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An Aerospace Engineer’s Guide to Winning Tennis

Simon “Si” Ramo is a remarkable person. Ramo is a world-renowned scientist and engineer. He was the chief architect of the US intercontinental ballistic missile system. He was the ‘R’ in TRW, the multibillion-dollar aerospace company now part of Northrop Grumman. And last year, at the age of 100, he became the oldest person to be…

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For Networks, Bigger Is Not Always Better

Practically everyone has a machine-to-machine Internet of Things story they like to tell. It might be refrigerators automatically reordering milk, cows that send texts to farmers when they’re in heat, or understanding the demand for ice cream in real-time. We are living in a networked economy. The traditional understanding of networks is based on the…

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Fail

Fantastic Failures from Famous Folk

As a way of encouraging my team to take more risks, I’ve been espousing the philosophy “Failure is the new black” and have been cataloging quotes on failure from famous people. But increased risk-taking doesn’t just come from pithy quotes, it helps to provide examples of people who failed… and thrived.  Here are four such stories:…

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Breaking Bad Habits

I recently decided to reduce my sugar intake but, disappointingly, I just ate the bowl of ice cream they offered me on my flight. I hadn’t planned to eat it but said yes without really thinking about it. Ice cream on a plane has become a habit. According to the research of Wendy Wood, a…

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The Five Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done

Ever notice that some people get more things done than others? For years, the most popular explanation came from Steve Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey argued that personal character, purpose and self-discipline were the primary characteristics of successful people. The book has been wildly successful, selling more than 20M copies. My only…

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How Strategy Really Works

The 1993 HBR article ‘Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines’ argued that every company had to become champions of one of three value disciplines — operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. Since that book was published, virtually every business meeting I’ve been in has used at least one of these phrases to describe strategy….

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