Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Life and Times of Steve Jobs [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learn How Google Works

How Does Google Work?
Infographic by PPCBlog

Sunday, October 13, 2013

10 Lessons Running Teaches You About Life

1. When things get tough, just keep going.

When most people encounter a rough patch, they quit.  The truly successful people in the world keep going no matter what.  Never let your setbacks win.

2. Consistency creates habit.

To incorporate anything into your life, you have to make it a habit.  To make something a habit, you have to be consistent.  Whatever it is you’re aiming for, make it a part of your life.

3. You’ll have to get through hell before you get to heaven.

Like all things worth pursuing, you are going to get knocked down, stepped on, and rejected along the way.  Consider this to be part of the path to your goals.  Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.

4. Reaching your goals will take a lot of work.

If it doesn’t, it’s either not a goal, not worth pursuing, or will not have any fulfillment.  Never expect to not put in work and get somewhere.

5. Every aspect of life is mental.

It’s not about what you do or what happens to you, it’s about how to respond to it.  It’s how you decide to carry on.  Your power comes from inside your head.

6.  You do have time– you just have to make it.

If something is important to you, you’ll make time for it.  If not, you’ll make excuses.

7. You define your own limits.

Your limits aren’t put unto you by your parents, other people, or the universe.  You are in total control of it.  You decide whether or not to shoot for the moon or stay right where you are.

8. If you wait for the right conditions, you’ll never get anything done.

Don’t wait for anything or anybody.  You know what you have to do to reach your goals and get things done. Just go do them!

9. Go beyond your limits every day and watch the magic happen.

You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you just push yourself a little further.

10. There is peace even in the most chaotic times.

No matter now grueling, stressful, sorrowful, or painful your situation is, there is always a silver lining and something positive to be found.  Seek it out, learn from it, and keep moving on.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Managers keep forgetting that it is what they do, not what they plan, that explains their success

This is a good reminder to myself...


Blog: Maps and Plans

Over the last few months, I’ve been wrestling with a book called Sensemaking in Organizations, by Karl Weick. I’ve got bogged down in it from time to time, but it’s fascinating. Weick describes sensemaking as having seven properties:
  1. it’s grounded in constructing or enhancing the identity of an individual or group;
  2. it’s retrospective, or based on “meaningful lived experience”;
  3. it’s “enactive of sensible environments”, which is kind of circular; it means that part of the process of sensemaking involves trying to produce an environment in which further sensemaking is possible;
  4. it’s a social process; it happens in the presence of others, or with the knowledge that others will understand, approve, or be involved;
  5. it’s ongoing; despite the fact that it’s retrospective, it doesn’t have a clear starting point either, because “people are always in the middle of things”;
  6. it’s based on extracted cues, “simple, familiar structures that are seeds from which people develop a larger sense of what may be occurring”; and
  7. driven by plausibility rather than accuracy, which means to me that sensemaking is a heuristic process.
The book is rewarding, and I recommend it, but there is one story that on its own makes the book worth the price of admission. Over the last few months, I’ve treated a couple of newsgroups to the story, which I had heard before from Jerry Weinberg as an example of the heuristic, “When the map and the territory disagree, believe the territory.” But Weick’s analysis adds some extra richness that speaks to the idea of reasonable limits on planning and increased emphasis on doing.

Paraphrased, the story is that an Hungarian Army unit is on patrol in the Swiss Alps. A big snow storm comes up, and they don’t come back to camp for a day, two days, three days. Their lieutenant is now panicked, thinking that he has sent these men to their deaths… and then the unit walks back into camp. “Wow! We thought you were lost for good–where have you been?” “Well, when the storm came up, we hunkered down, and when we finally poked our heads out, everything was covered with snow and we realized that we were lost. One of us had a map, though, so we opened it up, and we realized that if we went down the hill we’d hit a river, and if we followed the river we’d hit the town, and here we are.” The lieutenant looked at the map and realized that it wasn’t a map of the Alps, but of the Pyrenees.

Says Weick (on page 55), “this incident raises the intriguing possibility that when you are lost, any old map will do. For example, extended to the issue of strategy, maybe when you are confused, any old strategic plan will do. Strategic plans are a lot like maps. They animate and orient people. Once people begin to act (enactment), they generate tangible outcomes (cues) in some context (social), and this helps them discover (retrospect) what is occurring (ongoing), what needs to be explained (plausibility), and what should be done next (identity enhancement).

Managers keep forgetting that it is what they do, not what they plan, that explains their success. They keep giving credit to the wrong thing–namely, the plan–and having made this error, they then spend more time planning and less time acting. They are astonished when more planning improves nothing.”