When I was really little, like maybe 10 years old, I remember making the conscious choice to start using new words before I was quite sure what they meant. I would encounter a word in a book somewhere and, knowing it might just immediately evaporate from my memory, as most information does, I would drop … Continue reading Sharing & Learning & Interfaces, Such as Maps
Bureaucracy, as described by the sociologist Max Weber, is rational. Bureaucracy is how we logically create standardized and efficient systems of exchange, of competition, of distribution of labor at scale. It is rational in an abstract sense, when you abstract it away from the human, when you average people out and line them up and … Continue reading Bureaucracy: Machines & Pilots
I'm not a fan of every military tradition, but I do like challenge coins. They're these weird, heavy little tokens which can be imbued with substantial memory and meaning. But it isn't the item that holds the meaning, is it? Perhaps it would best be described as an augmentative interface that equips us to better … Continue reading Reflecting on Challenge Coins
Do not attempt to tackle complex, wicked problems without amply anticipating and preparing for the very real possibility of failure: On every attempt and at every stage. I'm talking about actual failure- not safe, fun, exciting failure or even safe failure, because it might not ever be emotionally 100% safe. I'm talking about the real stuff. The painful, uncomfortable, embarrassing type of failure. The kind you look in the eye and learn from... that looks back and tells you things you didn't know or care to admit...
All of the conversation, anxiety, and support around Simone Biles saying "no" to playing a game this week has me thinking about our societal relationship to sports again. It's something I think about a lot because of my experience with the price of playing games. When I was young, I repeatedly injured my knees and my ankles playing … Continue reading Thoughts on Sports
I like a lot of the points the author made in this NYT opinion piece about the dubious purpose and primary trends in the debate over Critical Race Theory. I, for one, have been quite guilty of being what she refers to as "anti-anti-CRT", because of how often I've seen tribally-aligned opponents use what I … Continue reading On the Debate Around Critical Race Theory
This is an excerpt (Part 3) of an essay in progress to describe developing perspectives and practices for mapping organizational ecosystems. I recently facilitated a workshop with Agitare, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, and the Federal Innovation Network to explore how we view, create, and use maps of our massive, interconnected community, and how co-created and inter-subjective approaches … Continue reading Mapping Organizational Ecosystems: Artifacts & Rituals; Tribes & Institutions
This is your occasional reminder to use more emojis and reactions in your digital spaces. Mash that 'like' button. Give things a thumbs up or a "thinking face" if you're feeling grumpy. Like that tweet, even if you only kinda like it. You might be wondering why you should use emojis and reactions. Here is … Continue reading Please Use More Emojis/Reactions in Digital Spaces
People really like to share that quote from Maya Angelou that goes "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time". I am an enormous fan of the poet Maya Angelou, but this quote has always bothered me, mostly because of how incompatible it appears to be with a growth mindset, and … Continue reading When people show you who they are… don’t believe them?
I was pleased to hear from my friend Austin that he felt inspired (or perhaps compelled is the right word) by a story I told recently, “Miles to Go Before We Sleep”, to write on the subject of diversity and inclusion in the Air Force and defense innovation community. His piece, “Path Before I Rest”, … Continue reading A Few Steps Further