The M-Shaped Strategy Weekly for 21 November 2015
It's snowing, a lot, here in the Detroit area as we compose this. Winter has arrived with all of its reality after several very mild, Fall-like weeks. Yet, the amount of snow that has and is falling provides that beautiful image of Winter, a landscape thickly covered in white.
Here's what we paid some attention to this week.
The power of cooking and eating with colleagues Both on our blog here and on Medium here, we wrote about old stories and new research affirming that providing a place for employees to cook and eat together might be an investment with a surprisingly high payback.
Why Uber is not "disruptive" More than the now often discussed question of whether Uber is disruptive or not, this article by Clayton Christensen in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review reminds us of the key strategic places where disruptive innovations take hold, and where legacy businesses fail. Good for a review.
Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. This brief article on Quartz reminds us that productivity is not a goal but is a tool for achieving our goals. Deliberateness in our activities, however, may be a more effective tool.
Bill Simmons has a chat with Obama No matter what your politics, the delight of a Bill Simmons/Barack Obama conversation has all kinds of delights. “It’s really aggravating not having you on Grantland. I go to the site and there’s no Simmons. Come on, man, it’s not the same.” Read it here at GQ.
Automotive electrification is the future Pamela Fletcher leads the electrification program and General Motors. In this interview in Industry Week, she says that, "our strategy is to provide very compelling vehicles. The idea that an electric car is anything less than a great car is something we wouldn’t even consider."
“This isn’t good. It’s like hitting a golf ball 500 yards.” Directional fabric in the new brooms has ignited debate, and attention, in the sport of curling across the river in Canada. This article in the New York Times looks at the sport, the technology, and the controversy.
More than 65% of the residential lots in Detroit have been single family homes. As this article observes, Detroit is "a place which once built housing faster than any other major American city -- and now demolishes housing faster than any other."
Lafayette Park is more than a design fetishist's paradise Curbed also looks at Detroit in an article asking if the modernist past of the city holds a key to its future.
Avenues of pleasure and satisfaction go unexplored A look at the concept of giving the customer what they want, and what's lost as a result. So you know, there are three guiding principles for changing consumer taste.
The more open the spaces have become, the greater the perceived separation between the container and the contained. A good examination of what's lost when architects turn over the design of the office to the furniture industry. "As a result, the imperative for design innovation is now placed on mobile elements rather than on the space they occupy."
What drives people to possess so much more than they need? "Even if we ultimately choose to discourage the production and purchase of such goods—and maybe we should—we should acknowledge what would be lost." A good examination here.
Anxiety around the nearing future of AI "True artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons." Here. The emerging reality of AI and the implications for the future seems to be everywhere these days, for example, here on The Guardian.
Crispr and embryo-editing An excellent article in the New York Times innovation issue. ‘‘Someone at the table said, ‘There may come a time when, ethically, we can’t not do this.’ ’’
Aesthetics plays an intrinsic role in the functioning of modern regimes There is this concern, that the making of a "world class city" implies beautification, which implies social and economic inequality.
And don't miss our tweets with more good stuff over here.