Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari wrote this book as if he was observing humankind from another realm. His ideas are unexpected and sometimes controversial.
How did humans develop so far and wide when primate groups usually cap at 150 individuals? (Hint: shared myths). An interesting element of this book is the concept of imagined realities – money, religions, relationships and jobs work for us because we share a universally accepted truth about them. Shared myths allow us to organize in teams, sometimes of a billion people or more. But when that truth changes so do our realities.
Lesson for industry: If the ability to create and share myths allowed Homosapiens to thrive and organize, what could happen with an enforceable trust mechanism like blockchain? How would it permit and change us by reducing the friction of interaction?
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?
Actor/author Alan Alda talks about the challenges faced by technologists and scientists who must communicate ideas to people unfamiliar with the concept. (He’s the host of Scientific American Frontiers, where he met and talked with so many scientists working to get their ideas across).
Everything from how projects get funded to selling your idea to the world – it all relies on how well you convey what you know. If the idea of sending scientists to improve classes seems ridiculous, you need to open up your mind a little.
Lesson for leadership: Based on the concepts in this book I am changing the way we do project reviews with this directive: Explain your concept to me the way you would explain it to your grandparent or an 11-year-old. You do not score extra points for complexity.