I see the ol’ file cabinet is getting overstuffed again. Alas, there’s just not enough time in the day to write about all the great stuff I’ve collected over the last few weeks. So here are the blogs, articles, etc. I consider “blogworthy”, but never quite made it into print -
From Bob Sutton, another in the continuing saga of the No Asshole Rule. Despite the fact that no one really LIKES assholes, perhaps being one may actually have some payoff. In an exchange with Kent Blumberg, an interesting, if somewhat disheartening point is made. “But Kent’s dialog reminds me that, if you look at the evidence on the kind of people that we see as powerful and intelligent, that — independently of how smart a person actually is — when they act like an asshole, they are seen as smarter.”
Jeffery Phillips says, “As a manager I have the duty – maybe even the honor – of evaluating the people who work with and for me. It’s my role to try to further their development and to acknowledge the good work they’ve done and the areas where they can grow.” He provides 10 thoughtful ways to evalute your team that are perhaps a bit out of the usual HR box.
Here’s a great article from William C. Finnie, Adjunct Professor of Strategy at the Olin School of Business on… c’mon, I don’t need to repeat it, do I? Pretty good article, and well worth the read. Just to whet your appetite, the five key values are: openness and candor, collaboration, common shared goals, involvement and feedback.
This is the title of a Business Week article from August 21. “Meet the corporate chameleons. They’re organizations that have learned to adjust to rapid social, economic, and competitive changes with relative ease. The most successful among them don’t settle for hunkering down in soul-depleting market-share wars to protect an increasingly fleeting edge. Instead they zig and zag with the zeitgeist to keep coming up with new ideas.”
If you’re an entrepreneur seeking funding, here are some really great thoughts from BusinessPundit on properly framing your market segments and cash flow figures. “The name stems from the idea that there are a billion people in China, so if you sell a $1 widget to just 1% of them that is $10 million in revenue. The assumption that is incorrectly applied here is that 1% is easy to get because it is a small number.”
From the “Well, duh!” department comes this stupendous conclusion, but it’s still nice to see someone ELSE agree with what in the real world would ordinarily be considered as common sense. If only it were all that common.
Seth Godin comes to a somewhat radical conclusion that sounds ridiculous until you think about it a bit. But I would like to see it validated somehow. “…the more I think about it, the more it seems that pioneers are almost never in it for the money. The smart ones figure out how to take a remarkable innovation and turn it into a living (or a bigger than big payout) but not the other way around.”
If you’ve heard about the wisdom of crowds, you’ve probably also heard about prediction markets. If you still don’t know what the heck they’re all about, here’s your chance to join one! Erick Schonfeld of Business 2.0 and David Perry of Consensus Point have set up a new one to help predict future business trends. It’s free, and frankly, learning by doing easily trumps learning by reading about it! Go ahead, sign up and give it at try.
Shawn over at Anecdote has some tips on conducting good conversations, with a list of things to do, and another list of things to don’t – er, avoid. If you’re involved in communities of practice, storytelling, or sensemaking, these should come in handy.
Here’s another one from the “Well, duh!” file via George Ambler at The Practice of Leadership. “To live in alignment, to have a strong set of values and to be men and woman of character we need to act from a strong sense of who we are. Failing this we drift, overly influence by what media, resulting in a watered down version of ourselves. Never realizing the potential that lives within us, we live by the expectations of others and fail to lead from who we are.”
From Cognitive Edge comes a reminder and warning about banking on the expectation that the future can be accurately predicted from the past. “To ignore the lessons of history is foolish, but to assume that history can give you a recipe for the future is not just sad, it is plain bloody dangerous. Hindsight informs, but can not determine foresight. Blending the two is insightful and inventive.”
Finally, to round things off here’s some useful information from Bert Webb at Open Loops. If your job requires you to be adept at spotting lies (does ANYONE not need to know this?), this one might be a worthwhile read “Here’s your first tip on how to spot a liar: There is only a 60% chance that someone is telling the truth if they don’t use contractions when they speak to you. In other words, instead of saying, “Hey, I didn’t do that!”, a liar is more apt to say, “Hey, I did not do that!” The rationale is that the liar is trying to convince you by emphasizing the “not” in the phrase. The interesting thing is that when I read that little tidbit of information, I looked up at the television just in time to see President Bill Clinton point his finger, look into the camera and say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinski.” Politics aside, I had just spotted my first lie.”
OK, class, your assignment is to choose any three of the above and write a report analyzing the validity of the arguments and conclusions of the author, with particular attention paid to their source materials.
Or, you could just watch TV.
That’s all for now!