Monday, March 30, 2015

Saadia Zahidi (1) Unfolding Story of Women

Saadia Zahidi is smart, articulate and visible, and as a Senior Director at the World Economic Forum, she paints a compelling picture for 40 million Muslim women having entered the workforce over the last decade:
An untold and still unfolding story exists in their lives, hidden in their classrooms, careers, and handbags. Changes that took half a century in the United States are being compressed into a decade in today’s Muslim world, and they are only likely to accelerate. It’s as if the United States had compressed into a few short years the half-century evolution from Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. That is the magnitude of this sweeping change.
Saadia Zahidi is... head of the Gender Parity Programme and head of Employment, Skills and Human Capital. In November 2014, the proposal for her book, Womenomics in the Muslim World, won the inaugural FT/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize for business writers under age 35.
Reference: Women in the Muslim world taking the fast track to change.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Billionaire Newcomers Set New Record

The fact that Forbes had a record number of billionaire newcomers last year at 268, then this year shattered that with a new record of 290, is testament to rising wealth in the world and, I imagine, further skewing of wealth distribution.  Welcome to the Club indeed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Usual Suspects among Tech Titans

No one among these Tech Titans is a surprise, and they've occupied this rarefied air for years.  The companies they ran, including Steve Jobs via his wife Laurene, are storied companies in American business history. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

1826 Billionaires $7 Trillion Combined Net Worth

1826 billionaires boast a staggering average net worth of $3.9 billion and combined net worth of $7 trillion.  Discuss.  So to say that wealth distribution around the world is skewed (negatively) toward a minute fraction of the population is to speak an understatement. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Catherine Courage (3) Sustaining Design Thinking

Needless to say, executive support is de rigueur for any initiative, new or existing, to be successful.  Top leaders in the company lend vision and guidance as well as emphasize execution and accountability.  There are other factors, of course, such as right capability and satisfactory resources, but the CEO and his or her direct team must put spirit and muscle behind sustaining initiatives. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Catherine Courage (2) Embedding Design Thinking

Design thinking may start off as a one-off, maybe experimental effort.  But to Catherine Courage's point, for it to have optimal impact, companies must embed it in their processes and foundation and their culture and mindset.  That's easier said than done, of course.  But a CEO who has foresight, strategy and discipline can do so systematically and progressively over time.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Catherine Courage (1) Shifting to Design Thinking

Catherine Courage, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, leads the shift at Citrix - from dreaming up technology and delivery technology for technology's sake, to building a deeper empathy for customers and creating products and solutions that meet their actual needs.  This is not new thinking at all, but the fact that a renowned consultancy like McKinsey highlights it suggests that companies are still far far from adopting it, let alone grasp what it truly means.  As I argued in Part 2 - Making the Future, CEOs and their people may find themselves trapped in The Dilemma of Self-Centeredness, and not even know it.

Courage distinguishes the design thinking approach that she and her team adopts, from others who start with the problem, which they have an intuition about, and race toward a solution.  To me, starting with a problem, or an issue, challenge or objective, is actually a fine thing to do.  But to her point, Theory of Algorithms and The Core Algorithm emphasize focusing on the problem without preconceived notions and without a toolkit of solutions clambering to be used.  Instead, like design thinking, my conceptual framework and practical applications model work at engaging others - seek first to understand, then to be understood - for example, via an algorithm I call Galileo (Human) Algorithm, which counters Self-Centeredness.