Sunday, September 29, 2013


Seven Ways to Bring More Playful Productivity to Your Work


Is play really the opposite of work? What if your most creative, productive & effective work was actually accomplished when in a state of playful flow? This article explores seven ways to make your work more playfully productive.

1.     Re-examine your assumptions and beliefs about work and play.

2.     Uncover your core passions and connect them to your business mission and values.

3.     Schedule at least one, if not a few, “non-screen” times during your day.

4.     Schedule regular daily or weekly play time with your co-workers, peers or friends.

5.     Create a comfortable play-space or lounge in your workplace.

6.     Bring more of your personal, creative, playful life into the workplace.

7.     Do some more reading and research on this subject.


Enough about leadership! It's time to remember how to be a good manager

Management Issues

When we take the time to think about it, management really isn't that complicated. But over recent years, our obsession with 'leadership' has undermined the importance of hands-on management – often to the great detriment of organizations.

Focusing on management through the eyes of the employee, the book also contains probably the most concise description of the attributes of a good manager you'll find anywhere. They may be familiar, but that doesn't make them any less worth repeating.

A good manager:

·       Gives employees challenging work to do.

·       Creates space for them to do it.

·       Provides support when needed

·       Gives recognition and praise

·       Is not afraid to make tough decisions


Engage the Sage *


“Your mind is your best friend, but it is also your very worst enemy,” he says, calling the best-friend part your “Sage,” the voice of authenticity, calm, and positive emotion. The Saboteurs — which, besides the Judge, include such instantly recognizable types as the Victim, the Avoider, the Hyper-Achiever, and six others — undermine you by triggering anger, anxiety, shame, regret, and other negative emotions. “Pretty much all your suffering in life is self-generated by your Saboteurs,” Chamine says.

The good news, which evangelist Chamine has been sharing through lectures, a popular book Positive Intelligence, and executive coaching, is that you can choose at any moment which voice to listen to. “That choice makes all the difference in not only how happy you are, but whether you reach your true potential,” says Chamine, who for many years ran the Coaches Training Institute, a San Rafael, Calif.-based company that trains executive coaches and life coaches.

The Delicacy of Providing (and Receiving) Criticism

Artists Road

All of us creatives can learn from others, but engaging in the critique process can be like navigating a mine field. The explosive damage resulting from an innocent misstep can be as mild as hurt feelings and as severe as the end of a friendship. A source of some of these problems, according to creativity researchers David B. Goldstein and Otto Kroeger, is personality type. In other words, creatives with different Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profiles critique works with differing approaches and possess differing expectations.

Goldstein and Kroeger provide insight on this phenomenon in Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive. (I previously reviewed this book and conducted a Q&A with Goldstein.)


Why Our Creativity Depends On Who Surrounds Us


The back cover of Enrico Moretti’s book The New Geography of Jobs reads: “In today’s economy, it’s not necessarily what you do or who you know—it’s where you live.” I would add, of course, that most important is who you are.

The message of his very well written and prize winning book is important.  And Enrico is right that we should pay attention to the geography of where smart people are choosing to work, play, and live their lives.  Ultimately, it has consequences for all of us.

Enrico is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley and holds appointments at multiple universities and institutions.  For example, he was recently a consultant to the World Bank. He is originally from Italy, where he attended college, and before becoming a distinguished professor he was a social worker in the Italian city of Cassano Magnago.

In the acknowledgements of his book he wrote: “Serious academic economists are not supposed to write books—they are supposed to write technical papers…but after fifteen years doing research on questions at the intersection of labor and urban economics, I developed an increasing desire to reach a larger audience than the one that reads my technical papers...Above all, I am grateful to Illaria.  With unreasonable optimism, she has always supported the idea of trying something different, even when my unreasonable pessimism led me to postpone and delay.  She has been invariably right.”


Four Factors for Innovation Driven Prosperity


I believe innovation driven prosperity is based on the below four key factors.

·        Skills / competences

·        Creativity

·        Drive

·        Infrastructure

I believe drive is the most important factor. Drive enables you to catch up fast on the factors you lack on. Creativity is the hardest factor to develop but it can be done by people with drive and sufficient skills and competences. They will find their own ways to reach their goals.

Western countries should worry about this. When emerging countries apply creativity the rules of the game can change.


How to Manage Someone You Don't Like


Everybody complains about incompetent bosses or dysfunctional co-workers, but what about irritating direct reports? What should you do if the person you manage drives you crazy? If the behavior is a performance issue, there's a straightforward way to address what's irking you — but what do you do when it's an interpersonal issue? Is it possible to be a fair boss to someone you'd avoid eating lunch with — or must you learn to like every member of your team?

Of course, your job would be a whole lot easier if you liked everyone on your team. But that's not necessarily what's best for you, the group, or the company. "People liking each other is not a necessary component to organizational success," says Ben Dattner, an organizational psychologist and author of The Blame Game. Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University and the author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and coauthor with Huggy Rao of the forthcoming Scaling Up Excellence, agrees. According to Sutton, "there's a list of things that make you like people and there's a list of things that make a group effective, and there are very different things on those lists." It's neither possible — nor even ideal — to build a team comprised entirely of people you'd invite to a backyard barbecue. But there are real pitfalls to disliking an employee. Consciously or unconsciously, you might mismanage him or treat him unfairly and fail to see the real benefit he can deliver to your team. Here's how to get the most out of someone you don't like.


Eighth Annual Hay Group Study Identifies Best Companies for Leadership

Hay Group

Hollywood has the Oscars, Television the Emmys, publishing has the Pulitzer prizes, and leadership development has its own annual awards.

There are a few of these annual leader rankings, and quite frankly, it’s difficult to keep them straight. There’s Chief Executive’s 2012 40 Best Companies for Leaders, Fortune’s 25 Top Companies for Leaders, and the just published Hay Group Best Companies for Leadership Study and Top 20 list.

It’s no surprise that the same companies appear on these lists year over year. That’s because, unlike many of the high tech sexy companies that dominate the business headlines, companies that develop great leaders just quietly go about it and deliver great results year over year. Yes, Google and Zappos may be cool places to work, and Apple develops great products, but when it comes to leadership development, they may be still relatively immature. Although, I was surprised to see that Facebook made the Hay list this year. Could Mark Zuckerberg be the next Jack Welch when it comes to talent development? I’ll need to talk to Hay and find what they’ve been up to.

Here is the press release from the Hay study:

The 8th annual Hay Group study ranks the best companies for leadership around the globe and examines how those companies nurture talent and foster innovation in their ranks. This year, Procter & Gamble topped the list, followed by Microsoft, General Electric and Coca-Cola.


10 Magical Effects Music Has On the Mind


Every fan of music knows the tremendous power it can have over both thoughts and emotions.

Great music can transform an ordinary day into something magical, even spiritual. It can provide solace, release, strong sensations and more.

1. Improve verbal IQ

2. Feeling the chills

3. Active listening amps up happiness

4. Singing together brings us together

Since music is often a social activity, m

5. Music treats heart disease

6. Why sad music lifts you up

7. Seeing happy faces

8. The colour of music

9. Could music bring back your vision?

10. Babies are born to dance!


Mega list of Remote Work Tips and Tricks

Scott Berkun

There is a ton of advice on remote work and I’m compiling a list of good, simple advice for reference. What’s interesting is while I was at I don’t recall ever seeing a list of tips or tricks, or even seeing much discussion about remote work itself.

If you have other articles that should be in the list, leave a comment.

*      6 tips for super productivity working remotely

*      Working from home without getting fired

*      How To Be a Remote Founder

*      Tips for transitioning from traditional office to remote work

*      Misconceptions and challenges of remote work

*      Tips for working remotely

*      Tips for maximizing your remote work

*      Top ten tips for making remote work, work

*      Working remotely: is it right for you?


*      More here