“You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all”

August 27, 2012

By Joyce E.A. Russell in The Washington Post   Article

Career Coach: How leaders can boost their credibility with staff

“Credibility is often considered to be at the foundation of leadership. Regardless of how smart, sophisticated and savvy you might be, if your colleagues or direct reports don’t believe you, then they won’t willingly follow. People have to believe that your word can be trusted — you will do what you say you will do — and that your actions are aligned with your words.

To be seen as credible, you must be honest. Leadership experts and writers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner found people around the globe report honesty as the most important characteristic of “admired leaders.” As they say, “before someone will voluntarily heed your advice, take your direction, accept your guidance, trust your judgment, agree to your recommendations, buy your products, support your ideas and implement your strategies, people expect that you will be honest.”

Credible leaders must also have integrity, adhering to moral and ethical standards. Consistency is key to being seen as credible. Tell the truth, keep confidentialities, apply standards reliably and walk the talk each and every day. Don’t be the leader who promises to do something, but never follows up, or says it is important to treat employees with appreciation, but doesn’t practice what he preaches.”

Inside Intellectual Ventures, the most hated company in tech

August 27, 2012

By  and   from CNET, News, Politics and Law   Article

“To many in the high-tech business, a troll plots his schemes in a white office building on a hill in this leafy suburb of Seattle. This is the home of Intellectual Ventures, which, depending on whom you ask, is either the biggest, most aggressive patent troll on the planet or a pioneering company that’s helping inventors get their fair share.

The question of “whom you ask” is a big one, of course. Since it was founded in 2000 by Microsoft veterans Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung, Intellectual Ventures has — through $5 billion in investment funds and its own brainstorming efforts — collected nearly 70,000 “intellectual assets” on technologies ranging from nuclear power to camera lenses. It currently controls about 40,000 intellectual assets.

In the process, Intellectual Ventures has become a boogieman for aspiring entrepreneurs and big tech companies alike. (Ironic, since some of its early investors include Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, Google, and eBay.) Rolling out a new feature for your Web site? Have a better way to reflect light through a camera lens? Better watch out, Intellectual Ventures might have a patent for that.” …

Nathan Myhrvold is a very, very, very smart man. He may be the wealthiest man on Earth when all is said and done,” said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of the health care startup CareZone and the former chief exec of Sun Microsystems. “Congratulations on arbitraging the patent system.””

Patent Research Just Got Easier

August 27, 2012

From Inc.   Article

Google knows a thing or two about patents and has been the target of plenty of lawsuits involving them over the years. So it makes sense the company trying to “organize the world’s information” would come up with a better way to search for patents. In a blog post on Aug. 14 the company announced two new features for its Patent Search tool: The ability to search the European Patent Office, and a new way to find “prior art.”

The ability to search prior art is key when it comes to proving your idea deserves a patent. “Typically, patents are granted only if an invention is new and not obvious,” wrote Google engineering manager Jon Orwant. “To explain why an invention is new, inventors will usually cite prior art such as earlier patent applications or journal articles.” But that process usually involves a laborious search.

In one click, Prior Art Finder searches multiple sources–Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, and the Web–for related content that existed at the time a patent was filed. To learn more about how start-ups might use this tool, I checked in with Van Lindberg, an IP and open-source attorney with the international corporate law firmHaynes and Boone.

How will the Prior Art Finder tool be userful to patent-holders and patent-seekers?”

6 Signs Your Market is Maturing

August 27, 2012

From Inc. 5000   Article

  1. “Customer needs/desires do not appear to be evolving rapidly.
  2. Consolidation by leading competitors is reducing competitive intensity.
  3. Disruptive innovations and new entrants are gaining share only gradually and top out at relatively low levels.
  4. Market shares of leading competitors have solidified and are changing gradually, if at all.
  5. Price, brand and/or channel strategy has supplanted product innovation as key value drivers.
  6. Cash flows are increasingly turning positive and being returned to investors rather than invested into the market. …

Strategies for Mature Markets

If your market is maturing, there are still likely to be plenty of value creation opportunities in front of you. Here are some strategies you might pursue: ….”

The real definition of management

August 27, 2012

By Michael Josephson in Business Ethics and Leadership   Article

“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.” – Agha Hasan Abedi

Where are the Main Street-mom-and-pop equity investors?

August 27, 2012

By Barry Ritholtz in The Washington Post Business Section   Article

Where has the retail investor gone?

“Lots of folks are wondering what happened to the Main Street-mom-and-pop retail investors. They seem to have taken their ball and gone home. … We see evidence of this all over the place: The incredibly light volume of stock trading; the abysmal television ratings of CNBC; the closing of investing magazines such as Smart Money, whose final print issue is on newsstands as it transitions to a digital format; the dearth of stock chatter at cocktail parties. Why, it is almost as if America has fallen out of love with equities.

Given the events of the past decade and a half, this should come as no surprise. Average investors have seen not one but two equity collapses (2000 and 2008). They got caught in the real estate boom and bust. Accredited investors (i.e., the wealthier ones) also discovered that venture capital and private equity were no sure thing either. The Facebook IPO may have been the last straw.

What has driven the typical investor away from equities? ….”

Seeing Through Your Blind Spots

August 20, 2012

By Tony Schwartz in HBR Blog Network   Article

“In the workplace, we rarely share what’s going on beneath the surface. At most companies, the unspoken expectation is that you park your emotional life at the door, put on your game face, and keep things light and professional. In short, you bring a part of yourself to work and try to suppress the rest. But at what cost — including to productivity? The more preoccupied we are with emotions we can’t express, the less focus we bring to our work.

As the CEO of a small but fast-growing company, I’m spending more and more of my time focused on our internal community…. I’m convinced that how we take care of ourselves, and each other, profoundly influences how well we serve our clients. …

To facilitate this discussion, we used a tool called the Enneagram — a personality typing system akin to Myers-Briggs, but for my money, much richer, more penetrating and more practically useful. The Enneagram posits that there are nine separate personality types. Each one is marked by a central defense or preoccupation — a specific lens through which each of us reflexively and narrowly views the world, in order to feel safe.

Type one, for example, derives a sense of safety above all from trying to be perfect; Type eight from staying in control; Type three from being successful: Type two from being generous and giving. Each type tends to be excessively focused on its primary need, and to feel endangered when that need isn’t fully met. …  The Enneagram by Helen Palmer, … provides a rich description of the nine types and makes a great deal of psychological understanding highly accessible.”