Category Archives: Thoughts
One development problem in India that has been largely overlooked is what Ramji Raghavan calls the “chalk and talk” educational mindset, in which students learn based on rote memorization, which has stifled creativity and critical thinking. Many consider this to be a holdover from British colonization, but Raghavan believes the time is now to solve this issue, and he has dedicated his life to this very cause.
Forbes – Leadership
As the situation between Ukraine and Russia continues to unfold, Europe and the U.S. are mulling what effect economic sanctions may have — not only on Russia, but on their own vulnerable economies. This economic interdependence is particularly apparent with respect to energy, and can be visualized by the The Observatory of Economic Complexity, from the MIT Media Lab Macro Connections group, which charts the flow of imports and exports around the world. Here, for instance, are the nations Russia exports to (the data displayed below is from 2011, but the charts are interactive — so play around with them to explore more data):
A significant share of Russian exports end up in Europe, and a large share of Russian imports come from Europe. But while Europe is hence clearly very important to Russia, the flip side is that Russia is much a smaller player from Europe’s point of view. For instance, only 3.2% of German exports end up in Russia, and only 4% of German imports hail from there. The figures for the U.K. and France, Europe’s other two largest economies, are even smaller, under 2% in some cases. It would be tempting to conclude that Russia, then, has more to lose from economic isolation.
Nineteen years ago, shortly after I hired Mark Hurst to join the team at my internet startup Yoyodyne, I turned to him and said, “I don’t think the web makes sense.” This was the most expensive mistake I ever made.
At the time, we were working with AOL, CompuServe and other online services. The web was in its infancy, and I notoriously said, “It’s just like Prodigy, but slower and with no business model.”
It took me eighteen months to change my mind. Actually, that’s not true. It took me about five minutes to change my mind, after eighteen months of being wrong. I still remember how it felt to feel that flip switch in my head.
A few months ago I wrote a post on why we don’t need offices which sparked some interesting discussion both in the comments section, in emails I received, and on social media. Ultimately, the questions and discussions stemmed from trying to figure out what steps organizations should take to implement or move towards a flexible work environment. From what I’ve observed, it appears that the value of flexible work is starting to become more clear. However what many still lack is an approach on what to do next. So, that’s what I want to talk about today; the 5 steps to making flexible work a reality at your organization
Forbes – Leadership
No matter how challenging a C-suite job may be, it is surely dwarfed by the pressures of the U.S. presidency. No matter how many vacations they take or how much they exercise, presidents seem to visibly age faster than other people; among the White House staff, there’s frequent talk of burnout leading to turnover. In her 2012 book “The Obamas,” New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor offers an unusually detailed account of how the Obamas tried to maintain a sense of balance even as they moved to Washington. They’ve maintained the same loyal network of friends, stuck to disciplined diet and exercise regimens, eschewed the Washington social scene to spend time with their children, and kept a raised eyebrow at some of the pomp and privilege that comes with the presidency. HBR asked Kantor what C-suite executives might learn from how the First Couple deals with one of the world’s most stressful jobs. Excerpts:
Your book contains rich detail on how hard the Obamas worked to preserve a sense of normalcy when they moved to the White House. Why was that so important to them?
I started covering the Obamas in 2007, so I watched their transformation. They very quickly went from being the sort of parents who dropped their kids off at school to being president and first lady. Their change in status was so extreme — normally in politics and in business, people rise slowly and pay their dues. When they got to Washington, they really tried to preserve as sense of normalcy, but that’s almost impossible in the White House, which is a combination museum, office, residence, and secure military compound. In the business world, even the most public CEO still has a place he or she can retreat to that’s out of the public eye. That’s not true for a president.
Without a doubt, the single highest point of leverage in any campaign is getting out the vote. If the people who agree with you or believe in you actually show up and vote, you win.
This, of course, is true for everything, not just retail politics. Your non-profit, retail store or b2b services firm probably doesn’t need as many new prospects as you think you do–you will generate more impact if you reconnect with the people who already know and trust you.