Seeking (better)

Seeking better … seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Jesus of Nazareth – in Matthew’s Gospel There are times that we know what “better” is. We’ve been there before, or seen it from afar, or can at least imagine it. So we seek it: we head in its…

Gravity bites

Watching skate videos – try this one, or this one – is great. You can kind of imagine doing those tricks. Watching beginner “how to” skate videos – try this one – is fun too. You can definitely imagine doing those tricks: “So I just put my foot here, then I jump like this…” You can learn a lot from…

The Mundanity of Excellence (3): technique, discipline, attitude

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. Excellence in competitive swimming…

The Mundanity of Excellence (2): demystifying talent

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. … I am suggesting…

Daniel Chambliss: defining excellence

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. Although by no means…

Better with time

Some things (and people) disappoint us after first acquaintance. Others seem to gain value as we get to know them better, giving greater satisfaction with time and use: Well-made shoes Good relationships Foundational knowledge in a given field Cast iron pans Empathy Good pillows Life experience Well designed spaces Good sleep Solidly made furniture Kindness, patience, and other virtues Imagination…

When “normal” feels like winning (or losing) – Danny Kahneman on regression to the mean

Danny [Kahneman] was then helping the Israeli Air Force to train fighter pilots. He’d noticed that the instructors believed that, in teaching men to fly jets, criticism was more powerful than praise. They’d explained to Danny that he only needed to see what happened after they praised a pilot for having performed especially well, or criticized him for performing especially…

Which “better”?

More accessible Disruptive Innovations are NOT breakthrough technologies that make good products better; rather they are innovations that make products and services more accessible and affordable, thereby making them available to a larger population. Christensen Institute Could you make it… … cheaper? … easier to discover? … easier to find out more about? … easier to get hold of? ……

Charles Koch on creating value for others and always getting better

The starting point is to understand what capabilities you have that others will value, that you can use to create value for others. And then to find the opportunities for those capabilities that will create the most opportunity for others and particularly those who will reward you for that value. So the ideal for business is to maximise the value…