Prescriptions to gain balance in your life that go beyond ‘just try harder’

We all need to gain balance in our lives. Get some ideas on how in Dr. Richard Swenson’s book In Search of Balance. (full disclosure – I am not compensated for the Amazon link.)

From my Amazon review:

More and more of everything faster and faster is the phrase Dr. Swenson uses to describe life today.

Eight words that describe all aspects of our world. More and more – a rapidly increasing volume and quality and intensity.  Of everything – all aspects of our life, such as technology, money, every area of knowledge, experiences, entertainment, great books we should read, quality of consumer goods.  Faster and faster – the rate of change is accelerating.

Nobody reading this review needs to be told your life is out of balance. With a moment of reflection we all realize that. That we don’t have a spare moment to reflect is the crux of the problem.

Instead of us just trying harder, or working smarter, or just ‘getting it together’, he provides a series of prescriptions on how to gain equilibrium in life.

Continue reading “Prescriptions to gain balance in your life that go beyond ‘just try harder’”

Radical cost reductions in technology – illustration from external hard drives

Storage costs are about zero.

Got to thinking about the cost of storing data on external hard drives. Did a few calculations to look at the radical change in costs over the last few years. Used my actual purchases and listings today at Amazon. Wow.

Here are the costs per gigabyte of storage for the newer portable hard drive (2 of ‘em are about the size of a paperback book) and for the larger externally powered ones (more the size of a thick hardback): Continue reading “Radical cost reductions in technology – illustration from external hard drives”

Cheapeners make life really fantastic for all of us – the radical cost reductions in technology

It isn’t the initial idea of a technology that makes life so fantastic for all of us. It is the next round of people who figure out how to make it ridiculously cheap that lets everyone enjoy the really cool inventions. So explains Matt Ridley, of the Wall Street Journal, in Three Cheers for the Cheapeners and Cost-Cutters.

 “A feature of innovation is that the greatest impact of a new idea comes not when the light bulb goes on over the geek’s head, but when the resulting technology eventually becomes cheap enough for many people to use—perhaps decades later.

This is the driver behind the tremendous productivity gains in the last few centuries.

Continue reading “Cheapeners make life really fantastic for all of us – the radical cost reductions in technology”

Convergence report from La Piana Consulting, blurring boundaries – part 4

Previous posts here  and here mentioned four emerging trends identified by La Piana Consulting in their report called Convergence- How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.  Will now discuss the last trend they have noticed.

As mentioned previously, I will be quoting from their report a lot.

 “Sector boundaries are blurring” – Continue reading “Convergence report from La Piana Consulting, blurring boundaries – part 4”

Convergence report from La Piana Consulting, networking and volunteerism trends – part 3

Previous post mentioned the first two emerging trends identified by La Piana Consulting in their report called Convergence- How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.  Will discuss two more trends in this post.

As mentioned before, I will be quoting from their report.  Notice lots of quotation marks.

Networks enable work to be organized in new ways” – Continue reading “Convergence report from La Piana Consulting, networking and volunteerism trends – part 3”

Creative visualization – astounding use of a map to show statistical data

(cross-post from Attestation Update)

A graph of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia shows the devastating losses suffered during the advance on Moscow and retreat.  It is the best illustration I’ve seen of creatively presenting a complex body of information.  Dare I say it is a beautiful graph?  Why is this of interest to us?  It shows a powerful way to communicate statistical data.

You can see the graph here at Cartographia.  Click on the map to enlarge.

One sentence of explanation allows you to interpret the entire view – Continue reading “Creative visualization – astounding use of a map to show statistical data”

Convergence report from La Piana Consulting – part 2

Previous post introduced an article by La Piana Consulting, which discusses their report called Convergence- How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.

In their report, La Piana identifies five emerging trends.  I will mention the five with a brief comment or two on each.  As I mentioned earlier, I will clearly identify the direct quotes from their article.

Demographic shifts redefine participation ” – Continue reading “Convergence report from La Piana Consulting – part 2”

Creative visualizations-military history illustration

(cross-post from Attestation Update)

I’ve been interested lately in creative ways to show data.  We accountants are great at absorbing a lot of numbers and finding the patterns.  Other people who don’t have our mind-set can not see what we see.  We need to find new ways to explain things.

How would you summarize the location and intensity of wars over the last several centuries?  One of my favorite historians would do that verbally over the course of a full-length book or a dozen columns.  (And I’d love every word of it too!)

Jordi Colomer has done so in a 5 minute video:

Continue reading “Creative visualizations-military history illustration”

Convergence report from La Piana Consulting – part 1

I previously discussed an article by La Piana Consulting here and here and now would like to discuss their report  Convergence – How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.

One of their key concepts is convergence.  That is the title of their report, so I guess it would make sense that is the overriding issue.  Their point is that not only are there some very major trends that are going to have a dramatic impact on the nonprofit community, but these trends will interact with each other to reinforce and compound change.

Continue reading “Convergence report from La Piana Consulting – part 1”

Peering forward – technology is destroying and creating jobs

“Technology is eating jobs”

So says Andy Kessler in his Wall Street Journal article, Is Your Job an Endangered Species?

He says there are two kinds of workers today:

Continue reading “Peering forward – technology is destroying and creating jobs”

Peering forward – We need to try really hard to see reality clearly

One of the questions raised by David Kinnaman in the article I discussed earlier is this: “Do you have practices in place to clearly see reality?”

It’s really hard to even ask that question.

Continue reading “Peering forward – We need to try really hard to see reality clearly”

Peering forward – We all need to be Futurists!

The last half of the article by La Piana Consulting in the Winter 2010 Outcomes has a section title that says Be a Futurist.  In this section they talk at length about how organizations can learn about the changes going on, study them, and then adapt. 

This will require studying the changes around us, listening to uncomfortable analysis, and putting forth the serious intellectual effort to grasp new things.  That is essentially becoming a futurist. 

Making that transition will be hard.  Continue reading “Peering forward – We all need to be Futurists!”