becoming traviata

becoming traviata

Even with previous opportunities, I wasn’t an opera fan before I saw Becoming Traviata, Philippe Béziat’s documentary of an opera company preparing to stage Verdi’s classic of a tragic love affair. Even if your interest in opera is casual, you’ll find the details of preparing the production fascinating. If you’re interested in collaboration, particularly how … Continue reading

crying in public

crying in public

I’m becoming known at one of my clients as “the consultant who makes people cry.” How? At the onboarding conferences I’ve been facilitating, we save 60-90 minutes to sit in a circle, and each of us takes turns telling about an artifact or a photo that tells something about us beyond what we do at … Continue reading

failure drives innovative design

failure drives innovative design

35 W Bridge Overview No one starts a software or engineering project with the intention of failing. In software, failures often happen in silence, which is the sound you hear when everyone abandons the new application to return to the tried and true, or to try something else they hope will get their work done … Continue reading

ticket to ride

ticket to ride

Should we have been careful about what we asked for when our country pushed airline deregulation through Congress a generation ago? Deregulation and transparent information from the internet have driven prices in many industries like airlines to very low levels. Competitors know that once the flight leaves, the value of the remaining seats falls to … Continue reading

love’s innovation

love’s innovation

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Sarah Needleman profiled how the Pretty Ugly brand evolved from an exchange of love letters.  Her story reminded me of my recent visit to the Beatrix Potter exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City (on through January 27th). Like Horvath, Potter created Peter Rabbit from love letters; in … Continue reading

MOOC – a work in progress

MOOC – a work in progress

Keith Devlin’s first MOOC on Mathematical Reasoning ended this week.  My October schedule overwhelmed my good intentions; I made it through three weeks of the seven week course.  I wasn’t alone.  Of the 60,000 who started, 6,549 got a certificate of completion.  There were various bumps in the road with the online collaboration, peer grading, … Continue reading

quiet leadership for lasting change

quiet leadership for lasting change

Amid the din of charge and countercharge during these last weeks of the election campaign, I was refreshed by Nancy Koehn’s commemoration of Rachel Carson in The New York Times.  Without judging the continuing debate about DDT and Carson’s research on its use, Koehn celebrates Carson’s leadership qualities:  her perseverance in pursuing objectives in the … Continue reading

wanted: deregulation

wanted: deregulation

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is telling the new online course companies they can’t serve students in Minnesota.  Apparently, there’s an old law on the books that’s supposed to protect us from wasting money and time on courses from unregistered universities.  First picked up by the Chronicle of Higher Education, here’s some commentary from … Continue reading

trying a mooc

trying a mooc

 As an alum of UVA’s Darden School, I’ve been following the leadership conflict over the future of Mr. Jefferson’s University with great interest.  One of the disputes is over how quickly massive open online courses (MOOCs) wil develop and compete with traditional university courses.  When I saw an opportunity to sign up for a course by … Continue reading