[Link] Crazy New Ideas

Paul Graham on why he asks questions – rather than voice his opinions – when someone who’s a domain expert comes up with crazy new ideas

Few understand how feeble new ideas look when they first appear. So if you want to have new ideas yourself, one of the most valuable things you can do is to learn what they look like when they’re born. Read about how new ideas happened, and try to get yourself into the heads of people at the time. How did things look to them, when the new idea was only half-finished, and even the person who had it was only half-convinced it was right?

But you don’t have to stop at history. You can observe big new ideas being born all around you right now. Just look for a reasonable domain expert proposing something that sounds wrong.

[Link] Diversity & Inclusion has a Polarisation Problem

A thoughtful essay from Lily Zheng on a thorny, polarising topic.

In this essay, I’m going to make the case that D&I workshops as we know it are designed to be unwelcome for people who haven’t bought in to their premise. I’ll start by diving into the most common assumptions embedded into today’s D&I programming. I’ll show how these assumptions can influence D&I programming in ways that can unwittingly can widen the gap in knowledge among employees, create polarization and resentment, and paradoxically, undermine future efforts at inclusion. Finally, I’ll present an alternative framework for D&I programming and explore the implications of adopting it.

HT to my AltMBA tribe member Aray M. Till

[Link] Why is the World So Beautiful

This is a fascinating conversation with Prof. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a plant ecologist, writer, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY and a member of the Potawatomi First Nation.

“Mosses have this ability, rather than demanding a lot from the world,  they’re very creative in using what they have, rather than reaching for what they don’t have,” Kimmerer told Tapestry.

“When there are limits, the mosses say, ‘Let’s be quiet for a while. Abundance, openness, water, will return.  We’ll wait this out.'”

Listen to this conversation

HT John Hagel

[Link] McKinsey on Stress

Even the big consulting firms are posting more about stress, with fancy graphs & charts!

At the core of this challenge for many people is a misguided view of stress itself, which contributes to our inability to recognize and manage it. Many executives view stress as an unalloyed negative, something to fight through or minimize.2 As a result, they may manage it ineffectively.


[Link]: Fight to Be Who Philosophy Wants You to Be

Ryan Halliday on the reality of life:

..we will fall short. We all will. The important thing is that we pick ourselves back up when we do. As one Japanese proverb says: fall down seven times, get up eight. Marcus (Aurelius) said it too. “When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances,” he wrote, “revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep on going back to it.” You’re going to have an impulse to give in. Your temper is going to get the best of you. Fear will get the best of you. Ambition might lead you astray. But you always have the ability to realize that that is not who you want to be, that is not what you were put here to do, that is not who your philosophy wants you to be.

[Link] Their apps tracked them

In the hands of law enforcement, this data could be evidence. But at every other moment, the location data is reviewed by hedge funds, financial institutions and marketers, in an attempt to learn more about where we shop and how we live.

This new data set offers proof that not only is there more interest in location data than before, but it is also easier to deanonymize. It gets easier by the day. As the data from Jan. 6 eerily demonstrates, it does not discriminate. It harvests from the phones of MAGA rioters, police officers, lawmakers and passers-by. There is no evidence, from the past or current day, that the power this data collection offers will be used only to good ends. There is no evidence that if we allow it to continue to happen, the country will be safer or fairer.

Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson show , in this NYTimes Opinion piece, how insidiously apps leak information, whether users know it or not

[Link] The Vanishing Middle Manager, McKinsey

A perspective worth considering: what should middle management actually be doing?

Think of the role of the direct manager in performance management. Ultimately, it’s not about the system. It’s not about the form. It’s about whether your direct manager helps you understand the value of your work and how it fits into a broader strategy. It’s about coaching. It’s about real-time feedback delivered by a human. I think we’ve undervalued those elements, tried to systematize them away with data, with systems, with tools. Meanwhile, workers are asking for better leaders, better apprenticeships, better coaching. When we try to disintermediate the role of a good midlevel leader, I think we do this at our peril.