Education of a Strategist

The Education of a Strategist

Great strategists elevate organizations. They see the statue in the marble of the circumstances they face. They gain an understanding, both through analytics and judgment, of the very edge of what an enterprise can achieve — and they push the organization toward this frontier. While an immense amount has been written about the subject of strategy, much… Read more » Read more

After the Election

After the Election

I shared the letter below with our team at Incandescent this morning: a personal reflection on how this moment in our national history connects to our firm as a community and to our work.  In a time when so many of us find ourselves in new territory as leaders and as citizens, wrestling with what… Read more » Read more

Adam Grant

How to Be an Original

All significant achievement demands a journey beyond precedent. Adam Grant’s Originals is not so much a map for this journey as a curriculum for explorers, preparing the “reader as explorer” to handle the kinds of terrain they can expect to encounter. The book is like a mosaic, largely made up of tiles constructed in a… Read more » Read more

Charlie Munger

Worldly Wisdom in 80 Models

As a companion piece to Graham’s Duncan’s post What Do You See?, I’d like to share a wonderful passage from Charlie Munger’s 1994 speech at USC, which my colleague Darko Lovric shared with me. Most intellectual progress comes from those who can see one thing more clearly than anyone has seen it, and learned to show that vision to the… Read more » Read more

You Must Change Your Life

You Must Change Your Life

Years turn, and our lives continue the motion they know. We try things, which yield some of the consequences we anticipate. Surprises happen. Most of these unfold at the periphery of our attention, and most of them seem small. And then there are moments in which life feels arresting. Often it isn’t clear why. Or:… Read more » Read more

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 11.25.23 PM

Talent, Development, and Achievement

As the first anniversary of the On Human Enterprise blog approaches, I’ve been looking back on some of the most central threads discussed here. One significant line of inquiry has been the question of human performance: what makes people good at things, how people get better and how talent translates into achievement over time. In… Read more » Read more

Photo credit: Tiffany Franke

What I Need to Learn Next

Last year, I shared with my team and publicly on this blog what I needed to learn next: My priority for my development could be sketched as “three lines to a bird.” By this I meant that while a moderately good artist might take hundreds of lines to convey a bird, an artist like Picasso… Read more » Read more

Three_Doors_(8518544721)

On Working for the Wrong Boss

You’ve been living with this for a couple of years. You have a job that’s enviable: a company you like, a leader in its field with a culture you genuinely admire; high compensation, higher than you could readily replace; leadership of the function in which you’ve made your career. But you aren’t sure what to… Read more » Read more

Patients with their eyes bandaged sit after their cataract surgeries at a hospital of the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, in India's Tamil Nadu state

Who Are the Social Impact “Billionaires”?

In a recent post “Economics in a World Where Everyone Matters Equally,” we looked at the world through the lens of “integrated return on investment” (IROI), defined as the total surplus captured by all stakeholders affected by an endeavor. This could be expressed as a percentage annual return on the total investment made, including both… Read more » Read more

crop

Beginnings

My daughter Minh was born on December 10th. I watch her quiet in contentment; watch her engage with the world, letting in just as much as she’s ready to let in. I watch her force of will: hunger, wet, gas; and often, simply, her wanting things to be otherwise, without her or me quite knowing… Read more » Read more

Work Life Balance

Work and Life: One More Truth

Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams look at a great deal of data on the life contexts and choices of executives, and their Harvard Business Review piece suggests three truths that emerge from amidst great individual variety:  Life Happens  Knowing that, focus on things that matter before they’re gone and build in the capacity to respond… Read more » Read more