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Exploring the Adjacent Possible

We sensationalize innovation as moments of eureka leading to novel ideas but most innovation comes from exploring the adjacent possible. The concept of the adjacent possible originates from Stuart Kauffman’ work on biological evolution. Kauffman’s theory is biological systems morph into more complex systems by taking small, incremental steps rather than extreme jumps or more…

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Prepare Three Envelopes Is Bad Advice

There’s a classic story called ‘prepare three envelopes’ which provides advice on leadership transitions. There are versions which apply to business, government, and sports teams but they essentially all have the same advice. Here’s a version: A new executive is hired to take over a struggling business unit. During the handover meeting, the previous executive…

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7 Factors That Make Us Stupid

I stumbled on an insightful definition of being stupid from Adam Robinson: Stupidity is overlooking or dismissing [conspicuously] crucial information. Robinson argues stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence. Instead, stupidity is impaired judgement due to one or more factors: Rushing or urgency Information overload Physical or emotional stress Intense focus on an outcome Being…

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