April 27, 2011
By ALINA TUGEND Article
In a Data-Heavy Society, Being Defined by the Numbers
““Numbers make intangibles tangible,” said Jonah Lehrer, a journalist and author of “How We Decide,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). “They give the illusion of control.” …
… “We want to quantify everything,” he went on, “to ground a decision in fact, instead of asking whether that variable matters.” … And we often do need to find ways to measure and evaluate people and products in as objective a way as possible. The trouble, though, is when we mindlessly and blindly rely on those numbers to tell us everything, said Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies of science and technology and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Initiative on Technology and Self.
Numbers become not just part of the way we judge and assess, but the only way. …
And those black-and-white statistics, while arguably irrefutable in one way, really tell us almost nothing. Amazon’s rankings of book sales, for instance — which anyone can view — can vary wildly based on the sale of very few books. All those numbers help us lose sight of why we’re really doing what we’re doing. Ms. Black, for instance, said her books were largely about loss. “I’ll get a letter from someone who says, ‘My daughter died, and reading your book really helped,’ ” Ms. Black said. “That’s so meaningful. How do I measure that against 500 Twitter followers?””
April 27, 2011
By Tsedal Neeley and Paul Leonardi Article
Effective Managers Say the Same Thing Twice (or More)
“The finding: To get employees to do something, managers need to ask them at least twice.
The research: A team led by professors Neeley and Leonardi shadowed 13 managers in six companies for more than 250 hours, recording every communication the managers sent and received. The researchers discovered that one of every seven communications by the managers was completely redundant with a previous communication using a different technology. They also saw that the managers who were deliberately redundant moved their projects forward faster and more smoothly.
The challenge: If we communicate clearly, do we really still have to repeat ourselves? Isn’t that inefficient? Professors Neeley and Leonardi, defend your research.
Neeley: We know that the effective managers repeated themselves at least once, and we often observed managers who sent three or four redundant communications. We saw some clear patterns with regard to who did this and how. For example, we divided our managers into two types: those with formal power and those without it. We found that those without power planned their redundant communications and that frequently very little time passed between their first message and their second.
HBR: They actually intended to say the same thing twice from the outset?
Leonardi: It was very deliberate. One manager we observed worked on an e-mail for 20 minutes right after explaining his request to the employee in a conversation. He not only was aware of the redundancy but took the time to make sure the two communications said the same thing.
Neeley: Managers with power, however, were redundant in a more reactive way. We found that they think they can tell people what to do just once, but the lack of an adequate response forces them to send a redundant message.”
April 27, 2011
By Art Petty Article
Trying Not to Fail Is Not the Same As Striving for Success
“There’s a definite difference between focusing on not failing versus striving for success.
When we focus on not failing, fear rents most of the space in our mind, and we see monsters in need of slaying everywhere we turn. We lose track of the original vision that propelled our actions, and the sheer act of working becomes at best a passionless exercise and at worst, drudgery.
Lousy Leaders Achieve “Not Failing” at a High Price:
Sadly, many leaders provide fuel for the “don’t fail” machine through their actions.
Show me a project team or functional group that exhibit all of the energy and passion of a collection of late-night television zombies, and I’ll guarantee there’s one or more dysfunctional and often micro-managing leaders at the source of this environmental problem.”
April 26, 2011
Posted on April 22nd, 2011 in Diversity Article
“Here is the secret to smart investing: Don’t buy any actively managed stock or bond mutual funds.
A fund is considered actively managed when the fund manager attempts to beat a designated benchmark. Virtually all mutual funds recommended by brokers and most advisers are actively managed. The data is overwhelming that you would be better off in a globally diversified portfolio of low management fee stock and bond index funds, where the fund manager tracks the performance of a designated index.
Here is the information that your broker isn’t likely to share with you. For the five years ending in December 2010, between 60 and 90 percent of actively managed stock mutual funds failed to beat their designated benchmark in these categories: U.S. large cap, U.S. mid cap, U.S. small cap, global, international, and emerging markets. The lone exception was international small, where 24 percent failed to beat the index.
This dismal performance is consistent with exhaustive research showing that actively managed funds, as a group, tend to underperform the market by an amount equal to their average fees and expenses. Actively managed funds are up to 500 percent more expensive than index funds. Their high cost makes it exceedingly difficult for them to capture returns comparable to low management fee stock and bond index funds.
Actively managed bond funds fared worse, consistent with research showing this market is as efficient as stocks. There is no way to predict the movement of interest rates and bond prices. Between 56 percent and 98 percent of actively managed bond funds failed to beat their index over the past five years in the following categories: government long, government intermediate, investment grade long, investment grade intermediate, investment grade short, national municipals, and California municipals.”
April 26, 2011
By Abraham Hyatt Article
“This one’s for the engineers, the programmers, the database administrators, the sysadmins, the networking gurus, and the rest of that army of people that gets deployed when a major outage happens. While the rest of us grouse that we can’t check in at our local haunts, or log on with our Twitter app of choice, or vote a story up or down on Reddit – or even do something a little more directly tied to social or economic productivity – those folks are working brutal hours under intense pressure to get everything back up again.
And while we’re firing off #fail hashtags and loudly musing about how we’re seriously considering competitors and alternatives, they’re closing off issues, squashing bugs, rooting out corrupted files or finding that one fried capacitor that brought everything down.
Yes, someone or some group of people out there was responsible for the decisions or actions – or lack thereof – that led to the latest outage, and they should be held accountable. But every once in a while, it’s nice to shift the recrimination generators into idle, and thank the people who get us all back up and running again.”
April 26, 2011
By Simon Mainwaring Article
“For decades, the decision to be an environmentally and socially responsible company has been based on the bottom line: Would it be profitable? In general, companies have crunched the numbers and chosen shareholder profits over a sufficient commitment to invest in greater social responsibility. In terms of traditional accounting and the legal requirements of corporations, costs always outweighed benefits.
But it now seems that this equation is starting to lean the other way as brands recognize the potential financial and reputational advantages they can gain by engaging with consumers around the shared ambition of building a better world. We can see this already happening among some leading brands such as Pepsi, Google, Nike, Patagonia and Starbucks, who have all earned consumer respect for their involvement in some area of environmental or social responsibility related to their business.
How did this come about? In large part, it is because the payoff for corporate engagement with customers has risen dramatically as a result of social media. The new dynamics between brands and consumers, driven by social media, are proving to be a powerful impetus for change. …
The process of becoming a brand leader in the next decades will be an evolutionary one involving at least seven stages. Each stage is defined by its unique leadership style, brand vision, social media commitment and level of engagement with the brand’s customer base: ….”
April 25, 2011
By Terry Starbucker Article
The Absolutely, Positively, No Doubt About It Way To Keep Customers – In A Nutshell
“I’ve seen a lot of books out there lately that have taken a lot of pages to explain how to get and keep customers, but it’s really pretty simple:
- Thank your customers for their business, preferably with a smile
- Follow the Golden Rule in all your communications with customers, no matter the form
- If you mess up with a customer, own up to it and apologize
- Repeat 1-3, replacing “customers” with “employees“, and “business” with “service“
That’s it, in a nutshell.
This is exactly what we did at the last company I worked for, and it worked beautifully.
(By the way, ever wonder how the expression “in a nutshell” came to be? Check this out - fascinating……)”
April 25, 2011
By Priscilla Claman Article
Choosing The Right Boss Is Just As Important As The Job
“… in an hour-long interview with a hiring manager, you will be lucky to get fifteen minutes to ask your own questions. For this reason, as a job candidate you should not only be concerned with your answers to a hiring manager’s questions, and but also a potential manager’s answers to your questions.
It was early in my career when I first used this technique. I was the interviewee, and let’s just say the hiring manager reputedly had a management style akin to that of a Mafia boss — ruthless, and obsessed with loyalty. I asked if there was someone working for him that he considered a real star that I could learn from. He was quick to answer:
“That would be Barbara. One time, I gave her an assignment and she came back to me pleading that I give it to someone else. She didn’t feel comfortable doing it, and said that in all the years she had worked for me she had never asked for anything but this. Of course, I told her that I had given her an assignment, and expected her to do it. Barbara said, ‘Yes, boss,’ and did it. And that is why she is the star on my team.”
I learned more about his management style in that answer than if I had asked him directly. I had enough information right there to make my own decision.”
April 25, 2011
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” ~ Peter Drucker, 20th century American business consultant, author, educator
April 24, 2011
By Barry Ritholtz Article
April 24, 2011
by Linda Hill & Kent Lineback Article
“When is the last time you asked the group you manage, and the individuals in it, this simple question:
What can I do to help you be more effective?
What question could be more central to being a good boss? If you want to manage and lead successfully, you’ve got to know what the people doing the work need. So why not ask them? But the truth is, this question is not asked by bosses nearly enough.
You’ll get a variety of answers, especially in the beginning — including non-answers (“Gee, nothing. Keep doing what you’re doing.”) and requests you can’t do much about — personal problems, company policies you can’t change, complaints about colleagues who make this person’s work life miserable, as well as personal requests you can’t or won’t address (such as “Raise my pay” from someone whose performance is mediocre). Take everything under advisement, if you can’t respond immediately. Promise to take action when you think it’s warranted but resist efforts to “delegate up.”
You will also get answers that are implicit or even explicit criticisms of you. Respond to these by explaining yourself, but don’t argue or react defensively. Admit mistakes, if appropriate. At the least, respond with, “Let me think about that. Thanks for telling me.”"
April 24, 2011
By Dan Rockwell Article
“I’ll never forget G.J. Hart’s observation about high potential leaders, “I can usually tell if they have the humility to make it.”
Humility yields success; arrogance blocks it. One source of arrogance is too much knowledge. However, there’s something that matters more than knowing. It’s practicing what you know. Putting knowledge into practice tests, reveals, and establishes true knowledge. Practicing knowledge helps produce humility.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Goethe
Thomas Watson said, “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”
What you think about what you know matters more than what you know. With that in mind it may be risky to give you more knowledge about humility. Hopefully you’ll add doing to knowing.
Eight practices of humble people ….”
April 24, 2011
Source: http://www.lbnelert.com Article
S&P SOUNDS ALARM ON U.S.DEBT
“Standard & Poor’s issued a stark warning to Washington on Monday, cutting its outlook on US sovereign debt for the first time and throwing more fuel on the raging debate over America’s swollen deficits. The agency kept America’s credit rating at triple A, but for the first time since it started rating US debt 70 years ago, cut its outlook from “stable” to “negative”. A negative outlook means there is a one-third chance of a downgrade in the next two years.”
April 23, 2011
by Kishore S. Swaminathan Article
Taming the data that dominates our work lives
“Most business leaders now demand empirical data to support important decisions. With advances in analytics, we are nearing the point where every executive at every level will have to subject even the most mundane business decision to the following question: “Do we think this is true, or do we know this is true?”
As more organizations move in this direction, though, they ought to be aware of the potential opportunities and challenges that go along with using data to guide more of their decisions and actions:
1. Avoiding the misuse of data
Analytics places tremendous power in the hands of its users, and to borrow from Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Organizations should watch for three common misuses of data.”
April 23, 2011
by Vijay Govindarajan Article
What Drives You Nuts about Failure?
“Here’s one for you: “I want an innovation effort that fails fast and cheap.” When Tom Peters offered up this oft-quoted phrase, he said, “Test fast, fail fast, adapt fast.” He didn’t just say, “Fail fast.” When Ian MacMillan and Alexander Van Putten offered “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap, and Move on to the Real Winners,” they weren’t really advocating for failing fast and cheap as much as, like Tom Peters, they were advocating for learning fast. Your idea, concept, or business proposition doesn’t have to be fleshed out 100%, or launched worldwide, for you to learn quickly. In fact, it makes sense to break your investments down into increments so that you can validate — or learn what isn’t working — quickly. The point isn’t to fail fast; the point is to learn something useful and move on.”
April 23, 2011
by Rajesh Setty Article
Why Many Smart People Fail to Make a Good First Impression
“In this day and age, what precedes the first impression is the zeroth impression. It is what a person thinks of you even before you make your first impression. Google and other resources will make it easy for anyone to form a zeroth impression about anyone else. So the zeroth impression sets the baseline of expectations from the other person. If the zeroth impression about you is that you are a “rockstar”, the baseline set will be that of a “rockstar”. If the zeroth impression about you is that of a newbie, the baseline set will be that of a newbie. It is not right or wrong, but people will come to meet you with a certain baseline.
If all else fails, the baseline that is set will be based on some stereotypes in the mind of the other person. For example: If you are an Indian and if the other person thinks all Indians are geeks, he will come with a baseline that he has for all geeks. That’s about the baselines.
Let’s take the two approaches – one that does not help you make a good first impression (Approach A) and the one that helps you create memorable moments (Approach B)”
April 22, 2011
By Chris Brogan Article
“At the Nobel Peace Center, I saw this bit of writing on a wall: “I’m not racist. All I am is afraid.” I loved it, because it speaks to something we all do. We assume that we understand what someone else is thinking. In self-esteem books, this is called “mind reading.”
Mind reading is when we project our thoughts of what someone else is thinking onto that someone else. This is what we do in relationships. This is what we do at events, when we’re thinking about whether or not we can introduce ourselves to someone new. Mind reading, almost always, is useless. It’s not helpful. It’s a bunch of fake emotions and thoughts (mostly our fears) that we project onto other people. And yet, it’s what we do more often than not.
Avoid Mind Reading
The easiest way to avoid mind reading is to ask, or to dare to see if what you’re fearing is real.”
April 22, 2011
By H. James Wilson and Kevin Desouz Article
8 Ways to Democratize Experimentation
“Consider this: the stronger a company’s growth performance, the more likely it will prefer experimentation as the first step to identify an opportunity. In the Babson Executive Education analysis of 635 global companies, just under a third of companies with 1-10% growth preferred experimentation over other methodologies, such as statistical analysis, to identify revenue and operational improvement opportunities. Approaching half (46%) of companies with 11-20% growth prefer it, while well over half (56%) of companies with more than 20% growth do.
No wonder more and more executives are championing experimentation over (or as a precursor to) time-honored analytic approaches like strategic planning and market research, as we showed in our previous post. Yet many tell us that they struggle to democratize experimentation. They can’t seem to move it from R&D labs into the offices and factories.
The rationale for democratization is clear, since R&D labs have numerous natural constraints that can limit the true potential of experimentation. R&D personnel are often detached from the day-to-day running of the business and hence are not the best people to experiment on the problems and solutions of interest for today.”
April 22, 2011
From TomPeter! Article
Beyond Your “To Do” List.Waaaay Beyond Your “To Do” List
“… I want to use this space to say that “To do” lists are not enough—not nearly enough. In fact I want to urge three other daily “must” lists be added to your morning cogitations.
#2. “To be” list. If you went to a play, and someone appeared on stage and proceeded to read the play—with no acting—you’d say they missed the point of theater. Well, management of any sort is, pure and simple, theater with the acting. Who are you going to “be” this morning? How are you going to project yourself upon the scene? What is your tactical interpersonal approach to each and every one of those items on your “to do” list? A manager by definition can’t do it all—or maybe can’t do any of it. Hence her/his job is to “engage” others—and engagement is 100% about emotion—whereas the “to do” list is 100% engineering. So think through your “leaderhip” approach—and the unabashed “theater” you will use with each of the folks-teams you are attempting to engage re that particular “to do” item.
#3. “Relationship management/development” list. Life, including business life, is all about relationships. With allies. With doubters. With friends. With foes. Inside the organization—”above” you and “below” you. Outsiders as well as insiders. What is the extant “State of the Union” this morning? Come hell and high water, what relationships are in need of repair? What allies desperately need bucking up? Are you plugged in enough two levels “down”? Are you plugged in two levels “down” in a customer’s or vendor’s organization? ….”
April 21, 2011
by Patrick Lefler Article
April 20, 2011
**By DailyHRTips.com Article
April 20, 2011
by Bruce Nussbaum Article