May 10, 2021
If you have high school (15+) or college-aged kids (or nieces, nephews, etc.), then you might want to send them to CG’s *free* summer program, the zoom-based WBRG (Warren Buffett Reading Group).
We meet once a week for six weeks starting Sunday, June 13 (7pm ET, 4pm Pacific) for 90 minutes, skipping the week of July 4.
Here’s our one-pager if you want to learn more and have your teenager apply (instructions for how to apply are in the one-pager).
The goal of WBRG is simple: introduce all students, whether they intend to go into business or not, to some timeless basic lessons about business, customer experience, and worldly wisdom.
WBRG is a no-pressure chance to learn and to meet other students. I’ll note that we also aim for gender parity and significant participation from young people of color.
And I think we create a fun and inclusive environment, which the young people end up really enjoying (who knew that finance or business could be fun?).
Here’s what one council member’s teenager said after participating:
Learning about finance opened my eyes to something new, interesting, and applicable to whatever I choose to do in life. I also met a lot of fun and interesting students from across the country in the process.
— Alexi S., Sophomore, High School in California
Our curriculum is made up of Buffett’s very well-written and sometimes funny Letters to Shareholders (and questions I’ve created). We use a version of the Harvard case method – so that every week each student selects and prepares one question and then shares it with the class…allowing *everyone* to participate. And all teachers are Harvard MBAs with a passion for teaching (i.e., they are each a bit different from the stereotypical Harvard MBA. 😉
While I turned down a career on Wall Street, I have always believed that customer experience and product management need to be deeply rooted in an understanding of business and finance.
If you’ve read Customers Included, you’ll see that. And you’ll certainly see it if you attend our annual trek to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in 2022 (yes, we plan to start up again next year!).
In the meantime, again here’s the one-pager with dates and how to apply.
P.S. We have started a new service for members (included in your membership): if you are facing a key moment in your career, especially if you are negotiating a new job (or promotion), then reach out for some 1:1 coaching with me. I’ve helped members ask for more money (and options/stock) AND, perhaps, even more importantly, negotiate key non-salary requirements that help them succeed in the new job (I call these the “needs to succeed”).
Recent Talks and Activity Recordings
- No Ego
Cy Wakeman, Best-selling Author and CEO
Talk Type: Leadership Development, Culture
Audience/Roles: All Roles
This spring keynote was a GREAT session. Members loved it. I collected live case studies from members, which I anonymously shared with Cy to get her reaction on what was to be done. You gotta watch to see her great answers.
Cy Wakeman is a drama researcher, global thought-leader, and New York Times best-selling author who is recognized for cultivating a counter-intuitive, reality-based approach to leadership. Backed by over 20 years of unparalleled experience, Wakeman’s philosophy offers a new lens through which employees and executives alike, can shift their attention inward, sharpen their focus on personal accountability, and uncover their natural state of innovation simply by ditching the drama.Deemed “the secret weapon to restoring sanity to the workplace,” Wakeman has helped companies such as Google, Facebook, Viacom, Uber, NBC Universal, NASA, Pfizer, Johns Hopkins, Stanford Health Care, Keurig Dr. Pepper, AMC Theatres, White Castle, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and countless others learn to navigate our rapidly changing world using good mental processes to harness energy wasted in workplace drama and reinvest that effort into achieving profound business results.
- JTBD in Large Distributed Environments
Jay Haynes, Founder & CEO, thrv.com
Talk Type: Product; Skill Builder/Practitioner
Audience/Roles: All Roles
Jobs To Be Done has proven to be an effective methodology for building much better holistic end-to-end products and customer experiences.
*But* CG Council member companies with large distributed environments are finding it difficult to apply JTBD in effective ways.
Jay Haynes, CEO of thrv, and a global expert on JTBD will come and speak to the Councils community on this specific challenge of using the methodology in large, complex technology environments.
- Groundwork: Get Better at Making Better Products
Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin, co-Authors of Groundwork
Talk Type: Product
Audience/Roles: All Roles
Product leaders are all too familiar with the one to two-year period it typically takes to train and coach PMs. Product leaders hire smart people and then work with them individually, guiding them through how to think about product management, and watching them develop. Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin wanted a much faster way to help cultivate efficient and effective product managers that consistently create products that delight customers, regardless of the industry, the environment, and the development methodology that the team employed. They took years of experience as product executives and working with hundreds of teams as product coaches to create a framework to Get Better at Making Better Products.
The design philosophy and methodology behind Groundwork was created to help product leaders be confident that their teams were committed to solving the right customer problems, minimizing costly rework by using individualized needs, and leveraging actionable personas in big and small product decisions. Vidya and Heather want Groundwork to help product teams have a much higher chance of success in the market—and help every product manager shine.
Join Vidya and Heather as they share the background, principles, and methodology behind the Groundwork to help you, and your team, get better at making better products.
- Making the Case for Empowering Your People
Marty Cagan, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group
Talk Type: Product, Leadership Development, Culture
Audience/Roles: All Roles
From Marty: “I have long been interested in the difference between how the best companies work, and the rest. Working with both types of organizations for so many years, there are many differences ranging from culture to process to staffing to roles to techniques. But at its core, strong product companies empower their people, and most of the rest do not. My focus over the past few years has been tackling this issue head-on, which means the product leadership. In this talk, we’ll discuss why this model consistently yields better results, and what’s necessary to transform to work like the best.”
Marty’s Bio: Marty Cagan is the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, which he created to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising and coaching. Before starting SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.As part of his work with SVPG, Marty advises tech companies of all sizes and stages, stretching far beyond Silicon Valley. Marty is the author of the industry-leading book for product teams, INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and the upcoming book EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe.
- See talks from the last month and beyond here.