What Color is your Silo? Redefining Yourself as AR, 3D Printing, AI and a New Internet Emerges !


Picture Credit: Up (2009) from Disney-Pixar

“Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.”

Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs (1943)

The old career “bible” What Color is Your Parachute (audio sample here) has sold over ten million copies and has been continuously updated by author Richard N. Bolles and has the virtue of “helping you to zero in on your ideal job-and life-with its classic Flower Exercise.”


Picture Credit: Richard Bolles and one ‘flower’

Myers-Briggs is the Jungian-derived tools are built on the theory that “much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment”.

  • Extraversion or Introversion: refers to where and how one directs his or her attention and energy  — on people and things in the outer world, or alone in the inner world [1]
  • Sensing or Intuition: refers to how one prefers to deal with information — by focusing on the basic information, or by interpreting and adding meaning
  • Thinking or Feeling: refers to decision making — objectively, using logic and consistency, or subjectively, considering other people and special circumstances
  • Judging or Perceiving: refers to how one interacts with the outer world — with a preference towards getting things decided, or for staying open to new information and options

Strong Interest Inventory has six “themes” which are “broad interest patterns that can be used to describe your work personality.”

The annual DealBook Conference is coming up on November 10th at Lincoln Center boasting that it is “Playing for the Long Term” and has a great speaker lineup though the conference will be heavy on post-election punditry as New York Times Careers itself advertises its search for an international director of its Data and Insight Group. K.J Dell’Antonia is a contributor to the NYT Well Family section and a time management guru, as Fast Company just profiled her. She shares some valuable lessons:

Be Clear On What Matters : Damon Brown explained that, “The first step is to understand that everything that has to get done will absolutely get done,” the author of The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur book series. “We get into trouble when we make everything in life a priority.”

Don’t Fill Time : Jeff Kavanaugh, senior partner at Infosys Consulting, and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose career has involved advising many busy executives. “They treat their time as an open-ended invitation to commitments, drawn in by their desire to please people or the fear of missing out, and downplay their capacity limit until the commitments—and the stress—stack up.”

Don’t Rush : And love being early. “I love knowing that we have time to stop for gas. I love looking at the car clock and not desperately calculating whether we can get there in six minutes and whether the clock is maybe a minute fast,” Dell’Antonia enthuses. “It just gives you this big open feeling of calm.” (IAI takes 7  minutes to get to Campion Rink for hockey from our home in Norwich Vermont!)

Be Where You Are : Jeff Heath runs Matrix Applied Technologies, which manufactures and sells equipment that’s installed on large oil and petrochemical storage tanks. This line of work has him traveling frequently and he simply advises, “Be present wherever you are.”

So, organizational effectiveness comes from managers seeking to understand their employees in an interactive, constructive process (literally and figuratively). And also, managers need to break the “Silo Mentality” (as urged by Brent Gleeson at Forbes and Megan Rozo of Internet Marketing Inc., in a phase used for over three decades): defined by the Business Dictionary as a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

Unless you shed your own Silo Mentality, you will not get to participate in the technology revolution underway: Additive Manufacturing, Human-directed Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented Reality (AR). As an example, Insider Science shows a wide range of new applications for AR in education and training.


Picture Credit: 1stmuse.com

As K.J suggests, “Learn to embrace a paradox: Time is precious and plentiful. To have as much time as you need for the things you want, you need to be ruthless about not filling time with things you don’t care about.”

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