we are capable of addressing.

The Social Entrepreneur

The economic crisis has been heralded as the end of architecture’s ‘obsession with the image’. What this hope overlooks however, is the powerful narrative potential of architectural communication in catalysing complex visions for the future. Deploying this power to address social aims allows architects to contribute meaningfully to the future of the city by posing the critical question: ‘what if?’

PLOT’s (now BIG and JDS) scheme for the Klovermarken park was developed in response to Copenhagen’s acute housing shortage. Through a media campaign which promoted their solution to provide 3000 units within in a perimeter block without sacrificing a single sporting field, PLOT were able to generate significant public interest in the project, which led to the government holding a competition for the site. Although PLOT did not win the commission, the project is proceeding nonetheless, providing much-needed housing to the inner city, and demonstrating the value of practical vision. [8] (I’ve discussed this project before in an earlier post on Unsolicited Architecture.)

The Practicing Researcher

Architecture’s current model of charging as a percentage of the construction cost does little to justify the thinking and intelligence that is embedded in the process. The inability to distinguish our conceptual value from our production-focused value that this model implies also means we are not natural candidates for projects that require the approach of an architect, but that may not result in a building.

AMO, the think tank of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture, was established precisely to focus on this type of work, by applying ‘architectural thinking in its pure form to questions of organisation, identity, culture and program’. [9] The project Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, delivers on its title with a radical scheme of integrated green power generation stretching from North Africa to Norway. By not being constrained to any particular building commission, this research can operate at a scale that holds the potential for real global impact. (I have discussed this project further in an earlier post Whole Earth Rise.)

The Long-Term Strategist

While form is an important aspect of the architect’s repertoire, it is now just one of a larger set of tools directed at achieving results. The challenge of environmental sustainability has brought with it the necessary obligation that buildings perform as designed, and can adapt throughout their life to meet changing demands and targets. We can no longer simply design the object, but must also design the strategy of implementation and long-term evaluation as part of our responsibilities.

The Low2No competition organised by the Finnish innovation fund Sitra made these long-term strategies a central requirement of the design brief. [10] With the ambitious aim of producing an urban development solution in Helsinki that would over time be carbon negative, the teams were asked not only to produce an architectural vision, but a future strategy for delivering these environmental results. By looking beyond the immediate horizon of project completions, the strategist takes on a greater responsibility and interest in a successful outcome.

The Design Management Thinker

One of the current buzzwords in the design world at the moment is ‘design thinking’. Although it has many definitions, one interpretation is of the application of a design approach to problems in fields outside of design, such as business and management. [11] This is heralded as a potential means for designers to expand their reach and to reclaim their instrumentality and relevance to other disciplines.

However, we are also witnessing the rise of its inverse; a more threatening scenario whereby management consultants occupy the territory traditionally held by architects. As the role of cities in the globalised world evolves from simply being designed to deliver quality of life, to being speculative instruments of investment, governments are increasingly turning to financial and management consultants for advice instead of urbanists or architects. This is particularly true in the Gulf region of the Middle East, where McKinsey & Company has produced the Vision 2030 plan for Bahrain, and have reportedly also been developing the plans for Saudi Arabia’s new economic cities. [12] This potential future should be treated by architects as both a warning and an opportunity for coalition.

The Unsolicited Architect

The potential for architects to address the challenges of the future are limited by our reactive model of commissioning. In a concept outlined by Volume magazine in the issue of the same name, unsolicited architects create their own briefs, identify their own sites, approach their own clients and find their own financing. This requires a more entrepreneurial mindset, as the tools of architecture and architectural thinking are only powerful if they can be unshackled from the constraints of a given brief.

Faced with the planned demolition of the building where they have their offices to make way for encroaching gentrification, landscape architects ZUS created ‘De Dépendance’, a counter proposal to reuse the building as a centre for urban culture and a hub for like-minded institutions and businesses. [13] With support from the municipality and media exposure, they were able to turn around the developer, who now supports their proposal. By developing a viable alternative, instead of merely protesting, ZUS were able to steer the project to an outcome that is both equitable and beneficial for all parties."
architecture  design  future  practice  2014  roryhyde  marcuswestbury  elemental  alejandroaravena  transdisciplinary  markburry  klovermarken  big  jds  plot  amo  oma  low2no  sitra  strategy  via:ablerism 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Be Nelson Mandela | Easily Distracted
"So he was a strategist. This, too, is a commonplace thing to say about Mandela. More than a few of the well-prepared obituaries that have been circulating since yesterday afternoon have repeated Ahmed Kathrada’s oft-told tale of a three-day chess game that Mandela played against a new detainee on Robben Island, until his opponent surrendered. But this too isn’t quite right, if it’s meant to confer superhuman acuity on Mandela. As he himself was quick to say for much of his life, he made a great many mistakes as both leader and man. The ANC’s approach to the political struggle in South Africa, whether under the active leadership of Mandela and his circle or not, has been full of bone-headed moves. Mandela’s commitment to the armed struggle was a strategic necessity and a political masterstroke, but the actual activities of MK were mostly a sideshow to the real revolution fought in the townships after 1976. It’s not as if Mandela sat down and said, “Ok, so now I go into jail for 27 years and come out a statesman”. His life as both revolutionary and president was, as any political life is, a series of improvisations and accidents.

His improvisations were far more gifted than most, in part because of his disciplined approach to political selfhood. That’s the thing that made Mandela’s strategy and his adaptations stand out. All of his selves and words and decisions were an enactment of the enduring nation he meant to live in some day. I think that is the difference between him and many of his nationalist contemporaries who ascended to power in newly independent African states between 1960 and 1990. (This, too, needs remembering today: Mandela came to nationalism in the same historical moment as Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Kaunda, and so on.) The difference is that Mandela was always looking through the struggle to its ultimate ends, whereas most of the nationalists could see little further than the retreat of the colonial powers from the continent and the defeat of any local political rivals. Perhaps that was because Mandela and his closest allies, even during the Youth League’s insurgency against the old ANC leadership, could see that the endgame of apartheid could never be as simple as making a colonizer go back home. Perhaps it is just that he was a better person, a bigger man, a greater leader than most of them.

Or indeed, most of all the leaders of his time in this respect: to keep a long view of the world he ultimately thought his people, all people, should live in. He is the head of his class on a global scale, standing tall not just above his African contemporaries but above most other nationalists and certainly above the neoliberal West, whose leaders seem almost embarrassed to have ever thought about politics as the art of shaping a better future for all."



"When you say, “He was a great statesman”, credit what that means. It means that he looked ahead, kept his eyes on the prize, and tried to do what needed doing, whether that meant taking up arms, or playing chess, or making a friendly connection with a potentially friendly jailer. If you’re going to say it, then credit first that there might be great leaders (and great movements) where you right now see only terrorism or revolution or disorder. That so many people were wrong about Mandela should at least allow for that much.

Don’t forget that it wasn’t just the Cold War leadership of the West that was wrong. Other African nationalists were wrong: many forget that for a time, the PAC had a serious chance of being taken as the legitimate representative of the aspirations of South Africans. Of course, some of them were perfectly right about Mandela and that’s why they hated him both early and late, because he had a far-sightedness and a realistic vision of a world that could be that they lacked. For someone like Robert Mugabe, the most unforgiveable thing about Mandela is that having power, he gave it up. And those on the left who just want to remember Mandela the revolutionary have to remember that Mandela the neoliberal was largely the same man, with the same political vision.

So of course it sticks in the craw to hear those who would have condemned Mandela (and those who did condemn him through word and deed) now speak of his greatness. But again, the point is not to say, “You were wrong this once, because this man”. It is to say, “You are often wrong, and not just because your judgement of individual greatness is wrong.” You are wrong when you can’t be bothered to hear from people who would have been, who were, your friends when they come to testify about how your drones killed their families, wrong when you spy on anyone going into a mosque in New York City, wrong when you let some mid-rank bureaucrat or think-tank enfant play the role of policy-wonk Iago who whispers to you which friends to murder or neglect. You are wrong when you pretend that from Washington or London you can sort and sift through who ought to be allowed to win desperate struggles for freedom and justice and who should not, and wrong when you arm and forgive and advise the same kind of grifters who take your money and laugh all the way to the torture chambers.

You were wrong then and now because you won’t let yourself see a Mandela. But also because you think that the privilege of making a Mandela belongs to the empire. This in the end is his final legacy: that he, and his closest colleagues, and the people in the streets of Soweto, and maybe even a bit (though not nearly so much as they themselves would like to think) the global allies of the anti-apartheid struggle, all of that made Mandela. Mandela made himself, much as he in his humility would always insist that he was made by the people and was their servant."



"What no one really wants to see is Mandela the builder, because nowhere in that sight can we find our own reflection.

That’s why he seems like such a lonely giant, mourned by all, imitated by none. Because who now can boast of a long-term view of the future? Who is looking past the inadequacies of the moment to a better dispensation? Who really works to see and imagine a place, a nation, a world in which we might all want to live and then plots the distance between here and there? Some of us know what we despise, we know the shape of the boot on our neck or the weight on our shoulders. Some of us know what we fear: the shadow of a plane falling on a skyscraper, the cough of a bomb exploding, the loss of an ease in the world. We know how to feel a hundred daily outrages at a stupid or bad thing said, how to gesture at the empty spaces where a vision once resided, how to sneer at our splitters and wankers, how to invest endless energies in demanding symbolic triumphs that lead nowhere and build nothing. Our political leaders (and South Africa’s, too) have no vision beyond the next re-election and their retinues of pundits and experts and appointees are happy to compliment and flatter the vast expanses of their nakedness in return for a share of the spoils.

Mourn the statesman and the revolutionary and the terrorist and the neoliberal and the ethicist and the pragmatist and the saint and don’t you dare try to discard or remove any part of that whole. Celebrate him? Sure, but then make sure you’re willing to consider emulating him."
nelsonmandela  timothyburke  2013  vision  forethought  longterm  longtermthinking  visionaries  politics  africa  southafrica  history  strategy  power  leadership 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Institutional Strategy Digest
"A 'zine produced on the occasion of "Professional Forum: Institutional Strategy from Europe to the U.S." a session presented at the Museums and the Web conference in Portland, Oregon on April 19, 2013. Edited by Sarah Hromack, Head of Digital Media, Whitney Museum of American Art and John Stack, Head of Digital Transformation, Tate"
museums  institutions  museumsandtheweb  design  sarahhromack  johnstack  2013  strategy  institutionalstrategydesign 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Design is the easy part… | disambiguity
"Politics and egos are the main reasons that great design goes awry – either it is never presented (because presenting it is a risk to those egos and would be not wise politically), or it is presented and dismissed, or it is presented and then changed such that egos are not wounded and the politics are in tact, the design integrity is hardly a passing consideration.

Organisation processes and complexity are another common killer. As more and more, the digital products replace the previous products and functions of the organisation, this requires a transition in how things should be done that most organisations are unprepared for an unwilling to support. They’d rather keep doing things the way they always have, and craft a design that doesn’t trouble their processes or require additional resources. You know you’re designing for an organisation on the way out the back door when you come across this – disrupt yourselves or be disrupted, Peter Drucker, amongst others, has been telling us this for half a century (or more). Still, it can be surprisingly hard to do. We don’t like change and the changes required often threaten the existing egos and power structures. See above."
leisareichelt  design  systemsthinking  systems  politics  organizations  disruption  2013  peterdrucker  change  gamechanging  egos  organzationalchange  oganizations  bureaucracy  culture  transitions  strategy 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Evan Williams's Advice to Start-Ups: Don't Be Too Data-Driven - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
"Projects that are worthwhile often don’t work right away, Williams noted… He urged start-ups to be willing to “fight the dragons.”

“I see this mentality that I think is common, especially in Silicon Valley with engineer-driven start-ups who think they can test their way to success. They don’t acknowledge the dip. And with really hard problems, you don’t see market success right away. You have to be willing to go through the dark forest and believe that there’s something down there worth fighting the dragons for, because if you don’t, you’ll never do anything good. I think it’s kind of problematic how data-driven some companies are today, as crazy as that sounds.”

"But all that capacity to instrument and analyze and optimize can be overused. If the possible outcomes are set before the experiment begins, there’s probably not much room for creativity.
Or, as Williams noted, the data can make it look like something’s not worth doing, even when it is."
entrepreneurship  strategy  startups  data-driveninstruction  2012  measurement  quantification  siliconvalley  persistence  cv  tcsnmy  data  evanwilliams 
december 2012 by robertogreco
The Brooklyn Strategist - Game Center, Cafe, Social Club - New York
"At The Brooklyn Strategist, we love games! Our unique atmosphere is a great place to enjoy strategy, community and competition through interactive board- and card-games. It is a place to play, learn, think creatively, socialize and strategize against an opponent or with team members. We are pleased to offer afternoon clubs to kids (7+ years old), tweens, teens and adults and look forward to providing our community with a space that promotes fun, interaction and learning."
strategy  learning  nyc  gaming  boardgames  games  brooklyn 
december 2012 by robertogreco
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg McKeown - Harvard Business Review
"Why don't successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call "the clarity paradox," which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure. …"
glvo  diffusion  opportunity  attention  effort  2012  clarityofpurpose  clarity  enricsala  gregmckeowen  purpose  psychology  endowmenteffect  focus  simplicity  strategy  business  work  careeradvice  careers  success  discipline 
august 2012 by robertogreco
BuzzFeed’s strategy - Chris Dixon
"Why BuzzFeed Is Succeeding Right Now?

1) Long Term Focus

When you compare web publishing today with what Hearst and Conde Nast built in the last century, it is clear that online publishing has a long long way to go. …

2) Respecting our Readers

We care about the experience of people who read BuzzFeed and we don’t try to trick them for short term gain. This approach is surprisingly rare.

How does this matter in practice? First of all, we don’t publish slideshows. Instead we publish scrollable lists so readers don’t have to click a million times and can easily scroll through a post. …

3) We Build The Whole Enchilada…

4) We Are Doing Something Hard…

5) We Got Lucky!

A big part of our recent success has also been luck.  People don’t like to admit it but skill is 63% luck.

6) We Don’t Treat Half Our Team Like Losers…

7) Our Awesome Team…

But Success Is Fragile…"
readers  entrepreneurship  luck  chrisdixon  strategy  business  media  journalism  buzzfeed  publishing  scrolling  pagination  longterm 
august 2012 by robertogreco
r/K selection theory - Wikipedia
"In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of combinations of traits in an organism that trade off between quantity and quality of offspring. The focus upon either increased quantity of offspring at the expense of individual parental investment, or reduced quantity of offspring with a corresponding increased parental investment, varies widely, seemingly to promote success in particular environments. In this context, r-selection makes a species prone to numerous reproduction at low cost per an individual offspring, while K-selected species expend high cost in reproduction for a low number of more difficult to produce offspring. Neither mode of propagation is intrinsically superior, and in fact they can coexist in the same habitat, as in rodents and elephants…

[Via: http://twitter.com/vruba/status/223537377568768000 ]
naturalselection  selection  r/Kselectiontheory  strategy  sociology  theory  science  ecology  evolution  biology  via:charlieloyd 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Q&A
"Q&A is a project-based alliance between four Helsinki practices. Operating in the fields of design, strategy, architecture and art, they come together for multifaceted commissions and initiatives, to ask and propose."
q&a  laurijohansson  prototo  marttikalliala  villetikka  wevolve  jennasutela  okdo  strategy  designthinking  architecture  art  design  finland 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch | Fast Company
'Culture is a balanced blend of human psychology, attitudes, actions, and beliefs that combined create either pleasure or pain, serious momentum or miserable stagnation. A strong culture flourishes with a clear set of values and norms that actively guide the way a company operates. Employees are actively and passionately engaged in the business, operating from a sense of confidence and empowerment rather than navigating their days through miserably extensive procedures and mind-numbing bureaucracy. Performance-oriented cultures possess statistically better financial growth, with high employee involvement, strong internal communication, and an acceptance of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve new levels of innovation."
failure  success  accountability  responsibility  administration  leadership  spirit  cohesion  connection  agency  motivation  focus  lcproject  tcsnmy  business  innovation  strategy  management  culture 
january 2012 by robertogreco
AIGA | Video: Valerie Casey
"What does design look like next? We are experiencing unprecedented, global change in economics, cultures and priorities. Natural catastrophes, social unrest and financial turmoil have created the perfect storm where the notion of returning to “business as usual” is not only improbable but impossible. Designers have an opportunity to contribute richly to creating the new world order, but only if we adapt our mindsets and methodologies. As a community, we are at the cusp of a great transformation: evolving from making products to developing services, negotiating the balance between strategy and craft, participating in deeper transdisciplinary conversations, and finding a authentic foothold in the world of “good.” What do we need to do to transform our thinking and practices to help build the new normal?"
valeriecasey  design  aiga  aigapivot  2011  towatch  strategy  craft  transdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  change 
december 2011 by robertogreco
The American Crawl : “Pandemic Right Here! Got That Pandemic!”
"A board game that relies on collaboration amongst players instead of competition, Pandemic finds players racing around the globe treating infections and feverishly trying to discover the cure before another epidemic wrecks havoc on the globe. In effect, the players are working together to beat the game; either we all win or – as was most oft the case for us – we all lose.

A game that can be played by anyone, we found ourselves deliberating every action and discussing (or arguing) strategy. We were metacognitive in our decision making process. We highlighted what failed in past games (deciding to ignore the wildfire-like spread of disease in Asia, for instance was a particularly terrible strategy) and relied on our various locations, cards, and other game attributes to eventually beat the game."
pandemic  boardgames  games  play  collaboration  anterogarcia  2009  strategy  classideas 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Chuck Klosterman on Amherst, Maine Maritime Academy, and innovation in college football - Grantland
"Watch a major college game, and the action gets weird. You immediately see plays that simply can't happen1 in a pro game. At the subdivision and Division II tiers, things get stranger still. And by the time you hit Division III, you begin to see football games that are more philosophical than technical. With no athletic scholarships and extremely limited resources, football becomes a game in which the system matters more than the play calling or the personnel. The polarities become acute. This is where you find the most extreme versions of contemporary football: This is where you find teams that still live in the 1950s and teams trying to play basketball on grass. This is the level where football changes — and also where it doesn't change at all."<br />
<br />
[Relates, from 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/magazine/05Football-t.html?pagewanted=all ]
sports  football  collegefootball  via:lukeneff  2011  mainemaritimeacademy  cv  chuckklosterman  tactics  strategy  amherst  oregon  ncaa 
september 2011 by robertogreco
InfraNet Lab » Blog Archive » Infrastructural Opportunism, A Manifesto
1. Know That There is a System of Systems…2. Architects as Expert Generalists: Buckminster Fuller, labeled a dilettante and a dabbler in his age, was instead the forerunner of a new breed of designer / thinker that we like to call the expert generalist. Long live the new expert generalists!…3. Be Alert to What Has Just Happened; Be Entrepreneurial…4. There is Always Missing Information, Use it…5. Agile Maneuverability Rewrites Protocols…6. Software Can be Big and Physical, Like Hardware…7. Be Resourceful…8. Measurements Can be Misleading, But Oh So Fruitful…9. Scalar Indifference…10. Live By Strategy, Play by Tactic: The Russian chessplayer Savielly Tartakower said: Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do, strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do."
architecture  cities  urban  infrastructure  systems  systemsthinking  generalists  buckminsterfuller  dabblers  glvo  design  cv  observation  timeliness  measurement  tactics  strategy  systemicimagining  saviellytartakower  resourcefulness  resources  maneuverability  information  bigpicture  thinking  designthinking  adaptability  mobility  opportunity  entrepreneurship  houseofleaves 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Michel de Certeau - Wikipedia [via: http://twitter.com/joguldi/status/73414744849129472 ]
"…Certeau's most well-known & influential work in US has been The Practice of Everyday Life.…combined his disparate scholarly interests to develop a theory of the productive & consumptive activity inherent in everyday life. According to Certeau, everyday life is distinctive from other practices of daily existence because it is repetitive & unconscious. In this context, Certeau’s study of everyday life is neither the study of “popular culture”, nor is it necessarily the study of everyday resistances to regimes of power. Instead, Certeau attempts to outline the way individuals unconsciously navigate everything from city streets to literary texts.<br />
<br />
Perhaps the most influential aspect of TPoEL has emerged from scholarly interest in Certeau’s distinction btwn the concepts of strategy & tactics. Certeau links "strategies" w/ institutions & structures of power who are the "producers", while individuals are "consumers" acting in environments defined by strategies by using "tactics"."
art  culture  history  urbanism  micheldecerteau  via:joguldi  via:steelemaley  research  strategy  strategies  tactics  thepracticeofeverydaylife  power  religion  colonialism  grids  cities  urban  living 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (Paperback) - Routledge
"This unique and ground-breaking book is the result of 15 years research and synthesises over 800 meta-analyses on the influences on achievement in school-aged students. It builds a story about the power of teachers, feedback, and a model of learning and understanding. The research involves many millions of students and represents the largest ever evidence based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning. Areas covered include the influence of the student, home, school, curricula, teacher, and teaching strategies. A model of teaching and learning is developed based on the notion of visible teaching and visible learning.

A major message is that what works best for students is similar to what works best for teachers – an attention to setting challenging learning intentions, being clear about what success means, and an attention to learning strategies for developing conceptual understanding about what teachers and students know and understand…"
johnhattie  education  learning  teaching  schools  practice  meaning  challenge  success  attention  strategy  curriculum  visiblelearning  via:cervus  books  routledgeinternational  toread 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Nokia’s Burning Ships strategy | asymco
"Leaders motivating followers by removing means to surrender or retreat is not uncommon. It’s harsh & brutal. It’s not a natural thing do do: destroying perfectly useful options is value destructive & generates outrage, even mutiny.

In Nokia’s case, institutional inertia with a vestigial Symbian effort would compel the organization to maintain the current platform while treating the new alternative as a pathogen.

Counter-distruption theory states that the response to a disruption requires a focused approach through an autonomous challenger protected from corporate antibodies by the CEO herself. In this case, the autonomous organization is outside the company (Microsoft). Protecting the new effort was not possible w/ a Chinese wall. The only alternative was to simply get rid of the old & start w/ a clean slate…

…Nokia’s new CEO did not just jump off a “burning platform” but that once he jumped he made sure it kept burning so that nobody thought of going back on board."
microsoft  nokia  asymco  mobile  strategy  leadership  management  disruption  2011  symbian  administration 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: A culture of testing [Adapted version by Josie Holford: http://www.pdscompasspoint.com/a-culture-of-testing]
"Netflix tests everything. They're very proud that they A/B test interactions, offerings, pricing, everything. It's almost enough to get you to believe that rigorous testing is the key to success.

Except they didn't test the model of renting DVDs by mail for a monthly fee.

And they didn't test the model of having an innovative corporate culture.

And they didn't test the idea of betting the company on a switch to online delivery.

The three biggest assets of the company weren't tested, because they couldn't be.

Sure, go ahead and test what's testable. But the real victories come when you have the guts to launch the untestable."
testing  innovation  netflix  strategy  sethgodin  quantification  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  lcproject  culture 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Scaling startups
"People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year."

"Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity."

"If you follow process religiously, you’ll never get anything done!"

"Hire well: This goes without saying, and I didn’t mention it in the panel. It’s a big topic probably best left for another post. Hiring great people makes everything else below easier.

Communication: Everyone in the company uses IRC, not just engineers. Everyone, all the time, from the CEO on down. Sure, sometimes you can miss things if you’re not in IRC at the time, but the benefits far outweigh the costs, and you have a lot fewer meetings about day-to-day mundane issues. …

Encourage experimentation … External transparency … Embracing failure …"
business  culture  startups  startup  entrepreneurship  scalability  risk  failure  strategy  chaddickerson  transparency  experimentation  tcsnmy  communication  process  purpose  riskassessment  riskaversion  risks  risktaking  hiring  via:stamen  scale 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Schumpeter: The curse of the alien boss | The Economist
"One of the few things that management theorists agree on is that recruiting bosses from outside is something that you should avoid if you can. Listen to über-guru Jim Collins: in “Good to Great”, he observed that more than 90% of the CEOs of his sample of highly successful companies were recruited internally. Or consult Rakesh Khurana of Harvard Business School: in “Searching for a Corporate Saviour”, he described how companies that invest their hopes in a charismatic outsider are usually disappointed. Or read the painstaking studies that come out of the Academy of Management: they show that even companies that are having a hard time are better off sticking with an insider. The curse of the alien boss is particularly potent in the high-tech sector: think of John Sculley’s disastrous reign at Apple or Carly Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard."
leadership  insiders  outsiders  jimcollins  nokia  strategy  outsider 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Sitra - Programme operations, funding and innovations
"This is Sitra: Building a successful Finland for tomorrow<br />
<br />
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund is an independent public fund which under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament promotes the welfare of Finnish society. Sitra’s responsibilities have been stipulated in law.<br />
<br />
Since its establishment, Sitra’s duty has been to promote stable and balanced development in Finland, the qualitative and quantitative growth of its economy and its international competitiveness and co-operation. Our operations are governed by a vision of a successful and skilled Finland. We have always approached our operations with strong belief in the future and in the ability of the latest technology to generate well-being.<br />
<br />
Promoting systemic changes as a visionary and an enabler"
finland  design  architecture  innovation  urbanism  strategy  government  helsinki  organizations  future  futures  sustainability  well-being 
august 2010 by robertogreco
What The Fuck Is My Social Media Strategy? [Generates buzzwordy strategy statements]
From the about page: "How to sound like a social media expert:

Mix together words from both columns to form sentences that make simple things sound more complicated than they are.

Voila, a fancy sounding "strategy" that you can put in your presentations.

The moral of the story? Social media should be about making brands more accessible to users. Not using fancy words."
bullshit  language  twitter  business  buzzwords  socialnetworking  socialmedia  humor  generator  media  satire  marketing  internet  strategy  advertising  2010  socialmediastrategy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Urgent Evoke » What Went Right, What Went Wrong: Lessons from Season 1 of EVOKE.
"2. We focused on real, intrinsic motivation & real activity. We didn’t adopt a “sugar with the medicine” approach. The rewards weren’t artificial; the rewards were to learn world-changing ideas and to be creative and to master social innovation skills. & we didn’t do simulation or virtual worlds. We linked real-world stories & efforts with online interaction & feedback.
janemcgonigal  evoke  design  socialgaming  social  socialmedia  socialsoftware  gamedesign  gaming  strategy  intrinsicmotivation  facebook  reflection  games  feedback 
july 2010 by robertogreco
designswarm thoughts » Thoughts on corporate innovation
"The half-baked R&D Model: Companies who don’t officially have a space for innovation but have one or 2 people who are creative and want to do r&d. So they make them do r&d mostly but brush it aside the second client work comes in. Really dangerous as a model as the level of frustration of those people escalates rather rapidly. You’re either dedicated to the idea that people can do good new and useful things in specific conditions where they are isolated from the everyday, or not. Don’t pretend...
innovation  creativity  strategy  business  small  tcsnmy  frustration  cv  r&d  apple  nokia  organizations  process  development  commitment 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on TED.com
"Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling." [See the comment thread for mixed reactions.]
leadership  management  innovation  entrepreneurship  business  apple  culture  education  marketing  motivation  ted  strategy  tcsnmy  why  vision  purpose  lcproject  whyhowwhat  mission  howto  organizations 
july 2010 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Method designing
"like many designers, I have to immerse myself in cultural context of my work in order to get results. I’ve come to think of this as ‘method designing’, after method acting; way of ‘getting into character’ that consciously & subconsciously informs design process. ...approach might come from fact that, as a designer, I’ve actually spent a lot of time writing, curating & doing strategic work. All...require ability to process vast amounts of data (often media) fairly rapidly & synthesise into some new form—as does designing, or at least the kind done by designers like me. I find it difficult to have a discussion around form & function w/out trying to get at ineffable, intangible aspects of project’s context, for which I’m yet to discover a good word. Raymond Williams’ ‘structure of feeling’ partly does it, & mise-en-scène does to a limited extent, but ‘context’ isn’t quite enough, & doesn’t get at the lived experience & cultural aspects as well as the socio-economic & form-based."
mise-en-scène  structureoffeeling  danhill  cityofsound  design  methoddesigning  methodacting  immersion  cities  helsinki  literature  understanding  howwework  howwelearn  experience  culture  process  tcsnmy  classideas  writing  curating  media  strategy  data  synthesis  context  toshare  topost 
july 2010 by robertogreco
- The Obvious? - Unlearning
"I often think that I am not teaching people in business anything new about social media so much as helping them unlearn some bad habits about communication. Helping them to unlearn the use of management speak, the use of dispassionate third person language, the tone of aloofness that has seemed in the past to afford them protection.

I so well remember when I got my first real management job being petrified at the sense of responsibility. Like so many do I started trying to protect myself by wearing a tie and talking funny. Spouting stuff about “process” and “strategy” and “empowerment”. Thankfully I grabbed hold of myself, pulled myself back from that slippery slope and ditched the tie. Many don’t. They keep going and become so immersed in the nonsense that they forget how to be any other way."
management  leadership  administration  euansemple  communication  unlearning  habits  buzzwords  empowerment  process  strategy  dress 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Another Nail in the Pageview Coffin | Mike Industries
"Think of how a typical user session works on most news sites these days. A user loads an article (1 pageview), pops open a slideshow (1 pageview), flips through 30 slides of an HTML-based slideshow (30 pageviews). That’s 32 pageviews and a lot of extraneous downloading and page refreshing.
advertising  pageviews  analytics  usability  msnbc  strategy  userexperience  webdesign  digitalmedia  journalism  news  webdev 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Organic Startup Ideas
"So if you want to come up with organic startup ideas, I'd encourage you to focus more on the idea part and less on the startup part. Just fix things that seem broken, regardless of whether it seems like the problem is important enough to build a company on. If you keep pursuing such threads it would be hard not to end up making something of value to a lot of people, and when you do, surprise, you've got a company. [3]

Don't be discouraged if what you produce initially is something other people dismiss as a toy. In fact, that's a good sign. That's probably why everyone else has been overlooking the idea. The first microcomputers were dismissed as toys. And the first planes, and the first cars. At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest."
paulgraham  entrepreneurship  startups  ideas  strategy  business  creativity  advice  design  problemsolving  lcproject  tcsnmy 
april 2010 by robertogreco
From Social Media to Social Strategy - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review
"Today, the meaning is the message. The "message" of the Internet's social revolution is more meaningful work, economics, politics, society, and organization. It promises radically more meaning: to make stuff matter, once again, in human terms, not just financial ones. ... Social strategies are about reinventing tomorrow. Their goal is nothing less than changing the DNA of an organization, ecosystem, or industry. Want to get radical? Stop applying 20th century principles ("product," "buzz," "loyalty") to 21st century media. The fundamental change of scale and pace that social tools introduce into human affairs — their great tectonic shift — is the promise of more meaningful work, stuff, and organization. Start with "the meaning is the message" instead."
brands  socialnetworking  umairhaque  twitter  strategy  marketing  meaning  society  socialmedia  culture  creativity  communication  change  business  innovation  tcsnmy  clarity  cohesion  choreography  control  hierarchy  character 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The Collapse of Complex Business Models « Clay Shirky
"When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future."
simplicity  complexity  bureaucracy  business  businessmodels  change  civilization  clayshirky  collapse  economics  future  history  innovation  internet  journalism  video  strategy  society  culture 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Delivered in Beta on Vimeo
"Delivered in Beta: an immediated autodocumentary

How are social media changing design? What is the value of a prototype? How are work and play merging? Where is design headed in the 21st century? "Delivered in Beta" begins a conversation on these topics and invites your participation"
design  future  collaboration  innovation  film  diy  socialmedia  prototyping  interaction  documentary  process  sharing  objects  iteration  strategy  opensource  community  conversation  beta  development 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Wisdom Manifesto - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review
"scarcest, rarest & most valuable resource in world today is wisdom...isn't about what you "value" — about how everyone values you. To get wise, articulate your essence: the change you want to see in the world. That means literally crafting a statement of intent about "the world", like Google: "to organize the world's information & make it universally accessible."...Wisdom...requires space for experimentation & play — for people to find new ways to change the world. Google's 20% time is going the way of dinosaur — & so, unfortunately, is its wisdom. If you don't get time at work to ignite wise ideas, ask for some, or better yet: take some...Wisdom's battle is the real one: never to compromise your essence, the way you want to change the world. Wise organizations — like wise people — spend time every day examining whether the rot of compromise has led, unintentionally, to self-defeat...Set an example...ceaseless quest for learning...Strategy is obsolete. It's time to wise up."
management  creativity  business  economics  society  success  socialenterprise  wisdom  strategy  umairhaque  tcsnmy  learning  organizations  leadership  administration  value  mission 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Daily Maverick :: YouTube turns five, hyperspaces interweb into the future
"Google, which bought Youtube less than two years after it was founded for what was then considered outrageously expensive $1.65 billion, does not want Microsoft or Apple (or anybody else) to own the dominant video format. So it has become the biggest early tester of HTML5. Your browser doesn't support HTML5? Google launches its own browser, Chrome. Need to use Internet Explorer at work because that's all your IT department supports? Google launches a Chrome framework that effectively subverts IE and makes it HTML5-compatible. The final blow will be the day that YouTube switches off Flash and starts streaming only to HTML5 browsers. On that day all browsers will be HTML5 compatible or they will perish in the flames of user outrage."
youtube  google  html5  strategy  technology  design  culture  internet  future  history  web  video  business  crossmedia  flash  2010  browser  browsers 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Scale Every Business Needs Now - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review
"Twenty-first Century scale is about ambition, not stuff. So here's a killer question to kick off 2010: Does your ambition scale? An ambition that scales is one that takes an organization already creating thick value, and expands it to affirmatively answer the three questions below: * Is it globe-spanning? * Is it world-changing? * Is it life-altering? For most organizations, the answers are: maybe, nope, not a chance. For a few, even, worse; the answers are: yes, for the worse, for even worse. Most organizations have only the tiniest, puniest, most inconsequential of ambitions. And that, quite simply, is why most are obsolete."
umairhaque  future  business  capitalism  entrepreneurship  competition  strategy  scale  passion  scalability  ambition  gamechanging  worldchanging  global  life-altering 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Why Tumblr is kicking Posterous’s ass « PEG on Tech
"Posterous has everything to win:...Y Combinator company...top-tier investors...founders experienced software engineers w/ compsci degrees from Stanford. How come it’s eating dust from small startup by high school dropout?...Tumblr is a NY company & Posterous is a SV company... Posterous...engineered product... Tumblr...designed product. Posterous is extremely well engineered...nothing wrong with it...well thought out. But it’s not just that it’s less pretty (though it is). It’s just not designed as well as Tumblr is...Posterous is typical of the SV engineering mindset where everything is measured, ranked, weighted. It’s like Google. & having terrible design like Google is great if you have a technology edge. But if you’re in a market where what matters is design edge, that’s not enough. There needs to be great design...how it works for end user. Meanwhile, Tumblr is typical of new NY startups, that have great engineering talent, but care about design, UI & UX."
blogging  siliconvalley  usability  technology  webdesign  startups  posterous  design  business  ux  webdev  strategy  newyork  comparison  interface  interaction  blogs  engineering  web  tumblr  ui  nyc  bayarea 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The Obama Disconnect: What Happens When Myth Meets Reality | techPresident
"Obama was never nearly as free of dependence on big money donors as the reporting suggested, nor was his movement as bottom-up or people-centric as his marketing implied. And this is the big story of 2009, if you ask me, the meta-story of what did, and didn't happen, in the first year of Obama's administration. The people who voted for him weren't organized in any kind of new or powerful way, and the special interests--banks, energy companies, health interests, car-makers, the military-industrial complex--sat first at the table and wrote the menu. Myth met reality, and came up wanting. … Nor, it is clear, was Obama's campaign ever really about giving control to the grassroots. … Plouffe and the rest of Obama's leadership team, wasn't really interested in grassroots empowerment. Instead, they think they've invented a 21st century version of list-building … Obama's compromises to almost every powers-that-be are tremendously demotivating"
via:preoccupations  technology  internet  barackobama  elections  2009  critique  corporations  hypocrisy  grassroots  disappointment  strategy  corruption  finance  2008  activism  collaboration  banking  ethics  media  democracy  history  politics  us  commentary 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The Question: How will football tactics develop over the next decade? | Jonathan Wilson | Sport | guardian.co.uk
"It always strikes me when reading US & Japanese accounts of football that there is a dislocation, not merely in vocabulary, but in the way of thinking about the game. This is a generalisation, of course, but broadly speaking Europeans view football more as a continuum, the US & Japanese as a series of discrete events. Japanese magazines are full of intricate diagrams that look good but I'm not sure reflect the game as a whole, while I often detect a frustration from US commentators that football doesn't lend itself more readily to the sort of statistical analysis that predominates in American football & basketball. "
football  strategy  evolution  future  rules  change  sports 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine
"instead of building a hospital in a new area, Kaiser leased space in a strip mall, set up a high tech office, & hired 2 doctors to staff it. Thanks to the digitization of records, patients could go to this "microclinic" for most of their needs & seamlessly transition to a hospital farther away when necessary...series of trials to see what such an office could do. They cut everything they could out of the clinics: no pharmacy, no radiology...explored cutting the receptionist in favor of an ATM-like kiosk where patients would check in with their Kaiser card...found that the system performed very well. 2 doctors working out of a microclinic could meet 80% of a typical patient's needs. With a hi-def video conferencing add-on, members could even link to a nearby hospital for a quick consult with a specialist. Patients would still need to travel to a full-size facility for major trauma, surgery, or access to expensive diagnostic equipment, but those are situations that arise infrequently."
design  technology  culture  future  economics  business  goodenough  cheap  simple  flip  simplicity  mp3  digital  marketing  strategy  cameras  innovation  trends  quality  music  kaiser  healthcare  medicine  clinics  hospitals 
december 2009 by robertogreco
What's Your Strategy for the Next Decade? - Umair Haque - HarvardBusiness.org
"who's the fairest of them all?...question most economists are asking. Many answer China, a few holdouts: America. I'd tell you a very different story, clashes with both orthodoxies. Economic might isn't shifting. It's evaporating. Welcome to Age of Decline...isn't just American: it's global, a descent into a new kind of economic dark age - unless different choices are made. Prosperity is a function of institutions — the building blocks on which the economy, polity, & society rest. Without the right institutions, resources cannot be seeded, nurtured, grown, &, ultimately, allocated to their most productive uses. W/out the right building blocks, markets fail, companies self-destruct, & entire economies tremble. And that should sound suspiciously familiar...America's great decline started decades ago, and has been accelerating steadily...we thought America had undergone a productivity miracle. But America's simply been working harder — not smarter. & today, we've reached Peak Dilbert"
future  economics  umairhaque  business  china  us  strategy  growth  bailouts  crisis  2009  peakdilbert  productivity  wealth  efficiency  katrinamerica  skyhooks  cranes  elinorostrom  gamechanging  decline  ageofdecline  innovation 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Why Design Thinking Won't Save You - Peter Merholz - HarvardBusiness.org
"Obviously, this is getting absurd, but that's the point. The supposed dichotomy between "business thinking" and "design thinking" is foolish. It's like the line from The Blues Brothers, in response to the question "What kind of music do you usually have here?", the woman responds, "We got both kinds. We got country and western." Instead, what we must understand is that in this savagely complex world, we need to bring as broad a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives to bear on whatever challenges we have in front of us. While it's wise to question the supremacy of "business thinking," shifting the focus only to "design thinking" will mean you're missing out on countless possibilities."
adaptivepath  anthropology  complexity  business  creativity  designthinking  thinking  leadership  innovation  critique  collaboration  2009  design  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  strategy  administration  tunnelvision  falsedichotomies  diversity  diversification 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Does Slow Growth Equal Slow Death?
"I have always believed that there is a natural, organic rate at which a business should grow & that if we expanded too fast, the wheels would come flying off...For the longest time, I smugly thought: We're profitable, our sales are rising, we make terrific products & our customers love us. So what do we have to worry about?...We do have a large competitor in our market that appears to be growing a lot faster...The company is closing big deals with big, enterprise customers. And the wheels are falling off the donkey cart over there as the company stretches to fulfill its obligations. Meanwhile, our product is miles better, and we're a well-run company, but it doesn't seem to matter. Why?...if you're not taking any risks, you're pretty much guaranteed to fail. Somewhere, there's someone out there who is taking more risks than you, and that person's business is growing faster than yours, and that person's business may one day come to dominate your industry while yours withers away."
entrepreneurship  management  business  joelspolsky  entrepreneur  software  strategy  growth  small  risk  dominance 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Way I Work: Jason Fried of 37Signals
"If anyone ever writes us with a complaint, our stance is it's our fault -- for not being clear enough or not making something work the way it should. I'm constantly keeping an eye on the problems that keep arising & then we address them. But I don't keep a list of all the complaints, because that's too time-consuming. We also get 1000s of suggestions. The default answer is always no. A lot of companies lie and say, "Sure, we'll do that." We never make promises that we can't keep, so we say, "We'll keep that in mind." Some customers don't like that...We rarely have meetings...huge waste of time...costly...chop your day into small bits...Creative people need unstructured time to get in the zone...We don't have big, long-term plans, because they're scary -- & usually wrong. Making massive decisions keeps people up at night...The closer you can get to understanding what that next moment might be, the less worried you are. Most of the decisions we make are in the moment"
37signals  productivity  planning  collaboration  entrepreneurship  strategy  jasonfried  business  work  administration  leadership  management  tcsnmy  meetings  complaints  bloat  featurecreep  features  lcproject 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Is Your Business Useless? - Umair Haque - HarvardBusiness.org
"Socially useless business is what has created a global economy on life support. Socially useless business is what has created a jobless "recovery" and mass unemployment amongst the young. Socially useless business is why we don't have a better education, healthcare, finance, energy, transportation, or media industry. Socially useless business is a culture in shock, reeling from assault after assault on the fabric of community and comity. Socially useless business is the status quo — and the status quo says: "You don't matter. Our bottom line is the only thing that matters."
design  society  umairhaque  business  sustainability  businessmodels  capitalism  humor  metaphors  value  economics  utility  strategy  socialvalue  sociallyuseless  walmart  google  nike  apple  banking  finance  global  globalization  unemployment  education  healthcare  energy  transportation  media  culture  us  community  constructivecapitalism 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Innovation and Design
"The practice of design can happen without a formal set of processes and steps. Although it may be comforting to say — here is our process, here are its steps — instrumentalizing design in this way will lead to nothing more than what one expects, which is oftentimes not a particularly astonishing innovation. It will lead to things congruent with what exists “today” and thus never “radical” and even, arguably, consistent enough with the old stuff to barely count as new. The radical innovation by definition cannot have a formalized process. No post-it design. No PowerPoint decks. The less involvement from process-oriented and goal-oriented actors, the better. If your goal is to create something new, you can’t also expect to make something that profits because that is the same old goals"
julianbleecker  design  innovation  books  nearfuturelaboratory  designthinking  undisciplinary  howto  business  gamechanging  tcsnmy  strategy  disruption  disruptiveinnovation 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Apparent risk and actual risk
"Apparent risk is what keeps someone working at a big company, even if it's doing layoffs. It feels safer to stay there than to do the (apparently) insanely risky thing and start a new venture.
risk  tcsnmy  careers  failure  sethgodin  business  strategy  life  psychology 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The problem with non
"Non as in non-profit.

The first issue is the way you describe yourself. I know what you’re not but what are you?

Did you start or join this non-profit because of the non part? I doubt it. It's because you want to make change. The way the world is just isn't right or good enough for you... there's an emergency or an injustice or an opportunity and you want to make change.

These organizations exist solely to make change. That's why you joined, isn't it?

The problem facing your group, ironically, is the resistance to the very thing you are setting out to do. Non-profits, in my experience, abhor change."

[more: http://gravitymedium.com/2009/09/17/nonprofits-and-engagement-media/ ]
nonprofit  leadership  management  innovation  sethgodin  strategy  nonprofits  fundraising  marketing  business  twitter  blogging  blogs  change  media  socialmedia  charity  philanthropy  tcsnmy  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Be selective with your innovation, and other wisdom from GameLayers – Blog – BERG
"I’m always impressed with good, hard decisions. If you’ve ever had a sleepness night over a project, you can imagine how tough it must be to, a year or even more later, walk away from it. Projects are tangled thickets of history and emotion. Corner turns are hard, and killing your babies doubly so. GameLayers have displayed good strategy."
strategy  ux  gamedesign  mattwebb  pmog  decisionmaking  harddecisions  killingaproject 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Ten Characteristics of Great Companies
"1 Great companies are constantly innovating and delighting their customers/users with new products and services. 2...are built to last and be independent and sustainable. Great companies don't sell out. 3...make lots of money but leave even more money on the table for their users and partners. 4...don't look elsewhere for ideas. They develop their ideas internally and are copied by others. 5...infect their users/customers with their brand. They turn their users and customers into marketing/salesforces. 6...are led by entrepreneurs who own a meaningful piece of the business. As such, they make decisions based on long term business needs and objectives not short term goals. 7...have a global mindset. They treat every person in the world as a potential customer/user. 8...are attempting to change the world in addition to making money. 9...are not reliant on any one person to deliver their value proposition. 10...put the customer/user first above any other priority."
business  innovation  fredwilson  marketing  startups  management  leadership  entrepreneurship  success  strategy  tips  tcsnmy  administration 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess
"The long-running tech-industry war between engineers and marketers has been ended at craigslist by the simple expedient of having no marketers. Only programmers, customer service reps, and accounting staff work at craigslist. There is no business development, no human resources, no sales. As a result, there are no meetings. The staff communicates by email and IM. This is a nice environment for employees of a certain temperament. "Not that we're a Shangri-La or anything," Buckmaster says, "but no technical people have ever left the company of their own accord."" AND "There may be a peace sign on every page, but the implicit political philosophy of craigslist has a deeply conservative, even a tragic cast. Every day the choristers of the social web chirp their advice about openness and trust; craigslist follows none of it, and every day it grows."
via:kottke  meetings  entrepreneurship  community  business  socialmedia  management  craignewmark  craigslist  startup  strategy  advertising  technology  internet  culture  web  social  journalism 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The Value Every Business Needs to Create Now - Umair Haque - HarvardBusiness.org [related video: http://vimeo.com/5733976]
"Profit through economic harm to others results in what I've termed 'thin value.' Thin value is an economic illusion: profit that is economically meaningless, because it leaves others worse off, or, at best, no one better off. When you have to spend an extra 30 seconds for no reason, mobile operators win - but you lose time, money, and productivity. Mobile networks' marginal profits are simply counterbalanced by your marginal losses. That marginal profit doesn't reflect, often, the creation of authentic, meaningful value. Thin value is what the zombieconomy creates."
via:migurski  umairhaque  economics  business  zombieconomy  capitalism  innovation  strategy  success  competition  ethics  creativity  creation  capital  value  valueadded  finance  banking  crisis  gamechanging 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Jeff Bezos at Wired Disruptive by Design conference - O'Reilly Radar
"There are a few prerequisites to inventing.... You have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to think long term. You have to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. If you can't do those three things, you need to limit yourself to sustaining innovation.... You typically don't get misunderstood for sustaining innovation." "At the end of the day, you don't end your strategy because other people don't understand it. Not if you have conviction." [via: http://snarkmarket.com/blog/snarkives/briefly_noted/how_to_invent/]
jeffbezos  innovation  gamechanging  risk  failure  entrepreneurship  disruption  disruptive  business  strategy  tcsnmy  invention  courage 
june 2009 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: This is how Social Media really works
"So maybe instead of getting your company on twitter, paying marketers to mention you are on twitter, and paying people to blog about your company, forget all that and just make awesome stuff that gets people excited about your products, hire people that represent the company well, and when your stuff is so awesome that friends share it with other friends, you may not even need "social media marketing" after all."
marketing  business  tcsnmy  wordofmouth  twitter  socialmedia  strategy 
april 2009 by robertogreco
The Great Restructuring « BuzzMachine [via: http://blog.wired.com/sterling/2009/03/the-great-restr.html]
"I try to argue in my book that what we’re living through is instead a great restructuring of the economy and society, starting with a fundamental change in our relationships - how we are linked and intertwined and how we act, nothing less than that. ... entire swaths and even sectors of the economy will disappear or will change so much they might as well disappear: ... suto industry ... financial services ... newspapers ... magazines ... books ... broadcast ... advertising ... retail ... entertainment ... business travel ... energy ... real estate ... health care ... computers ... universities ... We should be so lucky that elementary and secondary education will also face such pressure. ... consumer products ... government ... There are opportunities here, of course. There always is in change if you’re willing to see and seek it. ... startups ... platforms ... networks ... Education is a growth opportunity but not in its current institutions. ..."
jeffjarvis  recession  umairhaque  innovation  businessmodels  transparency  economics  culture  sharing  2009  change  restructuring  sociology  markets  education  schools  society  realestate  business  community  strategy  startups  networks 
march 2009 by robertogreco
SpearTalks: Seth Godin - Josh Spear, Trendspotting
"The best measure of a blog is not how many people it reaches, it’s how much it changes what you do. Changes your posture, your writing, your transparency, your humility. What blogging has done for me is made me think. I get to think about how the outside world will understand something I’m trying to do, for example.
socialmedia  sethgodin  blogging  business  blogs  strategy  marketing  branding  thinking  writing 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Sorry, you can't be our customer
"You can't (and shouldn't) please every single person who may or may not become a customer. But you should (and you must) figure out what to tell the folks you're going to turn away. Endless negotiations are like teaching a cat to swim... the cat never learns and you get frustrated.
business  marketing  strategy  tcsnmy  clients 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Quid Pro: A-Rod is a flashlight
"This is a term I learned from a banker I worked for 20 years ago, people who shine brightly in one direction, but don't let off too much light otherwise. Flashlights are kind of useless as board members, despite big reputations and good resumes -- they're just not lateral thinkers and don't really want to dig in. Every company is allowed one flashlight, but it better be the CEO. It's hard to know where to go when the light is shining in two (or more) different directions."
administration  leadership  management  tcsnmy  vision  strategy  business  organizations  via:kottke  apple  collaboration  crosspollination  stevejobs  baseball 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Daring Fireball: That He Not Busy Being Born Is Busy Dying
"Traditions are comforting. But comfort, I think, tends not to breed innovation. It can be hard to tell whether you’re staying the course because it’s the right direction, or because you’ve dug yourself into a deep rut."
apple  stevejobs  change  innovation  traditions  daringfireball  johngruber  tradition  strategy  gamechanging 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Other Half of "Artists Ship"
One of the differences between big companies and startups is that big companies tend to have developed procedures to protect themselves against mistakes. A startup walks like a toddler, bashing into things and falling over all the time. A big company is more deliberate. The gradual accumulation of checks in an organization is a kind of learning, based on disasters that have happened to it or others like it. ... Whenever someone in an organization proposes to add a new check, they should have to explain not just the benefit but the cost. No matter how bad a job they did of analyzing it, this meta-check would at least remind everyone there had to be a cost, and send them looking for it."
paulgraham  innovation  management  leadership  tcsnmy  costs  startups  government  programming  business  economics  art  pricing  strategy  administration  software 
november 2008 by robertogreco
10 Steps to Take Action and Eliminate Bureaucracy | Zen Habits
"I’ve worked in a few offices where the paperwork, endless meetings, and other bureaucracy was ridiculous — so much so that the actual productive work being done was sometimes outweighed by the bureaucratic steps that needed to be taken each day.

When the focus is on action instead of bureaucracy, things get done."
administration  management  leadership  bureaucracy  meetings  tcsnmy  strategy  time  productivity  work  efficiency  action 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Obama's Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators - Umair Haque
"Barack Obama is one of the most radical management innovators in the world today. ... 1. Have a self-organization design. ... 2. Seek elasticity of resilience. ... 3. Minimize strategy. ... 4. Maximize purpose. ... 5. Broaden unity. ... 6. Thicken power. ... 7. Remember that there is nothing more asymmetrical than an ideal."
barackobama  leadership  administration  management  entrepreneurship  organization  strategy  disruption  innovation  change  business  politics  umairhaque 
november 2008 by robertogreco
PingMag - Shrinking Nippon: Strategies For A Future Japan
"Japan is facing a lot of problems when it comes to town planning: a decreasing population that will soon be over aged, shrinking towns in the countryside and, moreover, a fading government budget that is tinted by last year’s pension scandal. We already introduced you to the Shrinking Cities exhibition that toured through Tokyo and dealt with vanishing populations. Working on that was also Hidetoshi Ohno, professor at the University of Tokyo: With his Fiber City project from 2005 he had developed strategies for a future Japan. Now, he gives an update with his Shrinking Nippon concept compilation, published by Kajima Institute Publishing. With PingMag, Hidetoshi Ohno talked about town planning in Japan."
design  culture  cities  japan  future  demographics  aging  planning  strategy  ghosttowns  pingmag 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Thoughts on the Financial Crisis - O'Reilly Radar
"It's not an accident that economist Joseph Schumpeter talked about the "creative destruction" inherent in capitalism. Great problems are also great opportunities for those who know how to solve them. And looking ahead, I can see great opportunities. ... what we can do now are the things we ought to be doing anyway: Work on stuff that matters ... Exert visionary leadership in our markets. In tough times, people look for inspiration and vision. The big ideas we care about will still matter, perhaps even more when people are looking for a way forward. ... Be prudent in what we spend money on. ... These are all things we should be doing every day anyway. Sometimes, though, a crisis can provide an unexpected gift, a reminder that nobody promised us tomorrow, so we need to make what we do today count."
timoreilly  crisis  us  recession  finance  economics  innovation  inspiration  strategy  future  technology  business  capitalism  2008  via:preoccupations 
october 2008 by robertogreco
gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": "good ideas have lonely childhoods"
"1. "Good ideas have lonely childhoods". When I say, "Ignore Everybody", I don't mean, "Ignore all people, at all times, forever". No, other people's feedback plays a very important role...It's more like, the better the idea, the more "out there" it initially will seem to other people, even people you like and respect. So there'll be a time in the beginning when you have to press on, alone, without one tenth the support you probably need...2. "GOOD IDEAS ALTER THE POWER BALANCE IN RELATIONSHIPS, THAT IS WHY GOOD IDEAS ARE ALWAYS INITIALLY RESISTED."...Especially in industries that are more relationship-driven, than idea-driven...6. Human beings are messy creatures...hard bit of having a "good idea" is not the invention of it, nor selling of it to end-user, but managing the myriad of politics and egos of the people who are supposedly on the same team as yourself. Managing the vast oceans of human chaos that all enterprises ultimately are, underneath the thin veneer of human order."
lcproject  education  learning  ideas  change  tcsnmy  strategy  advice  creativity  life  business  work  people  management  administration  leadership  patience  loneliness  innovation  psychology  gapingvoid  reform  unschooling  deschooling  unlearning  vision  perseverance 
october 2008 by robertogreco
russell davies: slow strategy
"whenever you hear mention of speed, it's worth remembering the eternal Project Triangle...if you're going to be quick then you're also going to either bad or expensive...going fast will tend to reduce the amount of collaboration you do...Fast strategy might yield a big idea, but a slow strategy, a socialised strategy is maybe more likely to yield a rich one....I guess the real answer, as always, is the shoddy compromise; make sure that you can think and do both quickly and slowly. And then work out which suits you and your circumstances more. Because doing strategy happily is probably more important than doing it quickly or slowly."
projectmanagement  slow  russelldavies  strategy  gtd  quality  thinking  planning  speed 
october 2008 by robertogreco
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