Duke wins NCAA B-ball title – may the best coached team win

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Not all gloomy for America. iPad released to rave reception by more than just the fanatics. What this portends for education and training is inspiring. I shared a look at my iPad with a friendly, hip young guy at the Kitty Hawk coffee shop this morning. His elegant Mac Book Pro looked like a mainframe compared to the iPad. Typical Mac community interaction, ie sharing a look at Apple products. Can you imagine PC types doing this?!

Last night my son streamed a movie to the iPad from wifi system that came with the beach house rental. The NetFlix app for video is super. So is the iBook reader; so is the speaker for the iPod; so is the picture viewer; so is, so is, so…..I’m one of the fans, for sure. Wouldn’t you agree that this yet-another-hit-from-Apple offsets the well intentioned bumbling and intentional deception which seems to dominate the news, even in a period of declining news coverage. Who can we trust?! Are we in this together or not?! As Casey Stengal once asked, ” does anyone here know how to play this game?!”

Coach K does. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve and he is a graduate of West Point, class of 1969. His recruiting of late suffered repercussions of the 2006 lacrosse racially scarred scandal. With a Gold Medal and his 4th NCAA trophy, not a problem any longer.

He showed this year that he knows how to win with the team that he’s got – good players but not the best players. Kentucky, Baylor and several others had faster and more athletic teams of players. Maybe even Carolina. But no team played with the confidence, cohesion and simple understanding of role and circumstance as did Duke. Leadership matters.
This is what Duke and Apple have in common: a commitment to exceptional performance – some may describe this as innovation – that borders on cult worship but is genuinely about the expectation of excellence. I observe that the heart of achievement is trust: trust in ourselves – the notion of letting it happen – after we’ve worked hard to learn how it is suppose to happen ( call this education). If we might assemble a team or unit or platoon or department or start-up of so educated, self-trusting individuals and provide the rigor of expectation in an atmosphere of sincere, mutual support, then the results or the potential will be as they are supposed to be. A good bet is that this formula will most often produce team success and invariably produce a product championship or two along the way.

America can do better; needs to do better; had better do better if only because never knowing how to win can become a way of life as well.

Here’s hoping that Butler is the next to join the ranks of hero programs.

Tags: Duke_basketball, NACC_final_4
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Midshipmen, Officers and Lacrosse Players

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It was Navy weekend with the NROTC commissioning ceremonies at both NC State and Duke Universities. Gratifying to be around so many purposeful young men and women and their inspiringly proud parents. Observing 12 young midshipmen take the oath of office then promoted to Ensigns and hearing of their assignments to nuclear submarines, airplane squadrons and the Medical Corps excited me about the intriguing futures in store for each and diminished the weight of the prevailing befuddling stream of economic news.

After these Friday ceremonies, we prepared for a BBQ and the Navy vs Duke lacrosse match as part of the NCAA tournament. A vicious thunderstorm forced us inside without much loss of our spirits, but whatever good mood remained was completely dispelled when Duke ran off 10 unanswered goals in the first period. Even John Paul Jones might have struck his colors at that point. As Yankee Yogi would say, ‘it got late early for Navy.’

Duke is off to Annapolis next weekend to play UNC in the second round of this championship! The schools are 20 minutes apart and will drive 11 hours round-trip for a 90 minute game. Go Green Movement! Of course, both are happy to be in the final 8 no matter where the field.

Lacrosse participation is certainly on the rise as the Duke players appeared larger, faster and more skilled. Thirty years ago, the Navy had the larger and faster players keeping them competitive even when they were not as skilled. I’m sure that the distribution of talent into our corps of naval and marine officers follows an opposite trend, more talent is drawn from a smaller pool of interested parties.

In both the commissioning ceremonies and the lacrosse game, one had to both entertained and satisfied that there is wealth of talented and capable youth readying to relieve the watch.

Politics, Finances & Football: what’s a knowledge worker to do?

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Super Tuesday wasn’t that super; sub-prime confessions continue to spiral the market; and Brett Favre retires!   Does anyone really want to hear about the enterprise value of the Internet’s blooming capabilities?!

As we round the corner into spring weather, it might be useful to recall a few of the primary changes brought about by this current generation of web technologies, aka Web 2.0:

1. no longer dozens of markets comprised of millions of customers, but millions of markets comprised of perhaps only dozens of customers – think Long Tail or the permanent changes in media distribution (film, music, tv, advertising).

2. the Apple Store is more like the branch bank of the future than is the current drive-up window.  Customers want to affiliate with like-minded people where their particular needs can  be addressed.  The better news is that given the tools, customers will form these communities themselves.

3. Knowledge is no longer power because everybody knows – or at least has access to knowing.  This is the highest peak for management to climb.  Instead of singularly figuring-out how to deploy Web 2.0 tools e.g. the proper level of privacy, we should ask our employees, customers, partners what they think (and know) will work best.  Management has to bound the chaos, not provide the answers.

4. Mobility and Video are exploding right before our eyes similar to the marriage of computers and spreadsheets in the mid 1980s which launched the PC revolution.  Consider Google’s (owner of You Tube) Android program and yesterday’s Apple – Kleiner Perkins announcement to fund enterprise applications for the iPhone.  BTW, Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney Corp.  Wait ‘n see may be ok; and it’s not too soon for incubating a promotion strategy on mobile devices.

One thing is for certain, tomorrow’s Duke vs UNC game will be a good one and that game tips-off the welcomed respite of March Madness.  Go Carolina!

Regards, Christopher Perrien