The only common variable

December 11, 2017

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This 1 bad habit

December 11, 2017

This 1 Bad Habit Prevents Millennials From Achieving Financial Freedom, According to a Millennial Who Retired at 28 … by Glenn Leibowitz via inc.com   Article

“In her free time, she pored over books and scoured websites for information about investing, stocks, and real estate so she could learn how to convert her income into instruments that would grow her wealth. In just five years, through several successful investments in real estate and the financial markets, Dandan earned enough to not have to ever work again–if she chose not to. …

Glenn Leibowitz: Millennials just can’t seem to catch a break these days. For several years now, people have been piling on criticism about how they’re not motivated like earlier generations. What would you say about this?

Dandan Zhu: You hear a lot about what’s wrong with Millennials in the media. I think it just boils down to the simple fact that we Millennials, because we’re happy, hopeful people, we actually prioritize socializing much more than previous generations did.

Instead of investing in ‘boring’ activities like wealth creation and income generation, we’re spending 80 to 95 percent of our free time dedicated to ‘fun’ pursuits.  But it’s this single-minded prioritization of short-term gratification that is distracting us from building wealth, creating successful careers, and learning techniques to manage money correctly. …

But if you follow Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, fun falls into the category of ‘self-actualization.’ It comes only after people have managed to secure basic sustenance like food. However, people today are fast-forwarding to happiness before they can actually build the foundations for happiness.

Millennials are not the only ones at fault, of course. This relentless pursuit of happiness is an obsession of all demographics now.

The sad thing about happiness is that it’s fleeting. Without building your foundation and the rest of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, happiness can’t be sustained. Eighty percent of American adults are at risk of bankruptcy and financial ruin with just the slightest financial setback, yet most don’t even know it. …

… you may want to start preparing for your future. You should probably know well the benefits and drawbacks of various investment strategies. … That doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, you could spend an entire lifetime learning how to be financially adept and still not know everything.”


Money is great, but …

December 11, 2017

By Glenn Leibowitz via flipboard.com   Article

Money Is Great, But This Is What Employees Really Want

Meaning. Challenge. Autonomy. Just three of the six things employees are looking for from their work.

You might have seen the Gallup statistics that show that one out of two workers say they are ‘not engaged’ with their job, while another 17 percent say they are ‘actively disengaged.’ Even if you haven’t seen these numbers, evidence of employee disengagement often stares you right in the face in the form of those farewell emails that pop-up in your inbox each week. …

Here are six things that people are really looking for from their job:

1. MEANING. Good novels–the ones that make you want to turn the page again and again until you reach the end–are the ones that tell stories with a deeper meaning, or ‘theme’ as it’s called by those who pursue the craft. … Especially given how people spend the majority of their waking hours with their colleagues–time that is not spent with their loved ones–what makes all that time meaningful? Companies that can help its people answer this question stand a better chance of inspiring them and keeping them on board.

2. CHALLENGE. Work is a powerful platform for people to learn new skills and ideas, to stretch their potential, and to become better versions of themselves. People want to grow professionally and personally. But to grow, they need to have the opportunity tackle new challenges and solve new problems, they need to be stretched and tested. …

3. AUTONOMY. People want to have a sense of agency in what they do. They want to feel like they’re the masters of their professional fate, because so much of their personal fate rests on what they do at work. Autonomy–the freedom to make choices and to be held accountable for them–is what many people want.

4. VISIBILITY. Nothing is more demoralizing than when a person puts in the work and doesn’t get the credit they deserve. Worse is when someone takes the credit for the work that they did. Visibility is about giving public recognition inside the company–and sometimes outside the company–for a job well done. …

5. EQUITY. … Companies that treat people unfairly–offering one employee a private office while making others hot desk in an open plan seating arrangement; or paying people differently despite their comparable skills, qualifications, and contributions–just make it that much more likely to lose the very people they want to keep.

6. AUTHENTICITY. … Why do most companies make it so hard for people to just be themselves, to not be ashamed of who they are and what their personal preferences are? Perhaps as much as meaning, people crave the chance to be their authentic selves.”


Purpose

December 11, 2017

By John Coleman via hbr.org   Article

You Don’t Find Your Purpose — You Build It

“In achieving professional purpose, most of us have to focus as much on making our work meaningful as in taking meaning from it. Put differently, purpose is a thing you build, not a thing you find. Almost any work can possess remarkable purpose. School bus drivers bear enormous responsibility — caring for and keeping safe dozens of children — and are an essential part of assuring our children receive the education they need and deserve. Nurses play an essential role not simply in treating people’s medical conditions but also in guiding them through some of life’s most difficult times. Cashiers can be a friendly, uplifting interaction in someone’s day — often desperately needed — ora forgettable or regrettable one. But in each of these instances, purpose is often primarily derived from focusing on what’s so meaningful and purposeful about the job and on doing it in such a way that that meaning is enhanced and takes center stage. …

Most of us will have multiple sources of purpose in our lives. For me, I find purpose in my children, my marriage, my faith, my writing, my work, and my community. For almost everyone, there’s no one thing we can find. It’s not purpose but purposes we are looking for — the multiple sources of meaning that help us find value in our work and lives. Professional commitments are only one component of this meaning, and often our work isn’t central to our purpose but a means to helping others, including our families and communities. Acknowledging these multiple sources of purpose takes the pressure off of finding a single thing to give our lives meaning. …

It’s common now for people to have multiple careers in their lifetimes. I know one individual, for example, who recently left a successful private equity career to found a startup. I know two more who recently left business careers to run for elective office. And whether or not we switch professional commitments, most of us will experience personal phases in which our sources of meaning change — childhood, young adulthood, parenthood, and empty-nesting, to name a few.

This evolution in our sources of purpose isn’t flaky or demonstrative of a lack of commitment, but natural and good. Just as we all find meaning in multiple places, the sources of that meaning can and do change over time. My focus and sense of purpose at 20 was dramatically different in many ways than it is now, and the same could be said of almost anyone you meet.

How do you find your purpose? That’s the wrong question to ask. We should be looking to endow everything we do with purpose, to allow for the multiple sources of meaning that will naturally develop in our lives, and to be comfortable with those changing over time. Unpacking what we mean by ‘purpose’ can allow us to better understand its presence and role in our lives.”

 


Amazon leadership principles

December 4, 2017

Our Leadership Principles   Article

Customer Obsession Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

Ownership Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say ‘that’s not my job.’

Invent and Simplify Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by ‘not invented here.’ …

Are Right, A Lot Leaders are right a lot. They have strong business judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

Hire and Develop the Best Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. …

Insist on the Highest Standards Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. … Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

Think Big Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

Bias for Action Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

Frugality Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.

Learn and Be Curious Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Earn Trust Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. … They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Dive Deep Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. … They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Deliver Results Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Seeking sonder

December 4, 2017

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com   Article

Sonder is defined as that moment when you realize that everyone around you has an internal life as rich and as conflicted as yours.

That everyone has a noise in their head.

That everyone thinks that they are right, and that they have suffered affronts and disrespect at the hands of others.

That everyone is afraid. And that everyone realizes that they are also lucky.

That everyone has an impulse to make things better, to connect and to contribute.

That everyone wants something that they can’t possibly have. And if they could have it, they’d discover that they didn’t really want it all along.

That everyone is lonely, insecure and a bit of a fraud. And that everyone cares about something.

Sonder might happen to you. When it does, it will help you see the world in a whole new way. Because, if you let it, the feeling can persist. A feeling that can allow you to see others the way you’d like to be seen.”


Data from 3.5 million employees

December 4, 2017

By Dylan MinorPaul BrookJosh Bernoff via hbr.org   Article

Data From 3.5 Million Employees Shows How Innovation Really Works

“Sales and marketing were once disciplines ruled by emotions. But somewhere along the way, we recognized that they were based on definable pipelines and applied technology to manage those pipelines. … What if we applied the same thinking to innovation? After all, innovation, like marketing and sales, is a pipeline. In one end go raw concepts and notions. Out the other end come actionable ideas that can move the business forward. With the right technology, could you manage this pipeline the way you manage a sales pipeline?

Our research shows that you can. One of us, Dylan, has analyzed five years of data from 154 public companies covering over 3.5 million employees that have used an idea management system called Spigit. For the millions of employees of these companies, the idea management system functions a little like Facebook – people can post ideas, get votes, deliver or respond to feedback, and develop the ideas into innovations that make a difference to the company. … We used linear regression to analyze every potential measure the system includes over every 3-month time period when the system was active within the company.

But what we learned from our analysis of all this data is that innovation is, indeed, a science. And surprisingly, the variables that make for a successful innovation program are independent of whether the company is seeking disruptive or incremental innovations. It doesn’t matter whether they’re asking for process or product innovation, what industry the company is in, or even, for the most part, whether the company is large or small.

The key variable that we identified across all the companies in our analysis is the ideation rate, which we define as the number of ideas approved by management divided by the total number of active users in the system. … After reviewing dozens of variables that could potentially affect ideation, we identified four that drove the ideation rate. They weren’t what we expected.

  1. Scale – more participants. To succeed, an innovation program needs lots of participants. It’s the wisdom of the crowd: a large mass of participants will always out-ideate a small group of smart people. On average, companies generate one idea for every four participants in the system.
  2. Frequency – more ideas. To get to a set of promising ideas whose implementation would make sense, you need to sift through a lot of candidates. To succeed, a company needs to create frequent idea challenges for its employees. These challenges reinforce a culture of innovation and generate more ideas going into the pipeline. While there is a great deal of variation based on the types of ideas and the companies reviewing them, on average, it takes five idea candidates to generate one idea that the company judges to be worth implementing.
  3. Engagement – more people evaluating ideas. It’s not enough to get some people suggesting ideas. You need lots of other people figuring out whether those ideas are worth working on, or what it will take for them to become better. A successful idea management system is a ferment of commentary, with lots of feedback.
  4. Diversity – more kinds of people contributing. You might think the most productive innovation system would be full of engineers or other problem-solvers. You’d be wrong. A successful system needs contributions from all over the organization, especially staff who are close to the front lines: sales staff, support workers, or people in close touch with the company’s manufacturing processes, for example.”