How much is a human life worth? Individuals, families, companies, and governments routinely place a price on human life. The calculations that underlie these price tags are often buried in technical language, yet they influence our economy, laws, behaviors, policies, health, and safety.
These price tags are often unfair, infused as they are with gender, racial, national, and cultural biases that often result in valuing the lives of the young more than the old, the rich more than the poor, whites more than blacks, Americans more than foreigners, and relatives more than strangers. This is critical since undervalued lives are left less-protected and more exposed to risk.
Howard Steven Friedman explains in simple terms how economists and data scientists at corporations, regulatory agencies, and insurance companies develop and use these price tags and points a spotlight at their logical flaws and limitations. He then argues against the rampant unfairness in the system. Readers will be enlightened, shocked, and, ultimately, empowered to confront the price tags we assign to human lives and understand why such calculations matter.
Bio: Howard Steven Friedman is a statistician and health economist for the United Nations. He has worked with major organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNDP, and UNESCO. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
A Trend Following Flashback with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
I continue to have the good fortune to have the great minds on this show. Today, Author Jack Canfield joins me to talk principles for success.
In The Success Principles, the cocreator of the phenomenal bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, helps you get from where you are to where you want to be, teaching you how to increase your confidence, tackle daily challenges, live with passion and purpose, and realize all your ambitions. Filled with memorable and inspiring stories of CEO’s, world-class athletes, celebrities, and everyday people, it spells out the 64 timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history—proven principles and strategies that can be adapted for your own life, whether you want to be the best salesperson in your company, become a leading architect, score top grades in school, lose weight, buy your dream home, make millions, or just get back in the job market. Taken together and practiced every day, these principles will change your life beyond your wildest dreams.
Bio: Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Today on Trend Following Radio, Michael Covel interviews Steve Blank. The interview was inspired by Steve’s “The Virus Survival Strategy For Your Startup.” Steve offers: “It’s no longer business as usual for the rest of the economy. In fact, shutting down the economy for a pandemic has never happened. Millions of jobs may be lost in the next few months, as entire industries get devastated, something not seen since the Great Depression of 1929-39. I hope that I’m very wrong, but the impact of this virus social and economic effects are likely to be profound, and will change how we shop, travel and work for years.”
Biography: Eight-time entrepreneur-turned-educator Steve Blank is credited with launching the Lean Startup movement. He’s changed how startups are built, how entrepreneurship is taught, how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate. Recognized as a thought leader on startups and innovation, Steve was named one of the Thinkers50 top management thinkers and recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of 12 Masters of Innovation.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
You might imagine that an effective leader is someone who makes quick, intelligent decisions, gives inspiring speeches, and issues clear orders to their team so they can execute a plan to achieve your organization’s goals. Unfortunately, David Marquet argues, that’s an outdated model of leadership that just doesn’t work anymore.
As a leader in today’s networked, information-dense business climate, you don’t have full visibility into your organization or the ground reality of your operating environment. In order to harness the eyes, ears, and minds of your people, you need to foster a climate of collaborative experimentation that encourages people to speak up when they notice problems and work together to identify and test solutions.
Too many leaders fall in love with the sound of their own voice, and wind up dictating plans and digging in their heels when problems begin to emerge. Even when you want to be a more collaborative leader, you can undermine your own efforts by defaulting to command-and-control language we’ve inherited from the industrial era.
It’s time to ditch the industrial age playbook of leadership. In Leadership is Language, you’ll learn how choosing your words can dramatically improve decision-making and execution on your team. Marquet outlines six plays for all leaders, anchored in how you use language:
Biography: L. David Marquet (Captain, US Navy-Retired), a top graduate of the US Naval Academy, commanded the nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe from 1999 to 2001. Since leaving the Navy, he has worked with businesses nationwide as a leadership consultant. He also teaches graduate-level leadership at Columbia University.
A Plan for an Uncertain World with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
My guest today has insights. Very unique insights. I am very lucky to keep bringing great minds onto this show. An excerpt from his piece that inspired me:
On April 28, 1961—a decade after General Douglas MacArthur was fired for defying Harry Truman on Korea—the controversial commander hosted President John F. Kennedy at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where MacArthur and his wife lived in a suite on the 37th floor. The contrast between the two could not have been more obvious: MacArthur, then in his early eighties, was mottled, frail, and walked with a slight stoop, while the newly inaugurated Kennedy was young, fit, and vibrant. The two sequestered themselves in MacArthur’s suite, then posed for photographers, the young president obviously proud to appear with the aging legend.
Fortunately for historians, Kennedy recorded notes on his Waldorf Astoria discussion, committing MacArthur’s advice to a personal memorandum that he later referred to in White House policy discussions. The meeting itself was the subject of news stories and featured on national newscasts that same day. Later, the meeting provided grist for two generations of Kennedy-besotted commenters who debated whether the young president, had he not been assassinated in Dallas, might have recoiled from committing tens of thousands of U.S. troops to a winless war in Southeast Asia—a course of action taken by Lyndon Johnson, his successor.
It turns out that Kennedy’s memo of the Waldorf Astoria meeting (now at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum) is crucial for historians for a number of other reasons. It offers not only a glimpse of how the young president intended to navigate the treacherous waters of the Cold War, but suggests how one of America’s most celebrated military officers viewed what might be called the grand strategy of the American Republic: that is, whether and how the U.S. might win its dangerous struggle against the Soviet Union. Finally, the Waldorf Astoria meeting tells us how MacArthur’s most famous warning—to “never fight a land war in Asia”—has come down to us, what he meant by it, and whether, in an age of American troop deployments in at least 133 countries, it retains its meaning.
Bio: Mark Perry is a military, intelligence, and foreign affairs analyst and writer. His articles have appeared in the Nation, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Times, among other outlets, and he is a frequent guest commentator and expert on Al Jazeera television network. He is the author of eight books, including Grant and Twain, Partners in Command, and Talking to Terrorists. Perry has served as editor and Washington bureau chief for a number of publications, including Washington D.C.’s City Paper and The Veteran, the largest circulation newspaper for veterans in the nation.
Are you solving the right problems? Have you or your colleagues ever worked hard on something, only to find out you were focusing on the wrong problem entirely? Most people have. In a survey, 85 percent of companies said they often struggle to solve the right problems. The consequences are severe: Leaders fight the wrong strategic battles. Teams spend their energy on low-impact work. Startups build products that nobody wants. Organizations implement “solutions” that somehow make things worse, not better. Everywhere you look, the waste is staggering. As Peter Drucker pointed out, there’s nothing more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.
There is a way to do better.
The key is reframing, a crucial, underutilized skill that you can master with the help of this book. Using real-world stories and unforgettable examples like “the slow elevator problem,” author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg offers a simple, three-step method – Frame, Reframe, Move Forward – that anyone can use to start solving the right problems. Reframing is not difficult to learn. It can be used on everyday challenges and on the biggest, trickiest problems you face. In this visually engaging, deeply researched book, you’ll learn from leaders at large companies, from entrepreneurs, consultants, nonprofit leaders, and many other breakthrough thinkers.
It’s time for everyone to stop barking up the wrong trees. Teach yourself and your team to reframe, and growth and success will follow.
Biography: Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is a globally recognized expert on innovation and problem-solving. He has shared and refined his reframing method with clients like Cisco, Microsoft, Citigroup, Time Warner, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Amgen, Prudential, Union Pacific, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, the Wall Street Journal, and the United Nations.
Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with Jeremy Gutsche the CEO of Trend Hunter.
In our era of disruption and possibility, there are so many great opportunities within your grasp; however, most smart and successful people miss out. Unfortunately, your capabilities are limited by the seven traps of path dependency, which cause you to repeat past decisions. These traps can limit you from seeing the potential of what could be. If you could overcome these traps, what could you accomplish? How much more successful could you be?
Jeremy Gutsche’s Create the Future teaches you how to think disruptively, providing specific steps to create real innovation and change. This book combines Jeremy’s high energy, provocative thinking with tactics that have been battle-tested through thousands of his team’s projects advising leading innovators like Disney, Starbucks, Amex, IBM, Adidas, Google, and NASA.
Biography: Jeremy Gutsche is a New York Times bestselling author, innovation expert and CEO of Trend Hunter, the world’s largest trend platform, with more than 3 billion views total views from 150,000,000 people. Over the last decade, he has helped more than 600 brands, billionaires, CEOs and NASA in the quest to make innovation and change actually happen.
Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with David Hand.
In the era of big data, it is easy to imagine that we have all the information we need to make good decisions. But in fact the data we have are never complete, and may be only the tip of the iceberg. Just as much of the universe is composed of dark matter, invisible to us but nonetheless present, the universe of information is full of dark data that we overlook at our peril. In Dark Data, data expert David Hand takes us on a fascinating and enlightening journey into the world of the data we don’t see.
David Hand’s Dark Data explores the many ways in which we can be blind to missing data and how that can lead us to conclusions and actions that are mistaken, dangerous, or even disastrous. Examining a wealth of real-life examples, from the Challenger shuttle explosion to complex financial frauds, Hand gives us a practical taxonomy of the types of dark data that exist and the situations in which they can arise, so that we can learn to recognize and control for them. In doing so, he teaches us not only to be alert to the problems presented by the things we don’t know, but also shows how dark data can be used to our advantage, leading to greater understanding and better decisions.
Biography: David J. Hand is emeritus professor of mathematics and senior research investigator at Imperial College London, a former president of the Royal Statistical Society, and a fellow of the British Academy. His many previous books include The Improbability Principle, Measurement: A Very Short Introduction, Statistics: A Very Short Introduction, and Principles of Data Mining.
Don’t fly blind. See how the power of experiments works for you. Michael talks today with an expert in the field–Stefan Thomke.
When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out new business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often get it wrong. They discover that intuition, experience, and big data alone don’t work. What does? Running disciplined business experiments. And what if companies roll out new products or introduce new customer experiences without running these experiments? They fly blind.
That’s what Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke shows in this rigorously researched and eye-opening book. It guides you through best practices in business experimentation, illustrates how these practices work at leading companies, and answers some fundamental questions: What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and brick-and-mortar businesses? In B2B and B2C? How do you build an experimentation culture? Also, best practice means running many experiments. Indeed, some hugely successful companies, such as Amazon, Booking.com, and Microsoft, run tens of thousands of controlled experiments annually, engaging millions of users. Thomke shows us how these and many other organizations prove that experimentation provides significant competitive advantage.
How can managers create this capability at their own companies? Essential is developing an experimentation organization that prizes the science of testing and puts the discipline of experimentation at the center of its innovation process. While it once took companies years to develop the tools for such large-scale experiments, advances in technology have put these tools at the fingertips of almost any business professional. By combining the power of software and the rigor of controlled experiments, today’s managers can make better decisions, create magical customer experiences, and generate big financial returns.
“The experiment is the way of keeping you honest.” — Stefan Thomke
Welcome to Thunderdome with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Laura Huang, a preeminent Harvard Business School professor, shows that success is about gaining an edge: that elusive quality that gives you an upper hand and attracts attention and support. Some people seem to naturally have it. Now, Huang teaches the rest of us how to create our own from the challenges and biases we think hold us back, and turning them to work in our favor.
How do you find a competitive edge when the obstacles feel insurmountable? How do you get people to take you seriously when they’re predisposed not to, and perhaps have already written you off?
Laura Huang has come up against that problem many times–and so has anyone who’s ever felt out of place or underestimated. Many of us sit back quietly, hoping that our hard work and effort will speak for itself. Or we try to force ourselves into the mold of who we think is “successful,” stifling the creativity and charm that makes us unique and memorable.
Huang offers a different approach. She argues that success is rarely just about the quality of our ideas, credentials, and skills, or our effort. Instead, achieving success hinges on how well we shape others’ perceptions–of our strengths, certainly, but also our flaws. It’s about creating our own edge by confronting the factors that seem like shortcomings and turning them into assets that make others take notice.
Huang draws from her award-winning research on entrepreneurial intuition, persuasion, and implicit decision-making, to impart her profound findings and share stories of previously-overlooked Olympians, assistants-turned-executives, and flailing companies that made momentous turnarounds. Through her deeply-researched framework, Huang shows how we can turn weaknesses into strengths and create an edge in any situation. She explains how an entrepreneur scored a massive investment despite initially being disparaged for his foreign accent, and how a first-time political candidate overcame voters’ doubts about his physical disabilities.
Edge shows that success is about knowing who you are and using that knowledge unapologetically and strategically.
When Mass Panic Rolls Out You Need A Plan with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
We are at the dawn of the Autonomous Revolution, a turning point in human history as decisive as the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. More and more, AI-based machines are replacing human beings, and online environments are gathering our data and using it to manipulate us. This loss of human autonomy amounts to nothing less than a societal phase change, a fundamental paradigm shift. The same institutions will remain–schools, banks, churches, and corporations–but they will radically change form, obey new rules, and use new tools.
William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone go deeply into the enormous implications of these developments. They show why increases in productivity no longer translate into increases in the GDP and how zero cost, one-to-many communications have been turned into tools for cybercrime and propaganda. Many of the book’s recommendations–such as using taxes to control irresponsible internet behavior and enabling people to put their data into what are essentially virtual personal information “safety deposit boxes”–are bold and visionary, but we must figure out how we will deal with these emerging challenges now, before the Autonomous Revolution overcomes us.
Howard Marks Inspiration with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Bain & Company partner Rob Markey argues most companies are too focused on earnings at the expense of customers. Instead they should measure and report “customer value” to investors, like Costco, Amex and Humana do, with consistent metrics that allow investors and other stakeholders to judge a company’s true value compared to competitors.
Too often, earnings pressure results in cost-cutting measures that hurt customers. But if you want to compete in today’s loyalty economy, customer value should be reported in your next quarterly and annual earnings or IPO reports, and it should become the focus of the money and attention you invest in your company. The article contains tips and original research with numerical data on how much faster loyalty leading companies grow revenues and shareholder returns than competitors.
Bio: Rob Markey is a partner and director at Bain & Company and the founder of the firm’s Global Customer Strategy and Marketing practice. He is a coauthor of The Ultimate Question 2.0 and is the host of the Net Promoter System podcast.
Michael Covel Goes on the Trend Following Tour on Trend Following Radio.
Tom Golisano understands the fears, risks, and challenges small-business owners face every day—he’s lived it. He has launched and grown his own highly successful businesses and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs, helping them build their own successful companies.
Built, Not Born shows readers:
• How going against the grain can be a great strategy for finding business opportunities and why it pays to question conventional wisdom.
• Why the pregnant pause can be an effective weapon in negotiations and when interviewing potential employees.
• Why a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement is critical to any business owner.
• What potential buyers and funding sources look for, and the best way to present a business plan.
• And finally, the key growth and leadership strategies that have helped Paychex sustain its incredible level of growth and profitability.
Tom Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and former owner of the Buffalo Sabres NHL team—is the founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York, with more than 15,500 employees and 100 office locations nationwide. Still active in business and philanthropy, he currently mentors the entrepreneurs who run the businesses in which he has invested, and he also oversees his family’s charitable foundation. To date he has donated over $250 million to a wide range of charitable causes, including educational institutions, children’s hospitals, and especially organizations working with people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Dan Ferris is the editor of Extreme Value, a monthly investment advisory that focuses on some of the safest and yet most profitable stocks in the market: great businesses trading at steep discounts. And while Dan and Michael employ different investing strategies, their conversation today reveals much in common.
Dan joined Stansberry Research in 2000. He became editor of Extreme Value in 2002. His strategy of finding safe, cheap, and profitable stocks has earned him a loyal following – as well as one of the most impressive track records in the industry.
Dan was among the few analysts to accurately describe the breadth and depth of the coming 2008 financial crisis. And he told investors to get out of small-cap mining stocks in 2011, before they went into a brutal, multi-year bear market.
As a result of his work in Extreme Value, Dan has appeared on Money with Melissa Francis and The Willis Report on Fox Business News, as well as The Street with Paul Bagnell on Business News Network. He has also been featured in Barron’s, the Value Investing Letter, and financial radio programs around the country.
The hidden key to successful transformation in any organization lies between human intuition and data-driven insights. Rishad Tobaccowala draws on research and interviews, as well as over three decades of experience as a business and thought leader, to describe how digilog companies—ones where digital tools and analog people are integrated expertly—develop a hybrid consciousness and learn to be proactive when they see warning signs that human traits are being subordinated to technology and data only decisions. Restoring the Soul of Business provides practical tools and techniques that every organization can and should implement, and challenges us to move forward with the kind of balance that catalyzes transformation and produces one great success after another:
Understand how to unleash the significant benefit that can by realized by combining emotion and data, human and machine, analog and digital.
Spot the warning signs of data-blinded companies: cold cultures with little human interaction, poor innovation stemming from stifled employees not encouraged to contribute ideas or insights, and poor customer service due to automated, robotic processes that cause frustration and hurt the brand.
Explore how organizations of various sizes and from different industries, from Walmart and IBM to Starbucks and Domino’s to Netflix and Google, have successfully reoriented their thinking on how to fuse technology and humanity.
Gain skills to become an expert in connections critical to growth and success, including the connection between being creative and using technology, between succeeding today and thriving tomorrow, and between leveraging networks and creating new ideas and approaches.
Biography: Rishad Tobaccowala is the Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, an advertising and communications firm whose 80,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to delivering marketing and business transformation. He is responsible for supporting the leaders of Publicis Groupe’s largest global clients, to help these organizations grow in a revolutionary time for all businesses.
Take Shots with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.
Author Nir Eyal joins Michael for his second appearance on the show. And today it’s all about distraction.
For example. You sit down at your desk to work on an important project, but a notification on your phone interrupts your morning. Later, as you’re about to get back to work, a colleague taps you on the shoulder to chat. At home, screens get in the way of quality time with your family. Another day goes by, and once again, your most important personal and professional goals are put on hold.
What would be possible if you followed through on your best intentions? What could you accomplish if you could stay focused? What if you had the power to become “indistractable?”
Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more.
Eyal overturns conventional wisdom and reveals:
• Why distraction at work is a symptom of a dysfunctional company culture—and how to fix it.
• What really drives human behavior and why “time management is pain management.”
• Why your relationships (and your sex life) depend on you becoming indistractable.
• How to raise indistractable children in an increasingly distracting world.
Empowering and optimistic, Indistractable provides practical, novel techniques to control your time and attention—helping you live the life you really want.
Scott Adams and Wise Advice About Not Staying in Your Lane.
A New 2020 Book with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio.