Faith and discipline

Faith and discipline

I was impressed by the upcoming flyby of Pluto this week that was launched almost 10 years ago by NASA. “This is our one shot at Pluto in our lifetime,” according to mission scientist Hal Weaver. The probe is traveling so fast that a collision with a dust particle as small as one millimeter in … Continue reading

Good fences make good neighbors?

Good fences make good neighbors?

There’s a fascinating report in the Wall Street Journal describing the efforts of the chief naval officers (CNO) from the United States and China to build trust between their navies. A rising world power, last year China launched its first aircraft carrier as part of its efforts to become the dominant power in the South … Continue reading

The GM “Nod”

The GM “Nod”

GM released the Valukas report on GM’s “troubling disavowal of responsibility” for crashes and deaths caused by a faulty ignition switch yesterday. Their lawyer’s no-holds-barred description of GM’s internal management failures will have a place on my regular reference shelf along with the investigations of 9/11 and the Challenger crash as stories of how organizational … Continue reading

Making Smart People Stupid

Making Smart People Stupid

Ezra Klein launched his new web site at vox.com tonight with a thoughtful article on how our desire to stay right with our political “tribes” leads us away from the objective use of evidence. It’s a new direction for Klein, as his team begins compiling information on key topics that will not be driven by … Continue reading

Retro Report on the Bridge Collapse

Retro Report on the Bridge Collapse

I was delighted to see a retroreport.org feature on the home page of The New York Times about the 35W Bridge collapse. Retro Report updates old stories, and the 2007 bridge collapse is a good one; their update highlights the critical safety gaps that continue to plague U.S. bridge infrastructure. As for me, I’ve gotten … Continue reading

Behavioral economics with Dan Ariely

Behavioral economics with Dan Ariely

If you’ve ever thought about taking an online college course, I encourage you to have a look at this one. Dan Ariely is a Duke professor who studies consumer preferences and how we make decisions. His first book was Predictably Irrational. Because I work regularly with people’s motivations and incentives, I have a special interest, … Continue reading

jamming square pegs into round holes?

jamming square pegs into round holes?

From the days of Ford’s Model T, standardization has been a powerful force in successful strategy. Ford’s original insights on standardization had to do with ease of assembly and service to lower costs, but I’ve noticed two examples recently where standards inside a product line have created formidable competitive advantages. According to Farhad Manjoo’s article … Continue reading

not subject to change?

not subject to change?

At the height of the Vietnam War and the counterculture, the IBM Corporation published a book for its customers and salespeople called Not Subject to Change.  Quoting well-known thinkers and leaders with evocative black and white photographs, the book sought to capture “an unchanging set of principles that direct [a leader’s] purposes.” 45 years later, … Continue reading

save a life with an ad

save a life with an ad

A link to this video appeared on Andrew Sullivan’s site today. If you know someone who plays high impact sports, particularly football players, check this out. If you’re interested in great ads and product launches … well if this works, I’m going to be figuring out how to buy shares in Adidas, whose subsidiary Reebok … Continue reading