When smart people work for big companies…

A good employee says, “I know that this is a serious problem, it’s hurting our customers and we can do better, but I can’t do a thing about it because it’s run by a different department.” A version of this might conclude with, “And I don’t even know the name of the person who’s responsible.”…Read moreRead more

Don’t give up (you’re on the right track)…

Wrestling with a puzzle, a project or a problem, the likeliest reason to give up is the belief that it can’t be done. What’s the point of persevering if it’s actually impossible to succeed? “It can’t be done,” we say, throwing up our hands. Not “I can’t do it,” or “It’s not worth my time,”…Read moreRead more

The coalition of No…

It’s easy to join. There are a million reasons to say no, but few reasons to stand up and say yes. No requires just one objection, one defensible reason to avoid change. No has many allies–anyone who fears the future or stands to benefit from the status quo. And no is easy to say, because…Read moreRead more

Time doesn’t scale…

But bravery does. The challenge of work-life balance is a relatively new one, and it is an artifact of a world where you get paid for showing up, paid for hours spent, paid for working. In that world, it’s clearly an advantage to have a team that spends more time than the competition. One way…Read moreRead more

Conflicted…

Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict. Not a conflict between us and the world–a conflict between us and ourselves. We want to eat another dessert but we want to be healthy and skinny as well. Who is we? Who is the self in self control, and who is being controlled? We…Read moreRead more

Fear, scarcity and value…

The things we fear are probably feared by others, and when we avoid them, we’re doing what others are doing as well. Which is why there’s a scarcity of whatever work it is we’re avoiding. And of course, scarcity often creates value. The shortcut is simple: if you’re afraid of something, of putting yourself out…Read moreRead more

Too far from the center?

The action used to happen at court. In France, if you wanted to get ahead, you put on your outfit, called in favors and hung out near the King, because proximity was all. If you’re in Kibera, are you too far from Silicon Valley to write an app? If you live in New Zealand, are…Read moreRead more