Teamwork, harmony and competition

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 | 0 comments

According to one survey around 70% of all offices in America have gone open-plan. Yet evidence is mounting that this is a bad idea. I don’t necessarily agree… but then, I often work from home depending on what I have to do, and whether I think I’ll be more productive there. The next part, however, does make (some) sense. … The most successful teams are marked by internal competition and clashing egos as well as “Kum Bay Yah”-style togetherness. A focus on interpersonal harmony can actually hurt team...

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Choose one

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 | 0 comments

I like how Erin writes… Let’s say you want to work in tech but you also want a civil, respectful working environment. You want to transcend professional mediocrity, but you also want family-friendly policies or sane working hours. Some people are capable of having both for a little while. Eventually, though, you will need to choose. You might have to prefer work with lasting meaning over work that confers instant prestige and a lavish starting salary. You might have to invite conference speakers—and hire leaders—who work outside the...

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Personal investment = Engaged entrepreneur

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 | 0 comments

When most of us think of a hyper successful startup, we envision a small battalion of enthusiastic, even maniacally focused true believers willing to brave all manner of hardship to bring a well-defined mission, and a great idea, to life. Behind the new product, platform, or service, we imagine employees so deeply and personally invested in the enterprise that their prototypical weekend looks suspiciously like the five days that preceded it. For employee engagement to make sense, it (a) has to be sincere, and (b) it has to be able to...

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Creativity invites judgement

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 | 0 comments

While most fear that their great ideas will be stolen, it’s most likely that they will be ignored. In the cases where an idea is considered, it’s still more likely that it will be rejected than stolen. The truth of the matter is that you need to be persistent and not give up on your ideas. Creative ideas, by their very nature, invite judgment. People need to know if the value promised by the new is worth the abandonment of the old. We tend to fear change, and therefore we fear the innovations that call us to change. In organizations...

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Patience and being able to listen

Posted by on Sep 8, 2013 | 0 comments

I definitely need to learn to listen more… Sometimes listening is challenging because we want to do something, not just hear about it. Our hyperactive impulses derive from our certainty that we know the solution and reactively want to implement it. However, it isn’t always optimal to rush in with the answers, unintentionally creating dependency, stunting the growth of others, and sacrificing transformative breakthroughs. Pause a bit longer to let groups struggle and strain more as they explore ideas, options, and deeper...

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Done is better than Perfect

Posted by on Sep 8, 2013 | 0 comments

I also like “Move fast and break things.” “Done is better than perfect” is not about coming up with ideas; it’s about believing in them. And having an attitude that compels you to run with the idea before it’s too late. Having worked with some of the world’s largest companies, I’ve come to realize that the idea is the easy part; the hard part is getting your company to believe in it. Source:...

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Innovation and Opposition

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 | 0 comments

In the past, I’ve been labeled as a “creativity killer”, in the sense that, for any idea, I would immediately start thinking about how to build it – and therefore limit the brainstorming session. This is something I’ve worked hard on, and am glad to say that I’m not longer that guy. However, I still vocally push for pros and cons of any idea being pitched to, or by, me. Which reminds me of: “The mark of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in its mind at the same...

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Next generation of ‘brainstorming’

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 | 0 comments

Interesting way to manage and guide a brainstorming session… Step 1: Pick three metrics. When Nissan engineered its turnaround in 1999, it named its strategy the “180,” which stood for 180-degree turnaround, but also for 1 million more cars per year, 8% gross margins, and zero long-term debt. Come up with three clear metrics like these, and inspire and focus your team. With my team, for example, we are playing for 75 meetings, 25 proposals, and 10 new core clients. Step 2: Pick three leverage points. To see strategies that your...

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Do what you love. Always.

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 | 0 comments

I often think about this question… And it’s a tough one. Let the reader beware! “Imagine you’ve won the lottery, and money no longer is a primary motivator. Your family is now taken care of, and you’ve earned a certain amount of notoriety by having the winning ticket. What would you do next in your life?” Shell believes that the candidate’s answer to this one question provides direct access into their hearts. “If they want to be of service to something, that tells you the kind of work they find very meaningful. If they want to...

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Happiness as a metric

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 | 0 comments

Very interesting paper by Georgetown University economist Arik Levinson highlighting how using “happiness” as a metric can be complicated. Mostly because: For better or worse, people adjust to their circumstances People aren’t rational and tend project momentary circumstances onto long-term decisions More on this here:...

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