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Archive for January, 2011

Science at its best

Chris Trimble Podcast (Click to Listen) or download http://www.box.net/updates#/updates/1/a/1/662861511.

Podcaster’s note: There was a bit of an editing snafoo and the beginning of this podcast with our signature introduction was mistakenly deleted. Don’t worry, our regular routine will return in our next recording but in the meantime our new theme song kicks off this interview with Chris Trimble.

Lisa Lisa and the Book Jam wrapped up their exciting year in books with an interview of accomplished author and dynamic Tuck School of Business

Don't scratch that itch!

professor Chris Trimble. It was a fun, often funny, and always interesting  conversation that included being read aloud to by Chris from one of his favorite science stories of of the last decade “My Bionic Quest for Bolero” by Michael Chorost from the collection The Best Science and Nature Writing 2006. Sit back and enjoy the first few paragraphs of this fascinating story about hearing, loss, how the ear and brain work, and the physics of music.

Trimble explained to us that his favorite reads always include two components: the elucidation of a complicated concept – such as medecine, technology or business – which is then wrapped up into a great story. In that vein, we discussed the work of Atul Gawande, his gripping book Complications: A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science and in particular the story “The Itch” as well as Pauline Chen’s Final Exam: A Surgeons Reflections on Mortality which chronicles the author’s experience at medical school and her very first organ transplant.

A longtime favorite book and one that left a strong impression of the business world and Wall Street on Trimble is Tom Wolfe’s classic Bonfire of the Vanities. Given that Trimble describes it as “a lot of really intelligent people doing meaningless things,” Lisa and Lisa were curious about Chris’ chosen career of business consulting and teaching. Simple, he says.  Through past business endeavors a large chunk of the earth has risen out of poverty and now enjoys a better quality of life.  All of this progress, he explains, starts with science and the questions science explores. The answers to those questions result in ideas that then become commercial innovations. Turning those ideas into companies and then managing ideas within companies provides ongoing challenges for businesses and many areas of interest for Professor Trimble’s work.

As for the future of innovation, listen to the podcast for Chris’ thoughts on what the next few decades hold in store. And if you’re curious about the french fries mentioned above in the title, you’ll have to wait until the end to hear hear Lisa, Lisa and Chris discussing Fast Food Nation, flavor laboratories in New Jersey and Dorie Greenspan’s new pommes frites recipe from Around My French Table.

Mr. Trimble is on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and is the author of three books: 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators, The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge - both published by Harvard Business Press and co-authored with Vijay Govindarajan- and How Stella Saved the Farm, self-published in 2010.

Other books mentioned in this episode:

Micheal Lewis’ The Blind Side, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short, James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, the works of Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Wolfe’s  A Man in Full and The Right Stuff, Richard Preston’s  The Hot Zone, and Dava Sobel’s Longitude.

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