Could You Ever Tell A Story This Way

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Traditionally, storytelling has tended to follow certain conventions. Aristotle told us a plot must be whole, with a beginning, middle and an end. Richard Linklater, Director of the Oscar-front-running film Boyhood, offered some suggestions on how to shake things up in a recent article on FastCo.CREATE. Linklater’s approach is admirable and courageous, precisely because new…

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Carefree Arizona

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Was at my place in Carefree, Arizona over the weekend (75°F vs 20” of snow forecast for NY!). Watched a fully grown mountain lion amble up the boulders outside the back walls, unhooked a 2ft long King Snake from the wire mesh around a lemon tree and sent him on his way, photographed three lean…

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Service Is Everyone’s Business

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(Good) hospitality, which can be characterized in a nutshell as ‘efficiency and just the right degree of interaction’, isn’t just for hotels – it’s everyone’s business. Customers have greater access to services and products and lower tolerance for shoddy service and obsolete technology. They’re outspoken about their experiences, and have a variety of outlets to…

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10 Favourite Things

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A gripping new book (Fiction) A new Live John Prine album (pictured) The latest video of the grandkids A handwritten letter/ card from a friend A bottle of Petrus A slab of Mrs. Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese A new series of Justified An All Black Test Match The Villa Santa Ana in Castiglion del Bosco Spending…

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I Can Vouch For This

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Browsing the weekend Financial Times’s book section I saw that English actor, novelist and stage, film and radio writer Emily Woof was asked “Where is your favourite place in the world?” She replied: “My father, who died in 1996, was the director of the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere in the Lake District, and my favourite…

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Worth A Thousand Words

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The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ rings true now more than ever. We live in a culture accessorized by cover images, thumbnails, Instagrams and emojis. People ‘read’ pictures like they do text, but with pictures there are no rules for engagement. There are no restrictions; no left to right, top to bottom,…

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Radical Optimist

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I’m a big fan of Marc Andreessen, and not just because his head is an identikit for mine. From an “incredibly practical and hardworking” farm family in small-town Wisconsin, he graduated as an engineer from the University of Illinois, one of four sites with supercomputers in the mid-1980s. He burst into prominence in 1995 a…

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Celebrating the Daily Commute

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Commuting – traveling between home and work on a regular basis – takes all kinds of forms. Some people enjoy it, taking time out to ponder and reflect. Some go to great lengths to distract themselves, using modern technology to read, listen to music, watch TV or perhaps even work. Some find the whole experience…

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Habits of a Lifetime

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Love a List – an ongoing series. Today, 10 personal practices for living life well. Live life slow. Always look on the bright side of life (thank you Messrs Python). Don’t have any screens in the room in which you sleep… yes, that includes your mobile! Read odd stuff. Avoid moderation – nothing succeeds like…

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When the Going Gets Tough

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“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” sang Billy Ocean in the eighties. Some people call it hustle. I call it grit, or to coin a phrase from a fantastic (but out-of-print) book by Gary Jacobson and John Hillkirk, ‘the 3G factor’ of grit, guts and genius. It’s what epitomizes those who succeed…

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Smarter Groups & Collective Intelligence

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What happens when a bunch of smart people get together? Smarts aren’t necessarily cumulative, according to an article by Thomas Malone on Quartz, so really, anything could happen. According to a study conducted by Malone and his colleagues, collective intelligence isn’t the sum of the individual intelligence of people in a group; it’s more complex…

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Will London Be the Most Innovative City in the World?

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In many ways, we have cities to be thankful for much of what humankind has achieved. Cities play to our strengths as social creatures. They encourage collaboration, creativity and innovation. Cities give off a certain kind of energy, and you don’t feel that in the suburbs or in the countryside. There’s also a competitive element…

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Culture Drives Change

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Louis V. Gerstner, former CEO of IBM once said, “Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game.” I came across this quote in an INSEAD article by Martin Roll, which was about how leaders who are looking to drive change need to be mindful of the culture of their organizations because…

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Singing into 2015

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Here’s a list to get you hummin’ and foot-tappin’ in 2015. 12 Favourite Songs “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen “Mr Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan “The Road Goes On Forever” by Robert Earl Keen “In Spite of Ourselves” by John Prine “Bird on a…

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