Who says change needs to be hard? Organizational change expert Jim Hemerling thinks adapting your business in today's constantly-evolving world can be invigorating instead of exhausting. He outlines five imperatives, centered around putting people first, for turning company reorganization into an empowering, energizing task for all.
Stories are necessary, but they're not as magical as they seem, says writer Sisonke Msimang. In this funny and thoughtful talk, Msimang questions our emphasis on storytelling and spotlights the decline of facts. During a critical time when listening has been confused for action, Msimang asks us to switch off our phones, step away from our screens and step out into the real world to create a plan for justice.
Does a set of data make you feel more comfortable? More successful? Then your interpretation of it is likely wrong. In a surprisingly moving talk, Susan Etlinger explains why, as we receive more and more data, we need to deepen our critical thinking skills. Because it's hard to move beyond counting things to really understanding them.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Arthur C. Clarke, 1973
Tech is neither benign nor evil but the one who wields it makes it so. Our tools through time, from stone axes to AI, have always simultaneously been a boon, and a weapon. If we don’t know its forms and functions we will be at the mercy of those who do. Time to get to wizarding school.
The technological world is growing faster than ever, bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution even closer to being our reality. The First Industrial Revolution brought us mechanisation, the Second brought mass production and the Third introduced computers and automation. But what about the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What does it entail and what does it mean for us?
We need stories. To communicate, to understand, to relate to each other, to explain. People have, throughout time and history, incorporated storytelling (and storymaking) into their lives, because it's how we make sense of the dynamic, often complex, situations we find ourselves in. Neil Gaiman, a master story teller, outlines the importance of a good story, and the ability stories have to shape culture and behaviour
The Significant Objects experiment is a tangible demonstration of the power of storytelling in sales and marketing. Journalist Rob Walker purchased low value objects, for on average $1.25 and had great creative writers invent stories about them. He then posted the articles on e-Bay to see if the invented story enhanced the value of the object based on what price it achieves on auction.
Last year, Buzzfeed started a project to formally categorize their content. They called it "cultural cartography." It formalized an informal practice that they've had for a really long time: don't just think about the subject matter; think also about, and in fact, primarily about, the job that your content is doing for the reader or the viewer.
Thick data grounds our business questions in human questions, and that's why integrating big and thick data forms a more complete picture. Big data is able to offer insights at scale and leverage the best of machine intelligence, whereas thick data can help us rescue the context loss that comes from making big data usable, and leverage the best of human intelligence. And when you actually integrate the two, that's when things get really fun, because then you're no longer just working with data you've already collected. You get to also work with data that hasn't been collected. You get to ask questions about why: Why is this happening?