06
Nov 17

Fast Company – This Is Why We Default To Criticism (And How To Change)

“Susan doesn’t pull her weight. She’s always negative, people don’t like her.”

“Robert is just incompetent. Why am I asked to do my job well when he gets to skate by?”

“This department would be better off if Beth was fired, everyone knows it, what are you going to do about it?”

Tim Cole, now founder and CEO of The Compass Alliance, used to hear criticism like this regularly in a previous work environment. Tasked with taking over a department he admits had a “septic culture,” Cole stepped into a quagmire of low morale. There was legitimate debate on shutting the operation down,” he explains, “despite the contribution to profitability.”

More of the Fast Company article from Lydia Dishman


27
Oct 17

HBR – How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist

Artificial intelligence is no longer just a niche subfield of computer science. Tech giants have been using AI for years: Machine learning algorithms power Amazon product recommendations, Google Maps, and the content that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter display in social media feeds. But William Gibson’s adage applies well to AI adoption: The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

The average company faces many challenges in getting started with machine learning, including a shortage of data scientists. But just as important is a shortage of executives and nontechnical employees able to spot AI opportunities. And spotting those opportunities doesn’t require a PhD in statistics or even the ability to write code. (It will, spoiler alert, require a brief trip back to high school algebra.)

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Kathryn Hume


05
Oct 17

Harvard Business Review – We Shouldn’t Always Need a “Business Case” to Do the Right Thing

I’ve been a consultant for almost 20 years, advising companies on complex challenges in ethics, risk, and responsibility. Each year several clients raise the same issue: the need to get buy-in from a skeptical senior executive in order to demonstrate a concrete benefit that will follow a proposed investment in an ethical business initiative or function. The executive needs a business case. And so I get asked questions like “What evidence can I provide that doing the right thing will make or save a company money?” and “How can I persuade the organization that embracing integrity is a win-win?”

It’s a relief to have finally moved on from the era in which corporate responsibility meant feel-good philanthropic efforts divorced from an enterprise’s main activities. Happily fading from memory is the cliché that ethics and compliance teams effectively constitute a “business prevention department.”

More of the Harvard Business Review post from Alison Taylor


11
Aug 17

Fast Company – Employers, Your Employees’ Lack Of Productivity Might Be All On You

Think back to the last time you encountered a difficult challenge at work–one of those problems that requires hard, long thought and perhaps some focused drudgery to break through. What did you do?
If you work in the knowledge economy, chances are you interrupted yourself several times along the way –checked your email, went on Facebook, got up and chatted with a coworker.

On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted once every 10 and a half minutes. Twenty-three percent of those interruptions come from email, but the biggest source of interruptions by far come from…ourselves. Voluntarily switching from one task to the next without finishing the original task first accounted for a full 44% of work interruptions.

More of the Fast Company article from Becky Kane


01
Aug 17

HBR – Research: Being in a Group Makes Us Less Likely to Fact-Check

Since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, concerns over the circulation of “fake” news and other unverified digital content have intensified. As people have grown to rely on social media as a news source, there has been considerable debate about its role in aiding the spread of misinformation. Much recent attention has centered around putting fact-checking filters in place, as false claims often persist in the public consciousness even after they are corrected.

We set out to test how the context in which we process information affects our willingness to verify ambiguous claims. Results across eight experiments reveal that people fact-check less often when they evaluate statements in a collective setting (e.g., in a group or on social media) than when they do so alone. Simply perceiving that others are present appeared to reduce participants’ vigilance when processing information, resulting in lower levels of fact-checking.

Our experiments surveyed over 2,200 U.S. adults via Amazon Mechanical Turk. The general paradigm went as follows: As part of a study about “modes of communication on the internet,” respondents logged onto a simulated website and evaluated a series of statements.

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Rachel Meng, Youjung Jun, and Gita V. Johar


24
Jul 17

CIO Insight – Digital Transformation Is in Chaos

Digital transformation has stalled due to a misalignment between its definition and meaning, delayed ROI, complexity and resistance to new ways of working.

A new survey finds a “widespread stall” in digital transformation efforts, suggesting that its leadership is in crisis. Half of senior executives polled said their company is not successfully executing 50 percent of its strategies, according to the new report from Wipro Digital, “A Crisis in Digital Transformation.” While most executives believe the company is clear on the definition of digital transformation, an obstacle to success is the lack of alignment on what exactly digital transformation means. “Digital transformation efforts are coming up short on intended ROI, in part because digital transformation is as much a leadership issue as it is a strategy, technology, culture and talent issue,” said Rajan Kohli, senior vice president and global head, Wipro Digital.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Karen Frenkel


16
Jun 17

HBR – A Little Competition Could Improve Your HR, IT, and Legal Departments

I think we can all agree that corporate functions tend to be a locus of frustration for pretty much all employees — except, of course, the ones from the function that is the object of the frustration in question. If you have ever thought to yourself “Doesn’t legal understand that we are going to lose this deal if they don’t sign off soon?” or “Why is HR’s answer always Our rules don’t allow that?” you are not alone.

Recent McKinsey research showed that senior executives have a low level of satisfaction (an average of only 30%) in their corporate functions across the board. McKinsey’s recommendations are all sensible, such as: “Create incentives for functional leaders to contain costs, instead of allocating costs that business units can’t change.” This issue has long been a bugbear for me. Despite chronically low satisfaction and lots of intelligent prescriptions like this, the problem by all accounts seems to be getting worse, not better.

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Roger L Martin


26
Apr 17

Data Center Knowledge – Busy in the Data Center? Here’s How to Make Time for Learning

Continuing education should be a top priority for anyone involved with data centers or the entire IT field for that matter. It’s especially important in industries such as healthcare for example. While new technologies and approaches don’t always save lives, they can certainly alter the landscape of the market. Times change, and so should you. While we may agree that continuing education is fundamental to both organizational success and the development of one’s career, it’s not always easy to fit it into a busy schedule.

Keep in mind, continuing education does not have to mean an additional university degree or even a new certification. Your CE approach can take a number of different forms.

More of the Data Center Knowledge article from Karen Riccio


14
Apr 17

Fast Company – Could Time-Blocking Replace Your To-Do List?

A few years ago, my to-do list was an endless source of frustration. At the end of every day, it seemed like it had more items on it than when I started. I never seemed to get it all done.

So, in an effort to understand what was going on, I began to track how I was spending my time and saw some interesting patterns emerge. As I learned more, I started applying a productivity-changing principle to my daily “get it done” list: time-blocking.

Time-blocking is essentially organizing your day in a series of time slots. Instead of writing a list of tasks that take as long as they take, with a time-blocked approach, each of these time periods is devoted to a task or tasks. It immediately lets you see where you’re being unrealistic about your time and keep yourself focused on what you’re supposed to be doing.

More of the Fast Company article from Gwen Moran


03
Mar 17

Customer Think – Why Your Customer Research is Flawed

U.S. pollsters got quite a surprise in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016.

That’s when it became apparent that their sophisticated voter research had completely failed to predict the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election. Longtime Republican political strategist Mike Murphy went so far as to assert that “data died” that night.

Yes, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election was a highly visible casualty for data-driven research, but far from the only one.

In 1985, Coca-Cola announced the rollout of “New Coke,” an updated formulation of the venerable soft drink, designed to appeal to changing consumer tastes.

More of the Customer Think article from Jon Picoult