20th Edition — June 23, 2019
“He began to doubt two millennia of accepted wisdom.” From the book Range by David Epstein as he is explaining Kepler’s theories on unchanging heavens.
1. A New Term
When I come across a new word, I either write it down or capture it and the definition in Evernote. I then try to use the word 3-5 times over the following days hoping the word will stick in my ever-so-small vocabulary.
CFO Bookshelf believes reading widely is a requisite for professional growth. CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, and all the other c-suite leaders–only reading business books is not enough. Consider the following line from my favorite chapter in Range by David Epstein –
“Deep analogical thinking is the practice of recognizing conceptual similarities in multiple domains or scenarios that may seem to have little in common on the surface.”
Analogical thinking is now my new term for reading or even thinking widely. The examples Epstein provides in chapter 5 are fascinating including Duncker’s Radiation Problem which was more likely to be solved through analogical thinking.
2. Three Takeaways from Thinking in Bets
When I finish reading a book I like, I’m a bit frustrated because the next read will never live up to the last one. When I finished Molly’s Game in January, I needed a rebound book. One of those titles was Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. It’s a book I slowly chewed on a couple of chapters at a time while reading other books concurrently. Three important takeaways follow –
+ The better Annie got at poker, the more she realized she didn’t know about the game
+ It’s okay to be unsure about a decision and not know – acknowledge uncertainty
+ Be careful on playing outside the bankroll
She could easily be a CEO executive coach.
3. A Business Plan Haiku
I learned a second new word this week–haiku. I was doing a super-quick skim of All Too Human: A Political Education by George Stephanopoulos when I came across this familiar phrase –
The economy, stupid
Don’t forget healthcare
I don’t even remember that last line, but I wasn’t following politics in the 1990s either. That’s a haiku which is a Japanese poem of 3 to 5 lines with less than 20 syllables.
What if we could whittle down each year’s annual business plan to just 2 or 3 lines. Think we’d be more focused? Not mentioned in the book, the mastermind behind those words included a third line at the beginning. My third line would have been the last line–Stay out of trouble. Right?
4. A $5,000 Chair?
While being distracted in the plans of building a new house later this year and moving into a new office this summer, I’ve had my eye on a reading chair and ottoman from Eames. Wouldn’t $1,000 be a fair guess? Think again. The price is more like $5,295. Too bad if you’re tall which adds another $200. The search continues.
5. Homework Assignment
Do you run a department, a division, or a company? Or perhaps you run projects or are in charge of several key processes at work.
To prime the pump, skim the article Finding the Zen of Business Through Haiku.
Now it’s your turn. Can you create a 2- or 3-line haiku for your company, department, or process that you oversee? Several already come to mind for the companies I serve. Have fun on this one.
Thank You Very Much
Thank you for reading. If you like the content above and the posts at CFO Bookshelf, may I ask a favor? Feel free to share this with other readers along with commenting on your favorite blog posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.