I have a singular aversion to buzzwords. It is powerful, it is visceral and most of the time it exists on a hair trigger. There are certain words and terms that I avoid using except when absolutely necessary. Their use by others produces in me suspicion and mistrust. I have more-or-less acknowledged this reality for a long time, but I only recently took a moment to stop and ask myself why I react this way. It was an interesting reflection.
If you have ever heard about early adopters, then you have encountered reference to this book. Diffusion of Innovations is the landmark classic on how innovations are socialized, popularized and adopted (or not).
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You’ve heard of “lean.” It’s kind of everywhere. But where did it come from? This time, we’re going back to the bible of lean, “The Machine that Changed the World” by Womack, Jones and Roos.
Join us for our next Strategy Books live event! 1 June at 1pm EST! Free to attend, on LinkedIn Live!
An enduring question when encountering a new acquaintance is, “What do you do?” (This is especially true if you live in North America). Answering that question—particularly if you want your answer to be compelling and memorable—can be hard. The safe answer is to go with a functional description of what you do. Even comprehensive statements of job function can sound still sound vague and abstract (and be in no way unique). When you want to stand out in your answer, you need to reframe how you define the question.
We communicate all the time, mostly without thinking about what we’re doing. The problem isn’t just that we communicate casually, but that in doing so we believe that we have accomplished what we set out to do. Communicating is the most difficult of tasks, and the consequences of failure range from the trivial to the catastrophic. How do we share our thoughts with another and know—without doubt—that they now understand what we intended to communicate?
How do we make a difference in the world? In particular, how do we make a difference in the face of adversity? These are difficult questions to ask at the best of times. They are especially challenging questions to ask right now. The world is a scary place that feels like it is getting scarier. It is easy to despair of it all, to want to give up and withdraw and make it all go away. Figuring out what to do instead is hard. One path forward comes from the intriguing intersection of ideas shared by a writer, an admiral and a psychologist (not the punchline for a joke).