Power Outage: Rebekah Brooks–Jeffrey Pfeffer

On the HBR blog, Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Power, uses Rebekah Brooks’ current situation as an example of the risks inherent in pursuing power and breaking the rules: “If you don’t do something to differentiate yourself and stand out, you will blend into the background and never get promoted. But if you plunge into a […]

Power Outage: Rebekah Brooks–Jeffrey Pfeffer

On the HBR blog, Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Power, uses Rebekah Brooks’ current situation as an example of the risks inherent in pursuing power and breaking the rules: “If you don’t do something to differentiate yourself and stand out, you will blend into the background and never get promoted. But if you plunge into a […]

Flexible Working for Medium-sized Businesses

A former colleague, Angus Lyon, applies Microsoft’s Hybrid Organisation concept to medium-sized organisations.  Small businesses are agile by necessity and usually by default; large enterprises have the resources to drive change and run large-scale pilot.  As is often the case, medium-sized businesses can feel stuck in the middle. Angus’s piece highlights two important issues: firstly, […]

Pur Speling Ladders Tites

A single spelling mistake can cut online sales by half according to Charles Duncombe, director of Just Say Please group, in this BBC article. It’s not entirely clear how robust his analysis is but it is based on experience with one of his company’s sites, tightsplease.co.uk, and it highlights what has largely been an unnoticed […]

More Visceral than Virtual

A weighty little nugget from HBR’s Daily Stat page: important objects feel heavier. In a study by Iris Schneider of the University of Amsterdam, people told that a book was important perceived it to be heavier than did those who were not given this information. Another reminder that, in this increasing virtual world, we remain […]

The Tyranny of Distraction

From the Schumpeter column in last week’s Economist (“Too Much Information”), I took three interesting findings. Discussing the challenge of data overload, the columnist mentions: Research by Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School which finds that focus and creativity are connected: people are more likely to be creative if they can focus on something, uninterrupted […]

Paper-Jam Pearls and the Communal Coffee-Pot

Workspaces can foster the casual interactions which encourage collaboration if they provide for three factors: Proximity, Privacy and Permission. July-August’s Harvard Business Review is devoted to collaboration and includes an article by Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks, entitled Who Moved My Cube, which explores these factors.  There are sufficient examples of unintended consequences to suggest […]

More Fiction = Less Friction

Reading fiction makes us better at understanding life and social interaction.  On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Emeritus professor at Toronto University Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist and novelist, discussed his research.  He described reading novels (or short stories or watching films) as akin to a flight simulator. Of course it makes intuitive sense and […]

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