John Seddon is the inventor of The Vanguard Method. The Vanguard Method is a way of helping organizations move from command and control towards systems design. Seddon is the author of books such as Freedom from Command and Control and The Whitehall Effect. He’s currently working on a book titled Beyond Command and Control. Seddon’s work has provoked a lot of thought and has significantly deepened my understanding of how organizations function.
We talk about organizations as systems, value and failure demand, incentives, system conditions, budgeting and how the system drives behavior.
Today’s guest is Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, Flattr and Njalla.
The Pirate Bay is an online index of digital content often used for sharing copyrighted material such as movies, TV shows or music. The Pirate Bay is possibly one of the world’s most resilient websites, since the authorities have been trying to take it down for more than a decade and yet it’s still running.
Since The Pirate Bay Peter has worked on several things, such as Flattr, a way of making micropayments to content creators and Njalla, a privacy-oriented domain registrar.
We discuss how Peter got into The Pirate Bay, how The Pirate Bay operated, what the trial was like and what Peter is up to nowadays.
For this episode I sat down for a chat with Tim Hwang. Tim has been labeled by Forbes magazine as the ’Busiest Man on the Internet’.
First, he started ROFLcon, which stands for Rolling On the Floor Laughing Conference. It was a conference that studied internet culture through memes.
After ROFLcon, he founded The Awesome Foundation For Arts And Sciences. The foundation’s sole aim is to promote awesomeness in the universe. It has donated over 2,5 million dollars to various projects through grants. The foundation operates through autonomous chapters that independently fund the grants and make decisions on recipients.
He then started a law firm called Robot, Robot and Hwang to study how lawyers could be automated. Currently he advises Google on the impacts of artificial intelligence on public policy.
Tim has done a lot considering he just turned 30.
At the end of the interview I asked him what his next project is going to be and his answer was not exactly the kind of answer you normally get.
My guest today is Risto Siilasmaa. Risto is first and foremost an entrepreneur and a paranoid optimist. He’s the founder and former CEO of cybersecurity company F-Secure. His current role in the company is Chairman of the Board.
Risto is also Chairman of the Board at Nokia. He took on the role in 2012 when Nokia was in a very difficult situation and actually one topics we discuss is how he came to accept the offer.
We start off with Risto’s programming background, then move on to the early days of F-Secure and explore how the company was founded and how it grew. Regarding Nokia, we talk about the people side of the transformation Risto has led, the disadvantages of being a public company and whether structures drive behavior or the other way around.
My first guest for this season is James Hewitt. James is the Head of Science and Innovation at Hintsa Performance. He’s a sports scientist and performance coach searching for fresh perspectives and new approaches to enhance the performance of people, products and projects.
We talk about the Circle of Better Life, which is a model that covers all the important aspects of well-being. We talk about the science behind the methods they use and new and interesting research in measuring cognitive load in knowledge work. Towards the end you’ll hear some pretty simple tips for improving your brain’s performance.
As is suitable for the season finale, I have a very special guest. I’m interviewing retired four-star general Stan McChrystal. Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates described McChrystal as “perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat”.
McChrystal took command of an elite military organization, Joint Special Operations Task Force, and transformed it from a rigid hierarchy to a network of autonomous teams.
The teams were encouraged to act autonomously as long as their actions served the purpose and were not immoral or illegal. For such a high level of autonomy to function the organization had to start sharing data extensively in order to create a shared concisousness.
The story of the transformation is laid out in the book Team of Teams. What I especially love about the story is that it basically takes away all the excuses. If a military bureauacracy can transform itself to an agile network of teams, so can any business organization, no matter how large or traditional.
My guest is Sari Baldauf. Sari was selected as the most influential female executive in the year 1998 by Fortune magazine. In 2002 the Wall Street Journal named Baldauf as Europe’s most successful female executive.
Sari joined Nokia in 1983 and held several executive positions there. From 1998 to 2005 she was the General Manager of Nokia’s Networks business. She sat on the Executive Board of Nokia from 1994 until January 2005. In the end of 2004 she resigned from Nokia for personal reasons. Since then she’s moved on to become a respected board professional, working as the chairwoman of the board at Fortum, the Finnish energy giant, and as a member of the board at Daimler, among other roles.
We talk about her defining moments, her happiest and saddest times during her career and her lessons learned on strategy and leadership.
In this episode I’m interviewing Joshua Spodek. He teaches leadership at New York University, has a PhD in astrophysics and does burpees everyday. I think that’s a pretty amazing one line description for anyone. His book Leadership Step by Step will be released in a couple of weeks.
We talk about his principles for getting things done, his routines, his views on leadership, and we do a five minute walk-through of his book. We end the interview with some empathy and book recommendations.
My guest is Akiko Naka. She is the CEO of Wantedly, a Japanese social recruiting platform with 1,2 million monthly active users and a 100 employees. She’s passionate about helping people find work they love doing. We discuss her bold career moves, Wantedly’s business, decision making in organizations and strategies for finding a job you love.
If I’m concerned about privacy, my guest today is probably ten times more so. Aral is an activist, a designer and a software developer. He’s one of the founders of Indie, a tiny social enterprise working for social justice in the digital age. He’s also the man behind the Ethical Design Manifesto.
We talk about Aral’s view on the evolution of computing, current business models of cloud services and venture capital. We cover the Ethical Design Manifesto and its implications on the software we build.
To listen to the full interview, use the audio player at the top of this post or your favorite podcast app.