Looney Balloons

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Google’s far-fetched Project Loon seems to be working:

[A]s you read this, some 75 Google balloons are airborne, hovering somewhere over the far reaches of the Southern Hemisphere, automatically adjusting their altitudes according to complex algorithms in order to catch wind currents that will keep them on course. By next year, Google believes it will be able to create a continuous, 50-mile-wide ring of Internet service around the globe. And by 2016, Project Loon director Mike Cassidy anticipates the first customers in rural South America, Southern Africa, or Oceania will be able to sign up for cellular LTE service provided by Google balloons. (Google is starting in the far Southern Hemisphere, which is relatively sparsely populated, before expanding elsewhere.)

It took a while to get going though:

On the first try, the balloon burst not long after liftoff, the nylon fabric overmatched by the 100,000 pounds of pressure within. The same happened on the second try, and the third—and the next 50 after that. The team kept tweaking the fabric and reinforcing it with more Kevlar-like ropes, but the balloons kept bursting until they got the length of the ropes exactly right. (They had to be shorter than the fabric to relieve the pressure, but not too much shorter.)

“We knew it was hard to make a super-pressure balloon,” Cassidy recalls. “We didn’t think it would take us 61 attempts until we succeeded.”

Even then, the success was short-lived. Instead of bursting, the balloon slowly leaked helium, bringing it down after just a day or two in flight. “Even a millimeter-sized hole will bring a balloon like this down in a couple days,” Cassidy says. “And that’s what happened to the next 40 or 50 balloons we made.”

Google’s engineers spent weeks trying to isolate the problem. They took balloons out of their boxes and inflated them in a cavernous hangar at Moffett Field in Mountain View, shined polarized light through them, and even sniffed for helium leaks using a mass spectrometer. Each balloon that went down was subjected to a “failure analysis” that included poring over meticulous records of who had assembled it, where, and using what equipment, and how it had been transported.

Eventually they pinned the leaks on two sets of problems. One was that the balloons had to be folded several times over to be transported, and some developed tiny tears at the corners where they’d been folded repeatedly. Google set to work finding ways to fold and roll the balloons that would distribute the stress more evenly across the fabric.

The second problem was that some balloons were ripping slightly when workers stepped on the fabric with their socks. The solution to that problem? “Fluffier socks,” says Cassidy. “Seriously, that made a difference. Softer socks meant fewer leaks.”

As the team cut down on the leaks, the balloons started lasting longer: four days, then six, then several weeks at a time. As of November, Cassidy says, two out of every three balloons remain in the sky for at least 100 days.

But keeping the balloons airborne is only the first of the monumental problems that the project presented. Keeping them on course may be even harder.

Why do this again?

Providing Internet via a fleet of algorithmically directed balloons might sound prohibitively expensive, but Cassidy says it’s actually an order of magnitude cheaper than setting up and maintaining cell towers, making it more economically viable in remote regions.

Outside Marksmen

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

One of the prison assets Carl from Chicago went to audit turned out to be a sniper rifle:

These guns were kept in storage at the armory, and they brought out the sniper to show me the weapon himself because they didn’t let other people touch it after he had calibrated the scope. The sniper asked me a question:

Do you know why they pick snipers out of the staff in the prison?

No, I said.

Because in Attica there was an uprising and the prisoners took over the yard and then the prison brought in outside marksmen to ensure they could not escape. During the melee the marksmen shot many prisoners but it turns out that the prisoners had changed clothes with the civilian hostages, so some of the individuals gunned down were actual guards or workers. Thus the snipers were prison guards from that facility because they could pick out the inmates from the guards and workers.

I said that if he ever saw me in his scope wearing an orange outfit, please don’t shoot. It wasn’t a joke.

Randomly Selected Assets

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

When Carl from Chicago was first auditing the assets of the famous prison in Joliet, Illinois — where The Blues Brothers was filmed — he decided to use his judgment about which assets to check:

Typically you “randomly select” assets from the asset listing, take a statistically significant sample (perhaps 20-50 items), and draw conclusions about the whole pool of assets based on whether you were able to find the selected assets in the location where they were said to reside. I did this at first and the results came up with many assets titled “XXX-780? and I asked the accountants working for the facility what they were. The accountants said that these were individual prisoner beds and that was the cell number and the way to audit those assets would be to go in and unlock the cells and I could flip up the bed and check the number. I thought about this for a few minutes and then said “f&ck this” and decided that I would use “judgement” to select my assets instead of the random method and I selected 30 assets myself for my project.

Cirque du Soleil’s Next Act: Rebalancing the Business

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Cirque du Soleil’s next act, the Wall Street Journal reports, will be rebalancing the business:

Cirque du Soleil grew out of Montreal’s street performer scene in the 1980s, helped by early government funding as banks were reluctant to support the band of fire eaters, stilt walkers and clowns. The company’s reinvention of the traditional North American circus — creating theatrical spectacles drawing on Russian and Chinese influences and commedia dell’arte — proved popular on foreign tours. Revenues skyrocketed after a particularly favorable Las Vegas casino deal.

By the end of 2011, Cirque had 22 shows — seven of them in Las Vegas. It had built a 388,000 square foot headquarters in Montreal, much of the building taken up by the costume department that outfits performers in fantastical hand-painted clothes.

Near the peak of the company’s revenues, in August 2008, Mr. Laliberté agreed to sell 20% of the company to Dubai government-owned real estate companies for $545 million, pocketing around $275 million at the time, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But the rapid expansion masked deeper troubles at Cirque. The 2008 transaction valued Cirque at $2.7 billion; five years later, Mr. Laliberté took back a portion of Dubai’s stake at a price that suggested Cirque’s value had declined around 20% to $2.2 billion.

Cirque continued to expand even as the recession cut into demand.

Cirque premiered 20 shows in the 23 years from 1984 through 2006, none of which closed during that time other than its first few. Over the next six years it opened 14 more shows, five of which flopped and closed early.

How to Train Your Voice to Be More Charismatic

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Researchers are studying how to train your voice to be more charismatic:

In his experiments, Dr. Signorello analyzed recordings of speeches by leaders speaking French, Italian and Portuguese, including François Hollande, the current president of France, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former president of Brazil. He also studied speeches given by two Italian politicians, Umberto Bossi and Luigi de Magistris, and by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

To isolate acoustic properties, Dr. Signorello used a speech synthesizer to eliminate the actual meaning of the words being spoken. The frequency, intensity, cadence, duration and other vocal qualities remained intact.

Then, to understand how acoustic traits affected perceptions, Dr. Signorello and his colleagues asked 107 female and 26 male volunteers to rate a speaker’s charisma on a scale using 67 positive or negative adjectives, ranging from eloquent and bewitching to egocentric and menacing. To ensure that only perceptions of vocal qualities were measured, they also had the Italian speeches rated by 48 people who didn’t speak Italian, and the French speeches rated by 48 people who didn’t speak French.

Generally, someone speaking in a low-pitched voice is always perceived as big and dominant, while someone speaking in a high voice is perceived as small and submissive. When speaking to crowds, the political leaders typically stretched their voices to extremes, with a wide range of frequency variation, Dr. Signorello said.

“In the three languages, I see a similar pattern,” he said. “My research shows that charismatic leaders of any type in any culture tend to stretch their voice to the lower and higher limits during a public speech, which is the most important and risky context of communication for leadership,” he said.

These leaders adopted an entirely different tone when speaking to other high-ranking politicos or when the subject strayed from political topics. “They stretch their voice less when they speak to other leaders, keeping the vocal pitch very low. They stretch the voice limits even less when they speak about nonpolitical topics,” Dr. Signorello said.

In one experiment, he found he could change the way people perceived President Hollande of France by artificially dialing the pitch of his voice up or down.

Aspiring executives should take note, Dr. Signorello said. “The voice is a tool that can be trained,” he said. “Singers and actors train their voices to reach higher or lower frequencies. A leader-speaker should do the same.”

In another 10,000 years the Bene Gesserit will have mastered this.

End of Manually Operated Period

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

After the end of the Civil War, the US was at peace and had little use for new and improved weapons:

From Gatling’s original patent on 4 November 1862 to 26 June 1883, American supremacy in machine-gun design went unchallenged. It is of particular importance to note that from the adoption of the Gatling gun by our Army until the conclusion of this era, there was no threat of war to our country. This disproves the pacifist’s claim that once any nation has fully developed a superior weapon, war is inevitable to prove its effectiveness.

In this peaceful era, the Navy demanded perfection from the weapons tried. Some of the requirements placed upon these guns seem impossible when compared with our present-day system of testing.

It should be especially noted that at this time a Naval Acceptance Board functioned. This body of officers had the responsibility of seeing that any gun inventor could bring his invention to trial for purposes of adoption, and of extending to him all assistance possible to make his weapon reliable and effective. In fact, some of the suggestions offered helped in no small way the phenomenal success the guns later enjoyed.

The intense and wholehearted cooperation of these officers not only contributed to the mechanical accomplishments of the weapon under test, but undoubtedly furnished the inventor an incentive, since he knew that these officers would give him all the help in their power. That this procedure paid big dividends can best be judged by comparing these 21 years of progress with any other period in the continuous effort to produce weapons.

The establishment by the Navy in 1872 of the Experimental Battery at Annapolis, Md., showed the farsightedness of the officers responsible for weapon development. This facility handled all the firing of prototype weapons. And certain defects, inevitably present during initial firing tests, were required to be remedied before the weapon was allowed to go before the board for final trial at the Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. The unbelievable performances of machine guns tested there was due to their having previously been fired under the expert supervision of Naval officers at the Experimental Battery. Many of the defects were eliminated that would otherwise have caused the weapon to fail during the rigorous acceptance trials demanded by the Navy.

Some of the official records from these two firing ranges of the Navy reveal performances that no modern fiction writer would dare to credit to the present-day machine gun; yet they were actual accomplishments of this era.

Incidentally the Experimental Battery at Annapolis was the pioneer Naval Proving Ground. In 1890 it was moved to a new tract overlooking the Potomac River at Indian Head, Md., and in 1921 the present Naval Proving Ground was opened at Dahlgren, Va.

Though these tests helped gun design, they did not enrich the designer. One fact, standing out above all others, is that during this era a successful machine gun inventor was compelled to go abroad to market his weapon, although in every instance it was first offered to his Government.

While the United States had no need, and no immediate prospect, of using these superb weapons, foreign governments not only recognized their superiority, but made every possible overture to induce the inventors to leave home and market their discoveries abroad. With no incentive in this country to warrant any other choice, a steady trek of gun geniuses left America for Europe to establish factories–not only taking with them the “know-how” and top talent of the gun profession, but, in most instances, staffing their foreign factories with the highest skilled Yankee machinists they were able to hire. Their services were thus lost forever to their own country. And the factories they established abroad have been there so long that today they are thought to be of foreign origin, when in reality they were started by skilled American citizens, building a product unwanted at home. Necessity alone placed them on foreign soil to design and perfect the deadliest known instrument of war–the machine gun.

The weapons of this quarter century were all manually operated. Since it was always necessary for a gunner to aim the piece, there seemed no reason why he should not also furnish the power to feed and fire the gun. Mechanical advantage was utilized to enable the individual soldier to maintain sustained fire with a minimum effort.

During the latter part of this era, the weapons reached such a high degree of efficiency it was predicted there was nothing left to be improved. They were accepted as “invincible reapers of death.”

As has been the case throughout weapon history, when perfection in the nth degree seems accomplished, an “impossible” principle is suddenly made to work. Past ideas, years of heartbreaking effort, and standards of perfection are outmoded overnight; yesterday’s invincible weapon is today’s obsolete scrap.

Industrial By-Products of the Gun Trade

Friday, November 28th, 2014

In order to speed up and to economize on weapon production, gun-makers conceived and perfected machine tools, which proved useful in other industries:

In the history of weapon progress, the advent of the machine age rivals the discovery of gunpowder. Power tools accomplished the impossible with the guns of the day, and opened means for the progressive inventor to write an unequaled chapter of development.

The influence of machine tools in modern life is little appreciated by the average person. The New York Museum of Science and Industry has on its wall a panel stating that the origin of machine tools has made possible all generated light, heat, and power; all modern transportation by rail, water, and air; all forms of electric communication; and has likewise caused to be produced all the machinery used in agriculture, textiles, printing, paper making, and all the instruments used in every science. “Everything we use at work, at home, at play, is either a child or a grandchild of a machine tool.” But the Adam and Eve of the machine tool, and its application to mass production, were the early Connecticut and Massachusetts gunsmiths.

Good mechanics have been found in every nation, yet for some reason, most of the important machine tools used throughout the world originated in only two places: Great Britain and New England. The English craftsmen, traditionally lovers of the hand-finished product, benefited little from this fact. They have furnished no serious competition in this field since the 1850′s when undisputed leadership shifted to New England. This section of the United States became, practically, a manufacturing arsenal. Its mechanics were recognized as the world’s best. In fact, some of their contributions to the power tool industry have affected the course of history more through industrial progress than their fine weapons did on the battlefield.

Among the little-known inventions of these men can be found the first milling machine with a power feed which was devised by the original Eli Whitney; it was the direct predecessor of what is known today as the power miller. Christopher M. Spencer, who was noted for his repeating rifles, patented a great improvement on the drop hammer, and perfected a cam control, or “brain wheel,” whereby the operation of lathes was made automatic. This invention was one of the few for which the original drawing was so perfectly devised that it is still used today. Another gunsmith, Henry Stone, developed the turret principle for lathes. The high speed automatic lathe of today is a combination of the work of Spencer and Stone. The two men originated many improvements which extend from farm machinery to silk winding machines, but their first success was in weapon design.

Francis A. Pratt was one of the best designers of machine tools. After founding the Pratt & Whitney Co. for manufacturing guns, he found other products so profitable that, today, few people know of the influence of firearms on this outstanding manufacturing concern.

Asa Cook, a brother-in-law of Pratt, and a former Colt mechanic, was the inventor and manufacturer of machines to make screws and bolts automatically. Eli J. Manville, a former Pratt & Whitney engineer, established with his five sons at Waterbury, Conn., a plant which has been conspicuous in the design of presses, bolt headers, and thread rollers for the brass industry.

The arms plants proved training schools for inventors. Guns were made as long as profitable, but with changing times these versatile men began to make things entirely unrelated to firearms. Many became so successful in other manufacturing ventures that today it is often hard to associate a large telescope company or a successful sewing machine plant with its original founder, a master craftsman, working patiently on the development of a new firearm. Yet the fact still remains that American domination of manufacturing “know how” came largely from the honest effort of gun producers just before the Civil War to compete with each other in providing the world’s finest weapons.

It did not take long for American gun makers to carry the gospel of machine tool performance across the seven seas. As early as 1851, a Vermont firm showed at a London fair guns with interchangeable components manufactured by mass production methods. The British government was so impressed that it ordered the making of 20,000 Enfield rifles in American factories by this method. Three years later Great Britain ordered from the company that made these weapons 157 gun milling machines, which were the first automatic tools to be used in Europe. Among them was the eccentric lathe invented by Thomas Blanchard of the Springfield Armory. This device allowed wooden gun stocks to be machine carved with great rapidity in lieu of the laborious hand method formerly employed. The machine turned out irregular (eccentric) forms, from patterns, with automatic speed and precision; and has undergone practically no change in design since it was invented by Blanchard. Like innumerable other weapon-inspired tools, it contributed not only to American domination of the armament business but also helped to reshape the entire structure of the manufacturing world.

The Popularity of Frozen

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

The popularity of Frozen has been magnified by the rise of gender segregation in toys:

Princesses may seem like a permanent feature of the toyscape, but they were less common before the 1990s. “The idea that pink princess fantasy dream dolls have always been a part of girlhood is false,” says Elizabeth Sweet, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, who studies the cultural history of toys. Sweet has found that the popularity of gender-neutral toys reached a peak in the mid-1970s. Since then, toy makers have embraced the market-doubling effect of pushing certain toys to boys and other toys to girls. Sweet says the level of gender segregation has never been higher. A typical big-box store might have four aisles of blue toys and four aisles of pink toys with an aisle of yellow toys in between. “Separate but equal,” she says. Legos, for example, evolved from simple packs of building blocks into play sets mostly sold to boys, often with brand tie-ins. In 2012, the company introduced Lego Friends, which are basically Legos for girls.

Disney really began to focus on princesses in 2000, after a new executive went to see a “Disney on Ice” show and was struck by how many of the girls in the audience were wearing homemade princess costumes. “They weren’t even Disney products,” the executive, Andy Mooney, told the writer Peggy Orenstein for her book about the rise of princesses, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter.” The Disney Princess line now makes about $4 billion a year, on par with the earning power of Mickey Mouse himself. (The “Frozen” girls are not, as yet, official members of the Princess ensemble.)

When Confidence Trumps Competence

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Another study shows that people prefer confidence to accuracy when choosing an expert to trust:

Researchers at Washington State University did an exhaustive analysis of non-celebrity “pundits” who made predictions about the outcomes of sporting events. They rated each social media post that involved a prediction for its confidence level. For example, a prediction that one team would “crush” another is more confident than merely projecting a “win.” They checked predictions against actual game results to gauge accuracy, and also analyzed the number of followers each built over time.

The results were surprising. While accuracy of predictions did lead to a small but statistically significant increase in the number of followers, confidence was nearly three times as powerful.

The potent effects of confidence on trust aren’t new. As I described in Convince With Confidence, Carnegie Mellon researchers had subjects participate in a weight-guessing game in which they could purchase the assistance of “advisers.” They tended to choose those advisers who were more confident, even when after multiple rounds those advisers were less accurate than others.

Firestone in Liberia

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Last month, Firestone’s rubber plantation in Liberia made the news, because it stopped ebola in its tracks:

The case was detected on a Sunday. Garcia and a medical team from the company hospital spent Monday setting up an Ebola ward. Tuesday the woman was placed in isolation.

“None of us had any Ebola experience,” he says. They scoured the Internet for information about how to treat Ebola. They cleared out a building on the hospital grounds and set up an isolation ward. They grabbed a bunch of hazmat suits for dealing with chemical spills at the rubber factory and gave them to the hospital staff. The suits worked just as well for Ebola cases.

Firestone immediately quarantined the woman’s family. Like so many Ebola patients, she died soon after being admitted to the ward. But no one else at Firestone got infected: not her family and not the workers who transported, treated and cared for her.

The Firestone managers had the benefit of backing and resources of a major corporation — something the communities around them did not.

Notice how NPR emphasizes that Firestone managers had the benefit of backing and resources of a major corporation, when, really, Firestone had managers who simply instituted a quarantine and made it stick.

Now that same Firestone plantation is getting a different kind of media attention. The latest Frontline, Firestone and the Warlord, looks at Firestone’s actions during the Liberian civil war. As The Vice Guide to Liberia makes abundantly clear, Liberia is a messed up place today, but when the incompetent gunmen were running the show, it got really bad.

What is the right course of action for the ex-pat managers of an enormous, immobile asset, in a country embroiled in civil war? They were apparently wrong for leaving and wrong for coming back.

Uber Gets the Buzzfeed Treatment

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Uber gets the Buzzfeed treatment, and Scott Adams (Dilbert) is not pleased:

Let’s start with Buzzfeed’s totally manipulative and misleading headline:

Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists

Holy shit! Uber must be evil! They are trying to suppress freedom of the media!

Except… that isn’t what happened, according to Buzzfeed’s own reporting in the article with the misleading headline.

Michael didn’t “suggest” doing anything. Nor did he — then or now — even want to dig up dirt on journalists. Assuming Buzzfeed’s reporting of the details is accurate, all he did was make a dinner party intellectual comparison between the evil of the media that was unfairly attacking them (which I assume is true) and their own civilized response to the attacks.

Michael’s point, as Buzzfeed reports it, was that horrible people in the media mislead readers and there is nothing a victim can do about it within the realm of reasonable business practices. The Buzzfeed business model is totally legal. But, as Michael explained, probably over a cocktail, the only legal solution to this problem would be to use freedom of the press to push back on the bad actors by giving them a taste of their own medicine.

But it was just private cocktail talk. It wasn’t a plan. It definitely wasn’t a “suggestion.” It was just an interesting way to make a point. The point, as I understand it from Buzzfeed’s own reporting, is that Uber does play fair in a fight in which the opponents (bad actors in the press) do not. I find that interesting. It is also literally the opposite of what the headline of the story “suggests” happened.

And Michael made his point in a room full of writers and media people. Obviously it wasn’t a plan.

It’s not as if Michael was talking about manipulating the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. Those publications might get some facts wrong now and then, but they don’t have a business model that involves intentionally taking things out of context to manufacture news. No one suggested trying to strong-arm the legitimate media. Michael was talking about the bottom-feeder types that literally manufacture news, hurt innocent people, damage the reputation of companies, and hide behind the Constitution and freedom of speech. You can’t compare the bad actors in the press with the legitimate press. And in my opinion it makes interesting dinner conversation to speculate how one can stop the bad actors without breaking any laws.

And then Buzzfeed proved Michael’s point by taking his words out of context and showing that Michael could do nothing about it but apologize for… Buzzfeed’s misleading description of what he said.

That’s called “news.”

Super Revenue

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The real superhero money comes not from movies but from licensed products, where the real hero isn’t Batman, Superman, or one of the Avengers:

It’s actually Spider-Man who is the superheroic earner, with licensing profits that in 2013 outpaced those of the Avengers ($325 million), Batman ($494 million), and Superman ($277 million). The Hollywood Reporter lists the data reported by the Licensing Letter.

According to the data, Marvel also sees far more licensed products shipped than DC does.

3 Million ‘Frozen’ Dresses Sold

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

More than three million “Frozen” role-play dresses have been sold this year in North America:

Disney Consumer Products, which released that “Frozen” nugget on Tuesday — an unusual step for the company — did not disclose corresponding dollar sales. The princess dresses, frilly in light blue for the character Elsa, earthier tones for her sister, Anna, sell for $49.95 to $99.95 at Disney Stores.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Halloween consumer survey, an estimated 2.6 million children dressed up as one of the characters from “Frozen,” an animated musical that took in $1.3 billion at the global box office.

The federation estimated that 3.4 million children dressed up as princesses of some type; the most popular costume for boys was Spider-Man — also a Disney-owned property — with 2.6 million.

Advice that surprises you

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Startups are so weird, Paul Graham contends, that if you trust your instincts, you’ll make a lot of mistakes:

When I was running Y Combinator I used to joke that our function was to tell founders things they would ignore. It’s really true. Batch after batch, the YC partners warn founders about mistakes they’re about to make, and the founders ignore them, and then come back a year later and say “I wish we’d listened.”

Why do the founders ignore the partners’ advice? Well, that’s the thing about counterintuitive ideas: they contradict your intuitions. They seem wrong. So of course your first impulse is to disregard them. And in fact my joking description is not merely the curse of Y Combinator but part of its raison d’etre. If founders’ instincts already gave them the right answers, they wouldn’t need us. You only need other people to give you advice that surprises you. That’s why there are a lot of ski instructors and not many running instructors.

Read the whole thing — and the footnotes.

Behaviorally Fit

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Business schools don’t — but should — teach their students to become behaviorally fit, Lee Newman argues:

It’s a 9 a.m. meeting, Carolina is getting resistance from the team and a rival is trying to derail her with subtle gibes. This is a typical moment of truth, and her success will depend largely on how well she listens, reveals hidden agendas, demonstrates openness to others’ ideas, and controls her emotions.

Business school graduates and rising young professionals are all smart and armed with knowledge and tools. What differentiates them is how well they can think and react, and the quality of what they say and do in these behavioral moments that populate every workday.

Behavioral science has shown very clearly that when under time pressure and stress, we resort to default behaviors. These are automatic ways of thinking and reacting that are too often unproductive. Behind closed doors, when I ask a group of executives or young professionals, “Who in this room thinks they could be a better listener?”–90% or more raise their hands. In my experience, the majority of smart professionals listen too little, micromanage too much, judge too quickly, give too little consideration to the ideas of others… and the list goes on.

Learning best practices in workplace behaviors (e.g., 10 steps for active listening, eight steps for leading change, and so on) is useful, but also easily forgotten. When push comes to shove in a high-conflict meeting at the end of a long day, it’s less about what you know and are capable of doing, than it is about having well tuned behaviors that allow you to actually make things happen.

This is what I call “behavioral fitness.” Business schools and corporate universities need to treat the workplace like a behavioral gym where professionals have a clear training plan for what behaviors they need to work on, and then they need to get down to it. Professionals need to sweat daily, in every meeting, every conversation, and every problem solving session.

Why wait until post-grad business school?