Resilience In Hard Times

At the very darkest points of individual and national life, we need – more than ever – to practice the art of resilience

Resilience: The ability to cope with change. 

The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like


Top Entrepreneurs Don’t Just Engineer Success – They Reverse Engineer It

Amid all the powerhouse, brilliant minds Tim Ferriss has interviewed for his podcast and new book Tools of Titans, one idea kept springing up: creating empty space. A second concept, by contrast, came up only once, through conversations with Joshua Waitzkin, an American chess player who takes an ‘endgame’ approach to every pursuit he undertakes. Ferriss explains these two concepts in detail, why they’re so vital, and how they can be applied across many fields


My philosophy for a happy life | Sam Berns

Sam Berns is a Junior at Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he has achieved highest honors and is currently a percussion section leader in the high school marching band. He recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Sam was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2. He is featured in the documentary Life According to Sam, which will premiere on HBO on October 21, 2013.


The Psychology of Motivation: Build Purpose, Respect Contributions, Give Credit | Dan Ariely

We shouldn’t have to be told that people’s hearts and souls are not piñatas, and yet here we are. Duke psychology professor and behavioral economist Dan Ariely says when it comes to increasing motivation, there’s a precursor lesson many managers, teachers and parents miss: stop crushing spirits. Ariely's latest book is "Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations" 


How to make a profit while making a difference

Can global capital markets become catalysts for social change? According to investment expert Audrey Choi, individuals own almost half of all global capital, giving them (us!) the power to make a difference by investing in companies that champion social values and sustainability. "We have more opportunity today than ever before to make choices," she says. "So change your perspective. Invest in the change you want to see in the world."

Why you should listen

Audrey Choi is CEO of Morgan Stanley's Institute for Sustainable Investing. She is also Managing Director and Head of Morgan Stanley's Global Sustainable Finance Group. In these roles, she oversees the firm's efforts to support resilient communities and promote economic opportunity and global sustainability through the capital markets.
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Audrey held senior policy positions in the Clinton Administration, the Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission. While at the White House, she served as Chief of Staff of the Council of Economic Advisers and Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President. 
Previously, Audrey was a foreign correspondent and bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal. She is currently a member of President Obama's US Community Development Advisory Board and on the boards of several national nonprofits focused on education, conservation and impact investing. Audrey is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.


10 Mindsets of a True Winner

Thinking is just the beginning. Becoming successful over the long haul is just as much about listening to your gut than your ability to reason. It’s more about building relationships than understanding yourself. It’s more about experience and execution than ideas. And it’s more about doing than dreaming.


5 tips to improve your critical thinking - Samantha Agoos

Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it’s impossible to make a perfect choice every time. But there are many ways to improve our chances — and one particularly effective technique is critical thinking. Samantha Agoos describes a 5-step process that may help you with any number of problems. 


Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.


Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

Bill Gross has founded a lot of startups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people's, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others — and surprised even him.


9 Fun Businesses You Can Start for Under $2,000

If you're ready to start a business, but have little startup capital, there are still many good (and fun) ideas to pursue. Try these on for size.


Barbara Corcoran: Build a Powerful Brand

Barbara Corcoran learned early the value of building a powerful brand. In this lesson she teaches you shortcuts for standing out amidst the noise in your industry. Her latest book is Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business (http://goo.gl/Y6YdVU). Barbara is Co-Founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners


13 Stupid Tips

Our brain can potentially memorize 2.5 petabytes of information, which is roughly the equivalent of 3 million hours of YouTube videos. In order to use some of that staggering capacity a little more effectively when you study, here are some tips that are based on widely accepted research by neuroscientists and learning experts.


Kio Stark: Why you should talk to strangers

"When you talk to strangers, you're making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs," says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

Why you should listen

Kio Stark has always talked to strangers. She started documenting her experiences when she realized that not everyone shares this predilection. She's done extensive research into the emotional and political dimensions of stranger interactions and the complex dynamics how people relate to each other in public places.
Her novel Follow Me Down began as a series of true vignettes about strangers placed in the fictional context of a woman unraveling the eerie history of a lost letter misdelivered to her door.
Stark did doctoral work at Yale University’s American Studies program, where she thought a lot about the history of science and medicine, urban studies, art, and race -- and then dropped out. Because she also taught graduate courses at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, numberless people consulted her about whether or not to go back to school. Those conversations inspired Don't Go Back to School, a handbook for independent learners.
Stark is the author of the TED Book When Strangers Meet, in which she argues for the pleasures and transformative possibilities of talking to people you don’t know. 
Beyond strangers, Stark's abiding fixations include the invisibility of technology; how people learn; practices of generosity and mutual aid; the culture, infrastructure and ephemera of cities; mythology and fairy tales; and advocating for independent learning, data literacy, social justice and feminism. Fiction writers get to dive down wonderful rabbit holes, and some of her favorites have been the forging and stealing of art, secret societies, the daily lives of medical examiners, the physics of elementary particles, bridge design, the history of maps, the mechanisms of wrongful conviction and psychoanalysis.
When not writing books, Stark has worked in journalism, interactive advertising, community research and game design. She writes, teaches and speaks around the world about stranger interactions, independent learning and how people relate to technology. She also consults for startups and large companies helping them think about stranger interactions among their users and audiences.


Rejection - Entrepreneur Motivational video ft. Jack ma

Rejection An inspirational video featuring Jack ma. Jack ma is an Alibaba founder and Asia's richest person. 


WOMEN OF AFRICA: Deafblind lawyer Haben Girma on breaking barriers

Haben Girma was the first deafblind student to graduate from Harvard Law School. Today the Eritrean-American fights for better education for deafblind people worldwide.

Haben says: “My mother grew up during the 30 years of war in Eritrea, where Eritreans struggled to gain independence from Ethiopia. And when she was 16, she took the very dangerous journey, walking three weeks through the deserts of Eritrea. And then a reparatory organisation helped her come to the United States.”

Haben Girma


Haben, 27, was born in the US after her mother fled Eritrea as a refugee in the early 1980s.
She was the first deafblind student to graduate from Harvard Law School.

Haben is now a lawyer with the non-profit group Disability Rights Advocates in California.

Haben says: “I am an attorney here and I grew up facing access barriers as a deafblind person, and that inspired me to become a lawyer.

And when I first started at Harvard Law School, there were very few deafblind attorneys. I couldn't turn to older deafblind individuals and ask. I had to figure it out a lot on my own.

So graduating from Harvard Law School says a lot about what can be done when people have the right attitude.”

One of Haben’s priorities is to help deafblind people communicate through better access to technology.

Haben says: “There are so many forms of communicating information. And if we’re creative and open-minded, we’ll find those forums.

I use a digital braille display and QWERTY keyboard for communication. The braille display shows in digital braille, mechanical dots pop up to form braille letters. And, as I am reading, my assistant Chris types on a QWERTY keyboard when there are conversations going on.”

Haben says: “At the White House celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President Obama met with me and he used alternative technologies to communicate with me.”

Haben says: “That sends a very empowering message - it reminds the rest of the United States and the world that having an inclusive attitude ensures that people with disabilities can contribute their talents to society.”


Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Why you should listen

Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is a leader in the growing field of “science-help.” Through books, articles, courses and workshops, McGonigal works to help us understand and implement the latest scientific findings in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.
Straddling the worlds of research and practice, McGonigal holds positions in both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Willpower Instinct, explores the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, as well as what it takes to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make a successful change.
She is now researching a new book about the "upside of stress," which will look at both why stress is good for us, and what makes us good at stress. In her words: "The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart -- it's what allows us to be fully human."

What others say

“She is a leader driven by compassion and pragmatism.” — Forbes.com


Clint Smith: The danger of silence

"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.

Why you should listen

Clint Smith is a writer, teacher and doctoral candidate at Harvard University studying education, incarceration and inequality. Previously, he taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council.
Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and author of the poetry collection Counting Descent. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Cave Canem and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. His writing has appeared in The New YorkerThe GuardianBoston ReviewAmerican Poetry ReviewHarvard Educational Review and elsewhere. He was born and raised in New Orleans, LA.


Choose Your Words Carefully – Especially as a Leader | Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci is no angel, but he does choose his words carefully. If you don't evolve along with language, it can be catastrophic for businesses and team dynamics. Scaramucci's latest book is "Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrpreneurs Turn Failure Into Success" 


You Can’t Achieve Success Alone

Kellee Johnson, Principal at The Ballast Group, chats about the importance of surrounding yourself with experts to build your business.


Value employees as much as customers

Louise O'Sullivan, CEO of Prime Advantage, talks about the important of employees treating customers like gold.


Shivani Siroya: A smart loan for people with no credit history

Trust: How do you earn it? Banks use credit scores to determine if you're trustworthy, but there are about 2.5 billion people around the world who don't have one to begin with — and who can't get a loan to start a business, buy a home or otherwise improve their lives. Hear how TED Fellow Shivani Siroya is unlocking untapped purchasing power in the developing world with InVenture, a start-up that uses mobile data to create a financial identity. "With something as simple as a credit score," says Siroya, "we're giving people the power to build their own futures."


How To Say No !!!

As entrepreneurs (and especially as women entrepreneurs and mompreneurs), we're constantly having to consider requests on our time and energy. Emily Richett shares some insight on the little word with a big impact that can improve your business, plus some simple scripts that will simply and confidently protect your time.


You Don’t Need to be a Visionary – It’s Fine to be a Follower | Simon Sinek

Do you know why you get out of bed in the morning? According Simon Sinek (ethnographer, leadership expert, and the official mascot for optimism), answering “because I have to” isn’t quite cutting the mustard.
Finding your purpose in life is an insurmountable task – worse than that, it’s a motivational poster catchphrase that’s difficult to find any authenticity in. Which is why Sinek doesn’t recommend you jump from zero to visionary in one leap. He’s the first to admit it’s daunting, and in this video he calls us out for being obsessed with visionaries. From Steve Jobs and Elon Musk to Ariana Huffington and Bill Gates, we have to crane our necks to look up at these cultural gods of innovation who have changed and are changing our world. How do you even step one foot up a mountain that big?
What if, at the outset, purpose wasn’t about finding yourvision, but finding a vision? In Sinek’s view, we are under no obligation to be great thinkers and leaders, but we are almost bound by a contract of respect for one another to find a person, a company or a cause that we believe in and can help build, to improve the lives of all society. Is it amoral to aimlessly live out our life expectancies when we could be contributing?
Sinek is passionate about something usually only patriots, politicians and historians get hyped over: the Declaration of Independence. He adores this document because it doesn’t just announce the fact that America exists, but it declares exactly why America exists, something Sinek says most companies overlook. There are likely to be at least a thousand other companies doing what you do, making the same product that you make, but one company’s reason *why* can be the thing that sets it apart.
Perhaps we’d benefit from drafting a personal declaration for the ‘why’ of our own existence – or more realistically, at least, for this coming year. Find a vision that makes you get out of bed every morning with a fire in your belly. Follow someone else's great lead, do what excites you, and an original vision may come from there.


What is Good Business?

It’s become easy to feel that all businesses are somehow bad and corrupt. Far from it. So long as they follow these six principles, any business can be good


Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

Why you should listen

Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses -- offices, retailers, hotels -- on how to use sound. He asks us to pay attention to the sounds that surround us. How do they make us feel: productive, stressed, energized, acquisitive?
Treasure is the author of the book Sound Business and keeps a blog by the same name that ruminates on aural matters (and offers a nice day-by-day writeup of TEDGlobal 2009). In the early 1980s, Treasure was the drummer for the Fall-influenced band Transmitters.


The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life

Tony Robbins shares insights from his just-published book, Money Master the Game, about how a trio of choices frame your outlook and influence your chances at success.


Brainstorming: Is Your Mind Wild Enough to Make a Conceptual Leap? | Bill Burnett

Bill Burnett explains how to use brainstorming in an actionable way, why crazy ideas are so necessary to break out of thought clusters (which the human mind is wired to get stuck in), and how to ultimately make a conceptual leap forward to your next brilliant idea. Burnett is the co-author of "Designing Your Life


How to Find Fulfilling Work

“The idea that work might be fulfilling rather than just painfully necessary is a strikingly recent invention. Nowadays, in the prosperous world, we don’t only expect to obtain money through labour, we also, to a greater or lesser extent, expect to find meaning and satisfaction. It’s a big ask and explains why so many of us have career crises...”


Famous Failures

"If you've Never Failed, You've Never Tried Anything New"

Inspiring video on persevering no matter how many times you have failed in life.

This video mentions well known people who had failed, but kept pressing on until they became successful. Those People are:

Michael Jordan
After being cut from his high school basketball team, he went home locked himself in his room and cried.

Albert Einstein
He wasn't able to speak until he was almost 4 years old and his teachers said he would "never amount to much"

Oprah Winfrey
Was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she... "Wasn't fit for television."

Walt Disney
Fired from a newspaper for "lacking imagination" and "having no original ideas"...

Lionel Messi
At age 11 he was cut from his team after being diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency... which made him smaller in stature than most kids his age.

Steve Jobs
At 30 years old he was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.

A High School dropout, whose personal struggles with drugs and poverty culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt...

Thomas Edison
A teacher told him he was... "Too stupid to learn anything" and that he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.

The Beatles
Rejected by Decca Recording studios, who said "we don't like their sound"... "They have no future in show business"

Dr. Zeuss
His First Book Was Rejected By 27 Publishers.

Abraham Lincoln
His Fiancé Died, Failed In Business, Had A Nervous Breakdown And Was Defeated In 8 Elections.


Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur's Inspirational Transformation!

If this story can inspire someone you know, please share it with them!

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.

He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try -- he couldn't do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story.

Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey - he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP's specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility -- which gave him hope that maybe someday, he'd be able to walk again.

His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Niether Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.

Do not waste any time thinking you are stuck - you can take control over your life, and change it faster than you might think. 

Hopefully this story can inspire you to follow your dreams - whatever they may be.
Anything is Possible!


Why Design Matters

Far from being some sort of luxury or add-on, good design is central to a good society. It changes how we feel and interact. 


3 Tips for Maximizing Productivity | Kathryn Minshew

For all the technology and design that goes into making the modern workday productive, e.g instant messaging apps that help you communicate with colleagues opposite you in an open-plan office — it remains filled with distraction. Facebook, perhaps the greatest distraction the world has ever known, recently released an "at work" interface, presumably to compete with office apps such as Slack, doubtlessly realizing everyone was already on Facebook at work anyway.
Ironically, it is sometimes necessary to move in the direction opposite technological efficiency to improve your productivity. As workplace expert Katherine Minshew recognizes, we all want to get more done. Here she explores the ways that being more productive doesn't mean being "always on," or perpetually available.
Her first recommendation is to get to know yourself better. Despite our 24-hour work culture, there are times of the day when you'll naturally be more productive. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to which time works best for you — it comes down to personality quirks. So, says Minshew, embrace your individuality and if you work best late at night, allow yourself that option. Modern employers, ultimately thanks to communication technology, are likely to be flexible about the hours you work, as long as your hitting your professional goals.
Secondly, while the open office plan facilitates communication, it also facilitates interruptions. While cubicles were perhaps claustrophobic and anti-social, they did provide a quiet space for work to occur in. Today, headphones, or other physical barriers like books, can provide a bulwark against the tendency to interrupt in our communication-ready offices.
Finally, Minshew recommends that you delegate like your job depends on it. Perhaps indeed it does. The goal is not to pass the buck to open space for real focus to occur. Delegation is another kind of barrier that prevents tasks from encroaching on your most important priorities. So don't be surprised if you and your team are delegated to, and don't hesitate to farm out projects that are better handled by other individuals or other departments.


We Love Simplicity, But Do We Know What It Really Means?

What do you at work all day? If the answer is "go to meetings and respond to emails," you are just like the many respondents interviewed by innovation expert Lisa Bodell. That response is remarkably consistent, she says, no matter the country or level of employment, suggesting that global work culture has become homogenized by international markets and communications technology.
Of course nobody's primary interest in their career is attending meetings and answering emails. People want to do meaningful work, and when rote tasks stand in their way, both the organization and individual job satisfaction suffer. The solution, says Bodell, is simplicity. But simplicity means more than minimalism, and simply stripping processes down doesn't guarantee real simplicity, which is defined by four key components:
First, be as minimal as possible, meaning get rid of extraneous parts. If you have a weekly meeting, can you do it biweekly? If you answer emails throughout the day, can you reserve one half hour in the morning and one in the afternoon, allowing the rest of your time to be spent doing meaningful work?
Second, be as understandable as possible. Confusing email chains and unspecific instruction can waste employees' valuable time, so be clear with your instruction and responses, and if you don't know the answer, simply say you'll revisit the issue at a later time.
Third, be repeatable as possible. As Bodell says: "You want teachers to make things repeatable in a classroom so we benefit from best practices. You want pilots, no matter what cockpit they go into to have the same experience so that they can fly the plane."
Finally, be as accessible as possible. Transparency is a good way to win customers and, in our age of democratized media, leveraging the power and wisdom of the crowd by creating open-source products is a way to scale innovation.
Lisa Bodell's book isWhy Simple Wins.



Powerful Learning from This Scene in Invictus: What is Your Philosophy on Leadership?

The setting is taken from the 2009 hit movie Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Freeman plays the role of South African President Nelson Mandela. Damon plays the role of Francois Pienaar, the captain of the Springbok Rugby Team. In the scene, Mandela has invited Pienaar to tea. Click to watch the clip The World Cup is a year away and the fledgling Springbok need motivation. As they talk, Mandela sits back in his chair and says; "Tell me Francios, What is your philosophy on leadership? How do you inspire your team to do their best?"


Invictus - Poem That Inspired A Nation

" Invictus " is a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849-1903). It was written in 1875 and first published in 1888.
Nelson Mandela had the poem written on a scrap of paper on his prison cell while he was incarcerated.
This is a Inspiring poem which simply means, we must strive to make each day a good one no matter what our circumstances maybe. How we think determines how we feel!


Speech about Life - Good Will Hunting

"You do not know about real loss, cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself"


Knut Haanaes: Two reasons companies fail -- and how to avoid them

Is it possible to run a company and reinvent it at the same time? For business strategist Knut Haanaes, the ability to innovate after becoming successful is the mark of a great organization. He shares insights on how to strike a balance between perfecting what we already know and exploring totally new ideas — and lays out how to avoid two major strategy traps.


How to Find Meaningful Work

Contrary to some expectations, it isn’t only money we want from work. We also need our work to feel ‘meaningful’. But what exactly is meaningful work, and where can we find more of it? Find out more by reading our book "How to find fulfilling work":


Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. He calls out the two main offenders (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make the workplace actually work.


The Dangers Of Being Dutiful

We associate being dutiful with being safe – that’s how it worked at school. But once we are in the big world, too much of a concern for duty can be our downfall


Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don't have one true calling

What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you're not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites" — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?

Career coach Emilie Wapnick celebrates the "multipotentialite" — those of us with many interests, many jobs over a lifetime, and many interlocking potentials.


Slow Down Your Brain to Get More Done, with Steven Kotler

The best-selling author Steven Kotler discusses hypofrontality -- literally the slowing of the brain's prefrontal cortex -- and how it allows one to enter an optimal state of consciousness, known as flow. As Kotler explains, flow refers to those moments of total absorption when we get so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears.


Why You Should Value Your Mistakes, with High-Wire Artist Philippe Petit

As a high-wire artist, Philippe Petit doesn't have much room for mistakes. Still, he finds that mistakes are our best teachers and advises friends and students to treat them as such.


The Perfectionist Trap

One of the greatest obstacles to a good life is the expectation of perfection. 

We typically aim for a particular career because we have been deeply impressed by the exploits of the most accomplished practitioners in the field. We formulate our ambitions by admiring the beautiful structures of the architect tasked with designing the city’s new airport, or by following the intrepid trades of the wealthiest Wall Street fund manager, by reading the analyses of the acclaimed literary novelist or sampling the piquant meals in the restaurant of a prize-winning chef. We form our career plans on the basis of perfection.

Then, inspired by the masters, we take our own first steps and trouble begins. What we have managed to design, or make in our first month of trading, or write in an early short story, or cook for the family is markedly and absurdly, beneath the standard that first sparked our ambitions. We who are so aware of excellence end up the least able to tolerate mediocrity – which in this case, happens to be our own...."


Mark Zuckerberg's T-shirts

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest people on the planet - and yet dresses like a very ordinary guy. That's both cheering and subtly deeply wounding to our pride.


The Art of Balance, with Philippe Petit

High-wire artist Philippe Petit wasn't just born with superior balance; it's something he's developed all his life and something he applies to all his life. It's balance -- in more meanings of the word -- which keeps Petit alive.


The Power of Changing the way you think

Innovation is no longer the crown jewel of large companies that can afford to fund research and development departments. The pace of technological change, and its democratizing effects, require organizations of all sizes to continually innovate. Even if the product or service on offer is successful, companies must work to disrupt their own gains. If they don't, those gains will be short-lived, says Roger Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
How organizations successfully innovate is frequently the focus of Martin's attention, and here he addresses the research and development initiatives that operate outside the boundaries of day-to-day company activity. Called "skunkworks," these departments are factories of creativity and innovation that focus on exploring new possibilities, unburdened by the rigors of market requirements and efficiencies. Steve Jobs famously created a skunkworks to develop the Mac, and research and development departments are another manifestation of sequestered innovation, says Martin.
Ultimately what is needed is an innovative organization, not just an innovative department. Martin has seen many products emerge from skunkworks only to be killed by their parent organization for being pie-in-the-sky and untethered from larger organizational goals. How then does an organization become innovative such that it focuses on both innovating new ideas while exploiting current products? By listening to front-line employees, says Martin.
An organization's sales force, or other point-of-contact employees, holds the key to innovating in a way that is responsive to customer behavior. They will have more familiarity with how a given product is actually used than a room of designers locked away in a skunkworks. The result is a win not just for hardworking frontline workers over pretentious design departments, but a win for the organization as a whole as it requires a reevaluation of what constitutes innovation: simultaneous exploration and exploitation.
Roger Martin's most recent book is Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works.


In Praise of The Quiet Life

Quiet lives feel nowadays like lives of failure and resignation, but they may be no such thing: true ambition can lie in learning how to minimise stress and divert energy to properly important projects.


Why do people run the marathon? I ran one to find out

Why are so many athletes opting to run 26.2 miles? Vox's Joe Posner explains the marathon from inside a mass of 50,000 other runners.


Why Cuban cab drivers earn more than doctors

Cuba’s economy works as a central planning model, where government ministries dole out resources and set everything from prices to inventories to salaries. The fact that a taxi driver can make so much more than a physician is a reflection of the Cuban government’s heavy focus on tourism. For years, the central planning apparatus has valued tourism as a key mechanism for both bringing in revenue as well as propagating the idea that Cuba is thriving. Many pesos are collected by the high prices on everything related to the tourism industry.


The Secret to Kicking Procrastination: Reward Yourself

Dan Ariely, the author of "Predictably Irrational," believes in associating undesirable tasks with pleasurable activities.


A Simple Mind Trick Will Help You Think More Rationally

Emotions can cloud our rational decision-making. By adopting the perspective of an outside advisor, psychologist Dan Ariely says we can inject some rationality into our cognitive processes. Ariely's new book is titled Irrationally Yours


Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a "walking meeting" — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

Nilofer Merchant has been helping to grow businesses -- from Fortune 500s to web startups -- for 20 years. She’s worked for major companies (like Apple and Autodesk) and early web startups (remember Golive?). Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance to develop new product strategies, enter new markets, defend against competitors and optimize revenue.
Today she serves on boards for both public and private companies, and writes books about collaboration, like The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy, and openness -- check out her recent ebook 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, chosen by Fast Company as one of the Best Business Books of 2012. She also writes for HBR, including the personal and brave essay about a previous attempt on the TED stage: "What I Learned from My TED Talk."


How to build a business that lasts 100 years

If you want to build a business that lasts, there may be no better place to look for inspiration than your own immune system. Join strategist Martin Reeves as he shares startling statistics about shrinking corporate life spans and explains how executives can apply six principles from living organisms to build resilient businesses that flourish in the face of change.

Martin Reeves is the Director of the BCG Henderson Institute, BCG's think tank for new ideas in strategy and management, and a Senior Partner based in New York City.
Reeves has been with the firm for 26 years and focuses on strategy, dividing his time between the Institute and client strategy work across sectors. He is author of a new book on strategy, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, which deals with choosing and executing the right approach in today's complex and dynamic business environment, as well as numerous articles in Harvard Business Review and other publications.


Are Great Leaders Born Or Made?

There are certain qualities that many leaders have in common. Are these qualities learned or are they inherited? What makes a leader great?