Top articles of the week | May 15

May 15, 2021

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Why Your New Strategy Will Fail Sam Spurlin (reading time: 9 minutes)

Organizations that have transcended dramatic interventions have built operating systems that allow them to be constantly sensing, responding, and experimenting with what the market is telling them.

This article deeply resonated with the work that we do. Sam Spurlin works at The Ready which is a boutique consulting firm in NYC. They work on similar problems like we do at our small firm. He writes about how the old school notion of strategy just doesn’t work anymore. Strategy implementation isn’t a one time thing; it has to be tied to the organization’s operating system.

Starbucks, a Tech Company The Generalist (reading time: 8 minutes)

Today, Starbucks is a tech company. Other businesses may boast better coffee, tastier food, or more modern ambiances, but none can currently compete with Starbucks’ app, AI engine, or financial features.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the full article but it’s still worth a read; particularly the introduction. Starbucks was going through tough times in 2007. Its founder, Howard Shultz retook the CEO role. He needed to change the company but didn’t know how. He enlisted the help of Marc Benioff from Salesforce. It’s a great read on business transformation. If you want to dive deeper on the tech side (which this article is missing), check out this post.

Eli Dourado – Frontiers for Productivity Colossus Podcast (reading time: 56 minutes)

One of the most shared articles at the start of the year was Eli Dourado’s notes on technology in the 2020s. In this fascinating podcast interview, Eli dives deeper into these key trends. There is so much to be optimistic about!

Superhistory, Not Superintelligence Breaking Smart (reading time: 22 minutes)

This is a fascinating and slightly difficult read by Venkatesh Rao. He dives into machine learning and AI technologies and their impact on human cognition. His argument is complex to grasp yet incredibly powerful. Intelligent algorithms will accelerate our consumption of history & capacity to learn. It reminds of that scene in the Matrix where one of the protagonists “downloads” the ability to fly a helicopter in seconds.

Failure Theory Andrew Bosworth (reading time: 4 minutes)

How do you prevent failure in an organization? It’s not always possible yet there are ways to mitigate. Andrew Bosworth wrote some neat thoughts on how he tackles the problem in his role at Facebook.