"The starting point of all significant change is mindset." Tom Peters
Okay, it's just a list—and you've seen 100 like it. Nonetheless, it woke me up in the middle of the night—and I put a few Notes onto my iPhone. It—of course—made it into the electronic sunshine as a tweet. (I'm not terribly keen on "Winner's," but I couldn't figure out anything much better: "Success Factors" a little whatever; "Stuff" not too bad; pick your own—you get the idea, I'm certain.)
Winner's 7: Choose your attitude. Take the lead. Listen intently. Learn something new. Help someone. Arrive early/leave late. Eye contact. [Tweet: 139 characters with spaces]
Winner's Daily Dozen
1. Your call and yours alone: Consciously choose the attitude you take to work this morning. (Bingo: Positive, enthusiastic—regardless of how you feel inside.)
2. Realize that each day literally offers up on a silver platter a dozen leadership opportunities, regardless of your age/experience/rank/seniority/status. (So grab ONE.)
3. Arrive early. Leave late. (Out work 'em ... it works.)
4. Listen aggressively: Formally practice and improve listening skills. (Effective listening = #1 long-term differentiator.)
5. Learn something new today. Meet someone new today. (Reside permanently on the edge of your discomfort zone.)
6. Cherish your boo-boos. (No screw-ups today = Abject failure to nudge ye olde envelope.)
7. Civil. Always. (Make it a religion.)
8. Unbidden, help someone with some[little]thing. (Make it a religion.)
9. Take a nanosecond to say "Thanks" for the tiniest atoms of helpfulness. (Make it a religion.)
10. Smile. (Make it a religion.)
11. Eye contact. (Make it a religion.)
12. EXCELLENCE. Always. (Excellence is not an "aspiration." Excellence is the next five minutes. Or not.)
The ideas presented here—and as a PDF (revised as of
19 March 2013), hastily and in the roughest form—were developed subsequent to a discussion during my New Zealand sojourn on building a cadre of teachers that matches the likely needs of these turbulent times. (My only previous stick-your-neck-out effort of consequence concerning education is recorded as Chapter 22 in my book Re-Imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age.)
"The best educated nations win."
Or: "The best educated and most entrepreneurial nations win."
There is more to life than education.
There is more to life than entrepreneurship.
Yet these two variables are increasingly important in the years ahead—and those years are rushing toward us at an unprecedented pace. In technology change, yesterday's decade is today's two years—or less.
If these two variables are important, then it more or less follows that our teaching corps—especially for the first 8 grades—are the most important members of our society. (Singapore more or less—mainly more—believes this and acts upon it.)
Implication: The very best and the very brightest and the most energetic and enthusiastic and entrepreneurial and tech-savvy of our university graduates must—must, not should—be lured into teaching. (They need not stay for life—one would be happy with 5 years, ecstatic with 10.)
In the USA and other nations (many, if not most, if not almost all), the variables set out above and associated with excellence in teaching required to meet the challenges of 2020, let alone 2040, alas, do not describe our fresh caught teachers. One could even argue, stopping short of cynicism, that those variables are often the antithesis of the ones associated with those attracted to teaching today. This is simply unacceptable in the face of the most likely scenarios for economic excellence—or, for that matter, survival.
(FYI: To reiterate one of the initial points—we must attract instinctively entrepreneurial candidates—there are more of such candidates than one might imagine. Attracting entrepreneurial candidates, of course, requires a system that is open to change and which celebrates rather than condemns rebels. Concerning the proclivity or fitness for entrepreneurial adventures, Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus put it this way: "All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self-employed ... finding our food, feeding ourselves. That's where human history began. ... As civilization came we suppressed it. We became labor because they stamped us, 'You are labor.' We forgot that we are entrepreneurs." Bottom line: Super-genes are not required to foretell entrepreneurial talent—the millions upon millions converting to entrepreneurial ventures courtesy the Web are more or less proof of Yunus' assertion.)
Finding and educating these new-criteria teachers requires a revolution in both content and the incentive structure needed to attract the best of the best—and to induce them to experiment boldly once aboard the education train.
(FYI: Re content, there is a school of thought prevalent in the USA which demands an immediate curricular shift toward "STEM"—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To be sure, no harm done, lots to applaud. However, Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda recommends instead "STEAM"—science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. His argument is based upon an assessment of future bases of competitive advantage as computers make vast inroads to existing jobs; the concept arguably—or, in my opinion, inarguably—makes a great deal of sense.)
This necessary revolution in teacher inducement and development, no matter the urgency assigned, will not happen overnight—or in the next five years, even if one and all, including teachers' unions, agreed on the premises above.
In the meantime, we cannot wait ...
Our universities today do turn out magnificent "products" who can meet the specs above and de facto launch the education revolution—today. We must immediately move to unmistakably and with governmental approval and towering private sector contributions bag these candidates as they march out of the graduation auditorium with their spanking new degrees.
(FYI: In my opinion, the impact of the new technologies is such that we need a very young teacher corps—one that has the demographics of the Facebook or Twitter new-hire corps. Assertion: With rare exceptions, older teachers—35+??—will have the devil's own time identifying with the experiences of the students who walk into their classrooms, circa 2020—and, for that matter, circa 2013. And the devil's own time embracing new "upside down" approaches to teaching. For example, as many forward thinkers have said, the teacher must in effect partner with, rather than dictate to, students who in many ways are more technically qualified than they are; and partner with students in ventures that de facto foreshadow a penchant for entrepreneurship.)
Role models needed: Teach For America is an example of an approach that appears to provide a semblance of a road map for others. It is hardly "the answer" to this "save the nation" need. But it does provide an exceptionally worthwhile and tested case—both its successes and failures, the latter of which illustrate the pushback that this entrepreneurial approach induces in, at least, the USA. Teach For America, however, is almost proof positive that, under the right circumstances, the very best and the very brightest from leading institutions can be attracted in numbers to, at least, a stint as educators; this proven attraction predates the 2007++ crash, so it cannot be written off as merely a response to a lousy job market for graduates. (Teach For America is but one example. In particular, courtesy charter schools among other efforts, a plethora of de facto experiments are in train in the USA.)
Also, in the role model set, could be the likes of the Robertson Scholars—a "full ride" university scholarship program established by philanthropist Julian Roberts and overseen by an evaluation process so rigorous that it merits comparison to the Rhodes program, though at the university entrance juncture. In one way or another, identifying these future "save the nation" teachers is a bit like developing sports champions; while one can go far too far, ID-ing talent early is an imperative strategy. Which is to say that the attraction to, in effect, nation-building-through-a-matchless-teaching-corps should mark university entrance as well as post-university work. (FYI: This latter assertion about funneling top university candidates into the system in no way suggests funneling them toward schools of education—alas, the latter are often laggards rather than leaders in developing the needed skills laid out at the beginning of this paper.)
Happy International Women's Day! This may not be a traditional gift-giving holiday, but I thought I'd give your curiosity a gift today. Patricia Martin (disclosure: she's a client of mine, not Tom's) has pulled together a list of Top Women (you've probably never heard of) Shaping Digital Culture. These are some truly fascinating women doing remarkable things. From a creator of an open-source EPUB reader to researchers reporting on sociological images to the Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum, these women are leading projects that are sure to spark your creativity if not your interest. Check them out.
John Maeda became a Cool Friend back in 2006, when he was an MIT professor and a member of the MIT Media Lab. Now, he is president of Rhode Island School of Design. An arts administrator with technology in his background, he is at the forefront of the push to get STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) changed to STEAM (A for Art), a campaign Tom has embraced, as you can see in his recent "What I've Come/Am Coming to Believe" posting. In light of the effort by both Maeda and Tom to gain recognition for the importance of art in education, now is a good time to revisit Maeda's Cool Friends interview.
Adi Gaskell points out that social media can be used to expand your reach if you plan to incorporate Tom's MBWA, Managing by Wandering Around, practice into your management style. Social media are good for connection. Tom's agreement on that score is obvious by his immersion in Twitter, tirelessly offering strategy tips and conversing with followers the world over. Yes, a social media presence is important and useful for leaders and managers to maintain open communication with their employees. We heartily agree, especially if they're following Gaskell's important reminder: "Candor is a given."
Gaskell argues that MBWA, in its original state of actually walking around is limiting. We think his focus on the method's lack of efficiency is misplaced. MBWA has, at its heart, the element of being there in person. Talking ... face-to-face. One of Tom's often-used quotes is from Texas Bix Bender: "A body can pretend to care, but they can't pretend to be there." We think there is an enormous difference in the quality of an interaction in person versus via social media. Looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand, laughing with them when in their physical presence creates a very different kind of bond than can be achieved over social media.
Consider Tom's message in this audio clip from The Little BIG Things: travel 5,000 miles for a five-minute meeting (with credit to sports agent Mark McCormack). Finally, see Tom tell the origin story of MBWA in this video, which concludes with him urging you to get out of your office and get "close to where the work is really done."
Keep up with your presence on Twitter, Facebook, and internal channels to maintain open communication. But leave your office, wander around, have an actual conversation in addition to the virtual one. If you want to practice MBWA, in its true spirit, you have to be there.
My great friend Bob Stone, among other things former head of the (largely) stealth successes of VP Gore's re-inventing government program, dug up a paper of mine which he plans to use in his current professorial job. Bob's Success Secret #1 (in my opinion) is cultivating change by providing positive role models, rather than focusing on what's broken (the negative stuff). Here's my favorite Stoneism: "Some people look for things that went wrong and try to fix them. I look for things that went right, and try to build off them."
At any rate, we're attaching here the paper of mine that Bob's using. It focuses on the peril of a "systems first" approach to Big Change, arguing that systems are of the utmost importance, but mostly fail, or fail to reach their full potential by a country mile, because the organization's "culture" does not support them. Hence a "culture first" approach is usually/invariably the better bet. The paper is argued via 11 case studies from every setting imaginable.
The buzz around Google Authorship is gaining serious momentum. Why should you pay attention?
Google Authorship gives credit where credit is due. For all those writers whose writing can be found in various places on the Web, it's the long-overdue feature that links your identity to your writing in a standard way, regardless of the publication. The link is essentially your Google+ profile, and establishing yourself this way will add to your credibility:
Google's Eric Schmidt has hinted that the search behemoth could give higher rankings to content when it's linked to verified Google+ profiles -via Google Authorship.
That's right, he said "higher rankings." This affects businesses directly since Google+ features the ability to offer social feedback by giving +1 ratings. Google is strengthening its search results by adding a social component, not just relying on the bots to make the ranking decisions. Read Monica Romeri's The Lowdown on Google+ for Business to get a better feel for how this impacts businesses.
Google is the uncontested monarch of search. It's name is now listed in the dictionary as the equivalent of search. Adding Google Authorship to Google+ increases Google+'s relevancy for businesses, enhancing its attraction as a social network. Furthermore, Dave Lloren's Fast Company article today goes into detail about several other tools Google is bringing to bear while quickly becoming a powerful hub of business solutions we'll soon not be able to live without.
Tom's in New Zealand escaping the New England winter. He found Excellent Street near Collingwood on South Island. Consider this his postcard to all his readers. Also, you might want to scan through his photos on Flickr—there are some other beauties.
In keeping with Tom's latest eBook, People First!, we're highlighting a Cool Friend who wrote the book on Talent. Ed Michaels was part of a McKinsey & Co. group who studied the practices of 20 companies that excelled at finding and keeping talented employees. The study resulted in a 2001 book outlining the findings, and Ed Michaels was a coauthor of that book, The War for Talent. Tom's chosen to bring the topic up for discussion a decade later, so it might be a good time to take a look at this Cool Friends interview. You'll find some still useful insights.
Tom's new eBook, People First!, is at the iTunes store now. The subject is Talent. It's all about treating your employees like customers. Good for them, good for your bottom line.
You may have noticed we changed the banner here at tompeters.com today. We've brought back the New Zealand-themed banner that Joy Stauber at Stauber Design created for us. Tom has headed back to one of his favorite places, the coast of Golden Bay on South Island, New Zealand. While he's there, we'll celebrate a little New Zealand with him at the site.
I have thoroughly revised last week's paper as a gift to myself before heading to Golden Bay/New Zealand for a few weeks. You'll find it here in PDF format.
Lemme know what you think at Twitter: @tom_peters.
The immediately prior post means a lot to me—and I hope it provokes you, though to many of you it will be old hat. (In which case, forgiveness is begged.) In any event, I have produced a shorthand version, here and in PDF form:
Summary: What I've Come/Am Coming to Believe
*The power to invent (and execute) is switching/flipping rapidly/inexorably to the network. "Me" is transitioning to "We"—as consumers and producers. Nouns are giving way to gerunds—it's an "ing"/shapeshifting world!
*The Internet must stay open and significantly unregulated to enable, among other things, the entrepreneurial spurt that will significantly underpin world economic growth.
*Entrepreneurial behavior and upstart entrepreneurial enterprises have underpinned every monster shift in the past, such as farm to factory. This time will likely be no different.
*An obsession with a "Fortune 500" of more or less stable giants dictating "the way we do things" will likely become an artifact of the past. (Though big companies/"utilities" will not disappear.)
*There is simply no limit to invention or entrepreneurial opportunities! (Please read twice.)
*The new star bosses will be "wizards"/"maestros."
*Sources of sustained profitability will often be elusive in a "soft-services world."
*Control and accountability will be a delicate dance. Now you see it, now you don't ...
*Trial and error, many many many trials and many many many errors very very very rapidly will be the rule; tolerance for and delight in rapid learning—and unlearning—will be a/the most valued skill.
*"Gamers" instinctively "get" the idea of lots of trials, lots of errors, as fast as possible; for this reason among many, "the revolution" is/will be to a very significant degree led by youth.
*Women may well flourish to the point of domination in new leadership roles in these emergent/ethereal settings that dominate the landscape—power will be exercised almost entirely indirectly (routine for most women—more than for their male counterparts), and will largely/elusively inhabit the network per se.
*The "Brand You/Brand Me" idea is alive and well and getting healthier every day and is ... not optional. Fact is, we mostly all will have to behave as/be entrepreneurial tapdancers to survive, let alone thrive. (Again, the under-35 set already seem mostly to get this; besides, this was the norm until 90 years ago.)
*Individual performance and accountability will be more important than ever, but will be measured by one's peers along dimensions such as reliability, trustworthiness, engagement, flexibility, willingness to spend a majority of one's time helping others with no immediate expected return.
*AI is ripping through traditional jobs at an accelerating pace. Virtually no job, circa 2000, no matter how "high end," will remain in a recognizable way within 15-25 years. It's as simple—and as traumatic—as that.
*Wholesale/continuous/intense re-education (forgetting as well as learning) is a lifelong pursuit/imperative; parent Goal #1: Don't kill the curiosity with which the child is born!
*STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) is no doubt significant to a landscape being transformed by technology, though it has severe limitations. I favor the somewhat more robust formulation labeled STEAM/steAm. The "A" is for Art, or the arts. "The arts" are to some extent "what's left" in terms of value creation as AI/robotics vacuum up traditional high-end occupations—think Apple.
*The surprisingly good news: Education is busily re-inventing itself and leaving the ed establishment in the dust! The idea of and shape of education per se are erasing all that's come before.
*GRIN/Genetics-Robotics-Informatics-Nanotech: Overwhelming transformation is hardly just the provenance of AI/Robotics. Change, entrepreneurial activities and early adoption in the "G"/genetics and the "N"/nanotech arenas are accelerating. In fact, our 25 year horizon may border on the unrecognizable.
*Government has a large role to play, like it or not. E.g., government-funded BASIC-research and development is a major-league necessity—which is growing rather than diminishing. Acknowledging the limits, at times severe, of markets is imperative!
*Governance: It is hard to imagine that fundamental systems of human arrangement-governance will remain unchanged.
*Downside? I have during my months of forced re-education personally moved from a position of deep pessimism to one of guarded optimism. Will "everything be different" in 10 or 25 years? Perhaps. Will we adapt individually and organizationally; history says yes, but common sense says there are no sure bets, and frightful issues (from genetics to war-and-peace) can readily be imagined. Stay tuned!
Be warned! What follows is disorganized and half-assed! In a recent post, I provided a reading list of sorts. I am a voracious reader—but in the last few months my voraciousness has turned to frenzy. In 2012, I may have closed off a chapter with the publication of a 23-part,4096-slide fully annotated presentation of, de facto, "everything I know," which we call MOAP/Mother Of All Presentations—you'll find it, available for free downloading, at excellencenow.com. As the culmination of that effort occurred, happenstance led me to Seoul for a speech on 14 June 2012. The concomitant conference was grandly called "World Strategy Forum/The New Rules: Reframing Capitalism." I was the only keynoter who was not a finance minister or former finance minister or prime minister or former prime minister or prominent (e.g., Nobel-level) economist. I humbly came at the gargantuan issue from the perspective of "the work itself"—my life's work for 30+ years. I felt at sea, and did not really find my thoughts coagulating until I got home. The immediate product was a draft 10-page paper which I titled "'Reframing Capitalism': A 15-Point Human Capital Development Manifesto/HCDM at the Enterprise & National Government Level." (I have included that draft as an Appendix to this brief paper—my conclusions as of June, as you will see if you read the Appendix, have been significantly altered by what has transpired between my ears in the subsequent six months.) Upon completing the attached post-conference draft, the aforementioned reading binge began in earnest—launched with a re-reading of Ray Kurzweil's mind-zapping The Singularity Is Near. Subsequently, I guess I could say I've been indulging in the "futurist game"—something that I have typically avoided like the plague itself. But at some point, one must put the books aside and see if one can figure out what one thinks. Hence, the brief (remember, disorganized and half-assed) paper attached is a scribbling. For me, this means stream-of-consciousness scribbling, which appears from thin air after life-to-date plus an intense recent regimen of provocative reading. I decided to use 1 January 2013 as a punctuation mark, and to get something of some sort "up"—in this case at tompeters.com. So here it is, at least as much for me as for you:
*The power to invent (and execute) is switching/flipping rapidly/inexorably to the network. Commercial as well as personal affairs are singularly and collectively "migrating to the network." Alliances of unimaginable complexity (as well as simple ones) are being formed, re-formulated, spurting to unimaginable size—and dying off—by the nanosecond. Any given organization, including rather new organizations, is "losing control" of its future by yesterday's typically rigid standards. Acknowledging/ Embracing/Rejoicing in this and experimenting at a lightening fast pace with new/radically different forms of organizing (organiz-ing, not organization; it's an "ing" world) is a survival necessity. Key word is "experimenting," or, more accurately, "playing" with untrammeled vigor.
*As I and others have said in the past, the fluidity of the movie industry and professional services industry and construction industry are more or less traditional role models that actually "prove" the plausibility of today's shapeshifting. The sorts of organizations that populate these industries have always lived with instability/fluidity/project-centrism; and the participants, from assistant grip to junior accountant to senior accountant to producer, have lived with these destabilizing characteristics. So there is much new under today's sun, but perhaps some sea anchors from the past which suggest that one can survive—and thrive—in such inherently unstable settings. (Also, and this is a longtime bugbear of mine, fact is that, unseen or acknowledged by the "business guru class," a sizeable share of the population has lived with uncertainty and "no guarantees" from start to finish of their professional lives—e.g., your local electrician and plumber!)
*The Internet must stay open and significantly unregulated to enable, among other things, the entrepreneurial spurt that will (and is the only thing that can) significantly underpin world economic growth. One imagines that those who enact significant restrictions will pay an extraordinary economic price. We are, of course, impaled on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, intellectual capital is the (only, more or less) coin of the realm; its value must therefore be protected—yet that value is only fully realized via the Net/networks which necessarily run roughshod over IP exclusivity.
*Entrepreneurial behavior and upstart entrepreneurial enterprises have underpinned every monster shift in the past, such as farm to factory. Traditional big businesses will probably survive for longer than the alarmists imagine—but many/most will become irrelevant, or disappear.
*But some giants will necessarily survive. For example, the information infrastructure must be robust; hence the basic utilities will likely need to reside in large, stable organizations—e.g., Microsoft de facto fulfilled such a role for 20 years as computing migrated to the desktop; what some called "unimaginative" was a necessary attribute for widespread, co-coordinated global adoption.
*While a Google may be a dominant player for a time, an obsession with (or even the existence of) a "Fortune 500" of more or less stable giants dictating "the way we do things" will likely become an artifact of the past.
*There is simply no limit to invention or entrepreneurial opportunities. We have not and will not ever run out of "wants." Some may be appalled by this, but it is hard fact. The creation of a jillion quirky innovations associated with a revolutionary technology is eventually sorted to the point that there are a handful without which we cannot live—e.g., the electric power grid and global positioning systems and now the Internet.
In Race Against the Machine, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee put it this way, "We are in no danger of running out of new combinations to try. Even if technology froze today, we have more possible ways of configuring the different applications, machines, tasks, and distribution channels to create new processes and products than we could ever exhaust." (Incidentally, the full title of the book is Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy.)
*The new star bosses will be "wizards" or "maestros." The chief skills of the chief-of-tomorrow will involve creating ethereal organizations to execute agreed-upon projects—from small to humongous. The projects as well as the data will live in something resembling "the cloud." These "bosses" (who are not bosses by yesterday's "command & control" standard) will get off on uncertainty and ambiguity and lightening-fast iterations and bushels of fast failures and rapid shapeshifting. (Slightly more traditional structures will be, I'd guess, required for the likes of logistics and various utilities—though logistics is obviously a network endeavor, subject to the plastic parameters of networking.)
*Sources of sustained profitability will often be elusive. An advanced barter economy is already emerging. The "CFO" job, like almost all others, will disappear as we've known it. "Profit gurus" will build business models and find ways to temporarily monetize (a term I used to loathe) the products of a network/set of networks. These Profit Gurus will have their own network—they more or less already do in the form of a host of flavors of venture capital. (Among other things, "angel" investors are of the utmost importance to an entrepreneurially activated economy.)
*Control and accountability will be a delicate dance. On the one hand, we need a "the buck stops here" process including appropriate regulation; on the other hand, the control system, too, will be significantly "emergent"—to a far greater degree than normal, projects will repeatedly redefine themselves as they progress and "Who's in charge?"/"Who signs off?" will be unstable.
*Trial and error, many many many trials and many many many errors very very very rapidly will be the rule (think dotcom boom and bust—and, in fact, the incredibly valuable residual in terms of entrepreneurial training and ideas surfaced and approaches rejected); tolerance for rapid learning—and unlearning—will be a most valued skill. (FYI: "Gamers" instinctively "get" this—lots of trials, lots of errors as fast as possible—in ways their error-avoiding elders can only imagine; hence, for this reason among many, "the revolution" is/will be, to a very significant degree, led by youth.)
*Women may well flourish to the point of domination in new leadership roles in these emergent/ethereal settings that dominate the landscape—power will be exercised almost entirely indirectly, and will largely live in the network per se. Women, among other things, are "soft power" experts, more comfortable and effective in settings where informal power is dominant. (Can men adapt? Not clear.) (On the other hand, for better and for worse, men typically have a greater proclivity for risktaking—central to an entrepreneurially driven/dominated economy. A friend once said, mostly in jest, "Let the guys start the low-odds businesses—then let women run them." Hmmm ...)
*One thing women are routinely better at than men is ... listening. And in a networked world, de facto or de jure listening is paramount as never before. We must listen intently within hyper-extended networks of peers if we intend to be inventive and accomplish complex tasks; participation and cooperation are the animating forces of a networked venture/economy. In the past, the best listeners have reaped great benefits from their skillset; but now listening well is a life or death proposition. (FYI: Cutting off and disempowering blowhards has never been so easy! There are no safety nets for jerks. In a networked world, your peers will vote you on or off the island—and revising a permutation will, as always, be devilishly difficult.)
*The "Brand You/Brand Me" idea (I more or less launched the concept/moniker in the mid-1990s) is alive and well and getting healthier every day and is ... not optional. Fact is, we mostly all will have to be entrepreneurial to survive, let alone thrive. The good news is that we mostly were until 100 years ago, so gene alteration is not required—though it, too, may come in the next 25 years! The buck starts and stops with you, not a formally assigned boss—even if you are in a traditional enterprise; "traditional" enterprises may look familiar, but all vestiges of traditional job-security-courtesy-invisibility have evaporated. (Key/essential "Brand You" requirements: (1) Exceedingly good at something—a calling. (2) Constant learning—adding as well as subtracting. (3) Perpetually expanding/deepening one's network—that is, "brand you" success is co-creation success, the antithesis of the egocentric go-it-aloneism that the term might, at first glance, imply. (4) Dancing skills—changing direction and improvising will be commonplace. (5) "Entrepreneurial," in quotes because I mean taking the initiative as a matter of course, not necessarily starting your own business. "Change agent" used to be a special category—now, only change agents/initiators will survive.)
*Performance and accountability will be more important than ever, but will be measured by one's peers along dimensions such as reliability, trustworthiness, engagement, willingness to spend a majority of one's time (at any given time) helping others with no immediate expected return.
*AI is ripping through traditional jobs at an accelerating pace, and the old saw, "We ain't seen nothin' yet," is a truism. (FYI: AI is transforming local/small businesses as well as the giants—think of local bookstores among many others.) Virtually no job, circa 2000, will remain in a recognizable way within 15-25 years. It's as simple—and as traumatic—as that. This AI-driven transformation has long been coming—imagine 25-year time-lapse photography of, say, an auto plant—but is accelerating and now scaling the highest peaks as it increasingly immolates "high end"/analytic/pattern-recognition jobs.
Looked at in the context of the eternally lingering anemic economic recovery, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee discern the phenomenon this way in Race Against the Machine, "The root of our problem is not that we're in a Great Recession or a Great Stagnation, but rather that we are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring. Our technologies are racing ahead, but many of our skills and organizations are lagging behind."
On 22 May 2000, I authored a Time cover story titled "What Will We Do for Work?" I/It began, "I believe that ninety percent of white-collar jobs in the U.S. will be either destroyed or altered beyond recognition in the next 10 to 15 years." The three causes I enumerated were "destructive" (game-changing) competition, technology/artificial intelligence, and outsourcing." I was a bit ahead of schedule—now the process has clearly engulfed us.
*In general, wholesale/continuous/intense re-education (forgetting as well as learning—the former is the most difficult) is a lifelong pursuit—and not optional. (Obviously, instilling, or at least not killing, curiosity from about age ZERO is part and parcel of the New Age and goes against today's grain. E.g., Parent Goal #1: Don't kill the curiosity with which the child is born! As Picasso put it, "Every child is born an artist. The trick is to remain an artist." Please ponder that one.)
*It is commonplace when discussing education (frequently described as National Priority #1) to obsess on math proficiency and, more broadly, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). STEM is, no doubt, significant to a landscape being transformed by technology, though I favor the formulation labeled STEAM, or steAm. (President John Maeda of RISD coined the new flavor.) The "A" is for Art, or the arts. "The arts" are to some extent "what's left" as AI/robotics vacuum up traditional high-end occupations. Consider the world's most valuable company—Apple. While its "T" (technology) is exceptional, it is the "A" that has made all the difference—or, rather, the A ingeniously blended with S, T, E, and M. (As Steve Jobs once bluntly and characteristically put it of Apple's eventual relative domination, "Microsoft never had the humanities or liberal arts in its DNA.")
*In general, in the age of stupendous technology change, the "soft" attributes will be more important than ever. This is true of invention/innovation (see Apple reference above) and abetted by the networked nature of development and execution; for the foreseeable future, development and execution are "soft" arranging and managing tasks.
*Education redux. The (very) good news: Education is busily re-inventing itself and leaving the ed establishment in the dust! You might say that all schooling will become de facto home schooling—and will effectively start at birth. Educational resources are increasingly available on the desktop (or whatever we'll call it); and, ho hum, we ain't seen nothin' yet. MOOCs/Massive Online Open Courses of every flavor are rising—networks will create their own spontaneous and encompassing educational "system" as a vehicle like TEDx is illustrating. Traditional education models will more or less disappear—some forecast only a dozen surviving universities as we know them today within a couple of decades. (This seems, and doubtless is, extreme—but the fact that it can be imagined and seriously discussed is jaw dropping.) And, I repeat, this encompasses the 1st 10 years of education, not just tertiary/tertiary+ ed. Young students can/are reinventing education and the human interaction/convergence processes, unbeknownst even to themselves, at the speed of light; gaming, for (one big) example is not a sideshow—it is the show. Emphasis on ed will shift from ages 5-18 or 22 to ages 2 to 82. Redux redux: The idea of and shape of education per se are erasing all that's come before—the shape of the delivery vehicle and the idea of education-is-forever-for-all.
*GRIN/Genetics-Robotics-Informatics-Nanotech. Overwhelming transformation is hardly just AI/Robotics or the likes of 3-D printing/personal fabs, which have de facto underpinned much of the commentary above. Change, entrepreneurial activities and early adoption in the "G"/genetics and the "N"/nanotech arenas are accelerating. In fact, the 25 year horizon may border on the unrecognizable. The good news—above—is that we will be rewiring the entire economy/nature of existence into a flexible format capable of adjusting-adapting 100X more rapidly than is the case today. And in 25 years the likelihood is non-low that genetic adaptations to deal with genetic adaptations/nanotech may well be standard fare. A great deal of the "G-stuff" is proven—the issue is the pattern of implementation. Among (many) other things, as "G" options accelerate/ multiply, religious conservatism versus scientific aggressiveness, with war and peace mixed in, portend high odds of a global donnybrook.
*Government has a large role to play, like it or not. E.g., government-funded BASIC-research and development is a major-league necessity—which is growing, rather than diminishing. Government's historical role in research has routinely been underestimated, but will be especially true if the cataclysmic changes likely in universities blow below-the-waterline holes in those universities' R&D funding models. Hyper-capitalism, in general, leads to paper-thin profits, which lead to disinvestment in BASIC R & D—e.g., the likes of Bell Labs; this is already happening and is unmistakably accelerating. For another BIG thing, government also has to stay involved in social safety-net issues. As longterm employment evaporates, the services historically provided/funded by big companies will more or less disappear—see the current situation regarding pensions. Hence, government support will remain and become more important as the court of last resort. Add in, then, infrastructure, which is as important as ever—from the Internet backbone to highways and bridges. (And, of course and alas, defense—the world is and will likely stay far short of placid.) Acknowledging the limits, at times severe, of markets is imperative! (Anti-government ideologues must get this through their heads.)
*Governance. To a non-trivial extent, we have been globalizing/globalized for 500 years. But the emergent interconnectedness is of a different character. It is hard to imagine that fundamental systems of human governance will remain unchanged. The growth of interdependence to date, alas, has hardly eliminated wars—though overall human violence does continue to measurably decrease. Some have said that the global giant corporations have become the true, but shadow, system of governance—and there is significant truth to that. Yet I have argued above that a stable portfolio (such as the fictional but real "Global 1000") of giants is unlikely to dominate in the mid- to long-term. What tomorrow's UN will look like is unclear to me; the nation state is not likely to disappear any time soon, and the role of a stable technological backbone, among other things, would seem to necessitate its survival. But will categories such as "democracies" mean what they do today? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
*Downside. I have during my months of forced re-education personally moved from a position of deep pessimism to one of guarded optimism. We have survived discontinuous change in the past. The determining factor is always the same: Timeframe!! There is no doubt that the pace of change is accelerating—it has ever been thus. But arguably (inarguably?) there is a discontinuity in the rate of acceleration per se. AI, for example, like many of its predecessor "gamechanger" technologies, has been "on the verge" for 40 years. But now the cataclysmic moment may have arrived. (Add the "G" and the "N" into the mix—though they are perhaps a bit farther from the tipping point—and you have a case for true destabilization.) Will "everything be different" in 10 or 25 years? Perhaps. Will we adapt; history says yes, but common sense says there are no sure bets. Stay tuned!
[Also available: a PDF of this blog, with appendices. Revised 06 Jan 2012—CM.]
From all of us working with Tom to you and your families, have a very peaceful holiday season.
Our new Cool Friend, Dan Coyle, is revisiting us to talk about a new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills. It's a follow-up to The Talent Code, which we discussed with him in 2009. Here's what Tom has to say about the book:
It's so juvenile to throw around hyperbolic terms such as "life-changing," but there's no other way to describe The Little Book of Talent. I was avidly trying new things within the first half hour of reading it and haven't stopped since. Brilliant. And yes: life-changing.
I am trying my damndest to get a tenuous grip on the extraordinary-revolutionary-earthflipping change that surrounds us and which is accelerating madly. Below is an idiosyncratic reading list I've pulled together. In addition to nonfiction, there are a handful of well-researched ultra-sane sci-fi novels by the likes of David Wilson and Neal Stephenson. Also you'll find a couple of my favorites on the financial crisis; and a Cold War collection that is here because it is the ultimate study of leadership with consequences amidst uncertainty and ambiguity. A few others touch on decision-making and the typically faulty interpretation of cause and effect—and the power of being wrong. (And, of course, there's a duo on the eclipse of men!)
Herewith, 55 books with my "14 Musts" in boldface:
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology—Ray Kurzweil
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed—Ray Kurzweil
Redesigning Humans: Choosing Our Genes, Changing Our Future—Gregory Stock
Wetware: A Computer in Every Living Cell—Dennis Bray
Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life—Nick Lane
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century—P.W. Singer
America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare—Joel Brenner
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It—Richard Clarke & Robert Knake
Worm: The First Digital World War—Mark Bowden
Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop—From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication—Neil Gershenfeld
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution—Chris Anderson
The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production—Peter Marsh
The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs—Michael Belfiore
Kill Decision—Daniel Suarez
Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy—Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee
The Coming Jobs War—Jim Clifton
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age—Steven Johnson
Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era—Henry Chesbrough
The Power of Co-Creation: Build It With Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits—Venkat Ramaswamy & Francis Gouillart
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World—Tony Wagner
Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter—Steven Johnson
Women and Gaming: The Sims and 21st Century Learning—James Paul Gee & Elisabeth Hayes
Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World—Jane McGonigal
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter—Tom Bissell
The Social Conquest of Earth—E.O. Wilson
Games Primates Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships—Dario Maestripieri
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined—Steven Pinker
The End of Men and the Rise of Women—Hanna Rosin
The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family—Liza Mundy
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't—Nate Silver
Ubiquity: The Science of History ... Or Why the World Is Simpler Than We Think—Mark Buchanan
The Ambiguities of Experience—James March
The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public—Lynn Stout
Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present—Jeff Madrick
Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk—Satyajit Das
Enough. True Measures of Money, Business, and Life—John Bogle
Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities—Martha Nussbaum
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder—Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better—Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway & Katie Yezzi
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills—Daniel Coyle
Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong—Alina Tugend
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error—Kathryn Schulz
Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas—Natasha Schüll
Redesigning Leadership (Design, Technology, Business, Life)—John Maeda
The Plentitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff—Rich Gold
The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate—Robert Caro
Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth—Frederick Kempe
Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World—Evan Thomas
Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis—Suez and the Brink of War—David Nichols
Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct—P.M. Forni
[The list is also available as a PDF.]
It's with the greatest pleasure that we announce the publication of Tom's In Search of Excellence in eBook format. Thirty years after the original burst onto the scene, there's new technology—almost a new world—where books are concerned. Will kids born today have the bookcases full of hardcovers and paperbacks occupying so much space in their parents homes? Not likely. Tom's groundbreaking work is ready for the transition. It's available now for eBook readers; we hope a new generation of readers discovers In Search of Excellence and embraces it as did the last generation. The companies named in the book may not have survived into the present (though some notable "excellent" companies thrive), but that's not the point. Its lessons, such as "A Bias for Action" and "Close to the Customer," are as relevant now as the day it was written. Maybe more so.
An old friend of Tom's, Rich Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes magazine, wrote a piece in the 19 November issue of that magazine, praising In Search of Excellence. Below, find Tom's excerpt of the article, and see the original here. Thanks to Rich for this tribute!
Confidence had been in tatters for several years, following a big and ugly recession. It was 1982. A 17-year boom awaited at the tunnel's end, but the present mood was awful.
It's often debated whether Ronald Reagan's tax cuts or Paul Volcker's monetary medicine got the U.S. off its back. The answer is both, but let's add a third and fourth reason. Third was the personal computer. ... The PC was more than a machine. It was a garden of entrepreneurship that produced such daring men as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. A fourth reason was a book that came out in 1982: In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman. Yes, I am claiming that a single book belongs up there with tax cuts, a strong dollar and the PC as a pillar of the American renaissance.
In Search of Excellence was the right book for the time. It is a saga of the passion that the authors found in the best companies. The idea of passion in large business was a shape-shifter. In 1982 managers of large companies were expected to be strategic and financial in their focus. Efficiency was prized. Products were things to be counted and shipped, not loved. If quality was a problem, it was a systemic error and not connected to employee morale.
buy viagra next day delivery Not fully appreciated at the time was that most American companies had become large and profitable during a time of scant global competition. From the end of World War II through the 1960s little stood in the way. Then came the 1970s, with the rise of Germany and Japan. ... The old rules went out the window. In Search of Excellence gave large company managers a new template. Its eight principles are: A Bias for Action; Close to the Customer; Autonomy and Entrepreneurship; Productivity Through People; Hands- On, Value-Driven ...
It's hard to improve on those eight today. So why was In Search of Excellence originally considered so radical? It shredded the idea that business is all about rational behavior and numbers. The very reason that reason often fails is that humans who work in companies and constitute the customer base aren't entirely rational themselves. Employees and customers seek rational rewards, of course, but they also want something more. They want purpose. They want meaning.
From all of us to all of you, if you are celebrating the American Thanksgiving, have a lovely holiday!
Tom revisits Russia, and his PPT recalls his 2006 appearance in that country's Novosibirsk. Tom insists you need EXCELLENCE NOW to master "New trends in marketing and management," the stated theme of the day. Below you can get the presentation from his World Trade Center seminar in Moscow.
It's all about the quality of interpersonal relationships.
Leadership is a liberal art—Peter Drucker's assertion. ("Management science" is an oxymoron.)
Listening ("fierce listening," as one wag puts it) is arguably/inarguably leadership "Tool #1." (Training in listening should be intense/rigorous/universal.)
"Authenticity" only goes so far—e.g., leaders aren't allowed to have bad days, especially on bad days.
At the end of the day (one's professional life), one remembers the people one has helped—net worth never goes on the tombstone.
"Leadership" is an 18-year-old working at McDonald's who brings a great attitude to work on a gloomy day. (E.g., per Betsy Myers's Take the Lead, every hour offers up leadership opportunities to every one of us.
The tools (e.g., social media) may be new, but the basics of leading—"It's the people, stupid!"—are eternal.
This list of "success factors" emerged after-the-fact from an interview with a reporter from Moscow in preparation for a seminar I'm giving in Moscow in mid-November 2012. FYI:
Just one "secret" to innovation: It's a messy world. We're always operating half informed. Hence, "try more stuff than the other guy" and sort it out as you go forward is the best way to up success odds. ("Ready. Fire. Aim."—Ross Perot)
Paradox: Superb quality is an absolute necessity, and it requires superb systems; but superb quality with the wrong product flunks. Hence one needs to be organized (quality) and disorganized (innovation) at the same time. (Axiom: Management is art, not science.)
Waste #1: "Great branding"/marketing can not overcome a lousy product—it is largely wasted. The product (innovative, attractive, of the highest quality) comes first—though excellence in product and marketing is indubitably required to achieve a smashing success.
Everywhere: "Excellence" in quality and design is not restricted to the "high end." Both characteristics can be imbedded in lower-end products and services.
Iron law: All organizations get worse as they become more and more enormous. No cultural differences.
Iron law: Over the long haul, national success is largely built upon SMEs, with growth and innovation associated largely with a large population of vibrant midsized enterprises—Germany's "Mittelstand" is exhibit #1.
Paradox: Hierarchy is dead. Long live hierarchy. New market requirements and new tools can dramatically reduce hierarchy. Still, I don't want to drive across a bridge that didn't have a "command and control" structure to sign off on safety.
But: Hierarchy is often necessary—but relentless hot war must be declared on bureaucracy "24/7."
"New marketing techniques": The newest marketing technique is the oldest marketing technique but remains "new" because it is seldom practiced with requisite intensity. Namely, get the hell out into the marketplace and listen & listen & listen to customers. Then listen some more.
Always #1: Any nation's Olympic team is as good as its athletes. (Duh.) Exactly the same is true with any (as in any!) organization: Investment in and development of great people comes first and is the greatest sustaining differentiator!
Motivator #1: Treating people with respect is always the #1 motivational "tool."
Why not business: In the army and in the theater and in sports, training is always Priority #1. Why not in business? No organization ever devoted too much effort to training!
Success "secret" #1: Work harder/much harder than the other guy/s. There's more to it than hard work but hard work is the sine qua non. (Again: Think of the Olympics.)
Speed's enabler: The #1 cause of delays is invariably lousy cross-functional communication—the product developers don't talk to the logistics people who don't talk to the sales people. Etc. Etc. Excellence in cross-functional communication must become a day-to-day top-management obsession.
New context, new leaders: Innovation (and execution) today is a collaborative process. Women are on average better leaders than men in collaborative situations. Men take to hierarchies—we invented 'em. Women tend to lead more by inclusion rather than coercion.
Customer #1: In retail and in products designed for retail, she is the primary consumer. Company leadership and the product-service portfolio should mimic, more or less, this fact. (You heard it here 1st: Men and women are different.)
New context, new skills; The Age of Brawn is largely behind us. Brains and creativity and flexibility have come to the fore. Not only are our organizations unprepared—but our schools get it more or less exactly wrong 100% of the time.
Acceleration: Technological change is accelerating as never before. It is not an exaggeration to say that "all bets are off"; adaptability and renewal are imperative on a short cycle unimaginable only 10 or so years ago. (And we ain't seen nothin' yet.)
Mix it up: Company leaders tend to be look-alikes. Only (only!) diversity on any dimension you can name induces creativity over the long haul—from the boardroom to the front line.
"Sexy": Clever strategies and exciting products are important, but superb execution invariably carries the day. Asked his #1 success "secret," peerless hotelier Conrad Hilton replied, "Don't forget to tuck the shower curtain into the bathtub." Amen!
Tom is featured at The Ford Hall Forum in Boston tonight. He is engaging in a dialogue titled "Business Ethics and Other Oxymorons." He will be having a dialogue with Nitin Nohria, Dean of the Harvard Business School; the discussion will be moderated by Donna Carpenter, founder of New Word City and, among other things, publisher of Tom's eBooks
Tom calls what follows, "My 'cheat sheet' for the discussion." Tom adds, "As most know, I am a fierce critic of B-schools. Yet Dean Nohria is making enormous changes, for the better as I see it, at HBS. I'd call the Boston discussion a 'debate,' except Nitin and I are in virtually complete agreement about the role of business in society—and the broad obligations of business leaders. Incidentally, Dean Nohria comes out of the business sub-discipline typically called 'organization behavior'—so do I. Praise the Lord, for once, unlike at my alma mater, Stanford, we have a B-school dean who's not one more bloody economist."
Tom's cheat sheet:
From Lynn Stout, professor of corporate and business law, Cornell Law school, in The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public
"On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy. ... Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products."—Jack Welch, Financial Times/0313.09/page 1/former GE chairman Welch was arguably the most vociferous proponent of the shareholder value ideology (Quoted in The Shareholder Value Myth)
"The notion that corporate law requires directors, executives, and employees to maximize shareholder wealth simply isn't true. There is no solid legal support for the claim that directors and executives in U.S. public corporations have an enforceable legal duty to maximize shareholder wealth. The idea is fable."
"[A corporation] can be formed to conduct or promote any lawful business or purpose"—from Delaware corporate code, in which there is no mandate for shareholder primacy.
"[Courts] uniformly refuse to actually impose legal sanctions on directors or executives for failing to pursue one purpose over another. In particular, courts refuse to hold directors of public corporations legally accountable for failing to maximize shareholder wealth."
"What about shareholders' rights to sue corporate officers and directors for breach of fiduciary duty if they fail to maximize shareholder wealth? Such a right turns out to be illusory. Executives and directors' duty of loyalty to the corporation bars them from using their corporate positions to enrich themselves at the firm's expense, but unconflicted directors remain legally free to pursue almost any other goal."
"From a legal perspective, shareholders do not, and cannot, own corporations. Corporations are independent legal entities that own themselves, just as human beings own themselves. ... Shareholders own shares of stock. A share of stock is simply a contract between the shareholder and the corporation, a contract that gives the shareholder very limited rights under limited circumstances. In this sense, stockholders are no different from bondholders, suppliers, and employees. All have contractual relationships with the corporate entity. None 'owns' the company itself."
TP comment: I read Professor Stout's book like a thriller: It is breathtaking, for my money.
"Managers have lost dignity over the past decade in the face of widespread institutional breakdown of trust and self-policing in business. To regain society's trust, we believe that business leaders must embrace a way of looking at their role that goes beyond their responsibility to the shareholders to include a civic and personal commitment to their duty as institutional custodians. In other words, it is time that management became a profession."—Rakesh Khurana & Nitin Nohria, "It's Time To Make Management a True Profession," Harvard Business Review/10.08
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality."—JFK
From John Bogle, Enough. The Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Bogle is founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group):
"At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, 'Yes, but I have something he will never have ... enough.'" (extracted from the New Yorker)
"Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment"
"Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity"
"Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust"
"Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct"
"Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship"
"Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment"
"Too Many Twenty-first Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values"
"Too Much 'Success,' Not Enough Character"
TP comment: I loved Jack's book and was honored to have been asked to write the foreword to the paperback edition.
"For too long, the economics profession has minimized the critical role of cooperation in economic activity. Emphasis on the individual has risen above all else, and overshadowed the profound ways we depend on each other. ... If we ignore the important ways people cooperate to create wealth, we miss the most valuable source of wealth creation imaginable. ... By appreciating integrity as an asset that is valuable, companies can learn how to invest in it and create wealth."—Anna Bernasek, The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust & What That Means for Our Future
"In an era of structured finance, nano-technology, and complex business models, Anna Bernasek's timely book reminds us that the economy runs on something much more simple: trust."—Review of The Economics of Integrity by Dan Gross, author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation
"It is not enough for an agency to be respected for its professional competence. Indeed, there isn't much to choose between the competence of big agencies. What so often makes the difference is the character of the men and women who represent the agency at the top level, with clients and the business community. If they are respected as admirable people, the agency gets business—whether from present clients or prospective ones."—David Ogilvy
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"I can't tell you how many times we passed up hotshots for guys we thought were better people ... and watched our guys do a lot better than the big names, not just in the classroom, but on the field—and, naturally, after they graduated, too. Again and again, the blue chips faded out, and our little up-and-comers clawed their way to all-conference and All-America teams."—Bo Schembechler (and John Bacon), "Recruit for Character," Bo's Lasting Lessons (Schlemberger was the legendary college football coach at the University of Michigan)
To develop and manage talent;
to apply that talent,
throughout the world,
for the benefit of clients;
to do so in partnership;
to do so with profit.
WPP (World's largest marketing services firm)
Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity
Edward O. Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth
Jack Beatty, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America
Martha Nussbaum, Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
David Hackett Fischer, Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies
Hanna Rosin, The End of Men: and the Rise of Women
What we're talking about on the front page.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.