FT.com / Stefan Stern – The simple (but not easy) task of focusing

For some time it has been fashionable to describe businesses and organisations as “complex adaptive systems”. The phrase sounds learned. It is a cousin of that other knowing statement: that leaders need to be “comfortable with ambiguity”.

Well, yes. It is a turbulent world. It is hard to be certain about the future. But isn’t part of the problem for business leaders that life is in fact too complicated? Particularly in larger organisations, the legacy of old structures and traditions adds to this complexity. It is easy to lose sight of priorities. No wonder that, these days, the role of chief executive is often described as being an impossible job.

via ft.com

Five principles describe how the most focused and successful businesses are designed: self-awareness, principles, distributed leadership, closed feedback loop, and small number of key operating measures.

Procrastination is….

…checking your email… writing emails… thesaurus-izing your emails. Procrastination is… playing video games… with your furniture.

Confession time:  I am the worst about procrastinating (especially if a task requires sitting still for extended periods) – even though I know that innovators are always doing things.

Here’s a fun but eerily accurate video by Mickey and Johnny. (The narrator’s accent gives it a sense of being serious and important, like only the British can.) I found this on my coauthor Jono Hey’s blog.

The ones that resonated most with me were “arranging your bookshelves by color”, “not being able to decide how to do something” and “not knowing how to finish something.” (Constraints do help with the knowing how to finish part, though!)

Most bitchin’ OCD chick ever!!

project booklets, originally uploaded by judyofthewoods.

Check out judyofthewoods.net’s blog and flickr page, full of extraordinary clever, thoughtful GTD and DIY project management hacks. She figured out how to make your own Levenger Circa / Rollabind-esque disc bound notebook out of milk carton and cereal box parts, and in many ways it’s better than the (ridiculously expensive but positively divine) Levenger stuff.

Environmentally Worst Way to Get a Date: SuperFly Wednesdays by Virgin America Airlines

Virgin America airlines, in a snazzy but shamelessly carbon-ious move to capture the cool urban childless professional, just announced it’s new offering: mid-air mingling.


Network, chat and socialize at 35,000 feet on SuperFly Wednesdays. Enjoy 2 free drinks plus lots of mixing and mingling. Meet new people with seat-to-seat chat or start a chat room with everyone onboard. The fun continues when you reach your destination. Enjoy some more complimentary drinks and special room rates from our hotel and bar partners. Your boarding pass is your ticket to play.

SuperFly Wednesdays

Click here for more information, exciting updates and to grab a seat.

And you felt guilty about eschewing public transport and cabbing to the bar!

That this event happens on Wednesday makes sense: Wednesdays are farthest from the weekend so probably the fewest seats are booked that day, so this should help convert some business travelers who have a choice in carrier. And if you’re lonely and traveling often, Virgin might be your best bet for meeting a handsome stranger who will understand your frenetic lifestyle. (And if you can get tanked without reporting your drinks on your expense report, all the better.)

But the fact that it comes with hotel discounts could suggest that Virgin America is hoping for people to fly mid-week just for the hell of it.

QUESTION: So who will you meet if you fly SuperFly Wednesdays?

ANSWER: Someone who is willing to pay a $100 cover charge just to force a seat-mate to talk to them. Not only is this person a lonely, desperate, expense-report-fudging lush, they are also a carbon conservationist’s nightmare. They are also [financially] loaded.

That said, the next time I have to fly mid-week, you can bet your last reimbursement check I’ll fly Wednesday and milk Virgin for every martini they’ll serve.

Finding new music

check out the music genome project’s pandora.com. find new music based on cool algorithms developed by some smart people. hut-o.