Link Soup

I always come across articles that apply to where I work in a Dilbert-esque way. Since I always seem to mis-place them or can't find them before I share them with a larger audience, I might as well post them here so I can find them again.

Forecasting Misunderstood

Scott Adams interview from 1999

Interesting Word of the Day

Tufte. Need I say more?

I need to find a different career, maybe?


Multiple Choice Question

From George:
"We have started a petition to Sesame Street and PBS Kids asking them to
allow Bert and Ernie to get married on the show. If done tastefully,
this would greatly help put an end to ______"

A. Homophobia
B. World Hunger
C. The Belgians
D. PBS subsidies

Please vote in the comments section below.


Lose the Bafflegab Already!

I've seen enough corporate strategies to choke a polar bear but could never really put my finger on what was wrong with them. Then again, I am not the one to create these things either. Criticism is always easier to do than create, and it's a lot more fun.
Strategy is not what many people think it is. It is not a fill-in-the-blanks mission statement blathering about how XYZ Corp. will ethically serve its stakeholders by implementing best-in-class integrated sustainable practices to grow as a global leader while maximizing shareholder value. Such bafflegab is “Dilbert“-fodder that generates cynicism and contempt. It is, at best, a big waste of time.

Neither is strategy a declaration that the ABC Co. will increase sales by 20 percent a year for the next five years, with a profit margin of at least 20 percent. Strategy is not the resolve to hunker down and try harder -- what Kenichi Ohmae of McKinsey criticized in a 1989 Harvard Business Review article as “do more better.” Effort is not strategy. Neither are financial projections. And neither are wishes.

A strategy “is a way of dealing with a high-stakes challenge,” Rumelt told me in an interview. “It’s a way around the obstacles or problems in a difficult situation.”

Every good strategy, he writes, includes what he calls the kernel: a “diagnosis” of the challenge (“What’s going on here?”), a “guiding policy” for dealing with that challenge (the core idea often called a strategy), and a set of “coherent actions” to carry out that policy (the implementation).


Egypt vs. Extremism

There is no way I can do justice to this opinion piece by Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Just read it.
On Jan. 6, the eve of Coptic Christmas, thousands of Muslims showed up at Mass to act as human shields and show their solidarity with the beleaguered Christian community.


Amy Chua's Chinese Parenting Style

I know I should have something to say about this but many others have weighed in. So, in typical fashion, I will reduce all of the thoughtful commentary on both sides of the issue contained in the links above to the creative, anonymous ramblings of an Internet meme.