Weekly Update: March 25 – April 1 2018. The Intersection of Society and Technology

Facebook Data Privacy

Cyber Attack – Ransomware Atlanta

Cyber Attack – British Sports Anti Doping Agency

MicroFinance

Amazon

Data Security

New Economy – Wind Turbine Drone Inspections

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Weekly Recap: March 17-24 2018 The Intersection of Society and Technology.

Space:

Climate Change:

Third Space:

MicroFinance:

Future Thinking: Look back then Look Forward

Enjoy your week!

Alvin

The Roadmap

The Roadmap

It creates direction, charts a course, provides a path from information to value stream. All this is true and for the sake of simplicity let’s refer to it as a plan.

What is a plan? I refer to it as a consciousness shared amongst a group, individuals or society with a destination in mind.

We’ve all read the Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google startup journeys and are in awe at the sublime thought process that went into their creation eventually becoming what they are today. What were their initial plans like? How did they get their idea into a plan?

Tip: Breakdown the idea into smaller bits. Create a story board.

Take the idea and write without stopping. Write down what you think you will need before, during, after for success. Write down what you’re afraid will happen. Write down who you think you will need. Write down how you think you will accomplish the idea. Write down when you want to do it, why you think you need to do it.

Write it down!

Writing things down is essential to story telling. In my experience, the failure to write things down in its raw format is a red flag. It’s the first sign that you’re stuck in the loop of perfectionism. There is no such thing. Write it down. Review. Revise. Pause, then do it all over again.

No magic pills or shortcuts. It’s hard work – How bad do you want it.

Tip: Don’t let the deluge of information overwhelm you. Group, Sort, Categorize.

To quote William Gibson “Time moves in one direction, memory in another”.

Categorize activities into three distinct areas; Beginning, Middle, End.

Grouping and sorting are important however just as important is to categorize. Take what you’ve written down and sort into the 3 categories mentioned above.

This allows you to apply a time frame to your story and allows the concept of memory application to your story by going back in time to add or remove details.

Tip: Prep for Execution. Exercise Acuity.

The last step in the road-mapping process is the hardest.

“To exercise acuity in planning, we must speak out loud with bold humility” Me!

“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud” Herman Hesse

Discuss, discuss, discuss. This is by far the most important phase of planning. You’ll be able to further revise, review and categorize to determine what’s needed as preparation for execution.

Next up: Execution

 

 

Comments, Questions, Feedback

I’d like to thank everyone for the feedback I have received thus far via emails, comments, phone calls and direct messages.

Your feedback is ultra-important and has made me a clearer thinker and better writer as I journey through this process.

I thought I would share questions I have received thus far.

  1. What is your blog all about? Leadership? Strategy?
    • My goal is to write and share about the interconnectedness of Leadership, Strategy, Execution, the deep thinking I have done and put into practice. In addition, I’d like to share an idea I have developed, to help businesses/organizations understand how to evaluate and adapt technology in order to improve business outcomes. (Foundation, Framework and Adoption Principle)
  2. You indicated this blog will eventually become a book, how do you plan to do that?
    • I am not too clear on that at the moment. I know that it’s far simpler and more economical to put a book together today that it has been ever before. That said, I have not yet done research on the approach. Feedback welcome!
  3. What motivates you to write about Leadership, Strategy and Execution?
    • My inspiration to write about Leadership, Strategy and Execution comes from my experiences in the Technology space. I’ve been involved in a number of technology and business initiatives where I have encountered various scenarios. I’ve experienced firsthand a lack of leadership, wonderful leadership, disconnected execution with a sound strategic plan and fantastic execution despite a lack of strategy. The main point I’d like to bring across in the information that I share is that keeping things simple is not easy. It means deep thinking, critical thinking, sorting, categorizing, implementing patterns, clear execution. It is difficult and requires all of us to lead, guide, think, role play, focus.
  4. What’s next? What do you have planned?
    • I plan on starting out several startups that will focus on Society, Culture, Financial Services, Work and Business. Most of you who know me know that I love working and thinking about the intersection of Technology and Society. Stay tuned!
  5. Aren’t you afraid to put content out for all to read?
    • Not at all. The topics I write about are positive in nature and allow me to share what I’ve learned and thought about with others. It’s part of my continuous learning.

Thank you!

Alvin

The Tao of Ideas

“Ideas shape the course of history” John Maynard Keynes


A simple patterned approach to idea generation.

Tip: Trust the process.

It’s difficult at the start. When pressured to create, pivot or course correct, the process to generate the way forward, “The Idea”, feels insurmountable. It’s important to note is that this is normal.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Stress is a biological and psychological response when we feel we do not have the resources to deal with threats encountered. What you are likely unaware of is that under duress, biology has started the critical thinking process automatically. The brain has started to evaluate the situation against strengths and weaknesses.


Tip: Use a simple approach to generate ideas.

Natural selection is the process that results in the adaptation of an organism to its environment. Breaking down this theory gives us a straight forward path for idea generation: Think – Variation, Fitness, Competition

  1. Document the outcomes you are looking for:
    • Where you want to be
    • What you want to be
    • Who you want to be
    • Why you want to be
  2. For each outcome, analyze perspectives :
    • Innovation
    • Business Improvement
    • Social Undercurrents
  3. For each perspective, document the following. Keep your outcomes in mind:
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Contributing Success Factors
    • Constraints

Tip: Plot data on verticals

Armed with data, it’s time to plot our data on verticals.

The data above will give us the ability to categorize information on a maturity scale – High, Medium, Low within each identified vertical.

Verticals are Tao’s:
The absolute principle underlying the universe (Vision), combining within itself the principles of yin and yang (Balance) following a code of behavior (Mandate), that is in harmony with the natural order.

In the example below, I’ve plotted 5 data sets in the following verticals:

  • Innovation
  • Business Improvement
  • Social Undercurrent

plotverticals

Plotting data against Verticals allows for a visual interpretation and representation of the outcomes. This holistic view in comparison to Verticals (Point of Inflection) is important to the overall transformation of an Idea to Strategy.

Strategy = Trust the process -> Start with a simple approach -> Plot data on verticals

Assessment

Now that we have Idea(s) morphing into Strategy, I will share Step 2 in the Strategy to Execution process – The Roadmap.

Strategic Thinking

“Strategic Thinking is the bridge that links where you are to where you want to be” John Maxwell

“Analysis is the critical starting point of strategic thinking” Kenichi Ohmae

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient” Warren Buffett


It’s easy to get tripped up in high pressure situations. Life, much like the game of chess hinges on the importance of strategy coupled with patience.

The starting point for strategic thinking calls for deep analysis through self-assessment and reflection. Utilizing simple yet effective questions such as:

  • Who are we?
  • What are we doing well?
  • Where are we in our journey so far?
  • How did we get here?
  • What are the gaps?
  • What are our strengths?
  • When did we change?
  • Why, Why, Why?

As mundane as they may seem, the questions above provide insight into our current state, charting where we are, allowing us to map our new destination in a methodical and patient manner through analysis.

In my next post, I will share the parts that make up analytical thinking as it relates to idea generation, and as we progress, this blog will journey through a systematic story from idea Assessment to Execution alongside the Foundation, Framework and Adoption Principle.

The Leadership Swing – Follow Through

“Simplicity is The Ultimate Sophistication” Leonardo da Vinci


I realize what I’ve written so far isn’t earth shattering. The ideas shared are simple, meaningful, attainable and realistic.

Leonardo da Vinci, the greatest thinker who ever lived, taught us his key principles.

  1. Be curious and have an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
  2. Commit to test what you know through experience and willingness to learn from mistakes.
  3. Stop and smell the roses. Breathe in life and enrich your senses.
  4. Embrace change. It’s all around us. Celebrate it.
  5. Use “Whole Brain” thinking. Goals Driven + Vision Driven + Results Driven + People Driven.
  6. Demonstrate poise.
  7. Apply “Systems Thinking”. The interconnectedness of things.

The Internet is a marvel and has provided us with an abundance of information. The ability to see through it, sort through it, summarize and absorb meaningful data is difficult. It requires us to reflect, self-assess, contemplate and question things systematically.

Following our Leadership Principles through the Influences gets us to the Target Areas. These targets require Leaders to utilize “Whole Brain” thinking, in baseball(when swinging at a pitch) its called the follow through.

  • Goals
  • Responsibilities
  • Accountabilities
  • Approvals
  • Strategy
  • Prioritization
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Clarity
  • Coaching

Collectively, I call it The Leadership Framework.

GRASP4C