My glasses have been horribly scratched for at least a year, and I’d finally decided that within the next couple months I’d get myself an eye exam and some new glasses. Then last Tuesday my glasses weren’t just scratched, I couldn’t see through them properly. I think my left lens partially shattered in place.
So until I can get new glasses (on a considerably accelerated schedule), I’m not reading very much. Yes, I’m near-sighted enough that the computer screen 18 inches away is blurry. Yes, I’ve made the text bigger. No, it doesn’t help enough.
So instead I’ve been listening to all the podcasts I’ve collected and then proceeded to ignore over the last year or so. Some have been more interesting than expected. And the winners are:
- Chicago GSB Podcast Series – These are speeches/discussions at various events, so most of them are around an hour long. Normally I don’t have time to listen, but every time I do they’re interesting. The particular episode in this case was on CEO Goalsetting (MP3), including discussion of baseline goals, stretch goals, bounties, motivation, and what really works in a large company and in a startup. One panelist was the current CEO of Liz Claiborne, whose unenviable turnaround situation I’ve followed (for instance, see today’s Washington Post story on the men’s line), so it’s interesting to hear how he’s trying to change things.
- Deloitte Insights Podcast – The show descriptions included when you subscribe to Deloitte’s podcast are abbreviated versions of and much less inviting than the pages devoted to each episode, so I’m not sure why they don’t include the full text in the feed. Regardless, the episodes themselves are excellent, with thorough conversations by experts. I listened to Embracing Disruption: How Consumers Are Transforming the U.S. Health Care System, and while I know a fair amount about the trends (researching medical information and providers online, shopping around for care or being told you ought to, etc.), it was a very comprehensive discussion. Participants in next year’s expected health policy debate should listen to this one.
- McKinsey on High Tech Podcasts – Unlike McKinsey’s Global Institute and Finance podcasts, this one is interviews rather than audio versions of McKinsey Quarterly articles (which I’d really rather read/skim – better to do interviews with article authors like HBR sometimes does). The interviews look forward to potential new markets, since they’re on topics being researched by McKinsey’s high tech practice group, such as the Software as a Service episode I listened to. For me, sitting in an internet job and reading blogs of independent / small company web workers, SaaS seems everywhere, but it’s at the very early stages of corporate adoption. This was a good introduction to the benefits and where the market may go, though I was surprised there wasn’t more discussion of privacy/security issues with keeping data “in the cloud”.
I guess there’s a theme here of smart people having in-depth discussions of complicated business topics. Other podcasts in this category, not listed above because I listen to them more regularly:
- Buzz Marketing for Technology
- David Maister’s Business Masterclass
- Harvard Business IdeaCast
- INSEAD Knowledgecast
- INSEAD Leadercast
- Knowledge@Wharton Interviews
LBS’s podcast doesn’t qualify because it’s too short; MIT’s is about selling the school rather than discussing research. Are there any more Serious Business Idea podcasts I should be listening to? Tell me now, before I can read again!