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McGee's Musings



"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker



Last Build Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:31:23 +0000

 



Roots of Project Management

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 19:03:12 +0000

I just wrapped up teaching an MBA level course in project management at Loyola University. I started doing project management in the 1970s and it has been an essential, albeit secondary, element of my skill set. During the course, I found it useful to look back to some of the origins of the field. Project … Continue reading Roots of Project Management

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Entropy and knowledge management

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 20:01:57 +0000

What does the second law of thermodynamics tell us about knowledge management? There’s some pretty complex mathematics around the laws of thermodynamics, but the poet’s version will do for our purposes: You can’t win You’re going to lose You can’t get out of the game Life is a constant battle against entropy or disorder. Cars … Continue reading Entropy and knowledge management

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Carve out time and space for deep thinking

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:18:16 +0000

  Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport If your value to an organization depends on the quality and insight of your thinking, Cal Newport’s latest book, Deep Work, offers important insights about how to think about your thinking. The forces at work in our environment and in our organizations favor quick, … Continue reading Carve out time and space for deep thinking

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What’s in a name? Unexpected demands on 21st century knowledge workers

Fri, 25 Mar 2016 19:47:19 +0000

I have over 49,000 files in the documents directory and its subdirectories on my computer. They span nearly thirty years of output writing, teaching, speaking, and consulting. These represent the knowledge assets that support my livelihood. I am willing to claim that this is likely to be typical of today’s knowledge workers. That means there … Continue reading What’s in a name? Unexpected demands on 21st century knowledge workers

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Paths to more effective knowledge work

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 16:48:58 +0000

There is no curriculum on how to be an effective knowledge worker although we live in a world dominated by knowledge work. We identify ourselves as knowledge workers. But what comes after that? Peter Drucker observed that the defining characteristic of knowledge work and knowledge workers is that the first question is “what is the … Continue reading Paths to more effective knowledge work

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Practice and Performance

Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:51:22 +0000

How do you strike an effective balance between practice and performance? In many realms we draw a distinction between performing and preparing to perform. Actors and musicians rehearse. Athletes practice. Soldiers train before they fight. In other, equally demanding, realms the boundary is fuzzy; at times non-existent. Where does a sales rep or project manager … Continue reading Practice and Performance

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DIY Learning Advice from Jay Cross

Tue, 08 Sep 2015 15:47:03 +0000

  Jay Cross is at it once again. He’s launched the Real Learning Project, an exploration of DIY learning in today’s organizational environment. Here’s his description of the effort: The Real Learning Project helps people who are taking their professional development into their own hands and shows them how to learn to learn. My new book, Real … Continue reading DIY Learning Advice from Jay Cross

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Insights Into Innovation: Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One”

Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:19:02 +0000

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Peter Thiel, Blake Masters Peter Thiel’s Zero to One claims to be about startups, but that is too narrow a view of its value. Thiel explores the challenges of creating the risky new in an environment that prefers safe repetition. Startups are the … Continue reading Insights Into Innovation: Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One”

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Two spaces or one; change and persistence

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:39:12 +0000

I learned to type before I learned to drive; now nearly 50 years ago. I was taught that you put two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence. Eventually, I left typewriters behind and began to write with text editors and word processors. I learned a little bit about proportional fonts and … Continue reading Two spaces or one; change and persistence

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The importance of forgetting to creativity and innovation

Mon, 16 Feb 2015 14:57:39 +0000

Science fiction author Spider Robinson won the 1983 Hugo Award for Best Short Story with Melancholy Elephants. It’s a prescient take on an essential tension between creativity and commerce. Still worth reading. More worth contemplating. Robinson explores where the boundaries of creativity might lie and what those boundaries might imply. There are tradeoffs to be … Continue reading The importance of forgetting to creativity and innovation

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