CategoryProductivity

When Technology Meets Community

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A co-op grocery chain in Seattle began dismantling their self-checkout kiosks this month. After considerable investment in the technology over the past few years, the PCC Community Market, made the decision to remove the automated stations.  Here is how the store describes the reasoning behind the decision: “A kiosk doesn’t create community or connections. So we wanted to take those out so that when someone comes into our stores, they have a human connection with someone and an interaction...

Use this Richard Feynman Technique to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

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As World War II broke out, the physicist Richard Feynman was recruited to Los Alamos to assist in the development of the first atomic bomb. He was tasked with calculating the energy released by the nuclear explosion. Machines were brought in from IBM to assist in the task. Although state of art in their day, they were crude mechanical calculators that used punch cards to execute complicated calculations. The Army dispatched a group called the Special Engineering Detachment to operate the...

What the Amish can Teach Us about Technology

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I had always understood the Amish to be a community that chose to live permanently in the technological past. That is, at a certain point in time, the community said “no more” to new technology.  From that point forward new technology was rejected out of hand. However, the Amish relationship to technology is more complicated. The author Kevin Kelly has written about this.  The Amish are constantly evolving with respect to technology. Thus, the Amish don’t use cars or bicycles for...

Leadership & Solitude: Scheduling Time to Think

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On August 11, 1984, the USA Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team faced off against Brazil for a gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics. The coach of the U.S. Team, Doug Beal, arrived at the arena hours before the match. Joining him was his assistant coach and best friend, Bill Neville. The players would arrive later, closer to game time. They walked into a mostly empty arena. In a few hours it would be a madhouse, but at the moment it was quiet. The two men sat in the empty stands. They reflected on...

When Your Wave Comes, Ride It

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Laird Hamilton surfing Teahupoo on August 17, 2000.  Photo: Tim McKenna   On August 17, 2000, Laird Hamilton was surfing a famous break off Tahiti called Teahupoo. The break at Teahupoo already had a fierce reputation, but on this day, Laird and his friend Darrick Doerner saw a wave approaching unlike anything they had ever seen before or since.  Doerner was on a jet ski, towing Laird into the wave when the magnitude of the wave hit him: “I towed him onto this wave and it was to the...

Deep, Long-Lasting, Meaningful Work

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How do some athletes and artists stay dedicated to their craft over many years, even decades? And throughout that time, how do they continue to improve, and turn in game-changing performances and create break-through works of art? In their book, Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness explore how some individuals are able to find another gear, and develop the focus and dedication to achieve mastery. What is their secret? Well, it’s not really a secret because almost everyone who...

Slow Down to Speed Up

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Your cell phone rings. Your laptop alerts you that you have a new email just as you login to participate in an online meeting, while eating a sandwich you purchased from the shop down the street about three hours ago. Does this sound like a typical day during your week? If so, you’re not alone. According to Tony Schwartz, 25 to 50% of people report that they feel burned out at work. Read this post, The Magic of Doing One Thing, to learn more about the consequences of splitting your attention...

Zuckerberg, EQ, Chopra and Benjamin Franklin

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How Mark Zuckerberg has grown into his role as CEO of Facebook.
Emotional Intelligence as a predictor of success.
Video of my friend Jit Chopra addressing a group of executives on the creative process.  If you like my post on “start with the bad ideas first“, then you’ll love to hear Jit tell the story about Edward Land and the Poloroid camera.
Benjamin Franklin’s 14 timeless tips on Getting Things Done. – and this man was very productive.

John Wooden on Success

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As a young high school English teacher in South Bend, Indiana in the 1930s, John Wooden, the legendary former coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team, was not satisfied with the prevailing definition of success.   The conventional wisdom was (and still is) that success is the accumulation of possessions and power.   This definition was unsatisfactory to John, so he came up with his own definition of success: Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the...

The 8 Most Important Qualities of Leadership at Google

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For most of Google’s history, and especially in the early years, it took a laissez-faire policy toward leadership. The company hired smart engineers, promoted the most brilliant into leadership positions and then pretty much left them alone. The assumption was that they were smart and would figure it out or ask questions if they needed help. As Google evolved, it became apparent that some managers thrived in this environment more than others.  In a recent article, Laszlo Bock, Google’s...

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