Dealing with dull

An advisor once told me: “Life can be pretty dull sometimes.” I did not appreciate the perspective. Normally, I like to think my life is pretty exciting. I live in the city of my dreams. I have a job that brings me great satisfaction, loved ones close to me, and hobbies that fuel me creatively. I’ve traveled the world and leaned into my growth areas. I’ve taken to heart the Helen Keller quote: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” My life is not dull. But his words stuck with me for several days afterwards… a sure sign,…

Resilience, innovation, lean startups

Resilience Resilience isn’t a concept you hear mentioned in too many boardrooms yet, but I think it’s a useful frame for conversation across many industries and endeavors. Resilience refers to a system’s ability to survive major shocks and spontaneously generate new order afterwards—like a forest recovering from a fire. The characteristics of resilient systems include redundancy, modularity, diversity, complexity, and emergence— all poor fits for many of the institutions and infrastructures we’ve been collectively building since WWII. Resilience can be described as a necessary response to predictable system shocks like peak oil, economic collapse, and the global and local impacts…

Networks, communities, tribes, cults

You are a change agent with an idea, and you need others to bring it to life. What kind of group do you create? You are a chief marketing officer who wants to nurture relationships with several external constituencies. Which digital tools will best support you? You are an entrepreneur who has built or inherited a group. How do you optimize and scale your organization to achieve its ends? I am fascinated by different models for organizing human activity. I think we instinctively categorize groups based on their intentions, geography, history, or legal status. But if we instead focus on…

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