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


14
Feb 17

Customer Think – Stop Listening to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) Dogma and Follow the Evidence

You are probably already familiar with the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric used to gauge the health of the customer relationship. Although it is widely used by companies, most people don’t know that it actually has three serious problems. First, the “research” behind the NPS claims is flawed. Second, the calculation of the metric (a difference score) results in an ambiguous score that is difficult to interpret. Third, the NPS is insufficient in measuring the multidimensional nature of customer loyalty.

NPS Backgrounder

In 2003, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) was formally introduced by Fred Reichheld, and, today, it is used by many of today’s top businesses to monitor and manage customer relationships. Fred Reichheld and his co-developers of the NPS say that a single survey question, “How likely are you to recommend Company Name to a friend or colleague?”, is the only loyalty metric companies need to grow their company.

More of the Customer Think post from Bob Hayes


08
Feb 17

Fast Company – The Tech Geek’s Guide To Talking To Other People At Work

That blank stare from the CMO doesn’t mean she’s an idiot. It means you need to translate your tech speak into business speak.

I was talking with the head of research and development for a major medical device company, and he was really frustrated. “Anett,” he said, “my leadership team doesn’t understand what we’re doing. We’re not just a back-office function supporting the company—we’re building our products!” He felt like his team was getting trampled on and disregarded—he just didn’t know how to get his message across.

People in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields are used to getting blank stares and being asked dumb questions when they talk about their work. But it’s not that everyone else is stupid—it’s just that you know a lot more about the technical details than they do.

In other words, it’s a communication challenge: You need some better ways to present your solutions, discoveries, or obstacles to everybody else in your organization—to translate them from tech speak into business speak. So whether you’re a recent engineering grad just entering the corporate world, or a mid-career IT manager hoping for that big promotion, here are four tips to help you explain what you do and why it matters.

More of the FastCompany article from Anett Grant


28
Jan 17

Waking Times – New Science: DNA Begins as a Quantum Wave

This new science tells us that the universe is constantly conspiring to make biological life, whenever and wherever it can. In any given area of the universe, these hidden microgravitational waves will begin gathering atoms and molecules together to create DNA, and thus, life.

One strand of DNA from one single cell contains enough information to clone an entire organism. Obviously, understanding DNA allows us to understand much about life and the universe around us. A deeper understanding of the new science tell us that DNA beings not as a molecule, but as a wave form. Even more interestingly, this wave form exists as a pattern within time and space and is coded throughout the entire universe.

We are surrounded by pulsating waves of invisible genetic information, whose waves create microscopic gravitational forces that pull in atoms and molecules from their surrounding environment to construct DNA.

One scientist who caught these microgravitational forces in their action is Dr. Sergey Leikin. In 2008, Leikin put different types of DNA in regular salt water and marked each type with a different fluorescent color and the DNA molecules were then scattered throughout the water. In the experiment’s major surprise, matching DNA molecules were found pairing together. After a short time, entire clusters of the same colored DNA molecules had formed. Leikin believes some sort of electromagnetic charge allowed the same colored molecules to cluster. However, other experiments show that this is not the case. That it is most likely to be gravity. Let us explain.

More of the Waking Times post


25
Oct 16

Fast Company – How Unconscious Bias Is Affecting Our Ability To Listen

Sloppy grammar, sounding like you just woke up, ending statements with a slight uptick in pitch, called “uptalk” or “Valley girl speak,” have all been proven to undermine a person’s success.

But how does the listener break down information when both a man and a woman are saying the exact same thing? According to research, the voice itself is the source of unconscious bias for the listener, and women are interpreted differently as a result.

“GENDERED LISTENING”
Meghan Sumner, an associate professor of linguistics at Stanford University, stumbled into the unconscious bias realm after years of investigating how listeners extract information from voices, and how the pieces of information are stored in our memory. Study after study, she found that we all listen differently based on where we’re from and our feelings toward different accents. It’s not a conscious choice, but the result of social biases that form unconscious stereotyping which then influences that way we listen.

More of the Fast Company article from Vivian Giang


25
Jul 16

CMO.com – Think Executives Are Rational Decision Makers? Think Again

When you create a message for VPs or higher personas, you may be tempted to assume that their decisions are strictly rational and logical and that it’s all about the math. Why? Because they tell you that, and they believe it themselves.

Well, they are lying to you. Not on purpose, but lying nevertheless, according to a recent experiment we conducted with Dr. Zakary Tormala, a social psychologist with expertise in messaging and persuasion.

The study found that in a business decision-making scenario, you can provide executives with the same math with respect to a business proposition, but get significantly different results depending on how you frame the situation.

Conrad Smith, VP of consulting at Corporate Visions, reached out to Corporate Visions’ network of executives and asked them to take part in an online experiment. Participants—113 of them—came from a wide array of industries, including software, oil, finance, aerospace, and others, and occupied a range of high-level roles at their companies, from vice president up to CEO.

More of the CMO article from Tim Riesterer


24
Jun 16

Fast Company – How Giving Up TV For A Month Changed My Brain And My Life

I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, I don’t know what the Scandal is, and I couldn’t name a single “real” housewife. I thought I didn’t watch much television and that taking a 30-day break would be a piece of cake. I was wrong.

The average adult watches 2.8 hours per day of television, according to the American Time Use survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another study puts this number higher, at four hours and 15 minutes each day. I added up all of the viewing at my house, and we were definitely on the high side.

-A one-hour standing date with Judge Judy, marking the official end of my workday
-An hour of news
-Thirty minutes of Jeopardy (because it’s educational)
-And an hour-plus of mindless shows before bed

Nielsen, we have a problem.

THE DANGERS OF TV
A lot of research has been done around TV viewing and children, and Adam Lipson, a neurosurgeon with IGEA Brain & Spine, says one of the best studies is from Tohoku University in Japan. “They noted thickening of the frontopolar cortex, which is related to verbal reasoning ability, and also correlated with a drop in IQ in proportion to the number of hours of television watching,” he says. “In addition, they noted thickening in the visual cortex in the occipital lobe, and in the hypothalamus, which may correlate with aggression.”

More of the Fast Company article from Sephanie Vozza