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Fast-Food Thinking

Who writes your menu? The menu you eat from? The menu you consume information from? The menu of daily choices you consider free will. The menu of breakthrough business insights that promise a leadership advantage? Is it clear by now it’s just multiple choice, mostly bad ones? Predetermined options that deliver for someone else — someone you pay with your money, time, physical & mental health, or your privacy? Does it concern you? Surely you’ve heard a version of “the menu is not the choices/the map is not the territory.” Yet the menu and map are increasingly controlled by consolidated gatekeepers that discourage mental or […]

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The Critical Difference Between Equality and “Equity”

“Equity” went mainstream in 2020, seemingly overnight. Suddenly it appears everywhere and few note (or notice) any distinction between equity and equality. The difference is significant and, like all woke vocabulary, it evolves in real-time as a chameleon adapts to its environment. When words can mean anything, the people who use them don’t have to know anything. Debate and disagreement are stifled by meaningless sloganeering and coordinated linguistic manipulation. Equality is the expectation of equal opportunity for everyone, where effort & skill are rewarded. Equity is the expectation of equal outcomes for everyone — with no explicit requirement of effort or skill — where someone […]

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NOTE5: Sore Winners and Auto-cannibalism (Meanwhile, on Twitter…)

Since *winning* the 2020 media-election there’s a variety of reaction from prominent and wannabe-prominent people that ranges from unsurprising to fiery but peaceful. These examples don’t apply to the vast majority of citizens but you do need to know where the elected, media and chattering classes all stand. Those in the most immediate danger are rational, left-leaning people because they’re soft targets. In professional settings, especially where there are permissive leaders who aren’t / don’t have time to pay close attention, the goalposts are moving. Thought-policing is exploding and non-conformity will be punished if the weak, bureaucratic professional-class (ahem, HR) is left in charge. Good […]

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NOTE5: Woke Backlash, Violence & Collateral Damage

From Street Corner to Conference Room I’ll keep repeating this connection. The narrative that drives diversity, equity & inclusion is the same narrative that drives fiery but mostly peaceful protests. It’s a victimhood narrative. The #blacklivesmatter slogan spray painted on smoldering buildings and printed on corporate posters and featured in political campaigns doesn’t raise a question? A majority of people, regardless of their identity or intersectional scorecard, don’t want to be treated as victims — to be labeled a “diversity hire” or “equity promotion” because they earned success in the midst of a political spasm. Each of these stories has relevance that stretches across private, […]

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NOTE5: K-12/University Activism as Barometer of Workplace & Social Behavior

From a leadership (business, community, family) perspective it’s important to understand that at least 2 generations of the current workforce are products of a Western education apparatus where activism and indoctrination go unchecked. While university-level was known, K-12 is further along that many thought. Equally important is awareness of the bigger picture: Critical Race Theory is a one-trick pony. Corporate “diversity, equity & inclusion” is the same game as “anti-racist curriculums” in education. “Health equity,” “climate equity,” “social justice,” and “stakeholder capitalism” are all slogans for the same exact game. The top-level slogan is “The Great Reset.” I’m sharing the more egregious examples of activism […]

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NOTE5: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Safety, Panic, Reason, Logic

Indulging Hypersensitivity Leaders, ask a serious question of yourself and your team members: Can you imagine an endpoint where every individual’s feelings will be secured? Where you can promise no further possibility of anyone feeling offended, uncomfortable, unsafe at the hands of an idea? How will you measure it? How long will it take? What will we do when our collective feelings are secured? How can we guarantee past & future emotional safety? Who will decide when enough hurtful words have been expunged? What about hurtful words in languages other than English? Can we start/share a company-wide Google Doc to track down and document problematic […]

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Resources: Build A Newsfeed, Not An Anxietyfeed

The news sucks in large part because the ad-based business model profits from outrage and anxiety. There’s little incentive for that to change but there are ways to build a better stream of information that you control, instead of surrendering to algorithms. I’ve been working on a sanity-preserving newsfeed for about 7 years, going hard since 2018. This was recorded near the beginning of C19 hysteria. Some things have changed since then and some haven’t. Here it is as a reference: Recent Changes Bloomberg’s weekday morning shows (about 6-9 AM EST) were market-focused and mostly apolitical. That’s over, at least temporarily. Their web/print is biased […]

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The Pebble Principle (Habits)

I started this brief a long time ago and then 2020 happened. Something reinforced by this year’s events is that aggressive pragmatism holds the line through trends, and through crisis. You hear a lot about “pivoting.” How many leaders are pivoting from one trend to another trend? There are moments that call for bold action but the pebble principle holds steady. Consistent, repeated small actions tend to generate the most returns. Often times the action is avoidance. Here are 3 favorites: Avoid trends — the amount of money and resources swallowed by well-marketed trends is staggering when weighed against value. Don’t be afraid to look […]

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Resources: Critical Race Theory

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a slogan that sits on top of Critical Race Theory (CRT). In order for diversity initiatives to have practical, real-world value for human beings and companies, they must be divorced from CRT and its poisonous political agenda. These sources aim at lifting the veil on race hustlers like Kendi and DiAngelo, and nonsense “trainings” in the public & private sector under names like anti-racism, racial-sensitivity, white-fragility, unconscious-bias, and more. *Note: Polarization about CRT or DE&I as left/right, black/white, good/evil is false. There’s a groundswell that stretches across race, gender & party lines in a coalition that has long-championed diversity of […]

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Send In The Clowns: Woke At Work And Other Gaps

This is a look at the foundations of “woke” beyond its emotional appeal; a reference to free-thinking and practical approaches for business leaders. Second are a few observations about U.S.-China relations in the context of current events. Culture is the thread. Trigger warnings all around… Successful buffet design is a PsyOp. Front-load the buffet with cheap pasta, dotted by a few colorful veggies and glaze it with a slick of “Italian” dressing from a 5-gallon bucket. Name it something catchy — Pasta Primavera! It’s neither Italian nor faithful to the original recipe but fear not. Diners overwhelmingly consume what is presented first. A majority consume […]

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