Readings

Digital Strategy ?

When someone says “digital strategy”, or just “strategy,” what comes to mind? You might think of strategic roadmaps, strategic pillars, ROI, KPI’s or a whole range of other deliverables and concepts that create a strategy.

Yet, today many of these tools are based on a foundation that is no longer true. Assuming consumer and business behaviors and activities are not going to change for 12 months is a vision of the past. In reality, the only constant is change and the rate of adoption of new forms of technology and consumer experiences are way in advance of any roadmap that tries to predict the future. So what can you do? This collection of articles looks at ways to become more agile, critiques best practices, and tries to help you avoid doing things that are actually destructive to your own success.

 

The SIMPLE Answer to Digital Strategy

“Most of the challenges you’ll face will be with folks trying to make this bigger (because that’s easier), slower (because that’s easier too) or stalling (because that’s easiest).”

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Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

“The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter”

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Digital Strategy is Dead

“By learning to act and iterate quickly in small ways, companies build their most sustainable competitive advantage: agility.”

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IBM is gearing up to become the world’s largest and most sophisticated design company

“Designers bring this intuitive sense for what it [the assignment] means. They understand the power of delivering a great experience and how to treat a user as if they were guests in their own home,” says Gilbert, who’s also the company’s designated chief design evangelist.”

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Why “Agile” and especially Scrum are terrible

“The worst thing about estimates is that they push a company in the direction of doing work that’s estimable”

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The grand illusion

Are we all living in a dreamworld? what is true and what does that mean anymore. This collection looks at the many illusions which are presented to us everyday and provides a critical lens to view our dreamworld though.

The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small.They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate.They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.” – Banksy”

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Why People Are Drawn to Narcissists Like Donald Trump

“Sigmund Freud called people with this personality type “normal narcissists” and he described them as independent and not vulnerable to intimidation, also noting that they have a large amount of aggressive energy and a bias for action. Freud included himself in this group and saw these narcissists as driven to lead and to change the world. Such narcissists can be very charming, and indeed, research has shown most of us like to follow narcissists.”

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HyperNormalisation 2016

HyperNormalisation is a 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. The film was released on 16 October 2016

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A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop

“Only it isn’t. New research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer demonstrates that students who write out their notes on paper actually learn more.”

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“I’m Not Interested in Cinema”

“Curtis: Yes, absolutely. I have a theory that social media is a problem because it’s based on a feedback system of people constantly reinforcing each other, grooming each other online by wanting them to be your friend by saying the right thing. I think there’s another area of the Internet, which should re-emerge, which is where it’s not elitist. You just have people come along and say, “This is what I think, and I don’t care what you think.”

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Smart cities

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This is a collection of articles which look at the idea of using technology to build “smart” cities.
This can mean a wide variety of things, but at a high level can they build towards the “triple bottom line” of economy, environment, and social equity” as one of these articles states.

Tools for Sustainable Cities

The effort builds on IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative, which is focused on how the strategic use of data and technology can drive sustainable growth and prosperity.

An Exclusive Look At Airbnb’s First Foray Into Urban Planning

Is it naive to think that you can simply drop a building onto a community and expect them to reorient their lives around it? Gebbia answers that community centers have always been a strong part of Japanese culture; this effort in fact is simply piggybacking on government efforts to build new ones.

 

How Smart Cities Save Money (and the Planet)

Cities around the world are getting bigger, fast. By 2015, there will be 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million people. Around the world, some 180,000 people move into cities every day.

 

New York’s Bryant Park is tracking visitor behavior

As AdAge reports, PlaceIQ and several other similar companies gather their information from mobile app location data (which most users allow access to when they download free mobile apps) or from geo-targeted mobile ads. Although the data is anonymized and not tied a specific user’s phone, it still creates a surprisingly complete picture of the visitors to the park.

 

How ‘shared parking’ can improve city life

Technology gives us new ways to think about addressing these questions. Many parking lots already have entry/exit counters. If we combine those with aggregated, anonymized location data from smartphones, we can get a pretty good idea of when and where parking spaces are available, without requiring operators to install new equipment.

CR 71 – My top 5 books of 2015

My top five books read in the last year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

Each book shares the common link of seeking to find a way to communicate to an audience through understanding and empathy.
From kings to kids and everything in-between.

top_5_books_2015

Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut

“The art of creating suspense is also the art of involving the audience, so that the viewer is actually a participant in the film” – Alfred Hitchcock


Wolf Hall:
A Novel by Hilary Mantel

“He thinks, Gregory is all he should be. He is everything I have a right to hope for: his openness, his gentleness, the reserve and consideration with which he holds back his thoughts till he has framed them. He feels such tenderness for him he thinks he might cry”


The 42nd Parallel
(U.S.A. Trilogy Book 1) by John Dos Passos

‘I want to rise with the ranks, not from the ranks,’” said Mac.


Nonviolent Communication
 by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Arun Gandhi

“Classifying and judging people promotes violence”
“When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings.”
“Expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts.”
“Depression is the reward we get for being “good.”


Unconditional Parenting
 by Alfie Kohn

“Over many years, researchers have found that “the more conditional the support [one receives], the lower one’s perceptions of overall worth as a person.”

“People who, as a rule, don’t think their value hinges on their performance are more likely to see failure as just a temporary setback, a problem to be solved. They also seem less likely to be anxious or depressed.”

“My friend Danny recently summarized what he’s learned from years of fatherhood: “Being right isn’t necessarily what matters.”

Express your need

Express your need
Occupy Wall Street March – October 5, 2011 – NYC

For the last few years I have been fascinated by the idea of personal culture. How people spend their time, how they create their ideas and content and how they represent themselves to a wider world.

My fascination centers on the idea that understanding yourself better helps you ground yourself; by understanding your own needs you become more empathic towards those of others. By doing this, you become less afraid, more courageous and hopeful.

Representing yourself to the world is a tricky business, you have to show your past, present and future, and much of it centers on how you express what you need. Not what you think or what you want but what you need as a person to grow and better understand yourself.

This has led me on a path of researching how people can express what they need. Two books I have found stand out as examples of this idea.

Nonviolent communication by Marshal Rosenberg and Unconditional parenting by Alphie Kohn. While these books on the surface seem to be dealing with very different subject matters they share a core idea of helping people express what they need and creating a vocabulary which is rarely taught. I hope you find the following set of quotes from these books as enlightening and as empowering as I did.

 

Empathy

“Former United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold once said, “The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is happening outside.” – Marshal Rosenberg

“To focus on children’s needs, and to work with them to make sure their needs are met, constitutes a commitment to taking children seriously. It means treating them as people whose feelings and desires and questions matter.”- Alphie Kohn

“I’ve become convinced that praise is less a function of what kids need to hear than of what we need to say.”- Alphie Kohn

“When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings.”- Marshal Rosenberg

Stating your needs

“There is a story of a man on all fours under a street lamp, searching for something. A policeman passing by asked what he was doing. “Looking for my car keys,” replied the man, who appeared slightly drunk. “Did you drop them here?” inquired the officer. “No,” answered the man, “I dropped them in the alley.” Seeing the policeman’s baffled expression, the man hastened to explain, “But the light is much better here.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“A bit of background may be appropriate here. In our culture’s workplaces, classrooms, and families, there are two basic strategies by which people with more power try to get people with less power to obey. One way is to punish noncompliance. The other is to reward compliance.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“Depression is the reward we get for being “good.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“The most dangerous of all behaviors may consist of doing things “because we’re supposed to.”- Marshal Rosenberg

Communication

“My friend Danny recently summarized what he’s learned from years of fatherhood: “Being right isn’t necessarily what matters.” – Alphie Kohn

“Studies in labor-management negotiations demonstrate that the time required to reach conflict resolution is cut in half when each negotiator agrees, before responding, to accurately repeat what the previous speaker had said.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“Listen to what people are needing rather what they are thinking.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.”- Marshal Rosenberg

Sharing

“Expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts”- Marshal Rosenberg

“If we express our needs, we have a better chance of getting them met.”- Marshal Rosenberg

“After all, if we want a child to grow into a genuinely compassionate person, then it’s not enough to know whether he just did something helpful. We’d want to know why” – Alphie Kohn

One step at a time…

top_5_books_2015_one_step

Governments say one thing, the media another, and your community something else. It’s hard to imagine changing the world when nothing seems to make any sense :

At the same time as governments around the world are cutting budgets and services for the bottom half of society they are pumping millions of dollars back into the top end of society through quantitative easing.

While cutting class sizes and valuing teachers has been proven to improve educational outcomes, these are the policies which seem least likely to be enacted.

Stock indexes go up, yet regular people often experience things as getting worse.

Here is a collection of books I have found helpful in understanding and making sense of what is happening in the world around us; it is a collection that provides perspective on how things can be changed one step at a time.

Culture

The Soul of Man under Socialism – Oscar Wilde

“They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible”

Power: A New Social Analysis – Bertrand Russell

“Syracuse (he contended) could never be saved, unless men of a totally different character were invested with authority; men, not chosen from wealth or station, but of humble birth, belonging to the people by position, and kind in their deportment from consciousness of their own weakness” – Dionysius

“A common peril is much the easiest way of producing homogeneity.”

Economics

How Numbers Rule the World (Economic Controversies) –  Lorenzo Fioramonti

“The most important things cannot be measured.” –  W. E. Deming

“Uncertainty can be defined as pure possibility, which cannot be trapped into numbers.”

“Statistics are, by definition, static: ‘Things have to keep static if you’re going to count them’, argues David Boyle, fellow at the New Economics Foundation and author of The Tyranny of Numbers: ‘But real life isn’t still.’”
“If the boundaries of what you are studying cannot be scientifically determined, what you are doing is not a science.”

“Instead of blaming their own poor people for dragging the country down, the rich of the poor countries should ask themselves why they cannot pull the rest of their countries up as much as the rich of the rich countries do”

“the internet revolution has (at least as yet) not been as important as the washing machine and other household appliances, which, by vastly reducing the amount of work needed for household chores, allowed women to enter the labour market and virtually abolished professions like domestic service.”

Education

The end of education – Neil Postman

“The reason for this is that public education does not serve a public. It creates a public.”

“Max Frisch, who remarked, “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we do not experience it.”

“In learning about difference, we become less afraid and therefore more courageous. In learning about commonalities, we become more hopeful.”

CR 68 – My top 5 books of 2014

My top five books read in the last year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

top_5_books_2014

 

How numbers rule the world by Lorenzo Fioramonti

Statistics are, by definition, static: ‘Things have to keep static if you’re going to count them’, argues David Boyle, fellow at the New Economics Foundation and author of The Tyranny of Numbers: ‘But real life isn’t still.’

 

A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon

The Time machine  by George Orwell

“Simple was my explanation, and plausible enough—as most wrong theories are!”

 

What I believe by Bertrand Russell

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

 

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

“There are places where cops are not hated, Captain. But in those places you wouldn’t be a cop.”