Do You Love What You Do?

Po Bronson had an inspiring piece in Fast Company in 2002: What Should I Do With My Life?

People thrive by focusing on the question of who they really are — and connecting that to work that they truly love (and, in so doing, unleashing a productive and creative power that they never imagined). Companies don’t grow because they represent a particular sector or adopt the latest management approach. They win because they engage the hearts and minds of individuals who are dedicated to answering that life question.

This is not a new idea. But it may be the most powerfully pressing one ever to be disrespected by the corporate world. There are far too many smart, educated, talented people operating at quarter speed, unsure of their place in the world, contributing far too little to the productive engine of modern civilization. There are far too many people who look like they have their act together but have yet to make an impact. You know who you are. It comes down to a simple gut check: You either love what you do or you don’t. Period.

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Radical Openness


radical-openness-coverDon Tapscott and Anthony Williams are brilliant thought leaders on how business, government, and society in the 21st Century can leverage technologies to achieve exciting new opportunities. Radical Openness is the latest in a series of books filled with real world examples to convey an insightful vision of the future. This quick read is broken into four parts:

  1. Why smart organizations embrace transparency with customers, stakeholders, and society to foster trust and accelerate business progress.
  2. Innovative and successful companies are dissolving corporate boundaries.
  3. How companies who tightly guarded their IP transition to a shared IP model, managed like a mutual fund portfolio.
  4. How the proliferation of global freedom and justice movements are shaking up the global balance of power.

They describe how digital technologies slash transition and collaboration costs allowing new ecosystems of companies and organizations to work together in new ways and tap a global pool of talent. Enabling users to participate in innovation improves company success rates and customer satisfaction. Focusing on dynamic platforms to provide opportunities for partners to contribute and collaboratively innovate. The advancement of IT in the Digital Age provides societies powerful insight into massive amounts of information. This access enables freedom, openness, integrity, and collaboration where everyone can participate in a sustainable global economy.

Radical Openness is a great read for those who want to develop strategies and leverage digital technology to effective lead an innovative enterprise.

Expectations of Intelligence in the Information Age

Lt Gen Michael Flynn DIA DirectorThe digital information revolution has handed the U.S. intelligence community a slew of new challenges that are nowhere close to resolution, a new study says.  The 21st-century problems range from mountains of data to accelerated pace of change to competing information flow from nongovernmental sources to fears of violating privacy and civil liberties, according to a paper “Expectations of Intelligence in the Information Age”  See GovExec article for highlights.

Decision makers will expect the Intelligence Community to validate and meld their information with that available in open source.

Great by Choice

Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Jim Collins and his colleague, Morten Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.  The DoD, while not driven by stock prices and profits, can apply many of these findings to ensure their major programs, organizations, and enterprises can achieve spectacular, long-term results.

Reforming an Outmoded Government

Michele Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, had an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post on Reforming an Outmoded Government.

Federal agencies typically lack the expertise and experience to transform themselves into more effective and affordable enterprises

  • With rising budgets (like the past decade), the focus tends to be on growth, not efficiency
  • Need outside help to assess their strengths and weaknesses, identify the most important avenues for change, and design and implement initiatives that will achieve results
  • Change is hard and often threatening. One person’s efficiency can break another person’s rice bowl.

Successful U.S. companies have fundamentally transformed how they do business

  • Adopted strategies to cope with a more complex, dynamic and uncertain environment
  • Delayering to streamline and empower their organizations
  • Leveraged IT to enhance performance, agility and competitiveness while reducing cost
  • Strategic investments in talent management to improve performance

Read the full piece here.