We Read It So You Don’t Have To: Jugaad Innovation

hwms.coverart We Read It So You Don’t Have To. We regularly look at new books on technology or organization. Today, we look at an Indian book on Jugaad Innovation and ask “How is it really different from an American book?” Jameela, our Bangalore Office Manager, as always, has ideas. Lots of ideas. [17122] Cast:

Jameela from Bangalore: Sonam Powar

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The Agile Board

hwms.coverart Agility begins at home. Or more to the point, it begins with the board. Too often, companies are organized conventionally and then the CEO tries to make the Agile by applying various tricks and procedures. As Vinny argues in today’s episode, you really need to start at the top, think of the company as a whole, and start by understanding the claims and obligations of all parties. It is a little crazy, we do admit, to build a company for an 8-year-old Entrepreneur. But it is not crazy to ask how your CEO will grow into the leadership demands of the organization. [17135] Cast:

Evelyn-the-Business-Manager: Margaux Amie

Sully-from-Poliy & PR: Josh LaForce

Vinny-the-CTO: Geoffrey Grier

Penelope-the-Principal: Debbon Ayer

Maddie-the-8-year-old-Entrepreneur: Zoe Anastassiou

Delores Payne-Perkins: Margaux Amie

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We Read It So You Don’t Have To: Hidden Figures

hwms.coverart Do you see the talent that you have in your organization.  The movie Hidden Figures brings some welcome attention to the forgotten  human computers who did the calculations for the manned space program.  However, as much as we might like to think that the story of Katherine Goble Johnson and NASA’s West Area Computers was an isolated anomaly, we quickly discover that it is not.  All organizations have hidden, unappreciated workers, as the book When Computers Were Human shows. [17115]  Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

It’s called “Brexit” but It’s not About Brexit (Series I)

hwms.coverart There was a reason for this title.  We talked about it in the writers room. But that reason is gone.  It was just another step towards Audio Drama. You want to be innovative do something new and think that you can just change directions on a dime. But that’s the problem. Novelty is not innovation. Without a structure to support it, a new idea won’t advance your goals. So we turn the cast loose to wrestle with this problem. Some success. Some problems. A couple of hosts disagreeing about a new idea. A little CEO who may be realizing that contract is not enough. [16430]Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

We Read It So You Don’t Have To: The Fissured Workplace

hwms.coverart Not up on the current literature of technology and organization? Don’t worry. We read it so you don’t have to. This week, we look at David Weil’s Fissured Workplace, a book about what is happening to the workplace in the age of Uber, Taskrabbit and Mechanical Turk. [16425]Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Disrupting the Schumpethon

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Skill or Habit? What belongs to the first category and what belongs to the second? And how can technology better promote skill? That is the primary question of this week’s podcast and we take a long time to answer it. Our trip takes us through the writings of Adam Smith, an app that can calculate net wealth from a business card and an eight year old disruptive innovator who will never move to Brooklyn “because everyone knows that the best startups aren’t in Brooklyn.”

Cast:  

  • Maddie Insullie – Zoe Anastassiou
  • Vinny LeGoff- Geoffrey Grier
  • Penelope Othmar – Debbon Ayer

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UnknownThe Schumpethon is business pitch contest of the Lillian Moller Gilbreth School for Disruptive Innovation, the fictional school that is next to our fictional office in Silicon Valley. It is, of course, named for Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1960) the Austrian economist who studied business cycles and argued that recessions helped move capital from less efficient industries to more efficient industries. This episode introduces Maddie, one of the competitors in this year’s contest. This is not her first Schumpethon but as she is only eight, she will have many more opportunities to disrupt.

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Getting the Right People

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What kinds of qualities do you want on your team? We start discussing skills and the qualities of our personnel with guest George Dyson while our intern and our IT guy go in search of John Von Neumann’s early computer. Dyson identifies some useful lessons from Julian Bigelow, who served as the engineer on von Neumann’s computer.
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This episode deals with personnel lessons learned from an important early computer, the one built by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study.  Unlike some of its antecedents, this machine followed a basic pattern that has been replicated in modern processors.  That pattern is called the “von Neumann architecture.”

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The von Neumann architecture was first described,  in an incomplete way, in a paper called “The Draft Report on the EDVAC.”  Most scholars accept that this paper was conceived and organized by von Neumann, though it was probably drafted by von Neumann’s assistant and contains contributions, perhaps substantial contributions, from others. Beyond dispute is the claim, as Anna notes, that it was written in Courier Font.

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Anna appeals to Elon Musk

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Once you have a character, it is impossible to control him or her.  In the winter of 2016, Anna-the-Intern made a pitch to the (even then) notorious Elon Musk.  She thought that he might like to be the next host of the podcast as the then current hosts were not pulling their weight.  

She waited.  No call.  No email.  No tweet.  No nothing.  

But it was a good performance with we felt worthy to preserve in our archive.  

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