Rules of growth

January 26, 2015

By Austen Allred via austenallred.com   Article

“Rules of Growth

  1. No one really cares about your product
  2. No one really cares about you
  3. Activity on the Internet is mostly mindless
  4. We are all subject to base desires
  5. That means you, too
  6. No one remembers what they read
  7. Everyone remembers how they feel
  8. The marketing tactics people complain about are the ones that work
  9. Everyone clicks on ads
  10. Nobody thinks they click on ads
  11. Affiliates can not be trusted
  12. Proxies solve any scaling problem
  13. Everything in this world runs according to a system
  14. Every system can be beat
  15. On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog
  16. People generally follow back
  17. Good marketers cheat
  18. Great marketers win
  19. ‘Organic growth’ is almost always a lie
  20. The greatest companies have all grown on the backs of spam
  21. Yes, all of them
  22. People hate problems more than they like solutions
  23. All press is good press
  24. Dopamine”
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Fire your worst employee

January 26, 2015

By Kelsey Ramsden via entrepreneur.com   Article

2 Ways to Positively Identify and Fire Your Worst Employee

“About two months ago I finally fired a total buzzkill, zero-productivity leech who was working for me. This person took every opportunity to work against me and I had tolerated, even supported it, for far too long. … Someone closer than you think is tanking your opportunity to succeed and here is how he or she is doing it:

1. Avoiding conflict even though it is costing the business daily

2. Sticking her head in the sand about financial metrics

3. Wasting time analyzing things to death and taking no action

4. Telling you that you don’t know what you are doing daily, while undermining your confidence and focus

5. Avoiding tasks by doing personal tasks during work hours

6. Wasting time on social media

… Would you pay the person your salary to behave this way? I did. I paid a person as much as I make and treated her as if she were the founder and CEO. I did this because I was that very employee. I was doing each of these things. I was the worst employee I had. …

Go on, be downright brutally truthful: Would you hire yourself to do your job based on your performance over the past month?

If so, good for you, mate. Keep up the good work. If not, join the masses of entrepreneurs who fall into these performance ruts, whereby they indeed become the person most suitable for firing. If anyone else ever pulled this stuff, you would fire him or her outright. Yet, many entrepreneurs give themselves a free pass.

Well, I revoked mine. I gave myself two new mantras instead: I ask, ‘Is this what I pay you for?’ and ‘What would a pro do?'”

 


Access to a smartphone

January 26, 2015

By Jacob Morgan via forbes.com   Article

The Death of Knowledge Work And The Rise Of ‘Learning Workers’

“During the past few decades we have spent a lot of time talking about knowledge workers and knowledge work. However today knowledge is nothing more than a commodity and to be the smartest guy in the room all you need access to is a smartphone. This is especially true when we consider that more ‘smart assistants’ such as the Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana, and IBM’s Watson enter our professional and personal lives.

So if knowledge is just a commodity then what’s the next evolution of the types of workers we need to see (and will see?) The answer is ‘learning workers.’ That is, people who are able to learn new things and apply those learnings to various scenarios and environments. In essence being able to ‘learn how to learn.’ This is far more valuable and crucial than ‘knowing’ anything and going forward the value and importance of knowledge will only continue to decrease. We will see a new type of outsourcing but it won’t be about sending jobs overseas it will be about sending jobs away from humans and to robots/automation …”

 


Two words

January 26, 2015

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.wordpress.com   Article

10 Ways to Say the Right Thing Every Time

“It only takes two words to be a person of influence.

Two words that deflate:

  1. You’re screwed.
  2. Who cares?
  3. You lose.
  4. Big deal.

Two words that move the agenda forward:

  1. Why wait?
  2. What’s next?
  3. What else?
  4. Do it.

Two words when things go wrong:

  1. It happens.
  2. Forgive me.
  3. Let go.
  4. Don’t quit.
  5. I understand.
  6. Move on.
  7. I’m listening.

Two words when things go right:

  1. Thank you.
  2. Great job.
  3. Love it.

Two words that challenge:

  1. Reach higher.
  2. Try again.
  3. Go large.
  4. Think again.”

Jump on the bike

January 19, 2015

By Stephan Vincent via innovationexcellence.com   YouTube

Innovation through Experimentation is Key

“Going back to my son, he rode his bike for the first time last spring. He worked really hard to learn how to ride. Did he work out the theory of how to do it, jump on the bike, and start riding flawlessly? Did he follow my advice on what to do and what not to do? No. He started with training wheels and worked it out through trial and error, with determination, repetition while focusing on the end goal.

Experimenting is a critical innovation skill. None of us think twice about learning to ride a bike through trial and error, so why is it so rare in business?

There are two main reasons: One is risk and failure aversion. In a work or school setting, our brains are formatted to learn theory and what the outcome should be instead of experimenting through trial and error.  People don’t like to make mistakes, and they don’t like to look foolish, whether it is an adult or a child. Trial-and-error can cause both of these things to happen when things don’t work out as expected.

The second reason is that our organizational cultures are often not designed to experimenting. In larger organizations, we are often trying to improve efficiency. Doing this means that we must reduce variation and risk. But innovation and experimentation increase variation. There is a tension between efficiency and innovation.

However, the benefits of experimenting outweigh these issues. The problem that experimenting solves is this: it’s nearly impossible to know in advance which ideas will work and which won’t. If we experiment, instead of guessing which ideas will work, we can test them. This helps us get better making decisions based on data.”


The rule of three

January 19, 2015

By Külli Koort via thoughtleadersllc.com   Article

Managing Teams More Effectively Using the Rule of Three

“PPP is a management technique for a recurring status reporting. One of the hidden gems in these reports is that they communicate three essential things any leader needs to know about their team:

Progress

Plans

Problems

This method is used in various companies, perhaps the most famous of which are Skype and eBay. But how exactly have they managed to put this process into action?

On a weekly basis, they ask their employees to answer three simple, yet powerful questions:

1. What have you achieved this week?

This communicates the progress of the employees. The emphasis is not on the quantity of finished tasks but the quality of them. By limiting the achievements to 3-4 key tasks, you are able to get a better overview of what people are working on. …

2. What are you going to do next?

This reflects the plans part of the PPP process. This indicates what your employees are going to do next and whether they are moving in the desired direction. Are they able to prioritize their tasks and truly get the items done during the specified period. …

3. What kind of challenges are you facing?

This communicates the difficulties your team is currently facing. In an open and trustworthy atmosphere, this question generates a tremendous amount of value. It helps you avoid future disasters and take action when someone needs assistance.

Implementing this PPP process in your team on a regular basis is easy. There are three ways to make it work. You can ask these questions via e-mail, use spreadsheets or try online reporting software platforms. Whichever channel you choose, it’s important to be persistent in your efforts.”


Skin in the game

January 19, 2015

By Genevieve Cua via business.asiaone.com   Article

Failure is not an option, it’s a must

“An interview with author and thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a somewhat nerve wracking affair. He famously reserves his scorn for certain professions – journalists, for instance, to which this writer belongs – as well as economists, bankers and academics. That is, anyone who has no ‘skin in the game’; opinion makers who prognosticate or make forecasts and are not held to account for their views. Those who invest on the views of this hapless group take on all the risk and downside.

On the opposite end are ‘heroes’ who bear the disadvantages and risks for others’ sake; they have ‘soul in the game’. Entrepreneurs, soldiers and investigative journalists rank high in his world view. His model for ‘soul in the game’ is his father. In his latest book Antifragile, he recounts an incident during the Lebanese civil war when a militiaman insulted his father, who refused to obey the soldier’s orders. As his father drove away, he was shot in the back, and the bullet remained in his chest for the rest of his life. Mr Taleb writes: ‘This set the bar very high for me. Dignity is worth nothing unless you earn it, unless you are willing to pay the price for it.’ …

‘What I’m saying is a bit controversial for you guys, given the respect you have for education. It’s good to have a class of people who are educated. But education is the enemy of entrepreneurship. If you start having a high level of education, you start hiring people based on school success. School success is predictive of future school success. You hire an A student if you want them to take an exam, but you want other things like street smarts. This gets repressed if you emphasise too-much education.'”