Thursday, October 28, 2010


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A blog reader of mine, Information Technology Services Manager Dusko Galic, has recently brought my personal attention to some interesting insights from the book, 'Discover Your Inner Economist', by professor of economics Tyler Cowen.

The insights, as follows, pertain to three principles from the professor for distingusihing good economics from bad economics, so to speak.

1) The Post Card Test:

A good economic argument should be possible to be written on a moderately-sized post card.

2) The Grandma Test:

Most economic arguments ought to be intelligible to your grandma.

3) The Aha Principle:

If the basic concepts are presented well, economics should make sense.

I particularly like the first one, more from a non-economic application perspective.

If you have a great idea & you have thought it through thoroughly, then you should be able to express it within the confines of a post card in order to sell your idea.

It's like doing the 'Elevator Speech' to grab a potential investor's quick attention.

As for the Grandma Test, I have often used a slight variation to explain to my students in a training workshop about the acid test for understanding a complex subject matter.

If you can explain it to your grandma, & she can understand at least the rudimentary aspects of it, then, one can safely say you have truly understood your subject matter.

Thanks, Dusko, for sharing!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I am very intrigued by the listing of specific requirements pertaining to what are essentially "soft skills" with regard to a recent recruitment ad for a 'Allocations Manager' on the Internet, in addition to the full listing of functional responsibilities & other educational & work specifications:


Problem Solving:

- Uses rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective solutions;
- probes all fruitful sources for answers;
- can see hidden problems;
- is excellent at honest analysis;
- looks beyond the obvious and doesn't stop at the first answers.

Strategic Agility:

- Sees ahead clearly;
- can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately;
- has broad knowledge and perspective;
- is future oriented;
- can articulately paint credible pictures and visions of possibilities and likelihoods;
- can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.

In other words, a university education of today, which often & still focuses on "hard skills", is no guarantee for job success, or rather getting a job in the marketplace.

One has to develop "soft skills".

I sincerely hope that our educators are watching this trend & doing something about it to prepare our future generations.