Writer’s blecch: The season of blogging discontent

Here’s a little post just to get the juices flowing again.

It has been quite possibly the longest time between blog posts I’ve taken since launching this thing three years ago, and I’m not proud of that.  Between the demand of a nicely-diversified consulting practice, a good helping of friends and family, and a bit of angst with current events, I’ve just been un-mused.

It’s not that I haven’t seen strategic topics worth writing about.  I mean, here are the topics in my list.  Maybe you’d like them. The possibilities are endless:

  1. Maybe I could I pile onto the debacle that is unfolding at GE as CEO succession leads to a cost-cutting “renewal?” The title for that one might be “Ground the jets, it’s time to make a statement.”
  2. Or, perhaps it would be fun to wade into politics with a screed on how our demand for speed and 140 letter concise-ness in all things is leading us to be binary thinkers on pretty much any topic.  Maybe I could call it “You are either with me or against me so shut up.”  Or, better yet, “Antifa thinks you are un-cool so I hate you too.”
  3. Then, there’s the possibility to write on listening because, I mean, what better way to teach people to listen than to use a one-sided medium like a blog.  I might call that one “Listen to me while I talk at you.” Or, I could go with a Trumpier title like “I’m right-er than you.”
  4. Of course, there’s always fodder in the press about the economy, like how we are heading toward labor force Armageddon and how maybe a looser immigration policy might actually be good for economic growth.  We could call that one “maybe we should put a few more gates in that wall, after all.”
  5. Then, of course, there are other great business leadership topics that come to mind from time to time, like how too many people think strategy is–for some reason–sexy, but sales is greasy and grimy.  I could call that one “No business ever went anywhere without sales, but plenty of businesses have no strategy.”
  6. Or, maybe there is a chance to write on how men don’t have the monopoly on harassment in the workplace.  Maybe I can call that one “#Metoo and it’s no joke.” It’s unlikely that one gets written, folks. Too much water under that bridge.

There are plenty of options. But it’s just that I’ve been a bit overcome by the things I mentioned above, and perhaps a bit emotionally nagged by the onslaught of storms, mass murder, fires, a death in the family, and revelations of political and corporate malfeasance.  Indeed, I’ve been nagged enough to wonder whether commentary is really just another way of escaping responsibility.

Perhaps it’s not, but I needed to take a break.  I guess you could say that I had a case of writer’s blecch.

Hope your October is going swimmingly (well, at least not in a flood).

Links that made me think: Golf, traumatic stress, first impressions, and other things

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • A perspective on moving people to jobs vs. jobs to people.  Bloomberg
  • A blood test may be able to diagnose Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans.  But, what’s the implication for your disability policy?   Telegraph
  • A while back, a U.S. Amateur golfer disqualified himself for his caddie’s error.  Would you?  Golfworld

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: University Degrees, Cross-Cultural Leadership, Construction Inefficiency, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • More evidence that where you stand depends on where you sit. Value of a university degree differs by geography. – The Economist
  • The customer you’re serving today may not be the customer you should be serving. That means the customer may not always right. – Alec Saric on LinkedIn
  • When trying to work across cultures, focus on authority first. – Harvard Business Review
  • When big, bold, audacious exclamations conflict with your trusted engineers: Tesla’s engineers disagree with Elon Musk. – Wall Street Journal
  • Where has productivity decreased the most in America? Try the construction industry. Why? Regulation, customization, and some toxic effects of good old profit maximization. – The Economist

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: Leadership ROI, Resilience, Chinese Innovation, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • If you say it, you probably ought to mean it. How a corporate mission can drive young workers away. – BBC
  • Why venture capitalists might stop trying to be friendly, and how it could be Uber’s fault. The end of founder-friendly. – Fortune
  • Turns out overly resilient people either stay with bad bets too long, or have tendencies to lead as authoritarians. The dark side of resilience. – Harvard Business Review
  • How a new model of innovation being deployed in China shows the value of short decision loops in the product development process. – Boston Consulting Group
  • Invest your time and energy in the right things. What your leadership return on investment is. – ThoughtLEADERS

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: Automated Sewing, Emojis, Passwords, Fat Cattle, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • Yeah, but can you automate this? An Atlanta-based company automates complex sewing. – Innovation in Textiles
  • Using emojis in work emails might make you look less competent. – International Business Times
  • Turns out PuppyMonkeyBaby (creepiest advert ever?) is probably a better password than 5223@@#. Old password rules were … wrong. – WSJ
  • If you help people learn how to care, they tend to engage more. Kids who are taught to be more empathetic grow up to be voters. – NY Mag
  • It’s probably not because of smartphones and Netflix. How did U.S. cattle and hogs gain so much weight? – Sara Menker

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: 3D Printing, Autonomous Deere, Obamacare, College Football, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • Turns out, this stuff is hard. John Deere has learned that autonomous tractors aren’t easy to make. – Quartz
  • This can’t hurt the resale value. Daimler starting to 3D print parts for old trucks. – Digital Trends
  • When it comes to Obamacare, the things that drive up premiums are the things nobody wants to get rid of. In other words, politicians are grandstanding … again. – The Weekly Standard
  • A 75-year study shows that there is one thing that keeps us happy, and it isn’t money. – Ideapod
  • The next big technology trend could be made of really tiny things. – Strategy+Business
  • Hey, it’s almost football season, so why not have a look at the seedy underbelly of big-time college football? Did you know that your favorite team probably voted against schools having the option to provide four-year scholarships to athletes? – Slate

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: Bond Market Bubble, Pot Epcot, Automated Heart Diagnosis, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • You don’t have to like him or even believe him, but Alan Greenspan sees no stock excess, warns of bond market bubble. – Bloomberg
  • What do the smartest companies look like? Have a look at this list. – MIT Technology Review
  • Everybody is talking about the “Internet of Things,” and only a few can define it well. Some thoughts here on what it takes for an organization to go IoT. – Network World
  • It’s because we’re all jealous: The brutal truth about why everybody else resents millennials. – Inc. 
  • I’ll bet the local Frito-Lay distributor is ecstatic: Marijuana company buys a town envisioning cannabis Epcot Center. – Marijuana Business Daily
  • One more step toward a higher quality, automated medical profession: Stanford computer scientists develop an algorithm that diagnoses heart problems with cardiologist-level accuracy. – Stanford.edu

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: Tech HQs, Business Insights, Net Promoter Scores, El Capitan, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • Tech giants—notably led by Apple—are investing billions in crystal palaces. Value creation or boondoggle? – The Guardian
  • How often do you find business insights in unconventional places? – thoughtLEADERS Blog
  • Why looking at other companies’ net promoter scores may miss the point.  – Genroe
  • Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan, and the preparation it actually took to get there. – The New York Times
  • Glassdoor might not be quite as anonymous as you think, if the courts have their say. – The Ladders
  • An article on office jargon that I thought you might be able to leverage. – The Telegraph

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Links that made me think: Insights, AI, Coachability, Cancer, and more

This week’s reads and resources to provoke thoughts on strategy, leadership, life, and other things.

Geoff Wilson

Every week, I get to devour a hefty heap of digital content in service to our clients and partners. As I sift through the internet on this mission, I discover things that are relevant to business, strategy, leadership, and life in general. As I do so, I’ll share some pieces that I think are thought-provoking treasures. Here are a few articles and resources I found particularly interesting and valuable this week. Enjoy the feast—or at least whet your appetite.

  • What’s an insight? This presentation has perspectives on those things that all strategists are looking for but can’t define. – Umar Ghumman
  • How artificial intelligence might transform field services – VentureBeat
  • Three signs that someone’s not coachable – Roberta Matuson
  • John McCain’s brain cancer, from the perspective of a glioblastoma survivor – New York Times OpEd
  • Nicely synthesized summary of how to avoid poverty in today’s U.S. economy – National Center for Policy Analysis

Dig in, let me know what you think, and have a great week!

GW

Top WGP Blog Posts of 2016

WGP’s most popular posts in 2016, and a few strong late entrants.

 

2016 has been another fun year on this blog.

The blog itself is nearing 200 posts since 2014.  That’s hard to believe. While it makes for a nice hobby, I have to admit that I fully appreciate the supportive comments and suggestions I receive.  I appreciate all of you who read regularly.

As we get ready for the new year, I thought it might be good to list some “most popular” reads from 2016.  This is totally unscientific, of course–posts from January 2016 get more play than posts from December by virtue of exposure time. So, to offset that advantage, I’ll put a few “honorable mentions” at the bottom.

The blog’s top 10 posts in 2016 were:

  1. A Song for Me At 23 – Some personal reflections on work and life as a youngster.
  2. It Ain’t What You Put Into It That Counts – Why an overweening focus on input is a loser’s game.
  3. The Pain of Mourning Alone – Some reflections on the importance of team and community in hard times
  4. What You Learn is What Matters – Reflections on making the best of any circumstance.
  5. Shark Tank And Manufactured Choices – Why it’s important to take a breath and evaluate all your choices.
  6. Real Talent Never Dies – A tribute to Prince and his influence–written in strategic talent terms.
  7. What Tesla’s First Autopilot Fatality Teaches Us – A short stab at the challenge of a killer product.
  8. Why I Don’t Believe In Recruiters – An experience-based screed about recruiters and headhunters and how to use them.
  9. The Worst Strategy Metaphor In Use Today – An older post about the “chess fallacy” in business strategy.
  10. When The Spin Stops – Why the Theranos case shows the limits of spin and hyperbole.

And, a few honorable mentions from the second half of the year:

  1. That Dead Guy In Your Organization – Why you put it in their belly, not their back.
  2. Cheese, Change, and Cheyenne – How to handle change, and why that matters.
  3. When Your Karma Runs Over Your Dogma – Why leadership via questionable means can come back to bit you.
  4. Ooh! That Smell – Why it’s important to know whether your organization stinks.
  5. They Believe In Good Ethics, Too! – A post from early October about how highly unethical people can thrive in highly ethical environments.

Onward to a great 2017!

GW