My guest today has insights. Very unique insights. I am very lucky to keep bringing great minds onto this show. An excerpt from his piece that inspired me:
On April 28, 1961—a decade after General Douglas MacArthur was fired for defying Harry Truman on Korea—the controversial commander hosted President John F. Kennedy at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where MacArthur and his wife lived in a suite on the 37th floor. The contrast between the two could not have been more obvious: MacArthur, then in his early eighties, was mottled, frail, and walked with a slight stoop, while the newly inaugurated Kennedy was young, fit, and vibrant. The two sequestered themselves in MacArthur’s suite, then posed for photographers, the young president obviously proud to appear with the aging legend.
Fortunately for historians, Kennedy recorded notes on his Waldorf Astoria discussion, committing MacArthur’s advice to a personal memorandum that he later referred to in White House policy discussions. The meeting itself was the subject of news stories and featured on national newscasts that same day. Later, the meeting provided grist for two generations of Kennedy-besotted commenters who debated whether the young president, had he not been assassinated in Dallas, might have recoiled from committing tens of thousands of U.S. troops to a winless war in Southeast Asia—a course of action taken by Lyndon Johnson, his successor.
It turns out that Kennedy’s memo of the Waldorf Astoria meeting (now at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum) is crucial for historians for a number of other reasons. It offers not only a glimpse of how the young president intended to navigate the treacherous waters of the Cold War, but suggests how one of America’s most celebrated military officers viewed what might be called the grand strategy of the American Republic: that is, whether and how the U.S. might win its dangerous struggle against the Soviet Union. Finally, the Waldorf Astoria meeting tells us how MacArthur’s most famous warning—to “never fight a land war in Asia”—has come down to us, what he meant by it, and whether, in an age of American troop deployments in at least 133 countries, it retains its meaning.
Bio: Mark Perry is a military, intelligence, and foreign affairs analyst and writer. His articles have appeared in the Nation, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Times, among other outlets, and he is a frequent guest commentator and expert on Al Jazeera television network. He is the author of eight books, including Grant and Twain, Partners in Command, and Talking to Terrorists. Perry has served as editor and Washington bureau chief for a number of publications, including Washington D.C.’s City Paper and The Veteran, the largest circulation newspaper for veterans in the nation.
Are you solving the right problems? Have you or your colleagues ever worked hard on something, only to find out you were focusing on the wrong problem entirely? Most people have. In a survey, 85 percent of companies said they often struggle to solve the right problems. The consequences are severe: Leaders fight the wrong strategic battles. Teams spend their energy on low-impact work. Startups build products that nobody wants. Organizations implement “solutions” that somehow make things worse, not better. Everywhere you look, the waste is staggering. As Peter Drucker pointed out, there’s nothing more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.
There is a way to do better.
The key is reframing, a crucial, underutilized skill that you can master with the help of this book. Using real-world stories and unforgettable examples like “the slow elevator problem,” author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg offers a simple, three-step method – Frame, Reframe, Move Forward – that anyone can use to start solving the right problems. Reframing is not difficult to learn. It can be used on everyday challenges and on the biggest, trickiest problems you face. In this visually engaging, deeply researched book, you’ll learn from leaders at large companies, from entrepreneurs, consultants, nonprofit leaders, and many other breakthrough thinkers.
It’s time for everyone to stop barking up the wrong trees. Teach yourself and your team to reframe, and growth and success will follow.
Biography: Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is a globally recognized expert on innovation and problem-solving. He has shared and refined his reframing method with clients like Cisco, Microsoft, Citigroup, Time Warner, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Amgen, Prudential, Union Pacific, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, the Wall Street Journal, and the United Nations.
Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with Jeremy Gutsche the CEO of Trend Hunter.
In our era of disruption and possibility, there are so many great opportunities within your grasp; however, most smart and successful people miss out. Unfortunately, your capabilities are limited by the seven traps of path dependency, which cause you to repeat past decisions. These traps can limit you from seeing the potential of what could be. If you could overcome these traps, what could you accomplish? How much more successful could you be?
Jeremy Gutsche’s Create the Future teaches you how to think disruptively, providing specific steps to create real innovation and change. This book combines Jeremy’s high energy, provocative thinking with tactics that have been battle-tested through thousands of his team’s projects advising leading innovators like Disney, Starbucks, Amex, IBM, Adidas, Google, and NASA.
Biography: Jeremy Gutsche is a New York Times bestselling author, innovation expert and CEO of Trend Hunter, the world’s largest trend platform, with more than 3 billion views total views from 150,000,000 people. Over the last decade, he has helped more than 600 brands, billionaires, CEOs and NASA in the quest to make innovation and change actually happen.
Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with David Hand.
In the era of big data, it is easy to imagine that we have all the information we need to make good decisions. But in fact the data we have are never complete, and may be only the tip of the iceberg. Just as much of the universe is composed of dark matter, invisible to us but nonetheless present, the universe of information is full of dark data that we overlook at our peril. In Dark Data, data expert David Hand takes us on a fascinating and enlightening journey into the world of the data we don’t see.
David Hand’s Dark Data explores the many ways in which we can be blind to missing data and how that can lead us to conclusions and actions that are mistaken, dangerous, or even disastrous. Examining a wealth of real-life examples, from the Challenger shuttle explosion to complex financial frauds, Hand gives us a practical taxonomy of the types of dark data that exist and the situations in which they can arise, so that we can learn to recognize and control for them. In doing so, he teaches us not only to be alert to the problems presented by the things we don’t know, but also shows how dark data can be used to our advantage, leading to greater understanding and better decisions.
Biography: David J. Hand is emeritus professor of mathematics and senior research investigator at Imperial College London, a former president of the Royal Statistical Society, and a fellow of the British Academy. His many previous books include The Improbability Principle, Measurement: A Very Short Introduction, Statistics: A Very Short Introduction, and Principles of Data Mining.
Don’t fly blind. See how the power of experiments works for you. Michael talks today with an expert in the field–Stefan Thomke.
When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out new business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often get it wrong. They discover that intuition, experience, and big data alone don’t work. What does? Running disciplined business experiments. And what if companies roll out new products or introduce new customer experiences without running these experiments? They fly blind.
That’s what Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke shows in this rigorously researched and eye-opening book. It guides you through best practices in business experimentation, illustrates how these practices work at leading companies, and answers some fundamental questions: What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and brick-and-mortar businesses? In B2B and B2C? How do you build an experimentation culture? Also, best practice means running many experiments. Indeed, some hugely successful companies, such as Amazon, Booking.com, and Microsoft, run tens of thousands of controlled experiments annually, engaging millions of users. Thomke shows us how these and many other organizations prove that experimentation provides significant competitive advantage.
How can managers create this capability at their own companies? Essential is developing an experimentation organization that prizes the science of testing and puts the discipline of experimentation at the center of its innovation process. While it once took companies years to develop the tools for such large-scale experiments, advances in technology have put these tools at the fingertips of almost any business professional. By combining the power of software and the rigor of controlled experiments, today’s managers can make better decisions, create magical customer experiences, and generate big financial returns.
“The experiment is the way of keeping you honest.” — Stefan Thomke
Welcome to Thunderdome with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Laura Huang, a preeminent Harvard Business School professor, shows that success is about gaining an edge: that elusive quality that gives you an upper hand and attracts attention and support. Some people seem to naturally have it. Now, Huang teaches the rest of us how to create our own from the challenges and biases we think hold us back, and turning them to work in our favor.
How do you find a competitive edge when the obstacles feel insurmountable? How do you get people to take you seriously when they’re predisposed not to, and perhaps have already written you off?
Laura Huang has come up against that problem many times–and so has anyone who’s ever felt out of place or underestimated. Many of us sit back quietly, hoping that our hard work and effort will speak for itself. Or we try to force ourselves into the mold of who we think is “successful,” stifling the creativity and charm that makes us unique and memorable.
Huang offers a different approach. She argues that success is rarely just about the quality of our ideas, credentials, and skills, or our effort. Instead, achieving success hinges on how well we shape others’ perceptions–of our strengths, certainly, but also our flaws. It’s about creating our own edge by confronting the factors that seem like shortcomings and turning them into assets that make others take notice.
Huang draws from her award-winning research on entrepreneurial intuition, persuasion, and implicit decision-making, to impart her profound findings and share stories of previously-overlooked Olympians, assistants-turned-executives, and flailing companies that made momentous turnarounds. Through her deeply-researched framework, Huang shows how we can turn weaknesses into strengths and create an edge in any situation. She explains how an entrepreneur scored a massive investment despite initially being disparaged for his foreign accent, and how a first-time political candidate overcame voters’ doubts about his physical disabilities.
Edge shows that success is about knowing who you are and using that knowledge unapologetically and strategically.
When Mass Panic Rolls Out You Need A Plan with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.