2:41 Chris tells about the time when a physics professor took the time to explain a difficult subject to him, and eventually took him under his wing, and the impact that had on his young mind.
3:56 “When you’re doing science, you don’t always have the answer, and sometimes you get an answer that you don’t expect…the world is not a straightforward and linear place.”
4:46 Chris describes his role working for James Street, and using computers to recognize how much things were worth.
6:58 “Once I understood the trading and I understood the infrastructure and the regulatory stuff and the way everything came together, I switched to a role where I was looking at these bigger questions of risk.”
9:00 How reading about aviation infrastructure, or lack thereof, in Asia allowed Chris to see the complexity inherent in the system.
9:24 “Why do some organizations do a great job of making decisions in really complex environments and managing risk and others do not?”
9:58 “Aviation has figured out how to manage some of these risks prospectively.”
11:00 The genesis of starting his own firm.
11:57 Chris recounts his interest in the BP oil spill. “I was really interested in understanding what happened, and as I dug in more and more…I became fascinated with how the accident happened.”
12:37 “The greatest environmentalist in the last 50 years, might’ve been someone at BP who said, ‘No, this isn’t the right way to do this.’”
13:53 The reason to buy down risk. “There are things happening in the world that [people] don’t quite understand that will affect their business.”
15:18 The importance of preparing for the “knock-on” consequences.
15:58 “It’s not about figuring out what hatch to close, it’s about developing a different perspective and saying: ‘Oh, these things might interact in a way that causes a big problem.’”
16:24 “We wear a seatbelt not because we know the exact kind of accident we’re going to get into, we wear a seatbelt because we want to protect ourselves regardless of the accident.”
17:34 On the post-disaster case study. “I think what that training did was give them the confidence they needed so that they were able to, the next time these things came up, not only deal with it in real time but see the precursors.”
19:12 “In this day and age, there is so much more interconnectedness and complexity.”
20:02 How the Meltdown Quiz can you help you think better about your existing systems. “How many things in this project have to go right for this project to succeed?”
22:28 “We need to add structure to our thinking…we do a lot of work with leaders to help them develop a process to add that structure to their thinking.”
23:05 How to avoid falling into the trap of making the situation more complex than it needs to be.”
26:10 What it means to, as Cal Newport named it, “do deep work.”
27:16 How Chris tracks his deep work hours.
27:53 “I realized that my morning routine with my five-year-old son looked a lot like a crisis.”
30:44 Why you should start your meetings a little bit differently.”
33:18 How doctors in Toronto figured out that asking patients a handful of questions could quickly determine whether or not the patient needed an x-ray.
35:00 “An open door policy is not enough.”
37:25 Chris’s three big takeaways.