Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why the Chess Computer Deep Blue Played Like a Human

When IBM’s Deep Blue beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997 in a six-game chess match, Kasparov came to believe he was facing a machine that could experience human intuition. “The machine refused to move to a position that had a decisive short-term advantage,” Kasparov wrote after the match. It was “showing a very human sense of danger.”1 To Kasparov, Deep Blue seemed to be experiencing the game rather than just crunching numbers.

Might Kasparov have actually detected a hint of analogical thinking in Deep Blue’s play and mistaken it for human intervention?


Jeremy Kingsley | Leading as an Introvert


There is false assumption out there that all great leaders are extroverts and that charisma drives success. Successful introvert leaders tend to capitalize–rather than attempt to neutralize–their natural tendencies. Here are seven tips for introverts as leaders:

1.     Clear The Air.

2.     Walk the Floor.

3.     Shorten Meetings.

4.     Schedule Downtime.

5.     Pair With An Extrovert.

6.     Trust Your Process.

7.     Do What You Do.


The Top 5 Myths about Leadership

US News

The concept of great leadership is one of the most often discussed – and least understood – workplace topics. We may recognize certain people as exceptional leaders when we see them in action, yet have a difficult time pinpointing what it is that they do differently or better.

·         Myth: Leaders know it all.

·         Myth: Leaders have to be liked.

·         Myth: Leaders are only found at the top.

·         Myth: Leaders must be extroverts.

·         Myth: Leaders are born, not made.


How to Foster Creativity

Eric Jacobsen

Here are some great tips and guiding principles for how a manager and leader can build a culture to foster creativity.

·         Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.

·         If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.

·         It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.

·         The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.

·         A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

·         Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.

Thanks author Ed Catmull for these tips and great new book, Creativity, Inc.


5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Be More Effective as a Leader

Seapoint Center

As a leader, there will be times when the people you lead or coach get stuck when dealing with difficult decisions and relationship issues. They know they have to resolve their issue but can’t see new solutions. You want to help, but these conversations can stir up emotions, and you might get flustered when a person gets angry, tears up, or feels embarrassed.

Yet it is in these moments of discomfort that a breakthrough is most likely to occur.

According to Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga, we get stuck in our automatic thought-processing and resist questioning our beliefs and behaviors. Our brains protective instinct keeps us from in-depth self-exploration. We only view ourselves and our word differently when we see or hear something that surprises our brains. Here are 5 ways to use discomfort to help the people you coach breakthrough to new solutions.

1.     Let go of knowing.

2.     Listen to their story before you question their assumptions and beliefs.

3.     Reflect and explore instead of offer answers.

4.     Have them articulate their “aha” insight before they commit to what is next.

1.     5. Be patient and comfortable with discomfort.


New Research: Strong Team Intelligence Equates To High Profitability


We’ve all known them. Some people are brilliant as individual contributors but become an instant anathema on any kind of a team.

But research from New York-based Dr. Solange Charas has found a solution.  Did you know it is now possible to predict the success and profitability of any given team participant or collective team in advance? It’s true, according to Charas’ recently released report, “The Criticality of C-Suite Team Intelligence (TQ) in Economic Value Creation.” Yes, it stands to reason that more cohesive teams are able to direct and produce higher profits. But here’s the surprise: According to Charas, the right data assessment tools can take the guesswork out of the creation and management of high performing teams altogether. Through a short 15-minute exam, her patented TQ test can score the characteristics that predict current or prospective propensity to succeed with high accuracy. This information is highly valuable on its own. But coupled with coaching for needed improvements, the process can result in a measureable improvement of 48-191% in TQ propensity scores, Charas said.

What are the characteristics of High TQ executives? The TQ assessment identifies and measures two measureable characteristics to arrive at the score: 1) team dynamic quality, and 2) team effectiveness, which includesthe interactions between and among team members.


How to Keep Remote Employees Enthused, Energized and Engaged

Michael Lee Stallard

Leaders must adapt to this obstacle in order to engage remote employees and maintain a positive work environment. Here are some tips on how to create a healthy “connection culture” that engages people by keeping them feeling connected to the organization while working in your virtual workplace.

·         First and foremost, you have to maximize face time with remote workers.

·         As a leader, keep multiple lines of communication open and make sure your remote workers are aware of those lines.

·         Give your remote employees opportunity for growth.

·         Finally, take the time to speak candidly about things other than work.

By 1) maximizing face time, 2) opening multiple lines of communication, 3) allowing opportunity for growth, and 4) speaking candidly, remote managers can engage their employees and sustain a virtual connection culture.


Avoid the Nightmare of the Email Blind Carbon Copy (BCC).

Skip Prichard

Beware the BCC. I’m not sure exactly when or why the blind carbon copy (BCC) was invented, but I have seen it misused, misunderstood, and misfired too many times to count.  The BCC allows you to write an email TO some people and BCC others.  The people you send it TO don’t know that others are secretly on the BCC line.

Most email problems with the BCC start when an email is written to a few people, but others are blind carbon copied.


“Trust is built with consistency.” -Lincoln Chafee


Moxie: Getting your X-factor right


Leaders are always judged by others. The higher their profile the bigger the stage, and their words and their actions are magnified by the roles they hold.

X-factors are comprised of many things that work individually — and collectively — to help the leader. These include ambition, creativity, humor and compassion, as well as three more words that begin with “C” — character, courage and confidence. X-factors strengthen the leader’s commitment to doing what’s best for the team and the organization.

The sum of your X-factors attributes give you the foundation to do what you do better than anything else. It also lays a foundation of trust

Trust is the bedrock upon which you build followership.


8 Ways to Help Make Your Office Meetings More Tolerable


As we can all attest, business meetings often waste valuable productive time and tend to last far longer than they should.  But until we learn to communicate telepathically, they will remain a necessary evil — not just as a means of exchanging ideas and information — but also as a way to build relationships with others. That doesn’t mean we have to like them.

How to make meetings more tolerable


You may never learn to enjoy meetings, but you can certainly make them more tolerable with these tips:

1.     Decide whether the meeting is even necessary.

2.     Get started on time.

3.     Use a facilitator.

4.     Change the venue.

5.     Provide food.

6.     Make the agenda crystal clear.

7.     Be very picky about who attends.

8.     Schedule breaks for long meetings.


A graphical explanation of UI vs UX


Ed Lea created this awesome graphic which explains the difference between user interface and user experience using breakfast cereal.


3 ways to attract the coveted active monthly user


Active monthly users are the precious gold of the business community. Acquiring new users is great, but active monthly users, the ones that come back to the site on a regular basis, are what really matter.

A July 2014 study by The Realtime Report found many popular sites have active monthly users numbering in the millions. Facebook topped the list with 1.32 billion, but Twitter was right behind with 255 million.

Every company wants numbers like those. Finding and creating a strong base of active monthly users is every entrepreneur’s dream, but it can be a bit like capturing a unicorn. So, how do you do it?

Talentoday, a psychometric, social and data-driven career guidance solution, launched in the US in January 2014 and, after only nine short months, now has 955,000 monthly active users and more than 3 million registered users.

1.     Keep the experience user-friendly

2.     Utilize the power of sharing

3.     Offer services that promote monthly usage (for free!)


These 7 Ingredients Can Revitalize Customer Experience

UX Mag

Most companies these days are getting downright scientific about their interactions with customers, pouring all kinds of money and manpower into managing expectations and outcomes. Unfortunately for everyone involved, these exchanges are often like nitroglycerin mixed with peroxide—that is to say, they blow up in everyone’s faces. Long hold times, sour customer service agents, and generally low expectations have combined to create a high rate of frustration and a low rate of success.

Although there’s no magic (or scientific) formula for success, there are specific areas companies can focus on in order to bring their customers better experiences. Here are seven things customers want that companies need to provide:

·         Speed

·         Variety

·         Resolution

·         Consistency

·         Personalization

·         Flexibility

·         Self-Service