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The Golden Hammer - Keynote

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This is the lunchtime keynote from the 2018 Connecticut VMUG Usercon.
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Ever heard that IT is constantly changing? Or that we all need to be constantly learning? Simple in theory, hard in practice even if like me that’s part of what you love about IT. What if you could hack your brain to learn faster? To understand data, situations, and people more quickly? We’ll discuss how mental models can help you comprehend more quickly, explore some common ones, illustrate them with IT stories, and let you know where you can learn more. If you attended this session last year, this is a new and updated version focused on the same overall topic - come listen to hear the new version of one of 2017's VMUG Usercon top attended community sessions.

This is the lunchtime keynote from the 2018 Connecticut VMUG Usercon.
~~~~~~~~~~~`
Ever heard that IT is constantly changing? Or that we all need to be constantly learning? Simple in theory, hard in practice even if like me that’s part of what you love about IT. What if you could hack your brain to learn faster? To understand data, situations, and people more quickly? We’ll discuss how mental models can help you comprehend more quickly, explore some common ones, illustrate them with IT stories, and let you know where you can learn more. If you attended this session last year, this is a new and updated version focused on the same overall topic - come listen to hear the new version of one of 2017's VMUG Usercon top attended community sessions.

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The Golden Hammer - Keynote

  1. 1. Andrew Miller @andriven Or “Hacking your Brain” and other Clickbait The Golden Hammer
  2. 2. A bit about me… Tweet Blogger TMM Background Certs VMware @ andriven @ thinkmeta.net @ Rubrik.com 7 years customer 8 years partner Lots of Random Ones vExpert (7x)
  3. 3. Don’t Worry
  4. 4. I think it is undeniably true that the human brain must work in models. The trick is to have your brain work better than the other person’s brain because it understands the most fundamental models: ones that will do most work per unit. Charlie Munger (Rich & Famous)
  5. 5. Wait just a minute… Appeal to Authority
  6. 6. How we think determines how we act. We all have mental models. Do you know yours?
  7. 7. Imperfect but useful.
  8. 8. Diversify. Let’s look at some…
  9. 9. Availability Bias
  10. 10. NASA != Flawless NASA = Flawless
  11. 11. “Creativity is mixing and matching patterns of everything you've ever experienced or come to know in your lifetime. It's saying "this is kinda like that." The neural mechanism for doing this is everywhere in the cortex.” On Intelligence Jeff Hawkins
  12. 12. 1. Skills of Reflection 2. Skills of Inquiry
  13. 13. https://medium.com/@yegg/ mental-models-i-find- repeatedly-useful-936f1cc405d

Editor's Notes

  • Start off with intro – Thanks for coming, who I am, ever heard that IT is constantly changing and need to be learning? How to do that? - and then get silent.

    https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/golden-hammer-gm104388017-168272
  • You’re welcome for not wearing this.
  • Ever know a CIO for whom the only answer is “cloud”? Or an IT worker for whom a script is the answer to everything? Or a director for whom “check with the vendor” is the universal answer?
  • We all know need multiple ways to look at the world….what we’re talking about is….
  • Talking about is Mental Models - thought process in how we understand the world – how take information, store, and process it.

    How do we think?
    How do people understand a domain of knowledge?
    How do we anticipate the world and make sensible decisions about what to do?
    What triggers thinking and reasoning?
  • Here’s the thing – it’s not automatically wrong….but understanding that’s what is happening helps us decide how to act. (Do we trust that authority? Does that authority have control regardless of what we think?)

    Continue

  • Allows us to make assumptions about how things work, understand more quickly, but also unconsciously influences our behavior and decision making.
  • 3. “Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ‘em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form.”
    4. “What are the models? Well, the first rule is that you’ve got to have multiple models ‑ because if you just have one or two that you’re using, the nature of human psychology is such that you’ll torture reality so that it fits your models, or at least you’ll think it does.”
  • Occam’s Razor - Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.
    Complexity is the enemy of reliability – choose the simplest option if in doubt.Read and tweak every option in the manual.
    Hanlon’s Razor - Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
    Can make an enemy out of someone b/c assume they're out to get you...they're just trying to learn.
  • Japan gaining market share in automobile industry
    US automakers felt reason might be management aside from cheap labour and protected home markets
    Detroit visited factories – saw no inventory and thought it must be staged.

    Mental Model = Real Plants have Inventories
    Perception = Japanese staged fake plants, Potemkin villages, for Detroit execs
    Reality = Just-in-Time

    See the problem? When you have mental models but don’t realize them. Let’s pull a military term and call it “lack of situational awareness”.

    Lean production is an assembly-line methodology developed originally for Toyota and the manufacturing of automobiles. It is also known as the Toyota ProductionSystem or just-in-time production. Lean production principles are also referred to as lean management or lean thinking.
  • Zero Sum Game - find budget for project in new buckets, why joined Varrow and then Rubrik. Also finding budget in different categories.
  • Zero Sum Game - find budget for project in new buckets, why joined Varrow and then Rubrik. Also finding budget in different categories.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy - including Value Innovation – the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost
  • Blue Ocean Strategy - including Value Innovation – the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost
  • Blue Ocean Strategy - including Value Innovation – the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost
  • Competed on motion control, ease of use, casual gamers before the iPhone/Android ate that market
  • Systems Thinking - Unintended Consequences

    (1) Systems Thinking — “By taking the overall system as well as its parts into account systems thinking is designed to avoid potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences.” (related: causal loop diagrams; stock and flow; Le Chatelier’s principle, hysteresis — “the time-based dependence of a system’s output on present and past inputs.”; “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”)

        NetApp support story.
  • Inversion is often at the core of great art. At any given time there is a status quo in society and the artists and innovators who stand out are often the ones who overturn the standard in a compelling way.
    Great art breaks the previous rules. It is an inversion of what came before. In a way, the secret to unconventional thinking is just inverting the status quo.

    Most people want to get more done in less time. Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?” The answer to that question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.
    This strategy is not only effective, but often safer than chasing success. For example, some people take drugs or mental stimulants in an effort to increase their productivity. These methods might work, but you also run the risk of possible side effects.
    Meanwhile, there is very little danger is leaving your phone in another room, blocking social media websites, or unplugging your television. Both strategies deal with the same problem, but inversion allows you to attack it from a different angle and with less risk.
    This insight reveals a more general principle: Blindly chasing success can have severe consequences, but preventing failure usually carries very little risk.

    https://jamesclear.com/inversion
  • Availability Bias -  “People tend to heavily weigh their judgments toward more recent information, making new opinions biased toward that latest news.”

    LMS Committee – senior person….realized they liked the most the last one they’d heard about. Sometimes in a bakeoff, this is why some companies like to go last. Others are betting you don’t have availability bias and betting you have “Anchoring Effect”
  • NASA is flawless. Successful outcomes caused people to ignore disconfirming information, out of spec performance and dysfunctional decision processes.
    The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God.”
    Poem by John Magee – fighter pilot who took one of the first flights to 30,000 feet.


    MODEL OF INQUIRY
    Investigative report post Columbia accident

    SUGGESTED ACTION
    Unknown

    OUTCOME
    Halted replacement of orbiter
  • Skills of reflection – slowing down our thinking process so we can become more aware of how we form mental models and how they influence our actions.
    Skills of Inquiry – how we operate in face-to-facet interactions with others, especially in dealing with complex and conflicting issues – seeing difference between what people say (or we say) and what we do.

    Tell Sirius purchase story - also happens with every customer.
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