The How, and Why, of Learning Crypto

“Bitcoin will do to banks what email did to the postal industry”

– Rick Falkvinge, Founder of the Swedish pirate party

Regardless of your view of cryptocurrency, if you want to understand blockchain you have to understand crypto. And to understand crypto, you have to own some. The good news – you can learn all you need for no more than $40.

You need to buy Crypto so that you can understand the fun part about it, and the pain of using it. You will understand the costs and the benefits. And you will see why you don’t want to use Bitcoin to buy your cup of coffee quite yet!

Here is a simple approach to getting started:

Keep it simple.

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The How, and Why, of Learning Crypto

Blockchain for Anarchists

“I think the fact that within the bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government] … is actually pretty cool. I am a big fan of Bitcoin”

– Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States

Imagine a society, 40 years in the future, where blockchain has met its promises. We have a networked, cloud computer. People can maintain title to their homes, prove taxes are paid, and send transactions peer to peer. There is no bank involved in payments. Money moves around the globe effortlessly.

Now take it one step further. People are able to form communities based on interests, or based on culture. It does not matter where they live. People earn money but that money can be hidden from central government. Central governments collapse, or at least drastically shrink. Government functions are picked up by local groups and coordinated with decentralized organizations. Governments have left and with them, the burden and aggressiveness they have brought.

This, is an anarchist’s dream.

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Blockchain for Anarchists

Blockchain 101 Resources for Managers

Our previous post provided a high-level overview of blockchain. To learn more, spend some time reading some of our favorite resources below. We have tried to draw on ‘mainstream’ sources as these tend to be more balanced.

Speaking of balanced, know that balanced might be good, and might not be good. There seems to be 2 types of blockchain people. The first type is corporate and conservative and embraces the presence of companies like IBM and Deloitte. The other camp are the anarchists, and its members seem to see blockchain as the thing that rids us of these corporate monstrosities.

The view of the blockchain will change based on which camp you believe in. I am in no position to judge and welcome the ideas from both sides. I will present some great resources from the anarchists in a subsequent post.

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Blockchain 101 Resources for Managers

Blockchain Overview – My Words

Never use the word ‘every.’ With very few exceptions. One exception follows….

Every business executive should understand blockchain. It won’t impact every business today. But each executive should make a conscious decision as to whether blockchain technology presents an opportunity or a threat.

Ignoring blockchain technology would be as unwise as ignoring the internet in 1993.

What is blockchain technology? There are endless articles on this as well as videos, animations, and white papers. My view is that too many of these resources complicate the issue. Let’s give up some technical accuracy and explore a simple approach to understanding it. To understand blockchain you have to start with bitcoin.

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Blockchain Overview – My Words

Let Me Be Perfectly (and Radically) Candid With You

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  

Good advice, right? Well – not really. Especially at work.

It turns out that following this old adage at the workplace leads to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction and, most importantly, unsatisfactory results for the organization.

OK, I can hear many of you saying right up front: “Hey, wait a minute, can being ‘the nice guy’ at work really be all that bad??”

Yes, it can.

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Let Me Be Perfectly (and Radically) Candid With You

Minding Your Business in a Post-Truth World

It was recently announced Oxford Dictionaries had selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year.

Now, before we go any further, let’s make sure we all know exactly what this highly-trending phrase means.  Oxford defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

Huh.

So, right now, I believe I can hear many of you saying, “Cute phrase…but what does it have to do with me, or my organization?”

Well, although the “post-truth” era has most often been cited in relation to the current and rather insane political landscape, it has created negative ramifications for organizations and individuals within the business world as well.

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Minding Your Business in a Post-Truth World

Tapping the Wealth of Hidden Talent

How to Develop Leadership Potential in Others and Ourselves

Nearly every CEO in corporate America wrestles with the same serious problem—one that threatens their current and future profitability. It’s the huge and growing gap between the demand for talent and the availability of talent.

This talent crisis is keeping executives up at night.

  • In a 2014 survey, 70 percent of corporate executives ranked “capability gaps” among their top five challenges.
  • Nearly two-thirds of CEOs are concerned about a scarcity of key skills.
  • Worldwide, one in three employers is struggling to fill vacancies due to a lack of available talent—the highest number since 2007. They’re also struggling with the resulting revenue losses.

Apart from the difficulty they face finding outside talent and developing their own future leaders, companies struggle to retain their best people. When they attempt to fill the vacancies left behind, they hire the wrong candidates 82 percent of the time. And too little is being done to turn things around.

This shortage of talent is a complex problem, made worse by the shifting demands and uncertainty of a global marketplace. To begin to address it effectively at the organizational level, there are at least three questions you must ask.

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Tapping the Wealth of Hidden Talent

Want to Be a Great Leader? Learn How to Tell Great Stories.

Want to Be a Great Leader? Learn How to Tell Great Stories.

What makes a leader great? What does a leader need to accomplish great things?

I’d say storytelling ranks near the top (if not #1) on both lists. Leading minds in academia and business, including Howard Gardner and Noel Tichy, say the same.

Part of a leader’s job is to convey big ideas, get people on board, and inspire them to act. Facts and logic don’t move people; stories do.

Our love of stories, and our emotional response to them, is hard-wired in us. Before we could write, we drew on cave walls to capture the stories our elders told. Stories bring us together and help us make sense of the world. It’s all part of the human experience.

The business world is no different. Stories provide purpose and meaning, and they promote progress. The ability to tell a good story is something no business leader can succeed without.

Continue reading “Want to Be a Great Leader? Learn How to Tell Great Stories.”

Want to Be a Great Leader? Learn How to Tell Great Stories.

What Accomplishment Is (and Isn’t)—and Why It Matters

What have you accomplished lately on the job?

Notice I didn’t ask what you’ve done lately. That’s an entirely different question. I’m asking what you’ve accomplished.

Here’s where I’m going with this.

Decades ago, when I first started in business, I was hired by a multinational bank. The person in charge of inducting us trainees said, “Every month, now that you have a job, pull up your resume and update it.”

I thought his advice to us new hires was . . . interesting. But his point was this: Use your resume as a tool to hold yourself accountable. Make sure you can say you’re accomplishing things on a regular basis.

I took that advice to heart. Today, I advise all my clients to do the same—right after I explain what real accomplishment looks like.

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What Accomplishment Is (and Isn’t)—and Why It Matters

Are You Productive Enough? Here’s a Good Way to Tell.

Think about the people you work with on a daily basis. Some of them know how to make a difference. In fact, they’re hell bent on it. Others show up, check a few boxes, and go home.

Let’s focus on the latter camp. This camp includes two groups of people. I call them the dreamers and the bureaucrats.

Dreamers are the ones who toss out idea after idea. These ideas may be good; they may be interesting. They might even be revolutionary. But none of them ever happen. As brilliant as dreamers can be, and often are, they’re all sizzle and no steak.

Bureaucrats, on the other hand, strictly adhere to guidelines. They think and act inside the box. They may get the daily minutiae done, but they can’t seem to focus on the larger goal.

In many ways, these two groups are a world apart. The dreamers are strategic thinkers; the bureaucrats are tactical thinkers. But they have something important in common.

They aren’t producing anything of real significance.

Do you identify with one of these groups? Are you unhappy about it? Then it’s time to take a few steps to your right.

Here’s what I mean by that.

Continue reading “Are You Productive Enough? Here’s a Good Way to Tell.”

Are You Productive Enough? Here’s a Good Way to Tell.