Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fix The World: The Power of Goals

Goals: it's been said before, but it bears repeating.

Setting goals - defining exactly what it is that you want to accomplish - is a tremendously powerful tool for getting the job done.

You can get away with a tacit goal-setting excercise in your subconscious when it's just you doing something, but in my experience I've found it's absolutely critical when you need many people to cooperate in the work to make an explicit statement of where you want to end up.

Bill Gates spoke to the UN General Assembly about progress on the Millennium Development Goals a few days ago. I heard some of it on the radio, and just watched his entire talk (only a few minutes long, I recommend it).

Here's a few key excerpts:

It is crucial to evaluate our performance in both areas, but I also think it’s important at this point to evaluate the goals themselves as a force for change. So here’s my evaluation: I love the Millennium Development Goals. I think they the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I’ve ever seen. With all the mountains of measures and studies and reports in the world—these Millennium Development Goals have broken through and grabbed broad attention.

Thanks to these goals, not only UN agencies but the world at large knows the key measures of poverty, hunger, health, and education. Some of the numbers are good and some are not. But the fact that the world is focusing on the numbers is excellent.

It means people see where things are going well, and understand how we can spread those successes. They see where we’re falling short, and they see the need to apply more effort and do things differently.


There is more power in these goals than we ever imagined. Now that we’ve seen it, we want to work with you to intensify it – and push the day when all people, no matter where they’re born, can live a life filled with health and opportunity.

Yes! Define goals! THEN work to achieve them! Like Bill Gates, I've had the experience of being surprised by just how well this works, and how the benefits of goal-setting are far broader than might be expected.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Because it works

Why McCain is going so negative - Jonathan Martin - Politico.com
“Every day not talking about the economy, the war and how to fix a broken system is a victory for McCain,” said John Weaver, a former top strategist to the nominee who left the campaign last year. “They’re going to ride it as long as they can and as long as the mainstream media puts up every ridiculous charge.”

The negative and often exaggerated or misleading claims being made about Obama and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, especially those playing on Palin’s gender, are just too irresistible for the process-consumed online and cable news media that now drives the campaign conversation, Weaver said.

“Unless there is a hurricane, they’re going to cover it,” he observed.

Talking Stocks: "

Over the years I have written about the stock market several times. I thought given the up and downs of the market, now would be a good time to replay some of those posts

(Via Blog Maverick.)

I like what Mark Cuban has to say about stock markets, and his belief that stock prices are much more about buzz than about any underlying financial reality.

I'm not saying I agree completely, but I do like including that way of looking at stock markets.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Today's links and ideas: "I've been impressed with how thoughtful and competent Obama is. That's why he's got my support. I also think our country is up shit's creek unless we can upgrade our economy, and to do so we need health and education, and that means public spending. It's not as if the Republicans don't believe in public spending, they do -- they just waste the money on destroying communities overseas. I want us to borrow to build strength here at home. I don't see it as a liberal vs conservative thing, rather a smart vs dumb thing. "

(Via Scripting News.)

Everything that Happens Will Happen Today

David Byrne and Brian Eno's new album isn't available on Rhapsody yet, but that's OK because you can stream the whole thing from their website. Heck you can stream it from my website!

I'm enjoying it quite a lot.