The New Economy: A Guide For Arizona

Getting ready for the 96th Arizona Town Hall, I am reading their report Building Arizona’s Future: Jobs, Innovation & Competitiveness.  It references a 1999 paper from the Morrison Institute The New Economy: A Guide for Arizona.  It lists eight principles that underpin the new economy…

  1. Technology is a given
  2. Globalization is here to stay
  3. Knowledge builds wealth
  4. People are the most important raw material
  5. There is no such thing as a smooth ride
  6. Competition is relentless
  7. Alliances are the way to get things done
  8. Place still matters

Those  items in bold are the very thing that Gangplank espouses and I will be reminding the Town Hall the importance of them.  Most importantly, I will remind them that good and talented people are the key.

Five foundations found to be critical based off this study were

  1. Connecting (telecommunications infrastructure)
  2. E-Government (getting government on-line for faster/better service)
  3. E-Learning (distance learning and technology in classrooms)
  4. Creative Communities (amenity-rich communities with strong quality of place)
  5. Knowledge leaders, entrepreneurs and capital (higher education, R&D, tech transfer, incubation and VC)

Again those items highlighted are the essence of Gangplank.  We are proud that the City of Chandler is standing as a strong supporter in providing ALL of these things and why we think they will be the CORE of the Sun Corridor.

Please leave comments to tell me I’m wrong, stupid and idiotic.  I am looking for motivation.

Sunday Review: Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upOut of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
Take Away: Inspired by the Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, I picked this up for reading.  It has great content but Robinson is a much weaker writer than he is orator.

Sunday Review: The Dip by Seth Godin

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upThe Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
Take Away: Saw Seth pitch this book at Tempe Improv and loved his delivery. Anything worth doing hits a rough patch (a dip), this book helps assess what to do when you find yourself there.

Sunday Review: Built to Last by Jim Collins

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upBuilt to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Take Away: If you are starting a company or have a relatively new company you should read this book. Learn what it takes to stick it out over time.

Sunday Review: Good To Great by Jim Collins

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Take Away: Good historical view of some great companies over time. Wondering if some of the companies performance in last few years distracts from the book.

1% Improvement Over Time Is Significant

Who wants to be 1% better?  Not very many people.

Who wants to be 50% better? Significantly more people.

Who wishes they could be perfect? Most people.

I had heard the quotes “Perfection not a destination, it is a journey that never ends” and “The longest journey starts with a single step”.  This is why I love the principles behind agile software development.  There are really only two imperatives.  Inspect and Adapt.  If you are regularly doing these two things you should be seeing some form of continuous improvement in what you are doing.

It took Agile Bob presenting “Being Agile vs Doing Agile” at the Phoenix SCRUM User Group (phxsug) to remind me of this very simple principle.  The hammer to drive the nail home was that if a team is doing 1 week iterations and improves 1% per iteration, they will see over a 50% improvement in the course of a single year.

Stop and think about that for just a minute.  50% improvement in a single year!  Can you imagine bench pressing 50% more 12 months now?  How about cutting 50% off your marathon time this year?  50% more push ups?  Reading 50% more?  Knowing 50% more people.  What about making 50% more money per year?

The problem is we try to make 50% improvement in single week instead of an incremental improvement as little as 1% and when we don’t, we give up and fall back into regular patterns of the status quo.  I challenge you to be 1% better this week.  Then the week after that and the week after that.

Hell.  Be Dangerous.  Consider yourself a 1%-er.  An outlaw to the status quo!

Sunday Book Review: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-downInfluencer: The Power to Change Anything

Take Away: Too clinical of a writing style made it hard to stay engaged, but content was decent. Once again deliberate practice is something that makes people shine.