Here is an excerpt from an article written by Thomas J. DeLong for the Harvard Business Review blog’s “The Conversation” series. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.
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I come from a family of worriers. We sometimes joke that at the next family reunion we should organize the seating chart according to which anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication each person is currently taking. There would, of course, also be a table for people who are self-medicating with substances not prescribed by a doctor.
What are we all worrying about? Perhaps the more accurate question is: What aren’t we worrying about?
We live and work in an age when there is plenty to fret about for professionals in every field and at every level. This worrying becomes a trap, however, when we start seeing doom and gloom everywhere, when it colors our decision-making and behaviors, when it causes us to go into a shell or always respond in the same tried-and-true ways to avoid catalyzing our worst fears. We all worry. But we often worry needlessly, excessively, and counterproductively. While a moderate amount of worry may focus the mind, too much diminishes effectiveness and robs us of our ability to move outside our comfort zone (because there is even more to worry about outside of that zone!).
Someone once said that there are no small worries for people with big ambition, since every obstacle on the road to goals looms large. Driven professionals often struggle to differentiate small worries from big ones, because every problem is given equal, exaggerated weight. Think about what work worries assault you in the middle of the night and prevent you from going back to sleep. There are three things that you can do to keep yourself from falling into the worry trap:
[Here's the first. To read the complete article, please click here.]
Evaluate the relative significance of the things you’re worrying about. Don’t give a disproportionate amount of worry to small problems. “Box up” your small worries so that they don’t spread. Make a conscious effort to confine your fears and anxieties to the subject at hand. Keep reminding yourself that a problem in one area does not necessarily mean that there’s a problem in another area. Stay focused on the specific issue.
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Thomas J. DeLong is the Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior area at Harvard Business School and the author of Flying Without a Net. His research focuses on the challenges facing individuals and organizations in the process of change.
Friday, May 13, 2011 Posted by Bob Morris | Bob's blog entries | and the first step to managing it is awareness, Driven professionals often struggle to differentiate small worries from big ones, Evaluate the relative significance of the things you're worrying about, Flying Without a Net, Harvard Business Review blog's "The Conversation" series, Harvard Business School, Harvard Business School Press, HBR email alerts, Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior, the challenges facing individuals and organizations in the process of change, The Worrying Trap: How to avoid it or escape from it, Thomas J. DeLong, worry can be managed | Leave a Comment
Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.
When people fail at work, your instinct may be to go into problem-solving mode.
You search out reasons for the failure, try to figure out how to avoid it in the future, and draw out the lessons to be learned.
But when people who have failed are in the depths of despair, they need empathy more than your rationalizations and encouragements about the future.
A concerned response is not only compassionate but productive. Empathy communicates trust, and people perform best when they feel trusted.
Next time one of your people falls short, listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t offer advice, don’t say that it will be all right. Just reflect back what you hear them say.
There will be time to solve the problem later.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “The Right Way to Respond to Failure” by Peter Bregman.
To read that article and join the discussion, please click here.
Friday, May 13, 2011 Posted by Bob Morris | Bob's blog entries | "The Right Way to Respond to Failure", Harvard Business Review. HBR newsletters, Management Tip of the Day, Peter Bregman, When Others Fail [comma] Just Empathize | Leave a Comment
David Kord Murray is a former aerospace scientist, Fortune 500 executive, chief innovation officer of two major companies, inventor, and software entrepreneur. He has made a living by coming up with new and innovative ideas. In Borrowing Brilliance (published by Gotham Books/Penguin Group, 2011) he explains the origins and evolution of a business idea by showing readers how new ideas are merely the combinations of existing ideas.
Since brilliance is actually borrowed, it’s easily within reach. It’s really a matter of knowing where to borrow the materials and how to put them together that determines creative ability. Murray presents a simple Six-Step process that anyone can use to build business innovation:
Step One: Defining—Define the problem you’re trying to solve.
Step Two: Borrowing—Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem.
Step Three: Combining—Connect and combine these borrowed ideas.
Step Four: Incubating—Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution.
Step Five: Judging—Identify the strength and weakness of the solution.
Step Six: Enhancing—Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones.
Each chapter features real-life examples of brilliant borrowers, including profiles of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the Google guys), Bill Gates, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and other creative thinkers.
Here is what he has to say about Walt Disney’s various sources while planning and designing Disneyland:
“In addition to his movie borrowings, he also borrowed from museums, parks, and city planners. His nightly fireworks show and careful attention to cleanliness were not borrowed from movies but from Tivoli Gardens in Denmark. The inspiration for the Matterhorn roller coaster wasn’t from a film but from a personal trip he took to Zermat with his wife and daughter. The steam engine that circles the park was borrowed directly from the one that circled electric Park in Kansas City where he grew up.”
It would be a mistake to think of innovation only in terms of a single improvement (i.e. “a better mousetrap”). As Disney and countless others remind us, is a mindset for a process that can “borrow” from a wide and deep range of sources, with the only limits being self-imposed.
To paraphrase René Descartes, “If I can imagine it, it’s possible.”
Friday, May 13, 2011 Posted by Bob Morris | Bob's blog entries | Albert Einstein, Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution, “If I can imagine it [comma] it’s possible”, Bill Gates, Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem, Borrowing Brilliance, Connect and combine these borrowed ideas, David Kord Murray on the art and science of “borrowing brilliance”, Define the problem you’re trying to solve, Electric Park in Kansas City, Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones, George Lucas, Identify the strength and weakness of the solution, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the Google guys), René Descartes, Steve Jobs, Tivoli Gardens in Denmark. the Matterhorn roller coaster, Walt Disney, Zermat | Leave a Comment
Here is an excerpt from article written by David Rogers for BNET, The CBS Interactive Business Network.
I was astonished, frankly, by the statistics he cites. If true, and I have no reason to think they aren’t, personal connections rather than institutional relationships dominate the Age of Information and will probably determine who succeeds (however defined) during what Dan Pink suggests is an emerging Age of Conception. The nature of work (including but not limited to commerce) will change from the management of existing information to being the creator of new information. The creative worker, in order to survive, will have to know how to ride the innovation wave that’s just beginning to crest. “Winners” will be creators of the best ideas, not just the consumer or manager of them.
To check out an abundance of valuable resources and obtain a free subscription to one or more of the BNET newsletters, please click here.
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Just last month, the U.S. State Department announced that it was shutting down http://www.America.gov, the website launched to provide cultural and policy content to the world. Instead, the State Department will focus on using social media to get out its message. The aim is to communicate in a more interactive way with today’s networked audiences around the world—like those blogging Egypt’s revolution from Tahrir Square or documenting Syrian unrest on YouTube.
Shutting down your website to communicate solely through social media channels might seem like a crazy idea for any large organization. But then again, there is some logic to it. The Wall Street Journal reported that Starbucks receives over ten times as much traffic to its Facebook page (19.4 million unique visitors each month) as to its corporate website (1.8 million). For Coca-Cola, the divergence is even starker: 22.5 million visitors on Facebook vs. just 270,000 to its website—over 80 times as much traffic.
A decade ago, the corporate website had become the new “must-have” communication tool. But now, as web users spend increasing amounts of time on social media, traffic to static corporate websites appears to be on the decline.
But before you rush out to pull the plug on your own web site, it’s worth considering the benefits of each approach.
Benefits of Social Media
1. Inherently interactive. That’s where the term “social” comes from. Unlike a static HTML website, designed to read and click, social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are designed around sharing, responding, and interacting.
2. Where people are spending time. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, most Web audiences are spending more time there than browsing company sites. Just be sure that’s true for your own demographic (e.g. Facebook is a nonstarter in Japan) and your own industry (most users still do not use Facebook for learning about b2b topics).
3. Easy to acquire. Clicking a “like” button on Facebook or “follow” button on Twitter is a lot easier than filling in the sign up form on a web page. So it’s no surprise that many companies find it easier to build a large following on social media platforms.
4. Virality. When your audience interacts with you on social media platforms, it is instantly visible to their own friends and contacts. This digital “word-of-mouth” can be one of the most powerful tools for reaching new audiences.
Benefits of Your Own Website
1. Control the design. Have you ever tried designing a page on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube? The experience is like trying to swim with one hand tied behind your back. Having your own website allows you complete control, which may be essential if you have a lot of content or options that you need to organize for different audiences.
2. Own the data. Social media platforms are owned by the companies that run them, and, as such, they are the only ones holding all the data on your customers and your interactions with them. On your own website, you own all the data.
3. Targeting and personalization. Owning data and controlling design allow for much more targeted interaction with your customers than is possible on social media platforms. If you know which emails a customer in your database is clicking on, you can ensure her follow up emails, Web landing pages, and ecommerce experiences are much more suited to her particular interests.
4. Reach all your audience. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or other services which might reach large segments of your customers, your own website is available to 100% of them. (That is, as long as your website has been optimized to work on a mobile phone.)
So, unless you are so small (e.g. a one-person enterprise) that you lack the resources to maintain both a Facebook page and a website, you almost certainly need both. (Even the State Department still kept its main website after shutting down America.gov.)
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If you wish to read the complete article, please click here.
David Rogers is a consultant, speaker, and author of The Network Is Your Customer: Five Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age. He teaches Digital Marketing Strategy at Columbia Business School, where he is Executive Director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership. Rogers has advised and developed marketing and digital strategies for numerous companies such as SAP, Eli Lilly, and Visa.
Friday, May 13, 2011 Posted by Bob Morris | Bob's blog entries | "Winners" will be creators of the best ideas and not just the consumer or manager of them, Age of Conception, Age of Information, and Visa, Benefits of Social Media, Benefits of Your Own Website, BNET, BNET newsletters, Center on Global Brand Leadership, Coca-Cola, Columbia Business School, Dan Pink suggests, David Rogers, Eli Lilly, Facebook, Is It Time to Shut Down Your Website?, SAP, Starbucks, The CBS Interactive Business Network, The Network Is Your Customer: Five Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age, the Wall-Street Journal | Leave a Comment
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