Mustache or pantyhose

September 8, 2014

By Seth Godin via   Article

Tone deaf

Seth Godin“Great marketers have empathy.

They’re able to imagine what it might be like to have a mustache or wear pantyhose. They work hard to imagine life in someone else’s shoes.

Bullies are tone deaf. They don’t always set out to be brutal and selfish, but their near-total lack of empathy amplifies their self involvement.

‘What’s it like to be you?’ is an impossible question to answer. But people who aren’t tone deaf manage to ask it.”


Control or inspiration

September 8, 2014


Leadership vs Management: Does the Difference Matter?

John Kotter, a New York Times best-selling author and Harvard Professor, provides us the following observation on the nature of management and leadership.

‘Management is about coping with complexity; it brings order and predictability to a situation. But that’s no longer enough — to succeed, companies must be able to adapt to change. Leadership, then, is about learning how to cope with rapid change.’ – John Kotter, ‘What Leaders Really Do’, Harvard Business Review (May/June 1990).

Management is about dealing with complexity, it’s about bringing order and predictability to an enterprise. Leadership is about dealing with change. The greater the change the greater the need for leadership. …

Leaders places emphasis on people, whilst management is about control and predictable results. Managers take a more rational approach, leaders stir the passions and emotions of people.

‘Leaders work on the culture of the organization, creating it or changing it. Managers work within the culture of the organization.’ – Edgar H. Shein, ‘Organizational Culture’  in J. Thomas Wren, ed. The Leader’s Companion.

Managers rely on rational, intellect and control to organize people and resources towards an outcome. Management is about controlling the work that other people do.

Leaders take a different approach, where managers seek to limit choices and to control outcomes, leaders seek to develop fresh approaches and new ways of thinking about opportunities. They get things done through influence, collaboration and inspiration.”

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

September 1, 2014

By Daniel Patrick Forrester via   Article

Culture Really Does Eat Strategy for Breakfast

“Time and time again, I have had the opportunity to observe how organizations operate, viewing firsthand high-performing cultures where extraordinary things are accomplished on a daily basis. These are places where people are aligned and unified through unique social contracts.

Companies with a weak or broken culture struggle harder and are negatively affected by the deficit. This demonstrates what most leaders know or are learning: Culture is today’s major performance differentiator.

Culture creates the foundation for strategy and will either be a company’s greatest asset or largest liability. While culture has many aspects and manifestations, its core should include a clear sense of purpose and shared values that guide decision making across the company.

And culture is manifested in terms of behaviors like employees speaking up even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. Just ask employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs or General Motors for examples of unhealthy behaviors within their cultures as they grapple with cultural transformations. …

The very suggestion of change can make people within organizations uncomfortable because it is rarely an easy process. Cultural change must begin with reflective thinking, which allows for analysis, evaluation and synthesis of opposing viewpoints. The business leader needs to do the legwork to think through what he or she wants people to experience and how values will be translated into daily decision making. Setting aside the proper amount of time to think this through can makes all the difference and lead to a higher-performing culture.”

In-shore manufacturing

September 1, 2014

By  via   Article

Lean Hardware Strategy Lets Kickstarter Breakout Nomiku ‘In-Shore’ Manufacturing Back To The U.S.

“In the 1980s, Silicon Valley’s hardware elite began outsourcing much of the semiconductor and hardware manufacturing work that gave the region its name to Asia.

But now that the economics of hardware startups have fundamentally changed with new ways to test consumer interest and get feedback through platforms like Kickstarter, some startups are finding that it’s easier to build products locally because the design-and-testing cycles are much tighter.

One example is Nomiku, an immersion circulator that lets amateur chefs use the high-brow technique of sous vide in their home kitchens. When Nomiku built its original prototypes, the trio of founders behind the company had to decamp for Shenzhen for several months to learn how to maneuver through suppliers there with hardware accelerator HXLR8R.

Now with the second version, they’re bent on manufacturing Nomikus locally …. ‘We can iterate much faster here,’ said co-founder Lisa Fetterman. ‘China is great if you have your design down pat. But if you’re creating something new that nobody’s ever seen before, you need to rapidly prototype.’

She added, ‘It’s surprising that it’s cheaper to do prototyping in San Francisco rather than China, and the turnaround is faster.’ The manufacturing cost gap between China and the U.S. has narrowed as wages in the local industry have nearly doubled since 2008. The shrinking cost differential has compelled other hardware companies like former Wired editor Chris Anderson’s drone startup 3D Robotics to ‘near-shore’ production to Mexico. That, in turn, has fueled a thriving cross-border startup scene in San Diego and Tijuanawhere low-cost engineering talent can quickly turnaround prototypes.

Fetterman explains that while the Chinese market is great for mass producing thousands or hundreds of thousands of units of a product, it’s less great for customization and small runs.”

No one saw it

September 1, 2014

By  via   Article

No One Saw It. He’s Not Even Sure It Happened. But It Appears One Pro Golfer’s Clear Conscience Is Worth More Than $53,000 in Prize Money.

“He plays a sport dominated by exactness and a long tradition of honor and truth and rule adherence — and pro golfer Cameron Tringale found himself facing a possibility he couldn’t shake.

The Mission Viejo, California, native just bagged $53,000 in prize money for coming in 33rd place at the 2014 PGA Championship. Not a bad way to spend a few days.

But along with the cash, Tringale also had a guilty conscience.

His was a momentary, miniscule miscue — if it happened at all. He’s not even sure.

But all the same Tringale, 26, felt he may have missed a stroke when attempting to tap in the ball on the 11th hole last Sunday, noted Yahoo Sport of UK and Ireland. Thing is the possible missed stroke never made it on his scorecard — and Trinangle signed the scorecard.

So he told officials what was on his mind — knowing full well the consequences. … signing an incorrect scorecard means a disqualification — and bye bye to his prize money.”


September 1, 2014

By Rob Asghar via   Article

Incompetence Rains, Er, Reigns: What The Peter Principle Means Today

“You may think you’ve heard the Peter Principle before—something to the effect that, ‘In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.’

But the Peter Principle was more than an alarmingly nasty motto. It was an alarmingly nasty book—and a funny one at that, illustrating the efforts of many managers to seem productive when in fact they’re in over their heads.

Published nearly a half-century ago, the book is now a refreshing tonic for all the feel-good, impossibly Pollyannaish management wisdom being passed around. …

Here are the core principles of Peter’s bungling world of management:

1. When you’re great at something, you might get rewarded with a promotion … into something you’re terrible at. …

2. Once you’re promoted to your level of incompetence, you probably won’t get fired and replaced with someone more competent. Instead, others will work around you. …

3. When you’re competent, even a dummy can see your output. … once you’re reached incompetence, there’s little or no output from you. At this point, you’ll be judged by your input—by how early you arrive at the office, by how cheerful you are, by how you’re a good citizen. …


7. Because incompetence is inevitable, we shouldn’t be trying to fire all the incompetent managers. We’d only replace them with deadwood anyway. And being a social species, we realize these people have families to feed, cars to buy and vacations to take. They’re job-creators, if you will. Peter argued that incompetent people will do the least damage to competent people’s productivity if we maintain the benign illusion that they’re useful and have a bright future.”