Moments — the power and beauty of bookclub.

The reason most people do not accomplish more is that they do not attempt more. The boy who does not read good books, who does not embrace every opportunity to extend his general knowledge, has no advantage over the boy who cannot read books and who does not have opportunity to extend his knowledge. 

                                                      "Bulletin” of the National Association of Corporation Schools July 1915


Somehow I found myself part of a "bookclub" that reads business books. We get together after each book is read to discuss its major themes and what we gleaned from it — we also drink wine and beer, have something to eat, and discuss the merits of the latest superhero action movie.

The group consists mostly of people working on their MBA part time — although we are not all doing that. We are all there to learn, share our perspectives, meet new people, and build upon the opportunities that come with all of this.

Our last book club involved the merits of "discomfort" for personal growth and development (the book was The Beauty of Discomfort) — we also discussed our dreams for the future, the possibly of moving to China, the serendipity of common connections, a trip to Germany, and how the blockbuster superhero movies of 2018 will be amazing.

These were the conversations of people attempting to do more.

I'd like to thank Adrian, and Laura, and Victoria, and Behnam, and Renée, and Jenn, and Doug, and Robert — I am richer for the opportunity of book club.


This is why I really, really like beBee...

Simply put... it is the fascinating people you get to meet.

Today I met RenéeCormier and Kevin Pashuk for coffee (I actually had diet coke but this isn't about my slight addiction). I have known Renee for a while now and we meet regularly, but this was the first time I've had the opportunity to meet Kevin face to face. 

I have known Kevin through his writing and comments, and it has always been a nice experience — To meet him face to face was a complete pleasure. Our conversations ebbed and flowed on a litany of topics for about two hours and I was slightly saddened when we had to part company. I will admit some of the sadness was because I had to head out into the rain but that is no reflection on anything other than I don't like to get wet.

I met both Renee and Kevin through beBee, and it is just the luxury of geography that has allowed us to have coffee and diet coke together... but here is the thing in all of this.

I have also met people from Spain, Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, India, the U.S., other parts of Canada, the U.K., et cetera, et cetera... I may not get to spend time with them in a trendy Oakville cafe but I get to know them through their writing, their comments, their interests, their engagement, and their expression. 

I have become a richer person for my beBee experience so far; to everyone I have connected with, "Thank you".

And to all those I will meet in the future, I can hardly wait.


Disruption, dislodgement and optimism...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

"Networking" is quite possibly the most overused word around, but that does not make it any less important; that's why it's overused I suppose.

Connecting with people to build your network, expand your Linked In connections and increasing your collection of "views and likes" is all well and good, but ultimately it's all about drawing on people's skills, insights and experience.

This is what I recently found myself involved with as we were looking for "perspective and insight" regarding a new technology in the molecular diagnostic space*. After a good deal of discussion, many questions and some "stunning visuals", we asked for some candid feedback. 

To that he simply said, "I have three words for you - Disruption, dislodgement and optimism". 

He went on to elaborate -

Disruption: How disruptive is your technology over the current technology? Is your technology different enough to consider adopting and change from what is currently being used? The more disruptive the technology, the more inherent advantages there are for switching and the more likely you will see adoption. He went on to say this ultimately applies to anything, be it technology or process, and had found innovation and disruption are more or less synonymous.

Dislodgement: What are you going to do to dislodge the incumbent, be it a competitor or how something is being done, and have your technology adopted? The less disruptive your technology, the more difficult it will be to dislodge the current way of thinking (if not impossible); whereas something of a disruptive nature (with advantages) has a better chance of dislodging the current technology or way of thinking. It was pointed out not to underestimate how difficult it is to dislodge the current way of thinking - It takes hard work, creativity and tenacity. 

And this brought us to optimism: We were reminded that by nature humans are overly optimistic; believing what we have is the most "innovative and disruptive, with the ability to dislodge any incumbent" . He also reminded us that facts and data win the day - In the same breath though, he went on to say it is optimism that enables people to do amazing things, and we should never lose it.

In parting, he mentioned we should call him in a couple of weeks as he knows someone we should talk to. The networking continues.

I am very optimistic.


* The technology is an isothermal amplification technology platform that offers advantages over current amplification technologies. If you are interested in knowing more let me know... we have some "stunning visuals".