Category Archives: Change

Dandelions and Lessons Learned

Robert D. Austin, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick, explains in this video how Danish software tester Specialisterne maintains a diverse and productive workforce. The “dandelion metaphor” he shares is a great way to explain the “lessons learned” in a context that can be easily understood.

Back in the late 90’s, Steve Jobs redefined Apple via “Think Different”:

In the documentary “One Last Thing” (2011) Jobs stated that people needed to “shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it…”

In my humble opinion, we need to make recognizing this a priority; “Being Different” no longer needs to be seen as an automatic impediment to succeeding in both life and career. Rather, we need to treat different perceptions as a positive value that, if anything, offers additional rewards and opportunities for all.

Empowering Employees, via Social Collaboration

Social collaboration among colleagues, when embraced across all levels and functions, brings with it the opportunity to positively transform corporate culture, with the impacts being felt from boardroom to break room and everywhere in-between. That said, like any corporate initiative, this type of engagement requires leadership to overcome any institutional disconnects and truly “walk the walk”… not just “talk the talk.”  Via HR Bartender:

social media, infographic, employee, The Social Employee, engagement, corporate culture, McGraw Hill“Employees understand the power of social and expect it to be a part of their personal and professional lives. The infographic (click to enlarge) is based upon research in the book, “The Social Employee” by Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess. It offers best practices from companies like IBM, Dell, and Cisco on creating a social organizational culture.”

Read more of the original article here.

An MBA In Less Than 400 Pages? Read on…

elements of mba

smartvsstupid
Images courtesy of amazon.com and Stanley Bing. Now go ahead and buy the book.

Time to add this one to the bookshelf, people – if for no other reason than for all of the graphics and charts, including the two I’ve shared here:

The book is called “The Curriculum” and it’s from Stanley Bing, the guy who brought us “Crazy Bosses”,  “Sun Tzu Was A Sissy: Conquer Your Enemies, Promote Your Friends, and Wage the Real Art of War,  and the classic “What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness”:

Can you really pack a two-year, $250,000-curriculum in a single book? Author and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing sets out to do exactly that in “The Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master of Business Arts.”

If the concept strikes you as preposterous, a peek inside will do little to dispel these doubts. From the accreditation body, the National Association for Serious Study (“dedicated to a number of serious studies”),  to a core curriculum that includes “Not Appearing Stupid” and “Crazy People,” the book offers a satirical take on an overly staid subject.

via An MBA In Less Than 400 Pages? | Poets and Quants.

Heartbeat, complexity, and common-mode failure

“The Heartbleed problem can be blamed on complexity; all Internet standards become festooned with complicating option sets that no one person can know in their entirety. The Heartbleed problem can be blamed on insufficient investment; safety review for open source code is rarely funded, nor sustainable when it is. The Heartbleed problem can be blamed on poor planning; wide deployment within critical functions but without any repair regime.”

Quote is from Dr. Dan Geer’s must-read “Heartbleed as Metaphor” article on Lawfare.  Brilliant examination of the true lessons we need to learn from this software exploit’s ‘success’, in order to best prepare for the next common-mode failure. Another quote worth sharing (but I still recommend reading the article in its entirety):

The critical infrastructure’s monoculture problem, and hence its exposure to common mode risk, is now small devices and the chips which run them.  As the monocultures build, they do so in ever more pervasive, ever smaller packages, in ever less noticeable roles.  The avenues to common mode failure proliferate. 

Thanks to common-mode proliferation, we don’t have the luxury of worrying about If something will happen any longer – it’s now just a matter of When.

Deliberate Disruption

Inspired by Lee Dallas, blogging at bigmenoncontent.com:

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* based on a quote from bigmenoncontent.com, with apologies to Scott Adams

Big Men On Content

Last weekend Box CEO Aaron Levie tweeted

“Disruption is the art of identifying which parts of the past are no longer relevant to the future, and exploiting that delta at all costs.”

To which I responded :

“deliberate disruption is extraordinarily rare. So rare that I think you can capitalize on it but never plan for it

I’ve been asking myself this question since. Can disruption ever really be deliberate?

The question conjures up images of team meetings where Dilbert’s pointed haired boss declares, “nobody leaves this room until we innovate!”

It occurs to me that in order to be deliberate, disruption must be an objective not just an outcome. This is a mistake.

Truly disruptive technology sets out to solve a problem first. Disruption is a possible but not guaranteed outcome of innovation introduced into a landscape. That landscape is made up of evolving technology, existing competition, and fluid user expectations all of…

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