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Factory workers on an assembly line building the Model-T Ford in the 1930s

The Impact of a Formalized Mindset

Considering an artists’ perspective on how to forget the name of the product we’re working on may help teams consider the importance of innovation. Especially in a world seemingly obsessed with simply getting to a state of “good enough” and “done”.

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"Bad Robot" icon from Hollywood. Red robot head in a corn field against a black and white background.

We Exist Inside the Stories of Our Minds

Intelligence is a toolbox we use to reach a given goal, but strictly speaking it doesn’t entail motives and goals by itself. The motivation of our AI’s will stem from the existing building blocks of our society.

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I Walked Into a Bar and Discovered The Meaning of Ownership

What’s the level of psychological ownership in your organization today? What if the level of psychological ownership turns out not to be high enough to move ahead? In this story I share how I applied this theory in sharing research results with senior leaders, managers, and teams.

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What Seems To Be The Problem?

Are customers your users? This has been a side debate that has been going on for quite some time. Like with most arguments, getting bogged down in semantics never leads to better products or services. Instead, we should be spending more time clarifying fundamental problems. Questioning and clarifying with the intent to understand is critical for success. Without such effort, how can we be certain we’re even asking the right questions?

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Attentional Switching Comes With a High Cost

I’ve learned over the years that holding tightly to one’s own beliefs around best practices, tools, and disciplines has been a fundamental source of failure in business. While it feels easier to simply argue against those with whom we don’t agree, it actually exhausts time limited resources required to be objective.

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Between the Chalk Dust and the Hot Rods

Perceptions and biases are something we deal with in every aspect of our lives – personally and professionally. Many experiences over the course of our lives shape who we become and what we value. This story points out my own bias based on stereotypes of titles and roles with an organization. Ken had a great impact on my life and you’ll not likely guess their title or profession. Wait for it …

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The Whole Is Not The Same As The Sum Of Its Parts

The desire to work at velocity often ignores the capacity of the resources available to an organization. Goals are often built independent of other teams making outcomes nearly impossible to achieve, let alone objectively measure. In a world that argues for best practices and processes within each profession, what if we considered the actual construct Aristotle proposed nearly 2400 years ago? The whole is not the same as the sum of its parts.

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Growth Requires Diversity and Quantity of Ideas

In 2018 the Nobel Prizer winner in Economics was Paul Romer. His “New Growth” theory suggests that we need more ideas as the world’s population continues to decrease. If we consider the quality of ideas that comes from a diverse group of people, we also need to consider getting more ideas on the table. We can only accomplish that by removing generational divides.

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That brief moment in time when design and code were aligned.

There was a point in time when individuals had to learn code, design, and understand the business in order to make things work. While this was more challenging than today, the benefits to me were immense. I learned early on that success wasn’t about how we got to the solution. It was how we always got to a better solution, together.

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After the Spotlight

What if we focus on the ideas being shared instead of simply assuming the thought leader on stage has the irrefutable best answer? This was a question I posed throughout my career and one that I illustrate in this story, as an example. The patterns that emerged over time focused on the irrefutable individual; not on the critical thinking required to validate the value of the ideas themselves.

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Theory prepares you. Experience grounds you.

Working with patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries would prove to be one of the most important experiences early in my career. While I had many influences in the industry, Dr. Oliver Sacks provided perspective and insights that drove my curiosity to dig deeper into the human condition.

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Let’s Start by Cleaning Up Your Room

Regardless of my role I’ve always tried to ensure alignment amongst individuals and teams. Today, teams want to be agile and move at velocity. However, you can’t move at velocity if everyone sets a different pace. As we’ve built platforms that are tightly-coupled and complex it is more important than ever to focus on solving problems, not simply fixing issues. In this story I share one of many experiences where gaining alignment helped the organization step forward.