On the blog

Common sense in a pandemic

How good is our common sense? Common sense would tell us that air rushing under the wings of a plane would keep it aloft. (You actually need wind flowing quickly over the wings.) Common sense told a King who owed a debt for losing at chess that this would be a modest payout for losing: […] Read More

A better economy “after”

McKinsey, the global business consulting firm, is trying to imagine business “after.” Some of McKinsey’s arguments resonate with me: putting resilience before efficiency (by shortening supply chains so that consumers, producers, and suppliers live and operate in zip codes nearer each other). Other suggestions, like strengthening the global financial system, to me suggest locking in […] Read More

Bank to fight the climate crisis

Michael More than three-fourths of Americans want businesses to address social and environmental issues. A similar number will refuse to buy from a company when they learn its values are contrary to their own. An even greater number will re-direct their purchasing toward companies that advocate for an issue they care about. This is what […] Read More

Cumulative Carbon emissions

There is a price we pay for “progress.” Yes, the United States (and China; and almost everywhere else) has gotten wealthier over time. But the cost — which we too blithely have ignored — is the CO2 we pour into the skies. Here is a quick and simple animation which shows the relationship. Note: Size […] Read More

To Lead, Follow! (HINT: we need you to follow. Now)

This video (about 3 minutes) floated thru my inbox as part of a TED New Year’s series. It’s as good now as it was when I first pointed it out about 5 years ago. Here’s the video link: Watch it. What you’ll learn, in a short, amusing video: 1. Leaders are important, but over-rated. 2. […] Read More

Feeling trumped? Don’t!

Our Relationship with Truth

ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news organization, presented a very important podcast on a “typology of truth.” Using Trump’s claims that he won the popular vote because of voter fraud, journalists could say any of the following: 1. Trump claims he won the popular vote, saying 3 million people voted illegally. 2. Trump claimed, without evidence, […] Read More

Business Plan Competitions

Daniela Papi-Thornton and I have a piece appearing in the Stanford Social Business Review on university-hosted business plan competitions. The gist of it is: These competitions reward superficialityby emphasizing business plans and models (and sometimes taking action) at the expense of deeper understanding that comes from truly knowing your stuff. Knowing your stuff means being […] Read More

Great Presidential Candidate

By Michael Gordon Saw the most energetic guy I’ve seen in a while present on TED. Passionate (almost fiery) , well informed with pertinent data. Optimistic about the our potential for the planet. Yes, that Al Gore. This is well-worth watching. Read More

The Community of Detroit

Sorting through my thoughts about Detroit’s bankruptcy (or whatever it turns out to be) Different ideas about how companies can be organized and run are floating around. What resonates with me are institutions that support communities: “communities” of employees, of local citizens, of people interacting with the natural environment. Too often, though, companies barely acknowledge […] Read More