advertisement advertisement The year 2012 is not only the Year of the Dragon, it also marks 30 years since In Search of Excellence was published. While there have been voices over the years which have been critical of the book’s methodology, its resulting content, and even its writing style, the case can be made that it is the most influential management book not only in these last 30 years but perhaps–just perhaps–ever. Hyperbole? Consider: It created a new genre of “best seller” business books, works that were not only informative but interesting and highly readable for Everyman. With a few exceptions, such as McGregor, Chandler, Sloan, maybe Drucker, many (most?) prior books on management/leadership were arcane tomes written by academics for academics and practitioners and were rarely found on any popular “best seller” list. Now “business” is considered a book category in itself thanks in no small part to … [Read more...] about The Most Influential Business Book Of The Last 30 Years?
advertisement advertisement Have you ever stopped to consider how remarkable Wikipedia is? The online encyclopedia represents arguably the greatest collection of knowledge and information ever assembled–and the overwhelming majority of the work in creating and maintaining it has been done by unpaid volunteers. On the surface, the success of Wikipedia makes no sense–how could (and why would) a team of volunteers possibly complete such a massive undertaking? The answer has repercussions for leaders and business owners in every industry: Money isn’t everything. In fact, a sense of purpose is more important than the size of a salary when it comes to inspiring top performance from employees and team members. That doesn’t mean that money isn’t important, and it doesn’t mean that you can slash paychecks without fear of consequences. But it does mean that money alone is not enough to inspire the type of passion, dedication, and peak performance … [Read more...] about The Wikipedia Way Of Motivating Your Employees
advertisement advertisement There are few products less sexy that a thermostat. It is a boring, utilitarian commodity, right? The world agreed for over 100 years, until the lead designer of the iPod decided to shake things up. Tony Fadell took a completely fresh approach and challenged conventional wisdom. Rather than starting with the existing competitive set, he shattered industry norms from design to function. The result? The incredible new device known as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Besides its distinctive look, this baby ain’t your father’s thermostat. The artificial intelligence “learns” your habits. It has sensors to know when you are away so it doesn’t heat or cool an empty house. It’s connected to the web and evaluates external weather conditions to determine how to best respond inside. You can even control it from a smartphone app on the go. All this whiz-bang technology does more than fuel your inner geek. The Nest saves its … [Read more...] about Is Your Company About To Be Knocked From Its Perch?
advertisement advertisement Motivation is a hot topic year-round, but particularly in January, the month of fresh starts, checklists, and lofty goals. It’s the time of year we try to figure out how to prod our employees to excel, to hit and surpass ambitious targets. Happy, motivated employees are, simply, good for business. “Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level–productivity, creativity, engagement–improves,” Harvard Business Review reported in its January/February 2012 story “Positive Intelligence.” “Happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.”—Harvard Business Review So what’s the best way to get it done? Pay up. Money, of course, is a key motivator for many employees. And financial incentives do work to motivate employees–but only to a … [Read more...] about The Weigh-In: What’s The Best Way To Motivate Your Employees?
advertisement advertisement Eric Kuhn, 41, is the founder and CEO of FoundersCard, which offers networking opportunities, discounts, and perks for entrepreneurs and innovators. Since its founding at the end of 2009, FoundersCard, which is profitable, has been growing steadily–but more slowly than Kuhn might let it, since part of its value comes from its exclusivity. How’d you get the idea for FoundersCard? It was when I was on the roadshow for Varsity Books [his first company], which was going public, back in the Internet 1.0 days. The investment bankers were coordinating all the travel. Every night I stayed in a different city. I remember staying at amazing hotels: the Mandarin Oriental, the Four Seasons. I remember talking to [the bankers], asking, How much does this cost? It turned out they could travel in this kind of style because they received these incredible deals because of who their companies were. That struck me as odd, that it was the investment … [Read more...] about Fast Talk: How FoundersCard Brings Exclusivity To The Startup Set