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Quantum theory says, “the mere act of observing an experiment changes its outcome.” What that tells me; and what I’ve found in all my experience working with great leaders, is that successful outcomes come from a dance between both strategy and tactics. Especially for first-time projects. That is, you don’t spend all your time on strategy, you also don’t spend all your time on tactics. Instead, you spend the right amount of time going back and forth between them.
This might seem “duh”, but most business insights are that way.
Let me explain the rationale.
Strategy is a goal and a plan to get there. Tactics are the individual actions necessary fulfill the plan and reach the goal.
If you put all your effort on strategy, you might find yourself wrestling a big hairy audacious goal, which can be overwhelming. You’ve spent the a week or 2 creating a large strategy presentation deck and now the only natural course is to get buy in from your management and peers. After which you’re in an iterative mode, revising your strategy deck and re-pitching the strategy.
What you’ve also lost is the insight that you get from working on tactics. these learnings can give you insight to switch the strategy for the better. It’s important to keep your plans open to such “ah-ha” moments and not stifle them because they go off “script”.
On the other hand, if you spend all your days on tactics without a strategy, you’ll just be doing things without a clear vision of where you want to be or how you’ll get there. People around or under your management won’t be able to help you because they don’t know where you are going with it.
Without a destination you can find yourself going off tangent and not working towards the big picture. It also becomes difficult to truthfully justify your results when you don’t know where you are going.
To sum it up, don’t spend too much of your time in one place, instead dedicate time going back and forth: strategy, tactics, strategy, tactics, and so on. Set the pace for your intervals based on your specific situation. The intervals don’t have to be equal or regimented.
I’ve observed many leaders take this approach and it helps them:
Hope this helps, thank you for reading. I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments, likes, and shares.
This weekend LW sponsored and participated in the TCNJ Hackthon 2013. If you don’t know what a hackathon is (thanks Wikipedia): “A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others in the field of software development, like graphic designers, interface designers and project managers collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week in length. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software.”
Participation in such events is important to LW because they bring innovation to the forefront and allow students to solve problems in ways that we might not have initially considered. Sponsoring these events, allows us to give the students the opportunity to explore solutions to problems they feel are important.
We’d like to thank all the participants and organizers for putting together such a great event and allowing us to be a small portion of it.
I found out about this vehicle on the show Tech toys 360 episode 208. This vehicle is a glimpse into the future which I hope gets here sooner than later. For the longest time, I always felt it was such a waste of energy when I drive around and 90% of the time it’s a max of 2 people in the car. This vehicle is definitely a step in the right direction and I will purchase if given the opportunity.
I took this from their FAQ which answers a lot of questions I initially had when I saw this vehicle.
Our initial small production run will sell for $24K, or around $19K after US tax incentives. As we scale up to full production, we’ll drop the price accordingly, with the end goal of around $12,500 (before tax incentives).”
Here’s a video of them driving it around and trying to tip them over:
Got this forwarded to me by Riti, thought it deserved some shine on our blog, thank you Jessica Hagy, for writing this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2011/11/30/how-to-be-interesting/
How to be interesting (in 10 stupid-simple steps):
Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where all the boring people hang out.
2. Share what you discover.
And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures.
3. Do something. Anything.
Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.
4. Embrace your innate weirdness.
No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things—they are what make you interesting.
5. Have a cause.
If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.
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6. Minimize the swagger.
Egos get in the way of ideas. If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid.
7. Give it a shot.
Try it out. Play around with a new idea. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.
8. Hop off the bandwagon.
If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party. Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself. Besides, it’s more fun to drive than it is to get pulled around.
9. Grow a pair.
Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.
10. Ignore the scolds.
Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself. The scolds could have, would have, should have. But they didn’t. And they resent you for your adventures.
It’s not uncommon for people working in the IT industry, or any area for that matter, to want to hold onto something that sets them apart from their colleagues. There will always be Information Technology professionals who prefer to keep their knowledge to themselves. With the job market what it is today, it’s likely that those who are intentionally hoarding information do so because they believe it keeps them from becoming expendable and secures their position within the company. Although there are pros and cons to hoarding information, most would agree that sharing information with colleagues is beneficial to the growth and value of both a company and an individual.
There are a couple of reasons why a person would feel like they need to hold onto information that only they know. One of the main reasons is because they feel insecure. The employee might feel uncertain about the quality of their work or their job security so they feel it is important to hold onto a personal skill that they possess in order to remain competitive in the company. Others may just feel the need to hide information from their peers in order to feed their own egos. On one extreme side of hoarding you make yourself important because you are the bottleneck. People always have to go through you as a gateway because you are the gatekeeper. Everything is very tightly controlled by that person.
While there are few cases where hoarding information helps the individual, most of the time this type of behavior actually lessens their value. When encountering a situation where a colleague is unwilling to share, co-workers often find ways around them because it is apparent that they are not really a team player. Also, by sharing your knowledge you put people in the position to support you as you move up in the company. Without learning from or sharing with your peers there is little room for growth and improvement. As a result, a hoarder might become stuck in the same position for a long time.
Now that the disadvantages have been discussed it is important to know the some of the reasons why a collaborative work environment is beneficial to a company and an individual.
Let’s say the person didn’t show tell-tale signs they’re a hoarder. There are a couple of ways to approach this situation if hoarding becomes a problem within a company.
Local Wisdom incorporates the sharing of knowledge among the team into our corporate structure. We emphasize the importance, advantages, and benefits of sharing on both the company and each person’s career. So, if everyone seems to benefit from working in a collaborative environment, why does hoarding information remain a problem in some companies? Have you experienced working with a person who is reluctant or refuses to share information? How was your situation handled? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Found this today, and I have to say it looks awesome! I’m going to be signing up for a course in the very near future, I’ll let you know how it goes. People sharing what they know instead of hoarding information for Job Security (you know who you are), nice!
Skillshare is a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. We believe that everyone has valuable skills and knowledge to teach and the curiosity to keep learning new things. This means our neighborhoods, communities, and cities are really the world’s greatest universities. Our platform helps make the exchange of knowledge easy, enriching, and fun.
All of the classes happen in the real world. That means offline despite what we nerds may consider to be “real.” We believe that learning should happen in groups around shared interests and passions. When you bring together a variety of voices and hands-on instruction, truly spectacular things happen. This magic just can’t be replicated over a webcam and chatroom. We’re here to spread this magic and increase the gross happiness index around the world.
Researchers from from the Grenoble Informatics Lab in France are using the camera to track your eye gaze and change the image displayed on the tablet based on your perspective.
If anyone has read Daemon and FreedomTM by Daniel Suarez you’re now thinking of a new world order where the constant real-time voting, interactions, and contributions into a virtual social network govern the way a real life society functions. A new world where power is truly in the hands of the people and not the “ambiguous few”. If you haven’t read these books and enjoy true sci-fi that imparts your sense of philosophy, ethics, and society, I highly recommend it.
In this adaptation of the near future, people have a “social score” based on their trade, the level they have achieved in their trade, and rating by others. For example, in this world I’d be: a level 22 information architect with a 4 out of 5 rating from a base of 143 (totally made up example). It’s my social circle itself that gives me raises and praises.
Your probably reading this thinking of all the lawsuits and litigations that might ensue from the principles of defaming. You might get uneasy thinking that anyone can anonymously give you a rating that anyone (including your mother) can see. You could think of those who would game the system by cheating to give themselves an advantage and their competitors disadvantage.
I for one, am intrigued.
First, I’ve always been fascinated by what people think of my actions. Am I really the good guy that I think I am? I might be surprised.
Secondly, we all grow and adapt from feedback from our surroundings. If I did something that might have hurt someone else, I’d like to know so that I could try not to do the same in the future. It doesn’t help me if no one tells me how I just made them feel uncomfortable. Similar systems are already in place in company’s HR departments with 360 feedbacks and performance evaluations.
Finally, if I am doing something questionable and know that anyone can make public, I might be quicker to give apologies and also be more aware of my actions overall. There are a few people I can think of who should be more aware of their actions.
Where it stands today. I believe society has to be weened into this way of thinking. In fact we are being weened into it. There are a few sites that are introducing the concept (maybe you’ve heard of them):
On LinkedIn you can give “recommendations” to others. This is like a letter of reference. Useful and powerful, but ultimately you can only say good things. You can also “like” people’s comments and follow people and you can “pass” or degrade the comment.
On Facebook you can “like” artifacts that people post such as photos, comments, or objects that exist.
Twitter is a social rating system whereas the more people who follow you the more useful your twits are perceived to be.
eBay sellers have a rating system that increases or decreases their trust from buyers. This way you won’t pay someone who has been rated poorly in the past.
Ratemyprofessor.com does just that. Students can give college and university professors a review. This can potentially help students pick and choose classes. I wonder if administrative staff put any weight to this “user feedback”.
Unvarnished is in public beta and is seemingly the closest thing so far to the world Daniel Suarez created. It uses Facebook connect to rate people over a variety of categories. There’s been many controversy over this one: MSNBC, SMSEO, LATimes. The funny thing is all these sites are criticizing a rating site by giving it a poor rating.
It seems that the world is not be ready for something like this at the moment. I’d like to believe it’s a tool that would slowly help us create a better society. It will cause more contention in the beginning just as most new ideas do. I am curious to see the implications and hear the thoughts of people as me move forward into this area. Especially since we are all rating each other in more ambiguous ways.
Feel free to comment.
Photo credited to ~Milk-Cream
James Chudley of Smashing Magazine posted a great article on How to Use Photos to Sell More Online. Its a lengthy article with great photo examples. The article was written for products, but I believe these can be put to use no matter what you are doing online. Most importantly, we don’t want to put up a photo just to put up a photo… make it do something for you like:
We curate quite a few websites where we manage the use of photography. We work hard not to “slap on a photo”, but make it have some meaning and usefulness in the grand scheme of the website. Read the full article.