Historian says billionaires should stop talking philanthropy, start talking taxes

Historian and author Rutger Bregman made waves at the World Economic Forum in Davos when he told billionaires in attendance that large marginal tax rates, like those suggested by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), are better for the public good than philanthropy. Bregman joined CBSN to discuss how tax policy could be used to reduce inequality.

Listening to shame | Brené Brown

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.

  • Vulnerability is not weakness.  It is our most accurate measure of courage.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.

Shame is correlated with depression, bullying

Shame for women is doing it all but never let you sweat.

Shame for men is not appearing weak.

Shame is fed by Secrecy, Silence, and Judgement

The antidote to Shame is Empathy

One Eurostep for Manu. One Giant Leap for Mankind.

The Eurostep was exotic when it came to the NBA. Now it’s universal for today’s youth basketball players.

This crafty move was considered exotic when it came to the NBA two decades ago. It looked downright foreign to see a player do what Zhang described: plant one way, take one long step at full speed the other way, avoid contact and sneak around the defender for an easy layup.

.. The slow normalization of the Eurostep is obvious anytime you watch an NBA game. The last two league MVPs, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, are masters of the Eurostep. LeBron James flashing his Eurostep on the fast break turns defenders into foie gras. But the most revealing sign of the Eurostep invasion once appeared on his Instagram from someone who happens to share his name: LeBron James Jr., better known as Bronny, had the basketball world admiring his own beautiful Eurostep. He was in fifth grade.

.. “Every single trainer teaches the Eurostep,” said Josh Burr, the founder of The Skill Factory in Atlanta, where a variety of players from Harden to boys on the Southeast team have trained. “Every one of those kids can do it.”

The players and coaches at the first Jr. NBA World Championship this week say it’s almost a prerequisite for playing these days. Something that didn’t exist not so long ago has stitched itself into the fabric of the game to the point that it’s becoming impossible to envision basketball without it.

“In a year or two, it’ll be as popular as the triple threat,”

.. 2. He picks up his dribble and freezes his defender with a hard step to the left. The idea is that he’ll finish with his dominant left hand.

3. But he doesn’t. After planting his left foot, he quickly changes direction, taking a long step to the right. That creates the space for Ginobili to get around his defender for an open layup.

.. It wasn’t that way when the Lithuanian guard Sarunas Marciulionis helped import the Eurostep to the NBA in 1989. His nifty way of avoiding contact around the basket was partially inspired by the legendary Croatian player Drazen Petrovic, he said, but it didn’t stick right away in part because Marciulionis was an unlikely source of innovation.At his own Hall of Fame induction, Marciulionis called himself a “strange duck.”

NBA players weren’t in the business of copying strange ducks, and the Eurostep could have easily disappeared when he retired in 1997. But it didn’t. And that’s because two years later the San Antonio Spurs drafted a second-tier Italian club’s top prospect named Manu Ginóbili. Marciulionis, a lefty like Ginobili, Harden and Ashlyn Zhang, soon got a call from someone telling him that a player from Argentina was bringing the Eurostep back.
.. the widespread adoption of the Eurostep is such a recent development that young elite players today are being trained by coaches in their 30s and 40s who say they went their entire careers without attempting a single one. But one unexpected benefit of NBA players oversharing on Instagram is that it’s easy for anyone in the world to copy what they’re doing. A boy like Phoenix Johnson can steal Kyrie Irving’s moves, including his Eurostep, by studying him on YouTube and Instagram.

Scaling Agile is not the Path to Business Agility

Back then, when we were in the engine room, we all knew that one of the by-products of misguided Agile software development was an increase in technical debt. That to deliver working software at speed, we traded off reuse and generated some level of fragmentation. This sort of waste was acceptable as we worked to prioritise responsiveness over efficiency.

We knew that we had to stop and clean up on an ongoing basis. The technical term for this technique is called refactoring

.. As we matured, we started differentiating between efficiency and effectiveness. We realised that our focus on velocity was killing agility, that technical discipline is necessary to enable and maintain responsiveness.

..There are attempts to aggregate initiatives into roadmaps, evolve the strategy based on insights, and enable better innovation accounting, but if you go through the literature available, the focus is on the process, not the customer.

Andrew Ng warns us that as we move from the Internet Era to the Artificial Intelligence Era, we will likely need to shift our approach radically. In the internet Era, we focused on AB testing, on short cycle times, and on pushing decision making to engineers and product managers. Sounds familiar? It should, these are all linchpins of Agile.

.. When it comes to codifying and envisioning what enterprise/business agility looks like, the Agile movement is falling short of expectations. In parallel, the digital agencies and consulting firms that are stepping into this white space, lack the independence to pull it off successfully no matter how many articles are published in the Harvard Business Review.

.. The companies that were once known for exceptional product design innovation, fail to recognise until it is too late that they are losing their most loyal customers because they neglect to design the experience ecosystem thoughtfully. I decided to use a hardware example to represent best the fragmented experiences customers endure when interacting with the Enterprise. Yes, I’m looking at you Apple, the dongle company.

.. The enterprise found itself owning a multitude of disconnected platforms, solutions, and products. Quality, security, and privacy suffered as the years of decentralised velocity at the edges generated a bloated, complicated, disconnected, and unmanageable digital ecosystem.

.. there was a well-intentioned and healthy tension between effectiveness and responsiveness. A tension we should not shy away from because, as Jim Highsmith framed it many years ago, adaptive leaders understand they must ride the paradox between these two forces.

.. This time, code refactoring wouldn’t save us, what we needed, spoiler alert, was customer-centred, organisational refactoring at scale. And refactoring did occur, in the form of backlash against fragmentation, waste and the following flavour of “agility”, “Why do I need to write a story and wait for a programmer to add some content on the website?”. Why indeed!

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ERA

.. The darlings of the Gartner Quadrants and Forrester Waves announced that we were now in the Age of Customer Experience

.. they witness velocity killing both agility and their work-life balance.

.. The CIO and the Agile and Lean communities shifted their attention from products to platforms. They refactored architectures to become evolutionary. The epicentre of this mammoth effort was still centred around APIs, technology and operations in service of the business strategy. The focus wasn’t on the customer’s experience.

THE CUSTOMER-CENTRED INTELLIGENCE ERA?

.. The commoditisation of technology and the digitisation of the world helped us to get closer to the customer; in some cases, with analytics and programmatic, we managed to get too close without ever considering their experience and trust. We managed to get close to the customer without being customer-oriented.

Frankly, it was not that astonishing when the news broke of the 87 million Facebook users affected by Cambridge analytica’s election meddling. Or was it election advertising? For some of us, it was an expected and inevitable outcome.

.. Perhaps, the current crisis in customer trust will finally propel us into a true experience age — Intelligent, personal, relentlessly relevant, connected, dynamic, and consensual experiences. What Prophet describes as living and breathing brand systems with the ability to learn and evolve at scale. The goal has always been to continuously respond to customer needs, right?

.. In Agile management, there is no such thing as an “internal customer.” The only purpose of work is the ultimate customer or end-user. Under the Law of the Customer, the original producers not only meet the needs the internal customers: they are given a clear line of sight as to what value is being provided for the ultimate customer. Satisfying so-called internal customers is merely feeding the bureaucratic beast. It is a pretend-version of Agile.

Act 15. How Do We Get There?

  1. Ask the right (human-centred) questions.
  2. Design Led. Agile Enabled.
  3. Transformational, Visionary Leadership.When companies get where they’re sort of living by so-called making the numbers, they do a lot of things that are really counter to the long-term interest of the business.
    -Warren Buffet

.. Business Agility is the ability to achieve sustained business growth by responding to customer needs. If you are not focused on gaining a deep understanding of your customer and on delivering exceptional experiences, you can’t be responsive, neither can you assure their privacy, security and safety. If you have all that but lack operating model agility you are not a responsive business.

.. Technology must no longer serve the business; the business must no longer serve the business. If we are shifting the focus of the Enterprise from looking inwards to the needs of their customers and hopefully also to the benefit of their ecosystem and society — if we accept that this is the formula for long-lasting Business growth and sustainability — then it’s time to look beyond Agile.