Archive for the ‘Networking and Connecting’ Category

During World War II, natives on Pacific islands saw something most unusual. Strange men appeared, cleared long strips of land and built structures decorated with flags. Some of these men wore large cups over their ears, while others waved sticks and, almost magically, machines appeared from the sky carrying valuable cargo.

After the war ended, the men left and the supplies stopped coming. Some of the natives formed cargo cults which copied many of the the rituals the soldiers performed. They marched in formation, wore cups over their ears and waved sticks around. Alas, no airplanes ever came.

Clearly, the idea was patently absurd. Anybody who thinks that waving sticks will cause airplanes to appear is missing some basic principles about how air travel works. Yet many modern executives also believe by mimicking the tactics of others they will somehow achieve the same results. These “cargo cult strategists” don’t do much better than the islanders.

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The head of a leading girls’ school body says too many women are letting their “inner critic” stop them from succeeding in life.

Source: Too many girls ‘held back by inner critic’ – BBC News

Conflicts between people from different nationalities and cultures often stem from a lack of empathy or compassion for strangers in an outside group. This research is promising because it provides proof that empathy for members of other groups can be created simply by having a positive social interaction, which can lead to peaceful coexistence.

Source: Your Brain Can Learn to Empathize with Outside Groups | Psychology Today

US History teachers at the secondary school level, as well as Global Studies and Participation in Government teachers, should explore this site and try to answer the big questions posed in this site.

Although this site focuses on religious diversity in the United States, it is also about answering the bigger questions about citizenship. It asks who Americans are when they say, “One nation under God”? So often, people make comments in social networks and in face to face conversations about the endangering of Christian beliefs and make claims that the USA is a Christian nation. They dismiss or forget the USA’s exceptionalism is linked to its pluralism. For the country to be “great”,  it must uphold and appreciate this history of inclusion, but must also include the ability to dialogue–not just talk for or talk at others–but to actually dialogue. Diana Eck explains: “Dialogue means both speaking and listening, and that process reveals both common understandings and real differences. Dialogue does not mean everyone at the “table” will agree with one another. Pluralism involves the commitment to being at the table — with one’s commitments.”

I have learned about this site from a Great Courses audiobook by Prof. Charles Kimballhttp://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/comparative-religion.html. As I listen to the first few discs, it occurs to me that Marshall McLuhan’s descriptions of violence and tribalism are manifesting. We have to educate more people with messages from the Pluralism Project to drive back the tide of fear and intolerance.

Source: History of the Pluralism Project | The Pluralism Project

Power has always been easier to recognize than to define. To many, it is simply the ability to get what you want, either through coercion or persuasion.   Although that may be accurate, it isn’t very helpful, so strategists have long sought to come up with more operative definitions.In geopolitics, Ray S. Cline defined power as resources, such as population, territory and economic assets, multiplied by strategy and will.  In business, Michael Porter described advantage as domination of the value chain in order to project power throughout an industry.

However you define it, power is important because it enables you to get things done. Whether you are a politician or an executive, you must seek power to achieve objectives.  Yet power never stays constant, but has always been highly dependent on context and, in today’s world of rapidly shifting contexts, emerging sources of power are often the most potent.

Source: Today, Strategy Must Take Into Account New Sources Of Power | Digital Tonto

 

Researchers are increasingly relying on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and its crowdsourced labor. Vanessa Williamson on The Brookings Institute’s TechTank blog points out, professors and researchers are increasingly turning to the platform to mine data for their studies. According to the post, “a search on Google Scholar returns thousands of academic papers citing MTurk, increasing from 173 in 2008 to 5,490 in 2014.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: motherboard.vice.com

See on Scoop.itWriting, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions

http://www.wired.com/2016/02/its-embarrassing-how-few-black-female-founders-get-funded/

Excerpt: “After an early career as a blogger and an author, Finney decided to try her hand at the world of startups. When she joined a New York-based tech incubator in 2006, she remembers a prominent venture capitalist telling her, “You know, I don’t do the black woman thing.” It was the first time, according to Finney, that it seemed like someone didn’t believe she was capable just because of her gender and her race. 

Donella Meadows gave two lists for Leverage Points:

PLACES TO INTERVENE IN A SYSTEM

(in increasing order of effectiveness)

9. Constants, parameters, numbers (subsidies, taxes, standards).
8. Regulating negative feedback loops.
7. Driving positive feedback loops.
6. Material flows and nodes of material intersection.
5. Information flows.
4. The rules of the system (incentives, punishments, constraints).
3. The distribution of power over the rules of the system.
2. The goals of the system.
1. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, power structure, rules, its culture — arises.

and

PLACES TO INTERVENE IN A SYSTEM

(in increasing order of effectiveness)

12. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, taxes, standards).
11. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows.
10. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures).
9. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change.
8. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against.
7. The gain around driving positive feedback loops.
6. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information).
5. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints).
4. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure.
3. The goals of the system.
2. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises.
1. The power to transcend paradigms.

 

Source: Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System – The Donella Meadows Institute

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8846318

This is at the heart of the American condition of ethnic and racial origins and the striving towards authenticity as well as the wish for belonging to a culture with older–even ancient– traditions, to belong to something larger than ourselves, but acceptance may be the only personally believable indicator of belonging. And yet: “Why is it important to share these feelings and in a way “come clean” about something that could be perceived in a negative way? Because odds are, someone is feeling the same way. And believe it or not, it is possible to develop feelings of connection through rejection.”

At some point in our careers, most of us have come across someone known as a “toxic worker,” a colleague or boss whose abrasive style or devious actions can make the workday utterly miserable. Such people hurt morale, stoke conflict in the office, and harm a company’s reputation.But toxic workers aren’t just annoying or unpleasant to be around; they cost firms significantly more money than most of them even realize. According to a new Harvard Business School (HBS) paper, toxic workers are so damaging to the bottom line that avoiding them or rooting them out delivers twice the value to a company that hiring a superstar performer does.

Source: Beware those toxic co-workers | Harvard Gazette