Strategy Requires Choices

Try to read this passage in a detached, objective way, divorced from the politicizing of the pandemic and instead think only as a strategist must:

So if not cases, then what? “We need to come to some sort of agreement as to what it is we’re trying to prevent,” says Céline Gounder, an infectious-disease expert at New York University. “Are we trying to prevent hospitalization? Are we trying to prevent death? Are we trying to prevent transmission?” Different goals would require prioritizing different strategies. The booster-shot rollout has been roiled with confusion for this precise reason: The goal kept shifting. First, the Biden administration floated boosters for everyone to combat breakthroughs, then a CDC advisory panel restricted them to the elderly and immunocompromised most at risk for hospitalizations, then the CDC director overruled the panel to include people with jobs that put them at risk of infection.

On the ground, the U.S. is now running an uncontrolled experiment with every strategy all at once. COVID-19 policies differ wildly by state, county, university, workplace, and school district. And because of polarization, they have also settled into the most illogical pattern possible: The least vaccinated communities have some of the laxest restrictions, while highly vaccinated communities—which is to say those most protected from COVID-19—tend to have some of the most aggressive measures aimed at driving down cases. “We’re sleepwalking into policy because we’re not setting goals,” says Joseph Allen, a Harvard professor of public health. We will never get the risk of COVID-19 down to absolute zero, and we need to define a level of risk we can live with.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/11/what-americas-covid-goal-now/620572/

If you didn’t catch the salient bits, let me show it to you again as a screen shot with the key text highlighted:

“Every strategy all at once.” Does that sound familiar in your environment? Many of us run the businesses and operations in our lives, whether they’re a matter of public health or not, without clear direction and strategy, and end up in these kinds of confused scenarios, too.

That last quote is also a gem: “sleepwalking into policy because we’re not setting goals.”

What are you sleepwalking into?

When I wrote about Strategic Optimism in A Future So Bright, it wasn’t just about feel-good reinforcement of positive thinking — it’s about tough decisions. If we want the best futures, we have to be willing to make bold choices.

What choices are you making, and what choices are you not making?

“Renaissance Woman on Fire”

Thanks to Lee Odden & TopRank Marketing for including me in their roundup of “25 Influential Women in Digital Marketing Who Rocked and Inspired in 2018.”

It’s a fantastic list. Truly. Check it out. Read every entry. Some will just wow you. (Like Rashmy Chatterjee — first woman in the Indian Navy, speaks 5 languages, and is now Global Sales Leader for IBM Security? SO amazing.)

Also big thanks for describing me as a “renaissance woman on fire” which OBVIOUSLY I’m making my new job title. :)

Cheers to these inspiring women, and to those who take the time to acknowledge them!

The ROI of UX

“Every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100.”

This is something I’m always asked about. Meaningful marketing sounds good, but what’s the ROI? It’s hard to quantify something that can have such esoteric consequences, but this article does a fine job putting some numbers to user experience, and that’s a good starting point for meaningful interaction.

Read “The ROI of UX”: http://digitalmarketingnow.com/roi-of-ux

Intentional life design: What your days look like

This is not about productivity so much as it is about mindful and intentional living.

Quoting Austin Kleon:

“What do you want your days to look like?” is a question I ask myself whenever I’m trying to make a decision about what to do next. In fact, I believe that most questions about what to do with one’s life can be replaced by this question.

This is another way of getting at purpose and meaningfulness. When you start from there, a lot of decisions get easier.

Link: What your days look like.

Finding Patterns in Art: 500 Years of Female Portrait Paintings in 3 minutes

This link is interesting for a few reasons:

One, because, one of the most fundamental aspects of developing insights is the ability to study and recognize patterns.

Two, because art is a wonderful source of creative inspiration.

And three, because the depiction of women in art has something to say about centuries of power imbalance and inequality, and recognizing patterns in macro systems like culture and society is vital in having a true understanding of our context and the world we inhabit and create.

The video itself morphs between close-ups of 90 women’s images in paintings, while the link below indexes the paintings and provides additional information and context about the painter and the year it was painted.

Link: 500 Years of Female Portrait Paintings in 3 minutes