Friday, November 30, 2012

Ever Take A Trip to Abilene?

Talking to my friend and loyal NSM reader, Marc Sanders over coffee the other day (thanks again for the latte, Marc), I was introduced to a new management concept.

The ill-conceived “Trip to Abilene.”

It’s when we all do something even though none of us actually want to do it.

Read the full story on Wikipedia.

A good “made to stick” story to help prevent me from getting stuck in the future.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bucket List-Real or Excuse?

Having dinner with a friend the other night, she referred 3 or 4 times to “that’s on my/someone’s bucket list.”

Now, I certainly know the concept, but hadn’t heard it used with that frequency.

I asked “is this really because your social network has a strong sense of their own mortality or something else?”

Her answer, “I think it’s just a way to make an excuse so that you can do stuff that you might not otherwise do.”


Same idea?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Inspiration from Starbucks…but not how you think


My longstanding travel policy is that-no matter how short-I always do one thing that is unique to the city I’m visiting.

Most of my recent trips to the Seattle area have been to surrounding cities and not downtown.

This time, I was in the heart of it all, so aside from taking in a glorious sunset over Puget Sound from my hotel window (which doesn’t really count), I did make it to Pike Place Market (no fish were thrown at the time) and the original Starbucks.

I did think about Howard Schultz and what must have been pretty long, thankless nights there and I can’t even imagine the amount of work that it took to get where he is today.

Definitely inspiring.IMG_20121016_180713

Really a beautiful city.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Elusive Space Needle

When I was 9, my dad brought my brother and me with IMG_20121016_184944him on a business trip to Seattle.

I distinctly remember riding the Monorail and, after arriving at the bottom of the Space Needle, my dad concluded that the fee to go to the top was too steep ($30/person or something like that). I can’t say I blame him.

So, the other day when I was in town, I thought I would right this historical wrong and do it myself.

Again, took the monorail (first time in 30 years) with my friend Carole, and we arrived at the entrance.

“The Observation Deck is Closed for a Private Event”

I couldn’t go up, but I did get this picture.

Foiled again.

Back in 30 years, I guess.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BOOK Review: Imagine-How Creativity Works

(Updated: So I read and wrote this review before I found out about the author's plagiarism, see comments below. I did find the ideas inspiring, but obviously, the experience has been tarnished. Herewith, the original post.)

Ever found yourself staring at your computer screen trying to come up with an answer to a vexing question that requires some insight or fresh thinking?
Turns out, you’re probably better going off to take a shower.
Long-time readers know that along with marketing, my other passion is innovation. Heck, I bought the domain “Never Stop Innovating” as well.
But, it’s bigger than that.
The key to growth, longevity, and profits lies in innovation. And even bigger than that is that the future of American competitiveness requires it as well.
Which is why you MUST pick up Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
I was entranced by it from the git-go, as I learned how the two sides of the brain complement each other in creative thought, why we need to actively cultivate both of them, and how to do it.
  • You should force yourself to meet new people, out of your traditional circle. In fact, growing your network may be one of the best things you can do for your own creativity.

    According to one study, “the highest performing employees-those with the most useful new ideas-were the ones who consistently engaged in the most interactions.”
  • Take a step away from your desk and go for a walk, a run, or take a shower. You don’t work on an assembly line. You are paid for creativity and these are ways to help connect the dots in your mind.
  • Foster dissent instead of group think. 
    In fact, “beginning a group session with a moment of dissent-even when the dissent is wrong, can dramatically expand creative potential.”
Bottom line: if creativity and innovation is important to you for your career and for your children’s future (that was rhetorical, my friends), then I HIGHLY recommend you read this book.
Highly recommend.
Imagine: How Creativity Works

Monday, November 12, 2012

Embarrassed to Live In Maryland

The only way I can explain how the voters voted as they did is they really didn’t know what was at stake.

And now that it has passed, it gives politicians the confidence to do whatever they want. Essentially, it was a vote for Special Interest and Cronyism.

In hindsight, I could have and should have done more.

Watch this video or take a look at the map of the newly redrawn congressional districts. This is such a sham.

If I ever meet a state official who voted to approve this, I will immediately vote against him or her, no questions asked. It violates my entire sense of fairness.

Even the Washington Post said that they “qualify as the most outrageously gerrymandered among the 50 states.”

Thursday, November 08, 2012

My 4.5 Year Old Prefers Decaf

Nadia came down to my office the other day. She looked at my coffee and said, “can I have some?”
It was 6pm and whereas I’d give her a small sip earlier in the day, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I said, “Sorry, no.”
“Ok,” she replied, “can I have some Decaf?”
I chuckled…and made her some.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

How I Ran the Fastest Race of My Life

Proud to say that I put down the 3 miles in just under –33 minutes.

That’s right.

Just about –11 minutes each mile.

I was totally in the zone.

Helped out by Daylight Savings Time.

In the Anything Is Possible 5k.

A brilliant idea for a slightly quirky group of folks.

Start time was 1:50am on Sunday morning, November 4th.

Shout out to David for finding it and for Daphne and Jake for joining in the festivities.

Anything is Possible, Daylight Savings Time Run-5k

Thursday, November 01, 2012

How to run faster than the speed of light…

I just love this race idea.

You start at 1:50am on Sun. morning Nov. 4th for a 5k.

Then, because the clocks fall back at 2am due to Daylight Savings Time, you finish before you started (unless you are ridiculously slow, I suppose).

Of course, I am doing it.

I’m hoping for a time of negative 35 minutes Winking smile