Friday Four

Friday, October 04, 2013

1. Having just watched Disney's classic Winnie the Pooh with my daughter a few days ago, I encountered the below paragraph through my RSS feed and knew I'd found comedic gold:

Pooh and Piglet and Rabbit and Owl and Tigger had all gathered together at the center of the Hundred Acre Woods for a Very Emportent Meeting. They knew it was Very Emportent because Rabbit had said so in the note he'd left on the Giant Oak Tree...
After all these years, it turned out that Christopher Robin had finally opened a Facebook account.

2. Via HBL comes a deservedly satirical take on a piece that cautioned against hiring lone geniuses:
Since there is no Lone Genius, there must have been no Newton. And, obviously, no one should ever hire anyone like Newton. It isn't that everything Beth [Comstock] suggests is wrong. But consider how Newton contradicts this popular, conventional Whiz-Dumb. By her standards, one of the greatest, most innovative minds of all time should have been avoided by employers!
Blogger James Rothering later asks, "Why is it that while everyone loves innovation, they hate the lone innovator?" Good question.

3. Like many other Arsenal fans, I was excited by the club-record purchase of the services of German midfielder Mesut Özil. However, another, unheralded, summer signing has turned out to be of arguably comparable importance to that of Özil: that of Matthieu Flamini.
[T]he Frenchman is loving the specific role assigned to him just now, the one that requires him to sit stoically in front of the back four, to put in a foot or two, to block off a runner, to generally act as a human shield.

Flamini is a sleeves-rolled-up type of scuffler, the sort who never stops running or indeed talking. His ability to organise, in fact, comes as a welcome addition to a team that hasn't always been vocal enough in the past. It could be far too quiet when things needed to be said.
I recall seeing elsewhere that manager Arsène Wenger has a policy against taking back players who have left, but that Flamini apparently managed to impress him while training with his old team. This has been a thrilling campaign so far, due in no small part to the steel that Flamini has added on defense.

4. It our daughter is any indication, parents get one chance to pick out their kids' Halloween costumes. Mrs. Van Horn had already bought a couple when we learned that Pumpkin definitely wants to be a cat.

-- CAV


Jennifer Snow said...

I think that the issue with the lone innovator is that they are generally terrible managers and awful employees. This isn't universally true, but working these wildcards into your company hierarchy can be more trouble than it's worth and most companies don't care to train people any more, let alone undergo the investment that's necessary to teach people skills to someone who may even be hostile to the very notion.

Corporations don't love innovation per se. They love innovations that they can capitalize on to make money, and this is not often what the lone innovator produces in a corporate context.

Gus Van Horn said...

I agree with parts of what you say. Yes, I think it is probably often the nature of the beast for lone innovators to make bad fits for most corporate settings. (And maybe the ones who would be good fits end up starting or helping found their own companies.)

Also, it is probably true that most corporations don't like innovation per se, but there have been exceptions, a famous one being Bell Labs.

Given the eccentric potential hire, it is probably safe to say that one would have to know much more about his than he would the average person to feel safe hiring him.