Interesting Reads from Around the Web 2

A quick break from talking about China to share some interesting reads from around the web for the first time in 2020. Beware, these are relatively lengthy but worthwhile reads, so strap yourselves in!

New Decade, New Trends

Link: Accenture-Fjord 2020 Trends

About: Trends for the new year (which we’re already 8.33% through) from a business perspective, which includes areas such as organisational growth, financial transactions, privacy and design.

Why You should read this: It’s always fascinating to see how forward thinking people view the likely possibilities of the near future. This report does just that, and goes into details on specifics and key takeaways for you to think, say and do.

Productivity Hacking

Link: Guide to Personal Productivity

About: This is just one blog post of many very interesting reads from Marc Andreessen. He provides some tactics on increasing your personal productivity, that won’t seem very intuitive at first glance. This includes NOT keeping a schedule, structured procrastination and “strategic incompetence”.

Why You should read this: Marc is a co-founder of Netscape, sold a company to Hewlett-Packard and venture capitalist in silicon valley. I write this to demonstrate he’s a very productive fellow, and so he may have some pearls of wisdom for you to take in.

I do want to stress that, everyone operates differently, so no advice should be taken as gospel. It is best to experiment and discover what works best for yourself. Internal and external context matters!

Interesting Take of the History of Management Consultants

Link: How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class

About: A brief history + opinion piece of the Management Consulting industry and how that’s effected orgnisational structures of businesses.

Why You should read this: Insightful piece on the role of Management Consulting, especially for those who wanting to be involved in the profession.

Excerpt:

Management consultants thus implemented and rationalized a transformation in the American corporation. Companies that had long affirmed express “no layoff” policies now took aim at what the corporate raider Carl Icahn, writing in the The New York Times in the late 1980s, called “corporate bureaucracies” run by “incompetent” and “inbred” middle managers. They downsized in response not to particular business problems but rather to a new managerial ethos and methods; they downsized when profitable as well as when struggling, and during booms as well as busts. The downsizing peaked during the extraordinary economic boom of the 1990s. The culls, moreover, were dramatic. AT&T, for example, once aimed to cut the ratio of managers to nonmanagers in one of its units from 1:5 to 1:30. Overall, middle managers were downsized at nearly twice the rate of nonmanagerial workers. Downsizing was indeed wrenching. When IBM abandoned lifetime employment in the 1990s, local officials asked gun-shop owners around its headquarters to close their stores while employees absorbed the shock.

Does it Matter How You Start the Day?

Link: Morning Rituals

About: History in the perception of time:

The idea that a particular time of day is more associated with accomplishment and productivity than others, and that utilizing this specific chunk of one’s wakeful hours is a nod toward purity of form and behavior, doesn’t seem to have any rational basis—time is time, right? And yet, in many cultures, that’s the perception.

Why You should read this: Given the concept “time” is a human invention, it’s intriguing to get the backstory to the invention and to better understand this idea.