Hacking a Better World!
Hi, I am J.D. Meier.
I’m on a quest for the world’s best insight and action for work and life.
I believe that everybody deserves a chance at a better life and that life is better with skill.
My mission is to advance the art and science of human potential.
I empower people with skills by writing the guides to change the world.
I am a strategist, an innovator, an Agile leader, a productivity specialist, a project leader, an author, a director of digital transformation, and CEO whisperer.
The Agile Way
I’m the best-selling author of Getting Results the Agile Way.
The Agile Way is really a way of adapting to your changing world. As I like to say in my talks, “Nature favors the flexible.”
You can think of the book as guide to personal productivity and realizing your potential all rolled into one.
It’s a whole person approach to strategic productivity and the tag line is: “Better energy, better results.”
My adventures in Agile include:
- Agile for software (leading high-performance teams the Agile way as an Agile Program Manager)
- Agile for life (I share what I learned in Getting Results the Agile Way)
- Agile for business (I spent the last several years as a coach, strategist, and director driving business transformation)
At work, I’ve played the role of Director, Strategist, Architect, Program Manager, and Support Engineer.
Digital Business Transformation
I operate at the intersection of business and technology to bring new ideas to life.
I was “head coach” of Satya Nadella’s Innovation team (Satya is the CEO of Microsoft.) My job was to accelerate digital transformation, while learning better ways to drive digital business design, disruptive innovation, business model innovation, and more.
My favorite question for any CEO is:
“What will your future customers pay you for?”
I am currently the Director of Digital Business Transformation, where I create the tools and frameworks to help business leaders create and capture value in the digital era through insights, scenarios, stories, and business transformation patterns.
Building Books of Dreams to Change the World
I created and lead the Book of Dreams program at Microsoft.
The big idea of the Book of Dreams is to help business leaders dream up their digital future and then create it using a simple framework for vision, value, and solutions that link strategy with execution in an Agile way.
The Book of Dreams is both a Digital Transformation Framework as well as a series of playbooks to help business leaders reimagine the future, create a roadmap to get there, and accelerate business value along the way.
I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of creating Books of Dreams with experts around the world for the following industries, technologies, and business personas:
- Airlines Book of Dreams
- Automotive Book of Dreams
- Banking Book of Dreams
- Blockchain Book of Dreams
- CFO Book of Dreams
- CIO Book of Dreams
- CISO Book of Dreams
- Citizen Services Book of Dreams
- CityNext Book of Dreams
- Consumer Electronics Book of Dreams
- Consumer Goods Book of Dreams
- Education Book of Dreams
- Healthcare Book of Dreams
- Insurance Book of Dreams
- Manufacturing Book of Dreams
- Media Book of Dreams
- Mining Book of Dreams
- Mixed Reality Book of Dreams
- Modern Book of Dreams
- Oil & Gas Book of Dreams
- Retail Book of Dreams
- Smart Spaces Book of Dreams
- Sports Book of Dreams
- Telco Book of Dreams
Exploring the Art of the Possible
One of the big ideas in the Book of Dreams is to really explore “the art of the possible.”
With all the digital innovation happening around the world, it’s time to reimagine the future and to envision some bold ambitions.
One of the best ways I’ve found to practice the art of the possible is simply to start using the phrase: ”Imagine if …”
For example, “Imagine if more students passed, and less students failed thanks to machine learning.”
As you walk through each day, just start imagining how things could be better and how new technology innovations might enhance the world around you.
Imagine is a muscle and you can build if you exercise it, and as Einstein put it, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
Frameworks and Learning Platforms
I’ve built a lot of frameworks and learning platforms.
As one of my mentors put it, “If you frame and name the space, you own it.”
Creating frameworks is a way to empower people to collaborate and build expertise and accelerate learning.
I’ve developed a rapid research approach that works to quickly chunk down a complex domain into actionable principles, patterns, and practices.
It works whether the goal is to simply learn the domain or whether you want to win a competitive assessment or if you want to design award winning products.
While my patents are in security, performance, and application architecture, I’ve created frameworks and methodologies for everything from adoption frameworks to digital transformation to emotional intelligence and personal productivity.
Innovation is My Game (And I Enjoy Changing the Game)
I am known as an “ideas guy” and an innovator.
But I’m also known as a doer and a driver.
I’ve learned a great deal about innovation from the school of hard knocks. I’ve experimented my way through big challenges and learned how to create frameworks and models that help everybody play in the game.
I’ve had great mentors that taught me a lot about innovation. I learned a lot about innovation from Michael Michalo, a former Disney imagineer, who wrote the book, “Thinkertoys.”
I also learned a lot about how to think differently using techniques from Edward de Bono, famous for Six Thinking Hats, as well as by studying past innovator’s like Thomas Edison. Perhaps my favorite idea from Edison is setting an Idea Quota (which Michael Michalko writes about.)
I tend to work in startups at Microsoft. I think because I am a “change the business” kind of a guy. I can “run the business” too, but I’m a futurist and I always have a vision for the future.
One thing I do each year is create an comprehensive catalog of emerging trends and insights to help get the balcony view and set the stage for the year to come.
The Art of Agile Program Management
One of my favorite roles has been a program manager.
It’s the closest thing in my mind to an entrepreneur where you ship ideas from cradle to grave.
It’s a demanding job with a lot of different skills including creating a vision, inspiring a team, stakeholder management, creating budgets, mapping out the work, connecting with customers, analyzing the market opportunity, and driving adoption and change.
One of my greatest and most inspiring mentors would always ask at the start of any project:
”How will the world be different when you are done?”
Next he would ask:
”Who is the dream team you need to pull that off?”
And he would challenge me to go and attract the top talent around the world and build the dream team and lead an epic adventure.
Program Management taught me a lot about how to envision, design, build, and ship great things.
Patterns and Practices
I am known in some circles as “the patterns and practices guy.”
You can think of patterns simply as “problem and solution pairs in a context.”
Patterns are a great way to share and scale expertise. Patterns are also great for sharing strategies and for building a common vocabulary.
To put it another way, patterns can help ramp up people that are new, as well as accelerate experts and actually advance and push the envelope of any subject or domain.
I’m lucky to have learned from some of the best patterns authors in the world.
As a hobby, I study, share, and scale success patterns for mind, body, emotions, career, finance, relationships, and fun.
Stand on the Shoulders of Giant
I’m a big believer in standing on the shoulder of giants to go further in this lifetime.
I learn from all I can.
In particular, I draw from great books, great people, and great quotes.
In fact, I have a library of over 1,300 articles of profound insights and actions on personal empowerment that I share at Sources of Insight.
I think that well-organized quotes puts the wisdom of the ages and modern sages at your fingertips. Sometimes the right idea strikes like lightening because of just the right quote.
Run with the Titans
I’m a big fan of helping people “Stand on the shoulders of giants.”
Better yet, as a late friend told me, “I help people run with the Titans.”
Are you ready to run?