How to write Chapter 1 of the book that will make your reputation
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How to write Chapter 1 of the book that will make your reputation

You want to write a book that will make everyone take notice of the insights you’ve gained — insights that no one has thought of before. But how to start? I’m going to assume you have a powerful idea and you’ve researched it. (If you haven’t, nail those down before writing.) If you have a…

Christopher Penn vividly makes clear the varied architecture of political influence
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Christopher Penn vividly makes clear the varied architecture of political influence

I’m grateful to Christopher Penn, cofounder of BrainTrust Insights, for his analysis of link and influence on both sides of the political spectrum. Yesterday, he posted some incredible graphical visualizations. Here’s how describes what he did: Using Facebook’s API and its Crowdtangle journalism tool, we extracted 6 months of data from approximately 250 conservative and…

You need perspective . . . but you’re not looking in the right place

You need perspective . . . but you’re not looking in the right place

Perspective: you cannot have a useful insight without it. We all crave perspective. We go on vacation to the mountains or the beach, just to admire the view. After looking at close-up smartphones, laptops right in front of us, and colleagues in the same room, the simple act of focusing at infinity relaxes us. There’s a long…

A question for thought leaders: “Yes, but how do you know?”

A question for thought leaders: “Yes, but how do you know?”

The number of self-described experts has multiplied along with the slots for them to express their views on blogs, podcasts, Forbes, Huffington Post, LinkedIn, and Medium. It’s great that we now get to hear from a wide variety of thinkers. But the first question you should ask of any of them is, “How do you…

Analytical thinking: Unexpected consequences of a single election
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Analytical thinking: Unexpected consequences of a single election

A Democrat narrowly won a special election for an open congressional seat in western Pennsylvania. It’s only one election. But as an exercise in analytical thinking, let’s figure out what it could mean. First, the facts. Tim Murphy, the Republican in the 18th congressional district, resigned after his mistress said he’d told her to get…