The X Prize

While it will still be some time (and at least two more flights) before the private investors, inventors, and pilots behind SpaceShipOne collect their $10 million X Prize, we will all benefit from the privatization of space. Thankfully, NASA's current administrator Sean O'Keefe understands the benefits as well:

We applaud the remarkable achievement of Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and test pilot Mike Melvill following the first successful suborbital flight of SpaceShip One. Not unlike the first U.S. and Soviet space travelers in 1961, and China's first successful spaceflight this year, these private citizens are pioneers in their own right. They are doing much to open the door to a new marketplace offering the experience of weightlessness and suborbital space flight to the public.

Mojave ... we have lift-off. Now that rocks!

Geoff Thatcher posted this on June 21, 2004, in News.
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Navy Chocolate Boom

Ben and Jerry's cartonPut Ben & Jerry together with Penn State and the US Navy and whaddaya get? A refrigerator that uses sound waves to cool. Tres cool.

Tried & True DWYSYWD

DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. We talk about DWYSYWD (pronounced "dwizzy-wid") in every workshop we deliver. However, one of our new clients reminded us of a tried-and-true way to communicate the same message:

Is a pig's butt pork?
Does a bear %&$# in the woods?
Is the pope Catholic?
Are you going to do what you say you are going to do?

YES!

Player-Managers

Knowledge@Emory reviews Player Manager: The Rise of Professionals Who Manage While They Work by Philip Augar and Joy Palmer. We enjoyed reading about the six types of "players":

The Rookie—keen to succeed but struggling and charged with stepping up without doing it all

The Players' Player—whose challenge is to replicate their own success in others

The Player Mentors—who are personal and empathetic and who must develop talent without losing sight of the bigger picture

The Veterans—old hands whose challenge is to manage the institution and the team while keeping both fresh

The Play Makers—change agents who must lead the team in new directions while staying in sight

The Player Again—who returns to pure playing, unable to continue juggling the dual roles of managing and producing

Leadership and Your Peers

While digging out from ASTD, I uncovered this gem from Marshall Goldsmith's keynote:

In all cases, the most important variable in predicting the increased leadership effectiveness was the leader's interaction with co-workers.

Goldsmith's presentation was based on a recently completed research project with more than 86,000 participants at eight major corporations.

Tom’s Muse on Branding

Tom's muse Julie Anixter contributed Chapter 10 on the impact of Brand Inside in Beyond Branding:

The brand, if shared, if articulated, if co-created, is a powerful flame that can illuminate the process and help everyone make principled choices.

Willing Slave or Brand You?

Author Madeleine Bunting, in Willing Slaves, examines how we are seduced by the "culture of overwork." She even credits (blames) Tom: "Peters injunctions accurately captures the strategy needed to navigate the highly skilled areas of the labour market. It is no longer enough to do a good job; you also have to do your own PR." And that's a bad thing?

Feynman, Pister, ZigBee

December 29th, 1959, Richard Feynman gave a talk entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." While the world turned their gaze to the cosmos (Sputnik had launched two years earlier), others gazed at the space within. Feynman contemplated atomic scale devices and today, Kris Pister and the team at Dust Networks are amplifying Feynman's speculations. The ZigBee Alliance is even developing communication standards for dust. Imagine ways in which smart dust could change everything.

Talent Magnets

Kristin Backhaus, in a recent Journal of Business Communication article, wrote, "As branding grows in popularity, a firm without a distinct employer brand identity is not likely to succeed in the battle for the best and brightest candidates." Or as John Sullivan, former Chief Talent Officer at Agilent Technologies might put it, "do you have a brand or a bland."

The Vision Thing

How do you inspire a shared vision? Well, easier said than done, but check out how Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino learned the "art of mobilizing others to struggle for shared aspirations."

I gave Terry Gilliam a special thank you in this movie. I met him at the Sundance workshop. I asked him a question and he said something which should be obvious but him saying it made it achievable. I said, "Mr. Gilliam, you have a vision that carries over in every single movie that you do. How do you achieve that special vision in each one of your different movies?" And he said, "I have the vision in my head and all I have to do is hire a good cinematographer, good production designer, good costume designers and my job is to articulate that vision to them. After I've articulated it, they take it and go to the moon with it."

Think of your particular business and answer these questions: Who is your good cinematographer? Good production designer? Good costume designer? Once you know, go and articulate, articulate, articulate!

puzzle

Puzzled at work? Discover ways to put Tom’s ideas into Action.