Friday, January 7, 2022

"Great Resignation"

Sign of the times: ZipRecuiter is advertising on the back of fortunes from fortune cookies.  

© 2022 Praveen Puri

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

For Cyber Security, Pay Attention To Your "Invisible" Software

Over the this past weekend,  companies and governments were left scrambling to prevent cyberattacks after a serious flaw was discovered in Log4j, an open software package that is used by applications and servers to log activity.

Log4j is a piece of software that is used everywhere, yet "invisible", because it's behind the scenes.

The lesson is that, for cybersecurity, companies must track, and keep patches up to date with, ALL software that they use—including unsexy, low-level packages such as Log4j. 

© 2021 Praveen Puri

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Electric School Buses and Transformation

The new infrastructure bill provides money to school districts for purchasing electric school buses.

Targeting school buses to convert to EVs makes sense because:

1. Daily student ridership in the U.S. is four times the ridership of the NYC subway.
2. Kids are exposed to diesel exhaust every time the buses idle in traffic.
3. Buses drive short, fixed routes and spend plenty of time in bus lots where they can be charged.

This means that focusing on electrifying school buses is low-hanging fruit, compared to electrifying cars or trucks.

That provides a lesson for businesses on transformation and strategic project management.  Can you carve out similar low-hanging fruit (high benefit, low effort)?

© 2021 Praveen Puri

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Waste and Inefficiency

My insurance company needed to let me know that my premium changed. They sent me an email AND mailed me THREE different letters. Their software needs to be more efficient.  

© 2021 Praveen Puri

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bankruptcy: Silicon Valley vs. Europe

How can Europe make itself more like Silicon Valley, with disruptive companies?

One way is to de-stigmatize bankruptcy.

As "The Economist" points out, in Silicon Valley someone with one or two failed start-ups is seen as an experienced entrepreneur.  In Europe, a single bankruptcy can derail you career.

Recently, France found that they could successfully increase entrepreneurism by no longer publicly listing the managers of bankrupt companies for three years.  Banks would use this list to deny them funding. 

© 2021 Praveen Puri

Rio Tinto: The Price of Mismanagement and Unhealthy Culture

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about how Mongolia commissioned a report to investigate why a copper mine being developed by global mining company Rio Tinto suffered delays and a $1.4 billion cost overrun.

Rio Tinto had blamed unfavorable rock conditions, but the report found that the rock quality was fine and the real culprit was an unhealthy culture and lack of coordination between teams: "People were working in silos with one group blaming the other for any failings."

While most failed projects and change initiatives don't suffer losses of this magnitude, unhealthy culture and silos are, unfortunately, all too common in business. They result in missed innovative opportunities and negatively impact performance and bottom-line results.

© 2021 Praveen Puri

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Lessons From Lake Michigan

In 2013, Lake Michigan was at a historically low level, and people talked about a "new normal".

In 2019, the Lake was 6 feet higher, at record highs, and people were worried and upset because beaches and piers are missing and getting destroyed.

Some lessons:
1. Things in life and nature are cyclical.
2. There's always someone complaining: too high or too low.
3. The scale of nature is awesome: The lake went up 6 feet. To put it in perspective, to raise Lake Michigan by 1 inch takes about 780 billion gallons of water.

© 2021 Praveen Puri