Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 37, 2022

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – Is Silence Killing Your Company
#2 – The Ultimate Learning Machines
#3 – In-Depth Career Planning Process for Positive Impact
#4 – Just Move: Scientist Author Debunks Myths About Exercise And Sleep
#5 – The Best Companies Know How to Balance Strategy and Purpose

Is Silence Killing Your Company

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Leslie Perlow and Stephanie Williams

Summary: Silence is associated with many virtues: modesty, respect for others, prudence, and decorum. But it is time to take the gilt off silence. Our research shows that silence is not only ubiquitous and expected in organizations but extremely costly to both the firm and the individual.

3 Highlights:

“… To break the walls of silence, sometimes we have to behave in ways that are not considered appropriate for our particular organization...

“… Breaking the silence can bring an outpouring of fresh ideas from all levels of an organization—ideas that might just raise the organization’s performance to a whole new level…

“… When one person finds the courage to take a step like this and presents new information in a way that the other person can absorb, the two are likely to join in a process of mutual exploration of the differences that separate them. Indeed, we all have much more power than we think...” 

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The Ultimate Learning Machines

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Author: Alison Gopnik

Summary: Designing a truly intelligent AI, like raising a child, means instilling those ungeeky virtues. This might be a good direction for DARPA and Google too. Is it possible for physical systems to solve all of these problems? In some sense, it must be, because those physical systems already exist: They’re called babies. We even know how to make new ones, and it is a lot easier and more fun than programming.

3 Highlights:

“… To create more helpful machines, like curious AIs or imitative robots, the best way forward is to take our cues from babies...

“… Even with a lot of supervised data, AIs can’t make the same kinds of generalizations that human children can...”

“… The babies displayed curiosity, playing more with the toys that did weird things than with those that behaved more predictably. But they also played differently—dropping the gravity-defying car and banging the wall-dissolving one against the table. It’s as if they were trying to figure out just why these objects were so weird...”

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In-Depth Career Planning Process for Positive Impact

Source: 80,000 Hours
Author: Benjamin Todd

Summary: If you’re considering changing jobs, have two paths to choose between, or are right at the start of your career and feel unsure where to start, this career planning process aims to help you step back and make the best possible decision, both for yourself and for the world. The process organizes all our advice on planning into a series of eight steps. You’ll start by clarifying your long-term goals and then work towards actionable next steps.

3 Highlights:

“…  This process has evolved over the years, informed by a combination of what we’ve learned about social impact careers, academic research on decision-making, and what the 1000+ people we’ve worked with one-on-one have found helpful…“ 

“… It’s not an easy (or a short) process. But you have 80,000 hours of working time in your life. If you’re lucky enough to have options for how to spend that time, it’s worth really thinking about how to spend it best…“ 

“… If you can increase the positive impact or happiness you gain from your career by 1%, that would be worth spending up to 800 hours doing, which is about 5 months of full-time work. We think this process can help you increase the positive impact of your career more than that, in much less time...” 

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Just Move: Scientist Author Debunks Myths About Exercise And Sleep

Source: NPR
Author: Terry Gross

Summary: For much of history, human beings needed to be physically active every day in order to hunt or gather food. It was an active lifestyle, but one thing it didn’t include was any kind of formal exercise. Daniel Lieberman is a professor in the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. He says that the notion of “getting exercise” is a relatively new phenomenon in human history.

3 Highlights:

“… Just getting up every once in a while, every 10 minutes or so just to go to the bathroom or pet your dog or make yourself a cup of tea, even though you’re not spending a lot of energy, you’re turning on your muscles…

“… I think one of the most important points about physical activity is that as we age, it becomes not less but more important to be physically active…

“… It turns out that people who live in places where there is no electricity and there no iPhones and there’s no TV, turns out they don’t sleep any more than the average American…”

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The Best Companies Know How to Balance Strategy and Purpose

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Laurent Chevreux, Jose Lopez and Xavier Mesnard

Summary: Most companies have articulated their purpose — the reason they exist. But very few companies excel at operationalizing their purpose, which organizes human effort at a deeper level. For your declared purpose to have authentic relevance and power, it must ring true not just on the surface but down to the marrow. For example, everyone at SpaceX knows their company exists to make space radically more accessible.

3 Highlights:

“… Personal leadership is indispensable to operationalize your purpose. You must consistently and authentically voice an inspiring external ambition, be the principal architect of a master plan to engage and align your organization, and provide your people all the means necessary to fulfill your shared purpose…“ 

“… Corporate plasticity is the ability to collaborate in the pursuit of a common objective and rapidly reconfigure to face new challenges — which is of course essential to operationalizing purpose in the real world, where conditions constantly change and people’s actions may yield unintended as well as intended consequences…“ 

“… As your people embrace and internalize your company’s purpose, they will face many choices that feel irresolvable…”

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