Headline Mental Inventory Turnover

Decisions fascinate me. Perhaps that’s because I’m not good at making them. It’s not that I make bad decisions – on the contrary, most of my decisions are pretty good – it’s just that I’m slow to make decisions. I’m a maximizer. I want the best possible result obtained the best possible way. The opposite of a maximizer is a satisficer – someone who has specific criteria that, when met, triggers the decision. Studies show that satisficers are generally happier. No single person is wholly a maximizer or satisficer, we …

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Braille »

Throw a Good Party

As April rolled around my first year of college, a friend suggested we both stay and take classes spring term. I had no summer plans and, feeling somewhat spontaneous, agreed. We moved out of the dorms and into the apartment complex across the street (we chose the one with the biggest hot tub). I took throwaway classes that spring – Biology and Appreciation of Nature (which turned out to be a bird watching class). My friend took “Career Exploration”, a class that seemed fluffy to me but provided him with …

Books, Pass-Along, TED »

We Know a Lot Less Than We Think We Know

A close friend of mine is pregnant and travels frequently for work. She always refuses the full-body scanners and opts for a pat-down instead. She jokes that she’s been felt up in almost every airport in the US. Every time she refuses the full-body scan, the workers insist that it is completely safe. Yeah, that’s what they said about the x-ray machine too.
We know a lot less than we think we know. One mind-boggling example of this is baby formula. In his book “In Defense of Food”, Michael Pollen traces …

Corporate, Pass-Along »

Gartner Hype Cycle

How could I not have known about something so interesting? Gartner, the research company, has a set of offerings they call Hype Cycles. You pull up an industry on their website and select the chart you want to see. Unfortunately, you need to be a paying Gartner customer to see them. This is where it helps to work for a large company that has an account with Gartner.
Here’s Gartner’s 2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies that I found by searching Bing Images for “Gartner hype cycle”. It’s fascinating to look …

Books, Corporate »

Where did White Out Come From?

“The biggest rule breakers change our processes. They literally change how we work. Sometimes failure can be the inspiration. Who would imagine that being a mediocre typist could make you a millionaire? But for Bette Nesmith, an executive secretary at the Texas Bank & Trust in Dallas in 1951, it was an opportunity waiting to be exploited. Nesmith learned something critical while helping decorate the holiday windows at the bank. The artists corrected their mistakes by painting over the error. Nesmith decided to try the same at work, a telling …

Books, Corporate, Pass-Along »

Hot Teams Need Characters

“Remember that innovation stalls with the status quo. Celebrate your team members’ differences. Many years ago one of the most brilliant engineers at Atari was, well, eccentric. He lost his apartment, so he literally moved into the office, taking residence in a makeshift loft that fellow team members built for him. Incredibly, the only entrance was through a conference room. He’d crank away all night, and you’d arrive in the morning to find all the amazing things he’d accomplished. But you couldn’t talk to him till the afternoon when he …