When collaboration fails, you fail!

March 11, 2011

After last year’s salmonella outbreak, in which thousands became ill after eating contaminated eggs, a billion of them were pulled from stores. Much of the blame was attributed to poor federal oversight and lack of coordination across federal agencies.

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How to create your own X Prize

March 9, 2011

In 1714, the British government offered 20,000 pounds to the person who could solve the vexing problem of how to measure longitude at sea. That was perhaps the beginning of inducement prizes, or fat purses given as rewards for solving tough problems. How to design contests to gin up the best innovations? To work best, you need to make the challenge:

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Mick, Keith shine a light

March 7, 2011

Despite their tumultuous relationship, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards decided in 1989 to thrash out how they would hold their band together. Why? Because they were better together than apart.

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Why your team needs the big picture

March 4, 2011

People who don’t understand strategy and the big picture can end up working hard on the wrong things, making poor decisions or even quitting out of frustration. Do your people “get it”? To find out, test your team’s ability to discuss the big picture.

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Which old habits are worth breaking?

March 1, 2011

Breaking old habits can hurt. It’s why we avoid it. But the recession offers a golden opportunity to rethink how you do business and examine which behaviors are ripe for change. A few suggestions:

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Taking a cue from Dave Matthews Band

February 25, 2011
Despite a precipitous decline in record sales across the music industry, the Dave Matthews Band continues to rock on with high sales and profitable tours. What’s DMB’s secret to becoming one of the top-grossing music tours of 2010?
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3 ways to be a Twitter-friendly speaker

February 23, 2011
Audiences no longer sit quietly, absorbing a speaker’s words and images, waiting to ask a question or make a comment. Instead, they use Twitter to text in real-time, usually adding a specific hashtag to their tweets. Any tweet mentioning a particular hashtag is part of the “backchannel” conversation among attendees and speakers.
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Cut out the jargon and just say it

February 22, 2011

Jargon can complicate the most simple of messages. So why in the name of Web­­ster’s does the babble persist? “People use jargon because they want to sound smart and credible when in fact they … typically can’t be understood, which defeats the purpose of speaking in the first place,” says Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up and Say Something.

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7 clues you’re off your game

February 18, 2011

Bad managers are not consciously aware that they’re bad managers. And if they are aware of it, they’re probably not willing to admit it to anyone. Nobody wants to think they might be the problem. Here are a few clues:

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A failure to communicate

February 16, 2011
Q. “I’ve just finished reading No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Why do you think Markopolos was so ineffective at persuading the SEC that Madoff was a fraud? What does this story tell us about how to be persuasive in negotiation?”
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