Posts from the “Information” Category

Paradigms

Posted on March 23, 2018

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From Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: MR: I used to play chess. When I was in the army I played. I was unbeatable. I was very, very good at it. With chess there’s ratings, and chess master is about 2100, and I was playing a computer on a 2100 level. JS: Really?! MR: Yeah, so I’d been playing that machine for weeks, and then I happened to be out on Hollywood Boulevard standing on the corner. And I saw this man – tattered, dirty – it was a street person. He had a chess set there to play, and I said, “Do you play chess?” And he said, “Yeah, I do, I do.” JS: But it was a homeless guy? MR: It was a…

Simplexity

Posted on June 30, 2017

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“The term we came up with was simplexity. That is the art of simplifying an image down to its essence. But the complexity that you layer on top of it – in texture, design, or detail – is masked by how simple the form is. Simplexity is about selective detail.” –Ricky Nierva, Pixar Production Designer *

Defining Exceptions

Posted on March 26, 2017

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If we are to improve, we must define exceptions. What are our standards? What is abnormal around here? Defining exceptions can help us better prioritize our focus, communicate our culture, and track our results. The nuance – and often confusion – comes into play when leaders over-prescribe definitions or enable inconsistent definitions across the organization. It’s like the team I worked with this month that is accustomed to losing money a certain way, and therefore finds it completely acceptable, but devotes an inordinate amount of time scrutinizing losses in other areas. Why? Because the other areas are defined exceptions. All the more reason to define appropriately. *

Theory of Mind

Posted on February 17, 2017

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I once had a client turn down a proposed project manager due to perceptions. The manager had worked with the client previously and had familiarity with the environment – which was a selling point – but his role on previous projects had been more supportive than directive, and the client could not picture him operating in a lead role. To the client, it was as if the person stepping into the project manager role was the exact person that had ended the previous project a few years ago. There was no consideration of the experiences that had transpired in the meantime, the other projects that made the lead more valuable. Or the fact that developments happen outside the realm of our observation. It relates to Theory of Mind,…

Predictors

Posted on February 5, 2017

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When you’re driving, keep an eye on the tires of cars around you to more accurately predict turns and lane changes. In many sports, it’s watching the core – the center of gravity – of your opponent, avoiding the distractions of the extremities. What are the worthwhile predictors around you? “Old fishermen used to say it had to do with the moon, the wind, the lay of the seaweed on a low-tide rock…” *

The Best At…

Posted on December 23, 2016

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“We want to be the best store in the world, the best shop in the world. Now what does that mean? That means a lot of things to a lot of people. When we benchmark other companies, we don’t really look at any retail or fashion companies. We look at food, and we look at hospitality. So hotels and food. Because those are the people that are closest to the customer. And it is super intimate. That’s what we want. We want that kind of relationship with our customer, so they feel completely taken care of.” –Sid Mashburn *