Dilbert: Followership

December 26, 2016








One egg or two?

December 26, 2016

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

Hobson’s choice, Occam’s razor, Wheeler’s which and the way we decide

“Hobson’s choice is no choice at all. Take what’s offered, or walk away.

Occam’s razor is a rule of thumb: the simplest explanation is often the best one.

Wheeler’s which teaches us that the answer to ‘one egg or two?’ is usually ‘one’, while the answer to, ‘do you want an egg?’ is usually zero.

Occam, Hobson and Wheeler were all scholars of something humans are fabulously bad at: deciding among multiple options.

Getting good at this is a skill, something we can do better if we choose to. That might be the first decision.

[Some readers were curious about the ‘Wheeler which.’ Elmer Wheeler was a sales trainer nearly a century ago. He got hired by a chain of drugstores to increase sales at the soda fountain. In those days, a meal might consist of just an ice cream soda for a nickel. But for an extra penny or two, you could add a raw egg (protein!). Obviously, if more people added an egg, profits would go up. Wheeler taught the jerks (isn’t that a great job title?) to ask anyone who ordered a soda, ‘One egg or two?’ Sales of the egg add-on skyrocketed.]”

The perplexing future of intellectual property

December 26, 2016

By Thomas Frey via cobizmag.com   Article

“Every person is radiating information every hour of every day. Just as the information we mentally emit can be logged and constitute the basis for a copyright or invention, the information we physically emit has value.

Tiny bits of human intelligence go into every online search, transaction and ad click. This information is so valuable that once fed into a preference engine, a full one third of all Amazon sales come from ‘other recommended’ products.

Material information about what we eat, our physical activities and even the people we hang out with can be hugely valuable to insurance companies, online retailers, healthcare providers, and ad placement services. Should the value of our physical information be automatically assigned to us or those who collect the information?

Both personal and intellectual property is getting harder to define, manage and control. It is in this perplexing quandary of rights and ownership that we begin this column.

Intellectual Property and Ownership Issues Bubbling to the Surface

Future IP issues will be focused on ownership, privacy, and freedoms as legal systems attempt to reimagine themselves with entirely new technologies that fit poorly into the existing frameworks. …

Over the coming years we’ll have to wrestle with the changing nature of ‘property.’

  • Accelerating Timelines – The half-life of most products today can be measured in months not years. In the future it may even be reduced to days and perhaps even hours.
  • Digitalization leads to Dematerialization – At what point does less material constitute a new innovation?
  • Innovation is being Parsed into Far Smaller Pieces – Innovation today can be as small as a single emoticon, hash tag, or idea. Tomorrow, perhaps a single byte.
  • Shrinking Timeframe of Value – In the past, most of the value of a patent was derived in the last few years of its term. With digital technology it tends to come with first mover advantage up until advanced competitors arrive.
  • Shift from Ownership to License Holders – In a sharing economy, ownership becomes far less valuable than the right to distribute, the right to sell, and the right use. As example, Uber owns no vehicles, Facebook creates no content, Alibaba has no inventory, Airbnb owns no real estate. Will this growing mirage of ownership require a different kind of license?”

What you don’t do

December 26, 2016

By Jocelyn K. Glei via jkglei.com   Article


“In this Age of Distraction, we’re all dodging and weaving between so much incoming information that what you don’t do on a daily basis has become as important—if not more—as what you do execute on.

Here’s a list of the things I don’t do while working:

I don’t schedule meetings in the morning.

I don’t listen to music or radio that has words.

I don’t look at my email until I’ve done 90 mins of deep-attention work.

I don’t treat emails from people I don’t know as urgent.

I don’t look at social media until the afternoon, and then only on breaks.

I don’t tweet live. (I schedule almost everything in advance.)

I don’t over-program my daily schedule so that there is no downtime.

I don’t work more than 3 hours without a break.

I don’t answer my phone or texts in the morning.

I don’t use Slack.

I don’t read the news.

I don’t eat at my desk.

I don’t work past 6pm.

And here’s a list of things I make sure to do:

I do make my to-do list for tomorrow the night before.

I do focus on deep-attention before hyper-attention work.

I do regularly identify and update my goals for the next 6 months, and the actions I need to take to meet them.

I do always have a variety of projects on my slate so I can shift tasks based on my mood and energy level, while still getting important stuff done.

I do meet (or catch up with) one interesting person a week.”

Conflict avoidance never works

December 19, 2016

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me   Article

Proactive Leadership

“Reactive leaders seldom seem to fair very well, proactive leaders on the other hand often do very very well.

Proactive leaders do not do the slow burn. They compassionately and quickly confront problems and mistakes before there is a danger of an explosion. They understand that conflict is a necessity of leadership. They don’t shy away from pointing out mistakes and offering suggestions in order to ‘keep the peace.’

Proactive leaders would prefer to celebrate a noisy disheveled success rather than mourn a quiet and orderly failure.

To lead effectively you must be willing to risk upsetting a few people for a short time. The alternative is to upset a whole lotta people for a very long time. One scenario has the chance of leading to eventual success, the other is a pretty darn direct path to failure.

Conflict avoidance doesn’t work, it never works. I don’t often recommend using the word never but in this case I’ll even repeat it.

Conflict avoidance never works.

The best time to coach your people is in the moment a coaching opportunity presents itself. If you’re truly a leader you’ll be prepared for that moment and you’ll be proactive in preventing the identical opportunity from presenting itself a second, or third, or fourth time.

Proactive leaders get in front of problems and mistakes before the problems get in front of them. After all, it’s called ‘leading’ for a reason.”



December 19, 2016

Via NickelsMcHughMcHugh   Article

Patagonia: Attempting to Operate Ethically While Pursuing Mass Appeal

“Since its founding in 1973, the outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has strived to make quality goods in an ethical manner. This combination of strong values and superior products has allowed the company to grow into an $800 million brand.

But over the years Patagonia has run into a number of roadblocks in their quest to ‘build the best product’ and ’cause no unnecessary harm.’

… a new scandal appeared that forced the company to refocus. This time, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video of the abusive shearing process that sheep had to endure at some of Patagonia’s South American wool suppliers. ‘Wool was on our radar,’ said Cara Chacon, the company’s director of social and environmental responsibility. ‘We knew that it probably wasn’t perfect, but we had no idea that was going on.’

Patagonia’s ethical woes demonstrate how difficult it can be for companies to scale up while also maintaining their core values. According to MIT researcher Alexis Bateman, firms frequently run into “a huge disconnect—where [marketing teams] are ready to tell the story before operations and supply-chain teams are ready and able to confirm it. It’s possible they know where the farm is, even who the farmer is, but not what’s happening 365 days a year.”

Patagonia is currently learning this lesson the hard way. Upon cutting ties with the offending sheep farms, the company also had to cease production on a number of popular wool products, including a new set of long underwear that had spent three years in development. In order to avoid problems like these in the future, Patagonia executives have vowed to take an even more proactive approach when dealing with suppliers.”

The five biggest mistakes

December 19, 2016

By Stacey Marone via projectsmart.co.uk   Article

The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Project Managers Make

“Here are the five biggest mistakes new project managers make and what to do about them.

1. Too Broad a Scope

…most rookies make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew. They’re anxious to prove themselves and inevitably fail. … Keep a firm grip on your goals. Don’t be afraid to say no to the demands of your boss or client – especially to those that fall outside the scope of the project. …

2. Too Much, Too Soon

Another rookie mistake is committing to a tight deadline without making allowances for unexpected delays. While it’s possible to complete the project within the given period, it presumes everything – and everyone – will work as expected. That very rarely happens, especially when a project involves many people over a significant period. The chance of one supplier or one employee failing to deliver on schedule and causing a domino effect is very high. …

3. Too Much “Me”, Not Enough “We”

… If you don’t know what your stakeholders expect – or worse, who your stakeholders are – then you’re quickly headed for disaster. Either you accomplish goals that don’t address the concerns of your stakeholders or set goals contrary to their expectations. … Post status updates to keep them in the loop. …

4. Too Little Direction

… To avoid losing your way, establish the requirements of the project and keep it in front of the team at all times. Refer to them when reporting on the status of the project. Discuss whether you’re still heading in the right direction.

5. Too Little Risk Management

… New project managers often skip in-depth discussion of potential problems and roadblocks they may encounter along the way. … Discuss all possible scenarios with your team members. Make action plans for each contingency. Assign a team member to spearhead each one.”