When I Googled donuts recently an old familiar name popped up. LaMar’s. Kansas City staple. Glazed donut of the gods. Warm when you pick them up and as they go down. TJCinnamons was the only short term challenger for ‘perfect morning meeting food.’ That didn’t last long and is a whole different story. Every time I live in a new city, I must search for the perfect donut. Every city seems to have their own local donut hero. LaMar’s worked out of a converted gas station for years. You’d pull up on almost any morning to cars parked four deep. Like there was a gas shortage but for donuts. This appears to be a real thing. Hadn’t thought about it before. Growing up we were a Dunkin’ Donuts family – that’s where I acquired my addiction to the slightly more difficult to make french cruller. Delicate enough that you had … Continue reading

The Swing of Urban Life

I’m getting back into the swing of living urban. Coffee shops and a killer french cruller within walking distance. Sounds of human life drifting in on morning breeze. Alternate Tuesday street cleaning and parking tickets… My wife and I started out on the Plaza in Kansas City. Relaxed compared to hard core Chicago city life, but a great all night coffee shop for late night talks between newlyweds. Waitresses that let you nurse a cup knowing your tip would rent the booth. Been a long time since kids and yards came calling. Since our focus shifted from ‘worldview’ to ‘family view’ where teacher meetings, softball, and scouting beat a night out every time.  Our move to the Chicago of skyscrapers and jazz clubs became real life with neighbors and life-long friends. Quiet nights of Mancala. Long walks on dark streets. A dog, two cats. Sometimes loud, laughter filled nights of … Continue reading

A Question of Streamlining…

In the Managing Technology and Innovation MBA course I am teaching this summer there is a paper due at the end of term that has a minimum and maximum page count. One of my more talented students asked me if there is a penalty for going over the ten page limit. Thought my reply might be of interest because it applies to writing in general and business writing in particular: One question I ask when reading a paper is: “Could the writer have found anything that distracted from their primary points to cut?”  My experience indicates that the answer to this question is usually yes when the paper falls within length guidelines and almost always yes when it runs longer than guidelines. This is not to say that what you might need to cut isn’t interesting or in some way important. Or that you won’t have to rewrite a sentence … Continue reading

StillWaters, KickStarter and Hi-Tech Cardboard Creativity…

Teaching college has been an energizing event. It’s a nice reminder as the grown-ups have difficulty getting along that there is a great batch of excited, imaginative youth coming up the road – ready to disrupt with gusto. What I’m seeing up close now is the impact new tools have on the ability jump-start ideas.  Wasn’t that long ago that the VC’s of Silicon Valley were the enlightened financial doorkeepers to the innovation community. They’re still driving – but new tools are bringing the ability to drive entrepreneurship downstream. Moving from a technical focus to all things business. A few years ago I described Cardboard Theatre, a production my daughter helped initiate. She’s at it again this time using the latest start-up tool on the net – KickStarter. Three things I’ve noticed about KickStarter: It’s a great pre-order tool – allowing start-ups to get the customers they need before investing … Continue reading

I’m One of Many Seeds, and Happy To Be…

“My positioning statement is two words: “Empower people.” What’s your’s?” Guy Kawasaki, Enchantment Bringing about change is a lot like swimming upstream.  Everything and everyone pushes you to run fast with them promising safer, faster, easier waters via alternative compass headings. But changemakers in the world not only swim against the current, they pull thousands upstream with them. Motivating movement with the force of an idea. Guy Kawasaki takes on this force in his latest book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. I’ve long enjoyed reading Kawasaki for his ability to present ideas that can help you move mountains in ways that are both motivating and realistically grounded.  So I was delighted to receive a pre-release copy from his publisher last month to review if I felt so inclined. You have to enjoy a book that wraps up with a chapter on how to avoid being wrongly … Continue reading