Be one on whom nothing is lost. WILLIAM JAMES

Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”

from the Director of the MIT Media Lab

Here are a few key points from Joi Ito’s TED Talk. Mr. Ito, the Director of the MIT Media Lab, is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways.

A few guiding principles he highlights:

Deploy or Die. You must get stuff out into the real world for it to really count (or exist). Don’t wait for large institutions to do it for us.

Pull Over Push. It’s about bottom-up innovation… democratic… chaotic… hard to control. It’s not bad, but it’s very different. Many of the traditional rules don’t work or are outdated.

Learn How To LearnEducation is what people do to you and learning is what you do to yourself.

Compass Over Maps. Strategic planning is important, but do not get bogged down over-planning, over-organizing, and over-strategizing. Have a STRONG COMPASS to guide you on your journey.

So I think the good news is that even though the world is extremely complex, what you need to do is very simple. I think it’s about stopping this notion that you need to plan everything, you need to stock everything, and you need to be so prepared, and focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware, and super present.

So I don’t like the word “futurist.” I think we should be now-ists, like we are right now.”  Joi Ito

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What was your primary takeaway or inspiration from Joi Ito’s TED Talk?

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In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War (The University of North Carolina Press; Edition Unstated edition (August 15, 2001))

This remarkable biography, In the Hands of Providence, traces the life and times of Joshua L. Chamberlain, the professor-turned-soldier who led the Twentieth Maine Regiment to glory at Gettysburg, earned a battlefield promotion to Brigadier General from Ulysses S. Grant at Petersburg, and was wounded six times during the course of the Civil War.

Chosen to accept the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Chamberlain endeared himself to succeeding generations with his unforgettable salutation of Robert E. Lee’s vanquished army.

After the war, he went on to serve four terms as governor of his home state of Maine and later became president of Bowdoin College. He wrote prolifically about the war, including The Passing of the Armies, a classic account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac.

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Extraordinary Putting: Transforming the Whole Game (Perigee Trade; Reprint edition (January 2, 2007))

The co-author of the classic Extraordinary Golf offers an innovative approach to improving the overall game by focusing on putting, which accounts for more than one third of the strokes in a typical round. Not just a tips-and-techniques book, Extraordinary Putting features a series of illustrated exercises that will help golfers:

– Develop the inner freedom to trust themselves and recognize self-imposed barriers
– Find the peace of mind that comes from letting go of mental chatter and self-judgments
Increase awareness, allowing golfers to pay attention to their experiences
– Understand the differences in those experiences from stroke to stroke – Master the art of self-coaching

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EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™

The Key to a Stable and Balanced Life

If we accept that chaos is the “new normal” and that “VUCA” (Volatility–Uncertainty–Complexity–Ambiguity) is a reasonable framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in, then that begs a question: “How can we best operate in this VUCA environment?” I believe that EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ will unfold as an extraordinary solution to a stable and balanced life.

INDIVIDUAL STABILITY

Simply put, I believe INDIVIDUAL STABILITY is the most fundamental and essential requirement in life. Other people can tell you about it, demonstrate it, and even try to teach you with tips, tricks, and short-cuts. But I believe it’s an inside-out process that’s best attained through Self-Development (the first phase of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®).

Extraordinary Golf (Perigee Trade; Reprint edition April 1, 1997)

Most golfers approach the tee with a complex mental package: worries and judgments about their swing, the other person’s swing, the course, the weather, looking good, looking bad. They think about what’s wrong instead of what’s possible, and this is what Extraordinary Golf teaches: the art of the possible.

Drawing on his experience teaching both amateurs and professionals for more than fifteen years, in his clinics around the country, in his Golf in the Kingdom seminars at the Esalen Institute, and at his own School for Extraordinary Golf in California, Shoemaker shows how extraordinary golf can be coached, learned, and practiced, with results not only in people’s scores but in their sheer pleasure in the game.

Combining a host of practical exercises with an entirely new point of view, he demonstrates how to focus not on the voices in your head but on the reality of golf: the club, the ball, your body, the course – the elements that actually make up your game. He shows how to approach shots creatively, instead of mechanically; how to read greens simply by staying awake; how to develop a powerful and consistent swing by rediscovering trust for your instincts; and how to improve yourself in competition by determining what you’re competing for. He also gives simple guidelines on how to coach yourself, your spouse, and your children successfully.

Fred Shoemaker, who began teaching golf in the seventies, is the founder of Extraordinary Golf®, named one of Golf Magazine’s “25 Best Golf Schools” in America. He lectures and conducts workshops around the world for such organizations as the PGA and the LPGA and for major corporations, including Apple Computer, Oracle, and Pfizer.

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VUCA Prime

How to flourish in a VUCA World

If we accept that chaos is the “new normal” and that “VUCA” is a reasonable framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in, then that begs a question: “How can we best operate in this environment?” How can we flourish in a VUCA world? Some suggest that the best response to VUCA is VUCA PRIME (first introduced by Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future). It is a method to counter each of the elements of VUCA with a specific counterpart.

Consider this unique approach.

Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future.” Peter Drucker

VISIONUNDERSTANDINGCLARITYAGILITY

over

Volatility–Uncertainty–Complexity–Ambiguity

VUCA

The chaotic "new normal"

We are constantly reminded just how fast-paced life is… and that the rapidity of life and change will only increase. Additionally, that chaos is the “new normal.” Does a simple framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in exist? Can it help us better cope with, or even thrive in, these conditions. Well, the one that I use is “VUCA”.

VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions in the world… the chaotic “new normal.” Common usage of the term VUCA began in the 1990s in military strategic planning and has been subsequently used in a wide range of situations.