The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Standard

Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (2012)
By Sean covey, Chris McChesney and Jim Huling

Strategy without an effective method of execution is worthless. Identify your firm’s goals by detecting which changes would exert the greatest impact. The “4 Disciplines of Execution” (4DX) is a strategic process for achieving wildly important goals.

Discipline 1 : Teaches you to set a target.
Define a measurable, specific time frame based on getting from one place to another by a set deadline.

Discipline 2 : Identifies activities that provide the greatest leverage for achieving the WIG.

Discipline 3 : Visible scoreboards that show how team members are performing.

Discipline 4 : Instills accountability through weekly meetings called “WIG” sessions. WIG – Wildly Important Goals

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Standard

Updated version 2020
By Stephen R.Covey, Sean Covey and Jim Collins

You are what you habitually do, so adopt productive habits. You have the ability to improve your habits and your life. Focus on developing character, not personality.

Habit 1: “Be Proactive”
You are free because you can determine how you respond to circumstances. They don’t impose limits on themselves that prevent them from acting.

Habit 2 : “Begin with the end in mind”
Write a personal mission statement to clarify your principles and set your goals.

Habit 3 : “Put First Things First”
Balance the attention you give to each of your roles, responsibilities and relationships. Don’t think about cramming a lot of business into your schedule but rather about making sure that you spend the necessary time on important things.

Habit 4 : “Think Win/Win”
Multiple your allies.

Habit 5 : “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”
Communication and trust are two-way streets.

Habit 6 : “Synergize”
The cooperative whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Habit 7 : ” Sharpen the Saw”
Take the time to sharpen your tools : your body, soul, mind and heart. In everything you do, try to make others better off and put them first.

7 Amazing Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Used in Healthcare

Standard

by Alex Gray (World Economics Forum) – 2018 article

Medicine has always been a human profession and practice – until now. Artificial intelligence is surpassing human ability in many applications of medicine.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has brought 7 remarkable changes to healthcare :

  1. Skin Cancer Detection – AI diagnoses skin cancer better than doctors. In a 2018 study, doctors were 87% correct, but machines were 95% correct.

  2. Preserving eye health – AI can be used to catch 2 prevalent eye diseases early – diabetic retinopathy and age-related mascular degeneration. Early detection helps prevent sight loss.

  3. Accelerating drug development – AI is able to predict better how a drug will affect someone. Faster drug development would make new treatments available sooner.

  4. Predicting end of a coma -AI trained on brain scans can detect slightly altered blood flow and other brain activity than human eye can’t see. Technology is almost 90% accurate – more accurate than doctors – at predicting if a comatose patient will wake.

  5. Analyzing CT scans – AI can diagnose diseases faster than a radiologist and machines are exempt from the “eye fatigue” that can lead to a diagnosis.

  6. Spotting and alleviating depression – It can detect depression by assessing how people use their smartphones.

  7. Equipping doctors with robotic assistants – The robot can instantly retrieve comprehensive and current information that doctors need.

Fit for Growth

Standard

A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring and Renewal (2017) by Vinay Coute, John Plansky and Deniz Caglar

Successful organizations strive to stay fit at all times, not just in a crisis. In a fit organization, the business strategy act as a “lighthouse” – a defined bacon that guides everyone in the company and those outside of it. The CEO is crucial to a Fit for Growth initiative and must take the lead.

Fit for Growth isn’t just about cutting costs; investing for growth also matters. Outsourcing a function doesn’t mean walking away from it, you still have to manage it. Focus your process improvement initiative on rooting out inefficiencies.

In this book, two big-box retailers offer divergent examples of how to prepare (or fail to prepare) for growth. The what-not-to-do case study comes from Circuit City , which failed to adapt to changing competition and disappeared. After a long decline, the owner had to liquidate the chain. In contrast, Ikea has stayed relentlessly focused and is thriving.

Improving all your processes a little bit will yield less value than improving your most important processes a lot.

After 2000, Circuit City responded to competition from Best Buy with ill-considered moves. In 2001, Circuit City stopped selling appliances so abruptly that it failed to tell its suppliers. And in 2003, it laid off its well-paid, experienced salespeople and replaced them with rookie, hourly employees. These missteps set up the company for a fall. Then the Great Recession struck, Circuit City had to close for good.

Ikea, on the other hand, weathered the Great Recession and thrived. They remain focused on its goals of selling attractive furnishings at rock-bottom prices. Ikea’s customers are loyal, and its workers devote themselves to the mission of slashing costs. Ikea’s unique culture sees wasteful spending as a “mortal sin.” Since shipping packages with empty space is wasteful, Ikea has pursued innovation in packaging to avoid “transporting air”. Its focus on efficiency even in good times underscores a stark contrast with Circuit City.

The failed retailer saw improvement as a panic move it pursued only in response to added competition. At Ikea, improvement is a continual process of meeting internal goals, not of responding to outside pressures.

What is clear and what ultimately motivates leaders to take the first steps on a Fit for Growth journey is the discomfort of staying where they are. To guide your mission, follow 10 principles :

  1. The CEO must make a direct pitch.
  2. Get top managers on board.
  3. Grant amnesty for the past
  4. Look for easy victories (especially at the start) to create confidence and momentum
  5. Cut executive perks
  6. Dig deep
  7. Invest,too.
  8. Establish a “parallel organization”
  9. Communicate
  10. Don’t relax after you reach your goal.

Food,Inc

Standard

How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer- And what You Can Do About it (2009)
By Karl Weber

Food companies often put profit above consumer health, farm workers’ well being or the environment.

Activist groups are now emerging, which champion traditional methods of farming, among other platforms. Many demonstrate their opposition to irresponsible corporations and factory farms by making conscientious food choices.

Many meat and diary products that Americans consume come from factory farms, mammoth facilities confining thousands of animals in dreadful condition.

Scientists are developing genetically modified (GM) miracle foods. For example, golden rice is a GM variety that includes beta-carotene, which makes corn yellow and carrots orange. Beta-carotene is a rich source of vitamin A, a key nutrient that helps prevent blindness. Golden rice could become a vital staple for the poor people in Africa and Asia. However, biotech companies hold numerous patents vital to its production. Such companies were at first unwilling to distribute seeds for golden rice to poor African and Asian farmers at no charge, even though governments and foundations help fund its development. When pilloried by negative press and publicity, the companies later changed their policies, but by then anti-GM advocates had warned the public about the grain’s possible negative side effects.

Anti-GM activists caution against genetically altered foods, which they term “frankenfoods”. They note that the majority of processed foods at the supermarket now contain traces of GM ingredients. What if these ingredients are not safe?

Globalization has left people behind. This is what we should do about it.

Standard

By Diane Coyle, World Economics Forum 2017

From 1980s, globalization and automation have led to the disappearance of traditional jobs and left many small-town communities economically devasted. The growing economic disparities that globalization caused has led to the rise of populism in Western societies and United Kingdom’s Brexit vote.

Politicians’ failure to address the growing resentments among those who are unable to benefit from globalization will threaten social order.

Diane suggest to give more power to local governments, along with making improvements in education and infrastructure to allow those left behind to start benefit from new opportunities of a technologically driven and highly advanced economy. Students need to learn coding and acquire skills computers haven’t yet mastered such as creativity and problem solving.

Increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals will help raise public funds needed to bring those left behind into the new economy.

Personally, I think her idea of increasing taxes sounds good on paper, but it may not be feasible. If the rich are unwilling to pay the taxes, they will have professionals who will help them to “reduce” their taxes legally. It may be better to encourage donations or let organizations be seen as doing a social responsible (part of branding) for their company via big amount of donations to help those who are left behind.

In Uncertain times, Think like a Mother

Standard

Yifat Susskind (Ted, 2019)

Women’s rights activist Yifat Susskind explains that how thinking like a mother enables her to work in refugee camps or on the front lines of a war-torn country while maintaining a positive outlook for tomorrow. Mothers around the world want a better life not only for her children but for all children.

Mothers will do anything to secure the health and safety of their children. Extending this thinking beyond your family circle is a powerful, love-based way to address the world’s most serious problems and foster positive change.

You do not need to be female or have children to think like a mother. She gives the example of Majid, an Iraqi housepainter who provides an example of employing this lens of thinking. He supports women’s rights and helped build an escape network when ISIS invaders threatened to assassinate equal rights activists and members of the LBGTIQ community. He put his life on the line to create a better future. LIke a mother, he willing to risk everything to benefit the children of today and tomorrow.