I just discovered this entry on the Nudge Blog (their tagline is “improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness”). It’s an illustrated/cartoonized version of Dan Pink’s talk on what motivates employees and what doesn’t and I’ve embedded it here (below). It highlights the point that money isn’t always or the only solution. I love to see intelligent research and findings explained in creative ways like this and so I just had to spotlight it here! (The Nudge Blog is also pretty awesome and I definitely recommend it!)
If you’re interested in getting more from meetings than a gaping sinkhole in your schedule—and who isn’t?—these tips from how Google handles meetings can help. Of great importance is focusing on data, not politics and grievances.
Photo by ghindo.
The folks over at Business Week interviewed Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice-president of search products, who is known for running a tight and effective meeting. She shared six great guidelines for holding an effective meeting including one of her long standing rules: “Don’t politic, use data.”
This idea can and should apply to meetings in organizations in which people feel as though the boss will give the green light to a design created by the person he or she likes the best, showing favoritism for the individual instead of the idea.
Mayer believes this mindset can demoralize employees, so she goes out of her way to make the approval process a science. Google chooses designs on a clearly defined set of metrics and how well they perform against those metrics. Designs are chosen based on merit and evidence, not personal relationships.
Mayer discourages using the phrase “I like” in design meetings, such as “I like the way the screen looks.” Instead, she encourages such comments as “The experimentation on the site shows that his design performed 10% better.” This works for Google, because it builds a culture driven by customer feedback data, not the internal politics that pervade so many of today’s corporations.
It’s far more effective to look at what the data says than it is to let a meeting turn into a whine-fest where your whole team is taken away from productive work to hear the less-than-happy members complain. Check out the rest of the article at Business Week to see some more of Mayer’s techniques, including holding office hours—a carryover from her days as a professor.
Have a strategy you use in your workplace for increasing the effectiveness of meetings? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
Send an email to Jason Fitzpatrick, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To spunk up your job search, sometimes you gotta let it all hang out. Opinions, like deep expertise in a single industry with little transferability to other sectors, have a way of making you MORE valuable to a FRACTION of potential employers.
I knew within about 3 months of starting this blog that the opinions rendered here would make me unemployable to a lot of the HR community, and that’s OK. Lots of people who would normally hire me just couldn’t risk taking on the liability that is my habit of writing HR/Talent opinion 5 days a week. For example, I probably can’t get hired at a community bank or an insurance provider.
ut as mentioned at the jump, there is a flip side. State strong opinions and display skills with new tools, and even though lots of people can’t touch you, there’s always a small segment of companies that finds you more attractive as a result.
Take the case of Chris Faust writing at the Huffington Post, who was just laid off at USA Today:
“Today is the last day that I’ll walk through USA TODAY’s glass and marble lobby, itself a monument to flusher times.
I’ve been laid off from my dream job, and I’m not going to lie. It sucks. I enjoyed almost everything about my immediate world there, from my globe-trotting reporters to my creative production team to my hard-working and open-minded boss. My group was tight, and we laughed and learned from each other every day.
But what bothers me the most is what my firing represented. See, I’ve been learning all the tricks that a modern multi-platform journalist is supposed to know. In the past 22 months, I’ve blogged, tweeted, shot photos and videos, and handled speaking engagements. I edited my section, managed my high-personality staff and then in my spare time, I wrote cover stories - something that very few other editors at USA TODAY do. I hustled and I cajoled and I ended up out on my ass anyway.
So to the managers who made this decision, in less than 140 characters I tell you: Good luck steering the Titanic. And thanks for the head start. Now I’m really going to run”
Let’s take a look at the boxscore for those of you scoring from home:
-1 - Calls her former business the “Titantic”. Probably costs her some looks from traditional print media, which she seems done with anyway.
-1 - Basically called her team high maintenance. Honest but catty.
+1 - Ballsy enough to call her former business the Titantic. Shock and Awe, even if it’s obvious. Mission Accomplished..
+2 - Talks about using the new skills for 22 months in a traditional media business, signaling she’s a player in the new media game. Holla!
+1 - In a weird kind of way, there’s a couple of traditional outlets that probably already have calls in to her - because she’s put herself out there as having 22 months doing new media the right way in one of the biggest outlets around.
I’ve got it as a +2 overall in the game of making yourself more valuable to fewer people as a way of finding your dream job.
What’s your score? For Chris or yourself?
For years doctors have recommended exercise to enhance our moods, but the reason it actually works has never been that clear. Thanks to a group of overworked rodents, we may be closer to finding out, and it’s pretty good news.
Photo by mhofstrand
Researchers at Princeton University recently conducted a study comparing sedentary rats with active ones. Both were dunked in cold water, which they really hate (uh, yeah, who wouldn’t?). It turns out that even though all the rats were equally stressed out swimming around in frigid water, the brain activity of the more active rats was calmer overall. Scientist Michael Hopkins explained it to the New York Times this way:
The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.
“[T]he positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms.”
Though it will no doubt take a lot more research to understand whether or not the same effects result from exercise with the human brain, remember its seeming stress-busting effects the next time you don’t feel like working out. When things get stressful as work, your stress-resistant exercise cells may help you remain cool as a cucumber.
Send an email to Lisa Hoover, the author of this post, at email@example.com.
Submitted by the SIOP Electronic Communications Committee
Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC recently published his list of the 10 reasons teams hate their leaders:
“10 Reasons Your Team Hates You:
10. You don’t prioritize. Everything is important. When you do this, you remove your team’s ability to say no to less important work and focus their efforts on critical tasks. The fix: write down all the tasks you have folks working on and FORCE yourself to assign a H, M, or L to each task (and treat it as such). Thou shalt only have 33% of all tasks in each of those three categories - you can’t assign everything a “High” importance.
9. You treat them like employees.You don’t know a darn thing about them as a person (which makes them feel like nothing more than a number). The fix: read this post about 7Up.
8. You don’t fight for them. When is the last time you went to bat for a team member? And I mean went to bat where you had something to lose if it didn’t work out? When you don’t stand up for them, you lose their trust. The fix: identify something you should have gone to the mat for recently and get out there and fight. Get someone that raise they deserve. Go fight for them to get that cool new project.
7. You tell them to “have a balanced life” then set a bad example.You tell them weekends are precious and they should spend them with their family then you go and send them emails or voicemails on Sunday afternoon. The fix: either curb your bad habit of not being in balance or learn how to do delayed send in Outlook so your messages won’t go out until Monday morning.
6. You never relax. You walk around like you have a potato chip wedged between your butt cheeks and you’re trying not to break it. When you’re uptight all the time, it makes them uptight. Negative or stressful energy transfers to others. The fix: laugh, get a remote controlled car or tricycle to drive around the office, or put on a Burger King crown. When you relax, your team knows it’s okay for them to relax too.
5. You micromanage. You know every detail of what they’re working on and you’ve become a control freak. They have no room to make decisions on their own (which means yes, they’ll make a mistake or two). The fix: back off. Pick a few low risk projects and commit to not doing ANYTHING on them unless your team member asks you for assistance. It’ll be uncomfortable for you. Give it a try you micromanaging control freak.
4. You’re a suck-up. If your boss stopped short while walking down the hall, you’d break your neck. Your team hates seeing you do this because it demonstrates lack of spine and willingness to fight for them. It can also signal to them that you expect them to be a sycophant just like you. The fix: try kicking up and kissing down instead.
3. You treat them like mushrooms. Translation: they’re kept in the dark and fed a bunch of crap. Do you ration information? Do you withhold “important” things from them because it’s “need to know” only? All you’re doing is creating gossip and fear. The fix: stop acting like 007 and spill some beans.
2. You’re above getting your hands dirty. You’re great at assigning work. Doing work? Not so much. They hate watching you preside (and they hate it even more when you take credit for what they slaved over). The fix: get dirty. Climb under the proverbial tank and turn a wrench. Roll up your sleeves and pick a smaller project you can handle in addition to your other responsibilities and DO THE PROJECT YOURSELF.
1. You’re indecisive.Maybe. Or not. But possibly. Yeah. No. I don’t know. OH MY GOSH MAKE A DECISION ALREADY! That’s what you get paid to do as the leader. You drive them crazy with your incessant flip-flopping or waffling (mmmm waffles… oh. Sorry… still writing). The fix: DO SOMETHING! Acknowledge you might make a mistake but do something. A team is much more likely to follow a leader who makes decisions (even some bad ones) than a leader who makes no decisions at all.”
To read more from Mike, visit thoughtLEADERS, LLC.