Category Archives: Exadev

If you think productivity is about motivation, you’ve already lost

Ramit Sethi accomplishes a lot.

Among other projects, the CEO and entrepreneur has penned multiple best-selling books on business and personal finance, coordinates annual conferences across the US, and runs two websites – GrowthLab and I Will Teach You to Be Rich.

Apparently, one of the most common questions he gets is how he does it.

In a post on I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Sethi broke down his answer for curious readers and clients. It all comes down to what he calls “The 3 Tiers of Productivity”:

“Look, productivity isn’t about ‘motivation,'” he writes. “If you think it is, you’ve already lost.”

He continues:

“Productivity is about understanding what you really want to do, then building systems to make it work for you. The goal isn’t Inbox Zero. (Who gives a sh–?) Your goal is to enable yourself to perform at your very best, every day, and over the course of weeks and months and years.”

Instead, he writes, think about true productivity as a pyramid with three tiers:

First: fundamentals. These are basics like sleep, health, and your workspace. “Everybody ignores these because they’re not sexy,” Sethi writes. “But if you don’t get these right, nothing else matters. ” Next: psychology.This includes mental states and skills “like the ability to set boundaries, handle setbacks, and be positive and resilient,” Sethi writes. Later on, he adds: “No productivity app or 7-second solution is ever going to tackle the psychological and emotional barriers we feel. Only you can do that. And it’s hard.”Finally: details. This is where all the fun stuff comes in, like the perfect apps for your to-do lists or the calendar hacks that clear up your meeting schedule. Sethi writes: “Everybody wastes their time focusing on this stuff. (Get a life.)”The entire post is worth a read – he goes in-depth about each tier and how it applies to his own work. You can read it here.

The 6 Ways Business Leaders Talk About Sustainability

Capitalists focus on the financial returns from capital invested, and most business leaders prioritize issues that are financially material. For anyone with a pension linked to market performance, that is a good thing. But this single-minded focus can be a major problem when it comes to tackling slow-building, systemic challenges, like global warming, that could take down not just supply chains but, over time, entire economies.

No accident, then, that we increasingly hear discussion about “framing” in boardrooms and C-suites. Political analyst George Lakoff, notably in his book Don’t Think of an Elephant!, has shown how the way we frame such challenges shapes our reasoning and priorities much more than most of us recognize. Crucially, he concludes that our unconscious mental frames “shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions.”

The message for business leaders, as for social change agents: To change our frames is to change the way we perceive, prioritize and invest time, effort and money. “Reframing,” Lakoff tells us, “is social change.”

A critical first step is to understand the different mental and political frames currently in play.  My colleagues and I see at least six main frames at work in the sustainable business space. Each has its strengths and limitations. Having a clearer grasp of these mental models can help business leaders to work with others, both inside and outside their organizations, to build more sustainable businesses.

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A Survey of 3,000 Executives Reveals How Businesses Succeed with AI

Bildresultat för artificial intelligence

The buzz over artificial intelligence (AI) has grown loud enough to penetrate the C-suites of organizations around the world, and for good reason. Investment in AI is growing and is increasingly coming from organizations outside the tech space. And AI success stories are becoming more numerous and diverse, from Amazon reaping operational efficiencies using its AI-powered Kiva warehouse robots, to GE keeping its industrial equipment running by leveraging AI for predictive maintenance.

While it’s clear that CEOs need to consider AI’s business implications, the technology’s nascence in business settings makes it less clear how to profitably employ it. Through a study of AI that included a survey of 3,073 executives and 160 case studies across 14 sectors and 10 countries, and through a separate digital research program, we have identified 10 key insights CEOs need to know to embark on a successful AI journey.

Don’t believe the hype: Not every business is using AI… yet. While investment in AI is heating up, corporate adoption of AI technologies is still lagging. Total investment (internal and external) in AI reached somewhere in the range of $26 billion to $39 billion in 2016, with external investment tripling since 2013. Despite this level of investment, however, AI adoption is in its infancy, with just 20% of our survey respondents using one or more AI technologies at scale or in a core part of their business, and only half of those using three or more. (Our results are weighted to reflect the relative economic importance of firms of different sizes. We include five categories of AI technology systems: robotics and autonomous vehicles, computer vision, language, virtual agents, and machine learning.)

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What does success at work really mean?

What defines a successful career? Why is it that, by conventional definitions, only the few people at the top of the ladder have successful careers, while the majority just survive and plenty fail? These questions have been been on my mind and in my heart for more than two decades, as I led the Human Resources department in several organizations. Let’s start with the first question. Let’s start with how we define a successful career.

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