links for 2009-08-18

18 Aug
  • Managers who understand the recent breakthroughs in cognitive science can lead and influence mindful change: organizational transformation that takes into account the physiological nature of the brain, and the ways in which it predisposes people to resist some forms of leadership and accept others:
    *Change is pain. Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort.
    *Behaviorism doesn’t work. Change efforts based on incentive and threat…rarely succeed in the long run.
    *Humanism is overrated. In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion doesn’t sufficiently engage people.
    *Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.
    *Expectation shapes reality. People’s preconceptions have a significant impact on what they perceive.
    *Attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.
  • Waking up early in the morning
    Formal shirt and trousers, neatly pressed
    An hour’s commute each way

    Conversations by the water cooler
    Team lunches; Expense accounts
    Hourly coffee breaks

    Meetings. Conference calls. Presentations
    Studs. Fighters. Free-riders.
    Reviews. Deadlines. Status reports.

    Salary credit!

  • Being self-employed will always make for a precarious life; these days, it is more uncertain than ever, especially since my tools of choice, written words, are coming to seem like accessories to images. Like almost everyone I know, I’ve lost much of my savings in the past few months…yet my two-room apartment in nowhere Japan seems more abundant than the big house that burned down…When a Sigur Ros album comes out, it fills my days and nights, resplendent. And then it seems that happiness, like peace or passion, comes most freely when it isn’t pursued.
    If you’re the kind of person who prefers freedom to security, who feels more comfortable in a small room than a large one and who finds that happiness comes from matching your wants to your needs, then running to stand still isn’t where your joy lies. In New York, a part of me was always somewhere else, thinking of what a simple life in Japan might be like.
  • Being on top can foster complacency or an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude. But to stay there, you need to continue to reinvent and learn. You need to to pay attention to people and areas where you don't suspect a threat. Staying relevant means staying abreast of those who want to be relevant and of customers in your industry and your adjacent industries. This is so challenging because it requires both intensity and open-mindedness.
    One of Tiger's greatest qualities is his push to revisit and adjust his swing towards maintaining his domination of the game, which despite yesterday's aberration will continue for some time. Successful businesses also need to continually reframe their markets and business definitions to try and understand where things are going and where new competition might emerge. This means focusing on current customers while also understanding the customers of tomorrow.
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Links


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