How to Choose Your Company's Next CEO

When it comes to finding a successor for a top executive, an "inside outsider" might be the best option. As Harvard Business School Professor Joe Bower explains in his Big Think interview, an incoming CEO should have a sense of what a company is going to have to change as it looks to stay competitive the future. While insiders have probably had a sip or two of the company's Kool-Aid—and believe in the organization to the extent that it doesn't need changing—an "inside outsider" can have enough perspective to initiate radical change if needed.


Why have we seen such a dearth of leaders in today's business world? Bower thinks it stems from the fact that the financial system has drifted away from the industrial and commercial system; the leaders of financial institutions have found they can make a lot of money by building organizations simply comprised of traders.

Bower also touches upon the future prosperity of the United States, which he believes won't be impacted by China and India as much as some believe. Even though China and India are expected to have as much as 40 percent of the world's GDP by midcentury, incomes in those countries will still be one-third of those in developed nations.

Countries with more butter have happier citizens

Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?

Image: Carey Tilden/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
Strange Maps
  • Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
  • The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
  • As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
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Jordan Peterson on why you need to clean your room

Sometimes the basics really matter.

Dr. Jordan Peterson. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
  • The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
  • In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
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Will Hunt (explorer) – into the Earth: the mysteries and meanings of underground spaces

The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
  • "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
  • "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
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