Author Archive | Dan Erwin

"90% of Everything is Crap"

3 keys for telling an expert from an incompetent. In a recent post I vented my frustration over an incompetent who considered herself an expert on healthcare policy. Although I certainly don’t view myself an expert on healthcare policy, I know enough to know she was clueless. Yet there she was, talking like she had […]

Continue Reading

Losing Faith in Expertise?

    We are moving toward a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based collapse of any division between     professionals and laypeople. Tom Nichols, US Naval War College Tom Nichols’ engrossing study of how America lost faith in expertise–and why that’s a giant problem–is long overdue. On numerous occasions I’ve listened to one of the least informed persons in the […]

Continue Reading

WTF Is Conversation? (Part II)

We all talk: sometimes to particular persons; sometimes to anyone who will listen; and sometimes to ourselves when we can’t find anyone to listen. In this blog, however, we’re only interested in a certain kind of talk: conversation–and just conversation within the business context. Indeed, we believe business conversation, whether face-to-face, or in texts and […]

Continue Reading

A New Definition of Political Insanity

I’ve read Vanity Fair, complements of my eldest daughter, for years. When I pick it up at the apartment PO box, I usually turn the cover against my body, fearful that someone might see I’m reading a girly magazine. But she continues to send it, and I continue to skim it, looking for the three […]

Continue Reading

Six Resources on Creativity

Innovation and creativity, everyone says, is key to our nation’s success in the marketplace. While working through some new stuff on creativity and innovation, I stumbled, once more, across Robert Sternberg and Todd Lubart’s analysis of the resources for creativity. It has the intriguing title, Buy Low and Sell High: An Investment Approach to Creativity. […]

Continue Reading

Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Are you a flip-flopper? Do you evolve, or just stay the same? “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. (Hobgoblin: the mischievous, frightening and sometimes dangerous spirits.) In career development, it’s usually the little things that derail a manager or exec. Thus, I typically focus on granular career issues. […]

Continue Reading

When Should You Start Your Own Business?

One of my very bright young friends in his early thirties occasionally worries that he’s let too much time go by and that he should have started his own company several years ago. It’s a very prevalent idea, but it’s pure myth. So what is the average age of the typical entrepreneur when he/she starts […]

Continue Reading

Leadership Failure. . . And What Can Be Done About It

In his masterful study, Leadership BS: Fixing workplaces and careers one truth at a time, Jeff Pfeffer forces his readers to deal with the actual realities of leadership. The picture is not pretty. His description is both highly analytical and comprehensive, dealing with both leadership practice and thinking. Acknowledging the truth of his description will be painful for […]

Continue Reading

Big Data: The IT Fumble

If you read my blog, True data about big data, in which I proposed that Zero Dark Thirty’s lead character, Maya was a near perfect example of a data scientist, you’ll understand today’s blog title. The unstated subtext of that blog was that it’s unwise to turn big data over to the IT group. Sure, you’ll […]

Continue Reading