The New New Product Develoment Game

The New New Product Development Game Takeuchi & Nonaka by is one of the most important papers on product development. Reading the paper led Jeff Sutherland to develop the Scrum Framework. It’s important for software engineering but can also be applied in a variety of settings from journalism to combat. I use it to manage my weekly work.

Key concepts of the Holistic Methodology of Product Development:

1. Built In Instability – “Setting a broad goal or general strategic direction.”

2. Self Organizing Project Teams – “Autonomy, Transcendence, Cross-Fertilization”

3. Overlapping Development Phases

4. Multi-learning – Across levels & Across Functions

5. Subtle Control – (1) Selecting right people, (2) Creating open work environment, (3) encouraging interactions with customers, (4) setting evaluations and rewards based on group performance, (5) Managing rhythm, (6) Tolerating & anticipating mistakes, & (7) Encouraging suppliers to become self-organizing.

6. Organizational Transfer of Learning

Read the paper here

Using Strengths & Virtues to Categorize Mental Illness

Chris Peterson was one of the superstars of positive psychology. He developed a framework for identifying strengths/virtues as well as diagnosing potential mental illness. This article from Camille Piner highlights some areas of his unfinished work as well as links to a guest talk by Martin Seligman. Below, I’m pasting a graphic that summarizes the article.

Positive Emotional Style Predicts Resistance to Illness

I’ve been reading Martin Seligman’s book, Flourish, where he references the following paper by Sheldon Cohen linking our capacity to resist common colds with optimism.

Title: Positive Emotional Style Predicts Resistance to Illness


Objective: In an earlier study, positive emotional style (PES) was associated with resistance to the common cold and a bias to underreport (relative to objective disease markers) symptom severity. This work did not control for social and cognitive factors closely associated with PES. We replicate the original study using a different virus and controls for these alternative explanations.

Methods: One hundred ninety-three healthy volunteers ages 21 to 55 years were assessed for a PES characterized by being happy, lively, and calm; a negative emotional style (NES) characterized by being anxious, hostile, and depressed; other cognitive and social dispositions; and self-reported health. Subsequently, they were exposed by nasal drops to a rhinovirus or influenza virus and monitored in quarantine for objective signs of illness and self-reported symptoms.

Results: For both viruses, increased PES was associated with lower risk of developing an upper respiratory illness as defined by objective criteria (adjusted odds ratio comparing lowest with highest tertile 2.9) and with reporting fewer symptoms than expected from concurrent objective markers of illness. These associations were independent of prechallenge virus-specific antibody, virus type, age, sex, education, race, body mass, season, and NES. They were also independent of optimism, extraversion, mastery, self-esteem, purpose, and self-reported health.

Conclusions: We replicated the prospective association of PES and colds and PES and biased symptom reporting, extended those results to infection with an influenza virus, and “ruled out” alternative hypotheses. These results indicate that PES may play a more important role in health than previously thought.

Click here to download the paper