What you measure

May 30, 2016

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/

Numbers (and the magic of measuring the right thing)

“What you measure usually gets paid attention to, and what you pay attention to, usually gets better. Numbers supercharge measurement, because numbers are easy to compare. …

Income is easy to measure, and so we fall into the trap that people who make more money are better, or happier, or somehow more worthy of respect and dignity. Likes are easy to measure, so social media becomes a race to the bottom, where the panderer and the exhibitionist win. Five star reviews are easy to measure, so creators feel the pressure to get more of them.

But wait!

What does it mean to ‘win’? Is maximizing the convenient number actually going to produce the impact and the outcome you wanted? Is the most important work always the most popular? Does widespread acceptance translate into significant impact? Or even significant sales? Is the bestseller list also the bestbook list?…

When you measure the wrong thing, you get the wrong thing. Perhaps you can be precise in your measurement, but precision is not significance.

On the other hand, when you are able to expose your work and your process to the right thing, to the metric that actually matters, good things happen.

We need to spend more time figuring out what to keep track of, and less time actually obsessing over the numbers that we are already measuring.”

Learn to love networking

May 30, 2016

By Tiziana CasciaroFrancesca Gino, and Maryam Kouchaki via hbr.org/   Article

“‘I hate networking.’ We hear this all the time from executives, other professionals, and MBA students. They tell us that networking makes them feel uncomfortable and phony—even dirty. Although some people have a natural passion for it—namely, the extroverts who love and thrive on social interaction—many understandably see it as brown-nosing, exploitative, and inauthentic.

But in today’s world, networking is a necessity. A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority. Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves the quality of work and increases job satisfaction. …

Most people have a dominant motivational focus—what psychologists refer to as either a ‘promotion’ or a ‘prevention’ mindset. Those in the former category think primarily about the growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring them, while those in the latter see it as something they are obligated to take part in for professional reasons. …

Thankfully, as Stanford University’s Carol Dweck has documented in her research, it’s possible to shift your mindset from prevention to promotion, so that you see networking as an opportunity for discovery and learning rather than a chore.

Consider a work-related social function you feel obliged to attend. You can tell yourself, ‘I hate these kinds of events. I’m going to have to put on a show and schmooze and pretend to like it.’ Or you can tell yourself, ‘Who knows—it could be interesting. Sometimes when you least expect it, you have a conversation that brings up new ideas and leads to new experiences and opportunities.'”


The ultimate competitive advantage

May 30, 2016

Via gapingvoid.com/blog/   Article

“Nobody fondly remembers their hospital or medical practice because of all the shiny new equipment.

Some doctors and nurses are remembered simply because they really CARED. Because they had EMPATHY. Because they gave more of themselves than they had to, more than the other guys.

Anybody can buy more shiny new machines. Anybody.

But what makes someone special, world class and unique, must come from within. It must come from the heart… “

Are good managers born or made?

May 30, 2016

Via knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu   Article

“And yet, not everyone is cut out for a role that requires setting aside doing the work of the firm in favor of empowering others to do the work. But can anyone, with enough desire and proper training, become a manager? In other words, are good managers born or made? …

The easiest approach, and some might say the most meritocratic … is to give the management role to the best performer in the role below — a management theory popularly known as the Peter Principle. ‘The problem is that … the competitiveness to win that often makes [an individual] the best performer is directly at odds with the requirements of managing other people and trying to get them to succeed …’

As individuals, we think success looks like a bigger title and more money …

Leadership can be learned, Vanderslice notes. ‘But my conclusion after 40 years of working with leaders is that there are a few core qualities that a person comes with that are the harder things to strengthen,’ she says. ‘Not impossible, but really challenging. And the big one for me is a personal, deep level of self confidence. And by that I don’t mean, ‘Hey, I can beat my chest because I’m so good.’ I mean real self confidence — a deep sense of personal security. If someone doesn’t have that, they are not going to be invested in others because they are too worried about themselves.’ …

Managers must learn to appreciate how distinctive each individual is in what they want from work and what animates them to work well, Useem notes. ‘As a company manager, for instance, you may learn that one employee wants to be home by 5 p.m. for family time with no after-hours obligations, while another is ready to shoulder far greater responsibility,’ he says. “Coming to appreciate — and then manage — the great diversity in human motivation and purpose is essential for anybody going into management, and that requires becoming a lifelong student of human nature.'”

Dilbert on honesty and marketing

May 23, 2016


Dilbert on good management

May 23, 2016


Deception starts early

May 23, 2016