we all need to fika more.
In Sweden and Finland, where fika (or fika pause) is most common, coffee is a serious and necessary diversion from the stresses of life. The work or school day is interrupted twice—typically sometime in mid-morning, and again in the afternoon—for a strong brew and a sweet bite, which is guaranteed by law to all employees nationwide. (Workers earn five minutes for every hour on the clock, which usually allows for a nice bit of break time around 10 a.m., and again at about 3 p.m.) The word itself can stand in for “coffee break” and “coffee shop” as well as “coffee” itself. People fika as a verb and have a fika as a noun: It can be as casual as five stolen minutes in an office lounge or a meeting among prospective business partners. It’s also often used as a low-pressure first date. (You know, the old, “So, would you like to get a coffee sometime?”) Perhaps most importantly, however, fika is almost never solitary: Friends, coworkers, and family gather over steaming cups and plates of cookies or cake (the latter being a pivotal element of the tradition), and conversation flows as freely as dribbles of icing down a warm cinnamon roll. The company is just as important as the caffeine in this case. Perhaps—dare we even say it?—even more so.
as i look to build a lab within my company, i’m using this list as the guide. thanks undercurrent/clay.
"Many think of management as cutting deals and laying people off and hiring people and buying and selling companies. That’s not management, that’s dealmaking. Management is the opportunity to help people become better people. Practiced that way, it’s a magnificent profession."
— Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism | Wired
seth godin on kindling and logs.
The most valuable wood at the campsite is the dry twigs and branches used to start a fire. It’s hard to imagine a bigger waste than cooking an entire meal using nothing but kindling. It burns fast and bright, but it doesn’t last. You might be able to cook something, but then there’s be nothing left for the next guy. No, the useful technique is to have some bigger logs standing by, and to use as little kindling as possible.
i love this metaphor. start with kindling, then twigs, then logs, then coals. need to incorporate it to a presentation.
i’m pretty self-aware, but we can always do better. let’s all take the next 4 days of the year to reflect on who we were in 2012, what we did well, what we need to do better and establish how we will be better in 2013.
To survive and thrive today and into the future, business leaders need to grow and develop their own self-awareness. Self-awareness means that you are willing and able to collaborate with employees, directors, customers and yes, even your competitors. It means that you understand that every individual in your organization is a contributor with varying degrees of potential – and that the closer everyone comes to attaining a high level of self-awareness, the closer the organization comes to achieving its potential. It means that your self-awareness feeds into your employees’ own self-awareness, which in turn ignites the overall success of the venture.”
Even the name ‘business casual’ makes no sense to me, as there is nothing casual about my business. My business is fucking fancy.
Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done
i subscribe to this (and the rest of the article). slowness is a constant battle for me, but when achieved it shows its value.
definitely aiming for a high-quality product at smalley coffee, but customer service is the number one goal. i want ‘regulars’.
Many of these independent brewers should be careful to avoid falling into the trap of becoming defined by their grandiose alternativeness instead of the quality of their flat white. Perhaps they should take a look at the chains that manage to maintain customer loyalty even while serving an inferior product. Instead of ostentatious barista performances, snobbish service and superfluous branding, small coffee shops should focus on what they are perfectly poised to offer: friendly, local service that will tempt even those with Starbucks loyalty cards. And if they could only focus more on getting to know their regulars rather than futuristic pouring methods, they wouldn’t even need to ask what name to write on the cup.
a distinction worth noting when thinking about business strategy: there are two types, goal-oriented and means-oriented. Experimentation is a driving factor for means-oriented strategy.
Deliberate strategy relies on senior leaders to set goals and develop plans and strategies to achieve them. Emergent strategy is a strategy that emerges from all over the company, over time, as the environment changes and the organization shifts and adapts to apply its strengths to a changing reality. Emergent strategy is an organic approach to growth that lets companies learn and continually develop new strategies over time based on an ongoing culture of hypothesis and experimentation. Deliberate strategy is goal-oriented. It asks, “What do we want to achieve?” Emergent strategy is means-oriented. It asks, “What is possible, with the means we have at our disposal?”
"Organizations looking to create revenue from digital technology need a strategy that is more powerful than digital substitution. They need to create a digital edge, where digital information and physical resources combine in new ways to create value and revenue. Enterprises seeking a digital edge transform processes, business models, and the customer experience by exploiting the pervasive digital connections between systems, people, places, and things. Any company large or small, old or new can use this digital technology to create a winning edge for its business and perhaps, its industry."
Digital Strategy Does Not Equal IT Strategy
a digital edge is a performance edge. having a digital edge matters. business can focus on specific outcomes, which means it’s manageable. the more connections between people, places, information and things (digital density), the more customers can interact with companies in seamless and satisfying ways.
"When I wrote Kitchen Confidential my business model was, “I Don’t Give a Shit,” and I’m trying very hard to keep that as my operating business model. I never, ever think, what will they like, what do they expect, what should I do next. The business model is to not be full of shit, that’s about as much as I can hope for from myself, and to write something that’s entertaining to me and presumably to others like me."
— Anthony Bourdain (via howtowork)
… if a good idea were obviously good, someone else would already have done it. so the most successful founders tend to work on ideas that few beside them realize are good. which is not that far from a description of insanity, till you reach the point where you see results.
- paul graham [emphasis mine - related]
"I realized why I need to start a new company. Not for the money. Not because I’m ‘bored’. But because a company is a laboratory to try your ideas."
— Derek Sivers
"To build a loyal customer, even one of the web-addicted internet generation, you have to invest in them. Finding ways to reproduce the sense of familiarity and community, or demonstrate that you know and care about the products you sell may be difficult. But, it is the same key to success online as it is on the high street."
— Monocolumn – The inconvenience of online shopping [Monocle]