Are You An Artist Or A Scientist?

Brad Shorr recently asked his readers if they considered themselves more marketing scientist or marketing artist. This idea of ‘artist vs scientist’ runs deep today and has implications for  education and innovation regardless of what profession we are discussing.  The first note I have of this cultural divide being discussed as a critical issue to be dealt with is by C.P. Snow, Cambridge: “Literary intellectuals at one pole—at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists. Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension—sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all a lack of understanding.  They have a curious distorted image of each other. Their attitudes are so different that, even on the level of emotion, they can’t find much common ground.”  (The Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution, The Rede Lecture, 1959 by C.P. Snow) To me, the difference between artist and … Continue reading

Think Can-Do In The New Year

I’m sitting here New Year’s morning eyeing the Rose Bowl Parade, still chuckling from a traditional evening of Marx Brothers and thinking on the year to come. It’s been a year of change for the Schlegel household, change that has been absorbed, embraced and adapted to establish our next launchpad. Thanks to all who have taken part, helped and encouraged. I grew up in the sixties on a healthy mix of impossible plans, building models of Apollo Saturn V’s and experimenting with solar cells. While I didn’t pursue a life in space, the mindset that practically anything is within the reach of a determined group never left me. Call me a product of Chicago where Birnham’s charge still sets the tone: “Make no small plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” Double negative aside, it’s a neat way to live. Is there hope in the new year? I … Continue reading

Sustaining Wealth Creation: Economic Recessions and Housing

How do we get out of the current financial mess? “Do whatever you can to allow the start of new businesses,” said 2002 Economic Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith, who spoke Thursday night (10/28/2010) at Indiana University. In the history of recessions here and around the world, bubbles in the housing market are regularly more devastating to financial institutions and other parts of the economy than even larger disruptions elsewhere according to Smith, Professor of Economics at Chapman University. Over the past few years I’ve been frustrated by simplified explanations of our recent financial crisis that place all blame on a single element of our system rather than dealing with what is a rather complex and intermixed systemic failure. Smith’s background in experimental microeconomics and long experience with bubbles led him and his associate, Dr. Steven Gjerstad, to study historic recessions and try to identify the differences that lead to … Continue reading

Creative Approaches

Creative approaches can come from unexpected directions. Today I was to teach a bit about entrepreneurial creativity in class, but had the chance for a real lesson an hour before. Carmen Benavente, author of Embroiderers of Ninhue: Stitching Chilean Rural Life, spoke at Indiana University today about her experiences in Chile. In 1971 at a time of turmoil in Chile she found herself back in her home region.  Surprised and frightened at the fear and mistrust she encountered upon arrival, she spent the night thinking over an idea – to invite the women of town to meet and share and learn embroidery. I found her story compelling, in part because of how quickly a creative impulse could catch fire. “Stitches afford a vocabulary for the designs,” said Carmen Benavente. The women were hesitant at first, saying they couldn’t even draw a straight line. But by the second day many in … Continue reading


Embracing change is a personal decision, but the need to change is a constant. No matter how ideal life or business is at the moment. Things change. I’ve been vibrantly aware of this during the past several months as my family has joyously celebrated two graduations, a wedding, a career shift, and a move. Now that we are at a pause in the summer of change (two moves yet to go) I’m catching my breath and contemplating change. You can make change a way of life. Be the early adopter, grab hold of every trend and gadget that passes near enough to touch. Being buffeted by every gust that hits doesn’t exactly make setting sail an easy proposition. You can resist change with all your might, and for a while keep your finger plugged in the dam. Won’t stop the dampness though and when it’s time to move your feet … Continue reading