Updated analogy of Happy, Healthy & Wise for today’s kids-

March 22nd, 2010

I remember answering the question when my daughter was born the question what do you want for your child  with the standard  ”I want her to be  Happy, Healthy & wise”.  It’s funny how that has changed over the years for me as my daughter has grown and I was just asked a similar question by her school – What do want for your child when she finishes going to her first school ? (Mulberry only goes to 5th grade)  Interesting question and one that got me really thinking about what do I want for her ? Sure happy, healthy and wise but she will define that for herself – Ability to read, write and do Math (maths for my overseas friends) – again that will not really help her beyond fitting into some mold someone set years ago to “fit in” the system . As you might guess I do not really have any interest in having  her fit into some “Standard” written by the state of California. So what would I like her to have when she “graduates” fifth grade ?

Here is what I came up with -

  1. Growth Mindset – I would love for her to understand that her abilities are not fixed traits as defined by Carol Dweck in her work at – http://mindsetonline.com/
  2. Drive – Find her inner motivations and follow them – Dan Pink’s book says it all – Drive – See him on TED – carrots and sticks are dead
  3. Be a Linchpin – as defined by Seth Godin in his new book - Linchpin – Are you indispensable ?

Not sure if the analogy works – Grow, Drive and Linch :) will have to work on that one . As parents if we  give a framework around Growing, internal motivations and doing for her she will define what  Happy, Healthy and wise means to her. That is what I would like for her when she “graduates”.

Do you need an Oil change every 3000 Miles ?

March 10th, 2010

For the last ten years or so, it seems the normal for people in the US is to have their cars oil changed every 3000 miles. I imagine this was a nice revenue stream for the auto companies when it came out of the customers pocket and not companies pocket. I spoke with a few friend who recently purchased cars that had service included for the first 50K or so miles and guess what – The car companies no longer recommend having 3000 mile oil changes – instead 5 to 8 thousand mile oil changed are only allowed. Will this issue make it to the surface of the media or die off ? Who was really responsible for the 3K mile oil change recommendation ? Is the 3K recommendation a myth or a sales revenue marketing program ?

Auto companies could use this new normal for oil changes as a marketing program for going green. I can see the headline – GM saves 10 million barrels of oil each year by building better cars. Seems like an opportunity to bust a myth and make some impact. Guess what it would cost the company – almost nothing.

Seems like they could do something remarkable and use most of Seth Godin’s books as inspiration -

  • Book -Free Prize Inside – Your car is helping you go green – less oil needed
  • Book – Purple Cow – A remarkable story about how X Auto company is going green
  • Book – Tribes – X Auto company is leading us into the future
  • Book – All marketers are liars – The story of really going green

Or will they be Predictably Irrational as Dan Arliey  points out and try to fight customers on it was never the auto companies that made that recommendation  -

More fun

Do we use what we teach students ?

March 9th, 2010

That funny thing happens when your kids come home from school with homework and you have no idea what the requirements are for the homework.  How you are going to help them since you have not learned something or do not understand the directions .  Having heard this happens later in school it was surprising to have this in 3rd grade . I guess this must be what it feels like when your a parent that does not speak the language the school is teaching with.

How many of you know what these mean -

I found it fascinating that I had no idea what they meant – Paige told me they were long vowel sounds, however, I could not find them on the web. How do you search for this ? What do the lines mean ?  How do you search for something that you cannot type into the computer. (This came from a Pearson handout – how old – do not know) Do you remember what they are called ?  It took a while and a call to a friend who is an english teacher – which we then all looked up the meaning in Wikipedia -

diacritic (pronounced /da???kr?t?k/) (also diacritical markdiacritical point,diacritical sign) is an ancillary glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek ??????????? (diakritikós, “distinguishing”). Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute (?´?) and grave (?`?) but not the cedilla (?¸?), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.

However , no place in Wikipedia or online could I find these two letters given together and a definition to how to interpret these symbols – It began to feel like an adventure – we gave the homework a go and I not sure we understood what we had to do correctly but it was fun to learn something again with my daughter where I could not think – I remember that – its easy you just …….

I will remember this for a long time because learning anything is not easy the first time – once you learn something its easy to remember what it means but not what it took to learn it.

The evening got even more fun when we reviewed sentence grammar using an iPod touch application.  Do you remember pronouns ? Adjectives ? Verbs, etc – Paige loved the fact that she was beating us at the game. Trish said something I really brought this home – I never need to use this as an adult.  Hmm – why are we teaching this to our students – if we never use it as an adult ? That kept me thinking for a while. My thought is we use grammar all the time without remembering its meaning – more of like an autopilot. I guess we do use what kids are being taught we just do not remember why or what is was called.

(PS I created the graphic in Keynote on my Mac – Its funny I no longer have an image editing tool since I found most things I do are screen only based not print based)

Harvard Bus. Review – Top CEO’s

January 6th, 2010

After reading the HBR Top 50 CEO’s I was struck by how few of the CEO’s have MBA’s – less then 30% from my quick count.  Interesting thought when you think about how many job postings today are requesting an MBA to get a middle level position.  Will be interesting to track over the next 10 years to see if the number of CEO’s with MBA’s rise as the number of MBA’s in their fields rise -


Computers everywhere & nobody cares

January 4th, 2010

Interesting information I received today from a friend on an article on CPU penetration per 1000 people across the globe on the economist.com - Love to see this against a mobile phone penetration chart for comparisons – Does it mean growth will come from the other markets or will North America stay on top as the masses move to multiple machines before the rest of the world even gets the first one - reminds me of a Hugh MacLeod  cartoon – and presents more questions then answers

Nobody Cares

Article is here – http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15062710

The question to me to ask is how are the people gaining access to information and are they publishing back on devices that are shared or mobile – Do you have to have a computer to gain access ? Do non-NA sites have more central shared computers that are used ? With netbooks starting at 199 not sure this even matters or is it a price issue – some many questions so little information presented and why people would look at this and try to make forecasts or decisions is very interesting to think about


January 2nd, 2010

Time to update the website for 2010 its been 2 years .