Official Blog of Center10 Consulting

Try Something New: The Follow The Lights Strategy

on Wednesday, July 8, 2015
When I first moved to New York City sixteen years ago, I knew no one in the city apart from colleagues at the consulting firm I was recruited into. They were a fun crew, and weekday evenings were pretty well taken care of - between late evenings at work and team dinners. The weekends were a little more of a challenge.

Of course, New York has no dearth of activities and programs. It's really more about making the choice of what to do among the myriad opportunities.

Bottling Serendipity:

That's when I came up with a strategy that I continue to this day when I am in an unfamiliar city or find myself at a loose end. It's a way of capturing serendipity.

I'd take the subway to a neighborhood I'd wanted to explore. Getting out the subway station, I'd walk to the nearest traffic lights and then let the algorithm of the lights guide me. I'd take whichever green light came up, turning to make sure I wan't waiting at any point. Inevitably, I'd find a museum, art gallery, park, show, place to eat, or some hidden gem that would eat up the rest of my day. In a couple of weeks, I felt like I know Manhattan - Harlem, Soho, UES, Central Park, UWS, Brooklyn. I've done this in Paris, Istanbul, London...never regretted it!

It often reminded me of the meandering route I take with the Sunday Newspapers. Rather than finishing a section, i find myself following the "Turn to page..." approach to guide my reading. Once I move to a new section and finish the story, I move to the next article in that section. Lots of fun. Works online too, I'm sure.

Try this - whether it's walking round a city or life in general, trying something new because it's presented to you serendipitously can be a fun way to mix up your routine and open yourself up to new ways to thinking and being. Bon Chance!!

Middle East: Innovation For The Grass Roots

on Monday, July 6, 2015
This article was published in Knowledge@Wharton on July 2, 2015

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of traveling in the UAE to visit family. I happened to also have the opportunity to delve into the nature of entrepreneurship, especially the work of women entrepreneurs in the region. I had the chance to meet and talk to a series of startup founders, and below is an article about one of the innovators I met while there.

There tends to be a rather uni-dimensional view of women in the Arab peninsula. It’s not quite one of a hard-charging innovator and business leader. However, that’s certainly a dimension that needs to be added to the global picture of the Arab woman. In 2014, Knowledge@Wharton published a ground-breaking book on just such women. A chance trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in January provided me the opportunity to meet another tranche of these trailblazers – the women entrepreneurs who have used global digital platforms to drive transformational enterprise of their own. In many ways, the internet has empowered women in ways that go beyond education and the ability to organize socially – they are recruiting, developing products, communicating across global markets, fundraising and delivering services in ways that transcend conventional barriers. Without an exception, these are business leaders who also aspire to social impact – as individuals as well as for societies around them.

One of the young digital entrepreneurs who melds a social impetus into her commercial vision is LouLou Khazen.

Below is the article that ran in Knowledge@Wharton.
The Internet has empowered many Arab women entrepreneurs to transcend educational and other conventional barriers — they are recruiting, developing products, communicating across global markets, fundraising and delivering new services in growing numbers.