What I’m Doing Now

I’m living in burbs of Toronto (west side!), Ontario, Canada – surprisingly, Toronto is now North America’s 4th largest metropolis, after Mexico City, New York and LA (yes, like these cities, traffic is a nightmare 😦 .

I’m focused on my work, health and learning. I spend all my time on these things (in order of time spent):

  • Full-time husband and home chef. My favorite resources for learning to cook like a pro are Ruhlman.com and The 4-Hour Chef
  • Doing service and process design, strategy, and service model innovation at Canadian-owned, multi-product insurance and financial services organization
  • Founder of Service Zen
  • Learning and applying methods into my work as a business and process designer: Design Thinking , Agile and Business Model Generation / Value Proposition Design
  • My other area of focus at work is finding better ways for linking business and technology. The current ways IT collects requirements from business and turns them into systems and software sucks! Agile techniques combined with Design Thinking, Business Process Management, Decision Management Service Oriented Architecture seem to offer a better way, but I still haven’t found the secret sauce.
  • I’m doing Starting Strength program with goal of getting stronger. Goal is to deadlift 350 lbs by end of year.
  • Golf – goal is to become 80 or better golfer by 2018. Tougher than I thought. I need to work on short game and putting next summer…
  • Listening to podcasts on my commute. Currently listening to Tim Ferris, James Altucher, Design Matters, Freakonomics, Mark Maron, Startup, Brian Koppelman
  • Have been doing Wim Hof Method for 6 months. Really cool, literally! Have tried meditation over the years but find this method more practical for me. Occasionally do guided meditation using Headspace app or Tara Brach podcast
  • Reading one book a week. I’d like to read more fiction, but I naturally gravitate to business, history and big idea books. Working my way through this list. Big idea books influencing me the most lately are:
    • Anti-Fragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – This book blew my mind!  It’s a philosophy of life book that completes Taleb’s Incerto trilogy (Fooled By Randomness and Black Swan)
    • Creative Confidence (work) – How to incorporate Design Thinking into organizations. From the founders of IDEO and Stanford Design School.
    • Alexander Osterwalder’s two books: Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design (work)
    • The Decision Model (work) by Larry Goldberg and Barbara von Halle – The way IT collects requirements from business and turns them into systems and software sucks! This book proposes a practical and complete method for aligning business and IT.
    • Thinking Fast and Slow (life and work) by Daniel Kahneman – Best book I’ve read in years. If you’re curious why people act the way they do, this book is for you!
    • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – This book blew my mind! Incredible, provocative, controversial statement on just about every page. Engaging and informative. Relatively easy to read and only 400 pages, it covers homo sapiens rise from insignificant ape to ruling the world.
    • Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber – Completely overturns conventional wisdom on economics and history of money. Heard about this book from Seth Godin.
    • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond – Like Debt, overthrows established thinking in a social science. In this case, history and fate of civilizations.
    • The two other big idea books that pop into my mind often, in life and work contexts, are Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” and Gary Hamel’s “The Future of Management” . Both books are several years old, and the central arguments in the books have been refuted by many. But I still think they hold up. In a nutshell, Fukuyama’s statement that democracy would win out over all other forms of government due to the natural desire for peace and well-being, and Hamel’s argument that management innovation, not product/service, or strategy, or tactics, or operational innovation, are what sets great companies with long histories (GE, Toyota, DuPont) apart from their competitors.

My primary passion is helping people transform and innovate their businesses. I provide free advice!  Contact me to arrange something. You can also email me: lee@service-zen.com

If my activities or priorities change, I’ll update this page. Last update was October 2016.