The secret ingredient that makes some teams better than others

Culture defines any business, but it’s one of the hardest things to manage. In this extract from her new TED Book, Margaret Heffernan lays out the often-overlooked element necessary to build an effective, efficient organization: social capital.

Running a software company in Boston, I recognized — and my board told me — that we needed to reposition the business. Our product was too bland, too generic to stimulate excitement or loyalty. I needed a team to help me, and I ended up working through the problem with a motley crew: a young web developer, a seasoned and eccentric media executive, a visual artist, and me. We spent a week in the private room of a burger joint, exploring options, rejecting easy answers, pushing one another to find something none of us could see. Looking back, I recall that intense period as one of the most thought-provoking learning experiences I’ve ever had. The team was outstanding — and…

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2013 USA Senate and Congress Environmental Scorecard

2013 USA Senate and Congress Environmental Scorecard

I do not watch CPAN or CPAN2, but I’m concerned, like other citizens, about how our elected officials are voting to protect the environment for my children’s children. Thank you to League of Conservation Voters for releasing their annual report card on our elective officials. 

Not surprisingly, the Republican party officials have a terrible track record of supporting pro-environment legislation, especially with the Republican leadership. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2013 did give the slightest consideration of support for  pieces of legislation that would promote fossil fuel dependency, or protect USA’s stock of clean water, air and healthy biodiversity. 

We have problem. Within our political system the “arguments” against environmental protection and conservation are being shouted at a much higher level than those arguments for environmental protection and conservation. 

Last week’s photo of our sprouts. They are getting the right amount of sunlight and water each day and growing beautifully. Looking forward to summer days munching these tasty veggies – Red Peppers, Choy Sum, Lettuce, Carrots, four varieties of tomatoes, along with basil and parsley.

Excited to see them pop through the surface!

The sprouts are looking healthy! (soak the soil 1x every morning)

Thirsty Young Sprouts

Following Good Advice

The explosion of advice being given to our connected population  is overwhelming. Advice on eating, exercising, making your baby poop better (admittedly haven’t come across such an advice column… yet) Everyone will self improve thanks to “hacking” better sex, learning a different language, and traveling the world for less than $5000.

As you do. We as human beings are instinctively linked to self-improvement… Our egos drive us to engage in activities that our “advisers” dictate which will make us happier, more appealing, less dull…
Thus we go looking for advice. To learn. To listen, understand, and comprehend so that may proceed with action.
The mirror reflects pink bodies of flesh and bone, until we initiate the action we choose to comprehend will serve not just you but your fellow human beings.

We all look to a  Jedi Master of a sort, to give us advice for our actions. People of the past and present, who reach out to our eager egos so we may go forth into the world, heads held high.

However, choose wisely your master you shall. For in a saturated world of advice in today’s widely interconnected world, there will be advice leading you to the dark side.

We cannot go out into the world alone. Since we first walked in the fertile crescent, human beings are community-driven species, depending on each other for tasks and sentimental companionship. Today, the world is “hot, flat and crowded” (Thomas Freidman) and more interconnected than any other point in history. We are now a community of the world and heeding the advice that will bring this world together is too important to ignore.