12/31/2010

WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE REACH SUCCESS AND THEN FAIL?

Richard St. John knew how he had found success -- through his marketing company, the St. John Group, which boasted clients like Nortel and BlackBerry/Research in Motion. But he couldn't get away from the question: Why him? He thinks of himself as an average guy, not talented at school, not terribly handsome or particularly lucky. So he spent more than a decade interviewing 500 people he defines as successful -- from architect Frank Gehry to non-celebrities successful in their own lives.
The resulting book, Spike's Guide to Success: Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky and RICH, has spawned a new avenue of success for St. John as a motivational speaker and talk-show star. His newest book is The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 To Be Great.
"It's so great. It's such a boost of confidence. This book really gives you a lot of self-esteem about who you are, and that you really can be somebody."
Thomas Fischer, Habitat for Humanity

http://www.sjohn.com/



12/30/2010

JIMMY WALES ONF THE POWER OF COLLABORATION

Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur known for his role in the creation of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia launched in 2001. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, holding the board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a privately owned, free Web-hosting service, along with Angela Beesley.

Together with Larry Sanger and others, Wales helped lay the foundation for Wikipedia, which subsequently enjoyed rapid growth and popularity. As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Wales took on the role of the project's spokesman and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances. Wales has been historically cited as the co-founder of Wikipedia but he disputes the "co-" designation, asserting that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia. Wales' work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world's most influential people.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Wales attended a small private school, then a university preparation school, eventually attaining a bachelor's degree and master's degree in finance. During his graduate studies he taught at two universities.





Question: What is the power of getting information to the right place at the right time?

Jimmy Wales: Oh, it’s massive. I mean, it’s massive in lots of really tedious and boring ways, you know? A lot of ways that’re easily overlooked. You know, inside a lot of really large organizations, one of the problems they have is sort of pointless duplication of effort. So I just recently I met somebody at IBM who was just relating an anecdote that he had been working on a certain kind of project for, I don’t know, a year or something, and by pure random chance, he stumbled across someone who’s been doing exactly the same thing for a year. And IBM’s a huge, huge organization. It’s not surprising that kind of stuff happens. But it would’ve been really helpful if these two had met each other, you know, a year ago, because they could’ve split up the work, and gotten it done twice as fast, or they could’ve at least learned from each other, or one of them could’ve said, “Hey, you take it; I got something else I need to do.” And actually they met each other through a wiki, so that was pretty good, right? They actually through an internal wiki they were able to coordinate their efforts a lot better. I think those’re the kinds of things that don’t make headlines, you know? Just the idea that through information technology within an organization, there’s a lot more transparency and visibility as to who’s doing what. And that has huge business benefits. Huge social benefits, right? I mean, certainly in the grand scheme of things in the whole world, we’ve got a lot of problems that we need to solve, right? We need to do a lot of different things, and it’s just terrible if two people are wasting time doing the same thing as each other, right? Just makes no sense to anybody. The other person can be doing something else that’s useful. So I think it’s of massive importance.

Recorded on: 04/30/2008

12/27/2010

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF, THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT ANSWER

Ruth Porat is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley, where she has worked for 22 years. She has advised in many of the firm's largest and high-profile IPOs, including eBay, Amazon.com and Blackstone Group. She also advised in the government bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG. Before she rose to her current position, she served as vice chairman of investment banking and the global head of the company's financial institutions group.




Question: What did you learn from your bout with cancer?

Ruth Porat: Hearing you have cancer is one of the most terrifying phone calls that one I think one can get. And I think one of the questions is: "Well, what does it even mean?" I was fortunate. I had breast cancer. Breast cancer is much more manageable than other cancers, but the ability to speak with other women who had gone through it to give me a sense of "So what is next? What does it mean? What can I expect? How do I talk to my kids? How do I talk to my colleagues?" Once you’ve been through it things that seemed so frightening and terrifying. What is chemo? Am I going to be completely debilitated? Is it really manageable? I think you get a better sense of what it is and so I would... Unfortunately, too many of us are touched by cancer. I would say very important to reach out and get an understanding of it from those who have been through it. I think the next thing is be true to yourself. For me, going to work meant that I was in control of my life. The disease did not define me. And so in many respects work was a really important part of me being healthy. And one of my bosses, a fantastic leader of business, Joe Perella said: "If you want to come to Morgan Stanley and work while you’re going through chemo do it because it’s good for you. Don’t do it for Morgan Stanley. We just want you to get healthy."

I think as a leader letting your people know that you should get treated the way you want and go through this experience the way you want is very individual. I was lucky. I would... when I went through chemo it wasn’t that debilitating, and so I could make that choice and it was great. I was running. I was working. That worked for me. For others, it doesn’t. Be true to yourself. There is no one right answer. And those are probably the main things. I think the last point is for those who know people who have cancer you don’t quite know what to say: Anything positive that says you’re there is fantastic.

Recorded November 12, 2010
Interviewed by Victoria Brown

12/24/2010

STAKES AND FAITH IN GLOBALIZATION: TONY BLAIR

International Migration, Is important Religion to your life?, Religious Conflicts, Do we need to understand religion to understand the world?
The impact of religious faith is profound in a world where political, economic, and social spheres are increasingly interconnected. Intentional and sustained reflection on the crucial issues of faith and globalization can lead to the kind of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence that life in the 21st century demands.

Yale, in collaboration with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, launched the Faith and Globalization Initiative in the Fall of 2008 as a three-year effort to conduct dialogue as a way of considering these essential issues. The website will explore a variety of topics and issues -in the classroom, in formal lectures and informal conversation, and through research, speeches, conferences, and the Internet.




Watch it on Academic Earth

12/22/2010

Happier and Healthier Employees Are More Productive And Loyal

Whenever "International Potluck Day" comes to Torrance, CA, the crowds at Phenomenex gather to dine and laugh. The delicious and exotic homemade dishes are a draw, but ultimately their associates go to celebrate what makes the company such a phenomenal workplace.

Representing almost 50 nationalities, the 477 employees of Phenomenex, named a Top Small Workplace in 2008, find a collective home in this supportive, driven and diverse organization. Founded in 1982, the company has seen great success in focusing on the fundamental components of globally adopted lab procedures, providing purification and analytical chemistry solutions for the life sciences and related industries.

When President and CEO Fasha Mahjoor first jumped into the chromatography business, he dove straight into distribution and marketing, citing superb service as his modus operandi. Beginning with one phone and a two-man operation, his approach was quite unusual for the industry, where more often an individual develops a new technology and considers marketing years later.

"A lot of my competitors at the time started seeing this company very quickly taking a lot of market share," Mahjoor recalls. "Hence, they started to think this company was somewhat aggressive. I take it as a compliment."

Fasha set out to create something unique, using his education in architecture and design to shape Phenomenex's character from the beginning. His vision was something "vastly different from your typical scientific community," he says. Consistently surprised at the "dark and tiring spaces" his team encountered at other organizations, Mahjoor insisted that Phenomenex develop an ambiance more friendly and conducive to the work process.

The chemical separation sciences represent a very competitive industry, and although Phenomenex has always focused on cutting-edge products, Mahjoor argues that their ability to attract, retain and develop talent stems not from a hip product line, but a distinctive culture. And it's not just scientists, but associates in packaging, marketing, management and operations that stay for years.

"That is what is keeping our people here and, I think, working twice as hard as employees working for our competition," he says.

Much of this is tied to a theme of self-actualization throughout Phenomenex. As highlighted by Corinna Jones, Marketing Manager, the company's corporate materials speak of the growth, prosperity and well-being of customers, employees and community as their foremost responsibility. But, she adds, "After nine years, I'm proud to work for Phenomenex because it is not only a mission statement; it is actually part of the company culture."

Jones is one of the many associates taking advantage of Phenomenex's varied programs for personal development and wellness. In addition to marathons for charity and all-company sporting events, access to the company gym and showers during lunch is a big plus for her.

"As a working mother, this is one of the few opportunities I have to take care of myself," she says. "In a considerable way, Phenomenex is responsible for my good health."

Winning Workplaces finds that among our Top Small Workplaces and in leading workplace research alike, happier and healthier employees are more productive and loyal. Ismail Rustamov, in the firm's Media and Technology Development area, says the company’s program even includes beach volleyball and chess. In his 15 years with Phenomenex, Rustamov admits he has not seen another company with such an extensive wellness program, and stresses that such an approach is great for both employee and organization.

"All these make Phenomenex a better place to work for by adding intangible benefits to all employees," he says.

The company's focus on personal actualization also extends into education, with "MyDevelopment" classes focused on areas like communication skills, time management, and decision making. And far from being aimed at simply creating better employees, they include more holistic issues such as personal finance. "Within the last two years I went through at least 14 classes," Rustamov says.

Mahjoor explains that the goal behind these programs is really to enrich each individual and strengthen their unique abilities, regardless of the department in which they serve. This even manifests itself in bold career moves such as Jones' switch from strict biochemistry to marketing.

Can these programs be replicated in other organizations? Mahjoor says yes, but the glue needed to make them work is a strong cultural identity, and that's something he sees far fewer firms getting right and using to their advantage.

"What most companies may have missed is not just providing the education, but providing a culture that literally invites this sort of behavior from employees," he says. "By design or accident, we have created a culture where most everyone is appreciative and wants to learn whatever they can, while at the same time having a lot of fun."

Whether it's public speaking workshops, triathlons, or pick-up games of cricket, Rustamov commends these programs for their capacity to inspire and boost camaraderie.

"During events like these, employees from different departments get to know each other better, and that in turn forges and strengthens horizontal interactions at work, making the company much stronger."

And when it comes time for the International Potluck again, you can bet he'll arrive with one of his favorite Azerbaijani dishes in hand. The grape-leaf dolma might be placed next to the Swedish pancakes Jones brings, and the crew will once again share new and old stories with associates entering their first season, or friends they've worked with for a decade or longer.







Company: Phenomenex
Web site: www.phenomenex.com
Industry: Technology
Location: Torrance, CA
Number of Employees: 477
Sales: $107 million

12/17/2010

RESPECT FOR PEOPLE

Timothy Schultz, VP of Administration of California-based organic rice farming operation Lundberg Family Farms, talks about how this third-generation family-owned business stays true to its founding value of respect for people, as well as the land.
www.lundberg.com


12/16/2010

FIT BUSINESS PROGRAM

Employee Wellness Magazine interviews Alan Walters, HR Director at Unilever UK & Ireland. To find out what the secrets are behind the success of their highly commended workplace health and wellbeing programme "Fit Business", which is currently being rolled across all 17 of their sites nationwide.

12/15/2010

SIMPLICITY OFTEN LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF COMPLEXITY

The pathway to a simple and effective solution may take some difficulties:::: what do you think?



Eric Berlow is an ecologist and network scientist who specializes in not specializing. He helped found, and directs, the University of California’s first environmental research center in Yosemite National Park. After radio-collaring wolves in Alaska and tending bar in Paris, he got his Ph.D. in marine ecology studying the interconnectedness of species in nature. As a research scientist with the USGS he focuses on building better links between science and management of protected mountain ecosystems.

Eric is helping apply network approaches to sustainable ecotourism development in the Arctic, and is co-owner of a green café in Oakland, California. He is currently spearheading ‘ecomimetic’ approaches to corporate sustainability by visualizing and modeling energy consumption through complex, interconnected supply chains.

12/14/2010

FUNDING FOR ARTS AND SPORTS

Kim Smith
Co-Founder and CEO
New Schools Venture Fund
http://www.newschools.org/

Kim Smith believes that extracurricular activities are essential. Funds are being cut currently because, in trying to achieve funding equity, everyone's funding was reduced instead of simply increasing funding to those who needed it. Fixing this is a matter of political will, she adds.


Watch it on Academic Earth

12/09/2010

THE WORLD IS A MAP OF CONNECTIVITY

STEWART BRAND ON SQUATTER CITIES



STEWART BRAND

Founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, cofounder of the Well and the Long Now Foundation, writer, editor and game designer, Stewart Brand has helped to define the collaborative, data-sharing, forward-thinking world we live in now.

Since the 1960s, he has maintained that -- given access to the information we need -- humanity can make the world a better place. One of his early accomplishments: helping to persuade NASA to release the first photo of the Earth from space. The iconic Big Blue Marble became the cover for his Whole Earth Catalog, a massive compendium of resources and facts he thought people might like to know. And we did: the 1972 edition sold 1.5 million copies. In 1987, he wrote The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT; in 1994, How Buildings Learn.

Currently Brand is working with computer scientist Danny Hillis to build the Clock of the Long Now, a 10,000-year timepiece; his Long Now Foundation also runs a number of spinoff projects, including the Rosetta Project, cataloguing the world's languages, and the Long Bets website. He's also busy with the Global Business Network (part of the Monitor Group), helping businesses plan for the near and way-far future.

12/02/2010

THE PERSONAL SIDE OF MANAGEMENT

Bartz believes you will spend more time at work than in personal activities. If you are in management, one of your responsibilities is to make sure you care for your employees with compassion and interest in their lives.

Watch it on Academic Earth

11/27/2010

KEEP YOUR GOALS TO YOURSELF

What do we do in our working or family environment? What do you think?



Derek Sivers is best known as the founder of CD Baby. A professional musician since 1987, he started CD Baby by accident in 1998 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby was the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

In 2008, Sivers sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians, including his new company, MuckWork, where teams of efficient assistants help musicians do their "uncreative dirty work."
"Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold. A musicians' savior. One of the last music-business folk heroes."
Esquire

11/25/2010

THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENTREPRENEURS

Author Woody Tasch believes that there is a dramatic need to focus time, energy, and capital on the next generation of small business entrepreneurs because they represent diversity.





Woody Tasch
Woody Tasch is chairman and president of Slow Money, a 501c3 formed in 2008 to catalyze the flow of investment capital to small food enterprises and to promote new principles of fiduciary responsibility to support sustainable agriculture and the emergence of a restorative economy.

Woody pioneered the integration of asset management and philanthropic purpose in the 1990s as treasurer of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and was founding chairman of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance. For ten years, through 2008, he was chairman of Investors' Circle, a network of angel investors, funds, and foundations that has invested $133 million in 200 sustainability-promoting ventures and venture funds. Woody is the author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green Publishing Company).

11/24/2010

MY GREEN SCHOOL DREAM, A GREEN DREAM FROM A GREEN MIND

A beautiful project
Nice Lesson from a person who decided to change his world.

A Green Dream from a Green mind




JOHN HARDY
After selling his jewelry company in 2007, John Hardy and his wife, Cynthia, endowed a thrilling new project: the Green School in Bali. At the Green School, kids learn in open-air classrooms surrounded by acres of gardens that they tend; they learn to build with bamboo; and meanwhile they're being prepared for traditional British school exams. The school is international -- 20 percent of students are Bali locals, some on scholarship. The centerpiece of the campus is the spiraling Heart of School, which may be called Asia's largest bamboo building.
Hardy has long been an advocate of the use of bamboo as an alternative to timber for building and reforestation. When running his company, Hardy pioneered a program of sustainable advertising that offset the carbon emissions associated with the yearly corporate print advertising by planting bamboo on the island of Nusa Penida in a cooperative plantation.
"Green School Bali [is] one of the most amazing schools on earth."
Stefan Sagmeister
http://www.greenschool.org/gallery/

11/23/2010

TOP 10 THINGS YOU MUST HAVE TO START A BUSINESS

Watch it on Academic Earth



1) Spending everything on a good team and equipment
2) Letting people know the company is in business
3) Raising limited capital
4) Taking stock of a company and determining its needs
5) Being open to opportunities
6) Having a supportive family
7) Targeting mass markets, not just niche markets
8) Having confidence in new ideas
9) Acquiring and selling to real customers
10) Choosing a great partner

11/19/2010

THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY IS SOFTNESS

Simplicity
Travel to China to meet Calligraphy and Buddhist Master Fa Qing, who explains the importance of simplicity to the Buddhist approach.


11/17/2010

HOW DO YOU MAKE STUDENTS AND PEOPLE THINK?

Do you want within your org. followers or pioneers? What do you think?
I do involve people in general as the thinking phase starts in University.



Steve Joordens from the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto Scarborough presents his competition lecture entitled You Can Lead Students to Knowledge, But How Do You Make Them Think?

11/16/2010

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE

People think they will look the best by bringing weakness around them.
What do you think?

Watch it on Academic Earth



Carol Ann Bartz (born August 29, 1948) is the President and CEO of Yahoo!. It is the Internet services company which operates the third most visited Website in the world. She was previously Chairman, President, and CEO at Autodesk, the world's largest producer of design software for use in architecture, engineering and building construction.

11/15/2010

DO WHAT YOU LOVE, THE GAME IS CHANGING

Bestselling author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk began his career in his family's business, Shopper’s Discount Liquors. He soon rebranded the store as Wine Library, launching a retail website and boosting its revenue from $4 million to $60 million.

In 2006 Vaynerchuk launched Wine Library TV (http://tv.winelibrary.com/) , a daily video blog about wine. With the tagline "changing the wine world," the show offers an unpretentious approach to a historically stuffy subject. As the audience grew and word spread of his informal and unorthodox approach to wine, Gary made numerous national television appearances and landed a book deal.

He's recently launched a new consulting venture, VaynerMedia, which works with personal brands, consumer brands, and startups.
"[Vaynerchuk] ... brings a hyperkinetic style to the normally dry business of judging syrahs and merlots. "
Slate


11/13/2010

REMEMBER ME, THE FILM

Business and Family care, are they both compatible? Should we say no when things are becoming too risky on the personal side?

11/12/2010

THE COUGAR, THE BABY BEAR AND THE PROTECTIVE OLD BEAR, DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR WITHIN YOUR COMPANY?

Should we maintain or expell The Cougar from our org? Are Baby Bears the future leaders, are they usually alone? Do we need a Protective Old Bear to balance internal tensions?
Criteria 1. Let the baby bears alone so they become stronger by fending for themselves
Criteria 2. Protect the baby bears so they are not harmed and can safely reach to their next stage


11/11/2010

STRUCTURE OF TRUST THROUGHOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION

Paul R. Lawrence is a Professor Emeritus of Harvard Business School, where he served nine years as chairman of the Organizational Behavior area and also as chairman of both the MBA and AMP programs. His research, published in 25 books and numerous articles, has dealt with the human aspects of management, organizational change, organization design, human nature, and leadership. His 1967 book, Organization and Environment (written with Professor Jay Lorsch), added "contingency theory" to the vocabulary of students of organizational behavior. Recently he has, with others, made a comparative study of Soviet management practices that was published in 1990 as Behind the Factory Walls: Decision Making in Soviet and U.S. Enterprises.






Question: What can Renewed Darwinian Theory teach business leaders?

Paul Lawrence: Well what they can learn is that we can be much more specific than we have in the past about telling them what we mean by a leadership brain. They can learn how their own brain is actually constructed to help them be good leaders. We evolved to have such a brain, we have evolved to observe the world around us in terms of whether it is a help or a hindrance to our need for these four drives. And we can sense those things in ourselves and we can say, by practicing the skills of thinking of such complex situations of that kind, we can improve our own leadership capacity.

Let me give you one kind of an example. One thing that the world faces these days is a lot of organizations that are loaded with distrust. Distrust is a very costly characteristic to have in organizations and business leaders and managers are often confused that they have unfortunately a lot more distrust in their organization than they wish they had. People do not trust enough in each other to engage in some kind of deal or transaction. They think they are going to be undercut some way. And this is very expensive if you’ve got to have six lawyers to make an everyday agreement between two people in how they are going to work with each other, you’re going to pay an awful lot of lawyer’s bills.

Well, this certainly can help you build a structure of trust throughout your organization which will enable people to cooperate much more readily with each other without having to build up defensive systems just in case the other guy double-crosses them, which is in the back of minds when they have distrust. And it teaches us... can teach us how on a step-by-step basis, just in everyday conversations, we can notice when we or the other person does a below-the-belt comment. You know, sort of throws out a half-truth or throws out a put down or a way of diminishing the other that the other feels they’ve got to get back at them and begin a game of tit-for-tat and see who can kind of undermine the other’s position. And stop such conversations; call them out for what they are. These are busting trust is what they are, they’re trust busters, and engage in the kind of dialogue that builds trust, where we listen carefully to other’s ideas and give due credit to it and tell each other truths instead of falsehoods. And see how we can build a larger accomplishment by that quality of cooperation based on trust and build up the habits of trusting each other so it means you can take it for granted that you can have... you’re working in an organization that it has a structure of trust. That’s a very specific skill that we can help people acquire really by engaging in the kind of moral rules that fall out of examining what’s behind the four drives and the leadership behavior involved.

Recorded on July 28, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller

11/10/2010

BEING WHAT WE WANT TO BE, COCKROACHES OR EAGLES?

Ingrid Betancourt Pulecio is a French-Colombian politician and anti-corruption activist. In February 2002 Betancourt was kidnapped by the leftist guerrilla organization Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) while she was campaigning for the presidential elections. She was finally rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later, in an operation dubbed Operation Jaque, which also rescued 14 other hostages. Her kidnapping received worldwide coverage, particularly in France, because of her dual French citizenship. In 2010 she wrote a memoir about her time in captivity called "Even Silence Has an End."




Question: What idea has most changed your life?

Ingrid Betancourt: Well I think that one of the things that helped me the most in this new life of freedom is the consciousness that there is a freedom that nobody can take away from you, which is to decide what kind of person you want to be. And of course in the jungle chained and subjected to many things that was obvious, but here I find that many times we have so many reasons to just accept the least of ourselves that we can be... there are two like poles in a human being; one who wants to be a cockroach and wants to just you know get it easy and go and feed with rubbish and one that wants to be like an eagle and have perspective and things and fly away very high. And we have to decide which one we want to prefer in our lives. And I think that this society we’re in allows us too much to be like cockroach. We’re too passive. We’re feeding on too much rubbish and I think we should strive to just shrug away that comfort zone and be able to get the most of each one of us, which means restructuring the way we deal with time and the priorities we have in life, so being what we want to be I think should be something that we should keep in mind.

Recorded on October 19, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller

11/09/2010

11/08/2010

FRUGAL INNOVATION - REVERSE INNOVATION

Vijay Govindarajan on innovation
India's secret weapon
A business professor on frugal innovation, what the rich world can learn from the poor and why it's so hard to put ideas into practice.

"INNOVATION IS 1% INSPIRATION AND 99% PERSPIRATION" - THOMAS EDISSON-

11/06/2010

CARLOS BARRABES - YOUNG GLOBAL LEADER

Carlos Barrabés ha sido elegido como YOUNG GLOBAL LEADER por el WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM. Su empresa www.barrabes.biz



DANCE4LIFE ....FROM A YOUNG GLOBAL LEADER

DENIS KARPES
FOUNDER,DANCE4LIFE
YOUNG GLOBAL LEADER



TELL ME AND I WILL FORGET
SHOW ME AND I MAY REMEMBER
INVOLVE ME AND I WILL UNDERSTAND
"CONFUCIUS"

11/04/2010

THE POWER OF COLLABORATION

As teenagers, Dell Inc. founder and CEO Michael Dell and his computer-minded friends spent all their time on an electronic bulletin board - sharing information, collaborating and exchanging ideas. Since then, their ideals has been adopted by a whole generation. And when you collaborate, anything is possible.

10/29/2010

WHAT DOES CHESS DO FOR YOUR MIND?

BY MAURICE ASHLEY, CHESS GRANDMASTER




Question: What does chess do for your mind?

Maurice Ashley: Chess is intellectual karate. It’s a discipline that you practice and you can’t help but develop your mental powers. If you’re practicing martial arts or basketball or soccer your body is going to develop. Chess is the same way. You’re mind…but in having your mind develop that way, so the focus, the concentration, problem solving, goal setting, all these things are things you have to do at the chess board. You have to practice and it just hones those qualities. Also there is that self esteem. There is nothing like saying checkmate. I mean that is a magical sound wherever you are. Boom, mate fool, you know that is just a good feeling and when kids do that they feel empowered. It’s like let’s play again. I love that. I want to do that again and once you get hooked and you start to see yourself getting better. I remember coaching kids and a kid would take a checkmate that I showed him or a tactical idea, a double attack, especially those because it’s so frequent where you attack two pieces at the same time and you go and you play a game and suddenly you do it and bam, you’re hitting two pieces and only one can move and so you’re going to get the other one and they come back and their eyes are lit up, like wow, I just used what you showed me and won the game, show me something else and that is irreplaceable. I mean that is what you want for kids for them to be excited about learning and chess does that constantly. It’s I love the main point of chess that it’s applied knowledge. It’s not just you’re learning something and maybe sometime 10 years from now it’s going to be good for your character and you better learn these declensions in Latin. You know it’s chess. It’s like I get it and then I use it and that is very powerful about the game.

Question: How do you keep your cool at the chessboard when you’ve blundered away an advantage?

Maurice Ashley: I don’t know. No, I’m kidding. Yeah, you do beat yourself up pretty bad. There are a lot of mood swings in chess. It’s very difficult. It’s that anguish. You’ve as you said massaged. You’ve probed. You’ve calculated. You’ve sweated all this time trying to figure out what to do to beat this guy and then boom, one move you blow it and now you’re realizing that you are no longer hunting, but you are the hunted. That is a strange place for a chess player, but thankfully it happens so often. It happens often enough in a game that you learn how to deal with it. You realize it’s part of the game. It’s just momentum swings happen. It’s not science. It’s two human sitting across in battle and whenever you have that you’re going to have imperfection, so there is a lot post game analysis in chess. One of the great things about chess is you can look at your game afterward, but you can also look at yourself afterward and you can say, “Well how did I react?” “What did I do?” “How do I do it different next time?” It’s not about playing perfect moves because it’s never going to happen. It’s about training yourself and that is part of the discipline that I talked about with chess. You get that. You just get that discipline. You just learn that from experience, the school of hard knocks. There is no other way. It’s just you do it. You fail. Get up. Do it again, but make sure you learn from that failure so that you can be ready the next time.

Question: How have computers changed the way top chess players prepare for tournaments?

Maurice Ashley: Well when I was growing up you wanted to get… and you wanted to get the latest games you had to wait three months for a magazine, Chess Life Magazine or any. If you could somehow smuggle Shakhmatny Bulletin out of Russia or something you had to wait to see the great games getting played and that is important because it’s knowledge. It’s ideas you can use, so that is something that you just had… there was no choice. Now if one of the top players, if it’s Anand, if it’s Magnus Carlson plays a great game I’ll know in five minutes. I mean I come home. I just download it. Bam, there is the game. I can look at it, so the proliferation of knowledge based on the internet probably even more important than computers themselves. I mean computers, but the ability to go and get those games, get that knowledge, feed your mind that has transformed the sport of chess dramatically and on top of that the databases that you can study where all these games are collected, put in one database and you can sort and search based on opening lines, based on piece configuration. You can do any… with a player you’re playing against, what they like to do with black, what they like to do with white. You know you get an immediate psychological profile of some of the best players in the world just at a click of a mouse, so computers have dramatically transformed the landscape. Just that… You can see it in kids now becoming grandmasters at 12 and 13. Kids just sit home and they just push buttons, feed me, feed me and the knowledge just goes right in. Well we had to read books and do that slow turning on the pages and painfully digest the knowledge. They just get it in streaming color right into their eyeballs at a computer screen and that has totally changed the sport and if you don’t study using a computer you might as well be a dinosaur.

10/12/2010

LEARNING FROM FAILURE - WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM A BAD BOSS

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where he specializes in organizational behavior. His research includes the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, organizational creativity and innovation, organizational performance, and evidence-based management. Sutton has written five books including New York Times bestseller "The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't," which won the Quill Award for the best business book of 2007. His most recent book is "Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst."





Robert Sutton: It’s been astounding, especially my last book before "Good Boss, Bad Boss" was "The 'No Asshole' Rule," so I have received literally thousands of asshole stories. And there is a certain genre, which I just love, which is that "I learned from my boss how not to act the rest of my life." And I’m telling stories about medicine, but my favorite one, one of my favorite ones I got and this is in actually the new paperback edition is a surgeon wrote me—now he is an attending, so he is a senior... he is like the boss of the surgeon basically for his area, practice area—and he wrote me how when he was in medical school every Friday afternoon him and the other surgical residents they would get together and they had this book which apparently had gone back for many generations, which was the asshole of the week, the biggest asshole attending of the week and they would keep track of it. And apparently at least according to the email I got from this guy this book still exists and the doctors in this hospital, the residents are still doing this, but the key part about learning from a bad boss in this case is they all have vowed not to treat the people who work for them, the residents like dirt and they keep sort of track and monitor each other to make sure it didn’t happen, so I like that case because it appears to be a case of people who sort of learn how not to do stuff and I think that there is other cases of famous bosses who will sort of describe that they’ve sort of patterned their management style after how not to do things.

Recorded September 13, 2010

Interviewed by John Cookson

10/11/2010

Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

In 1987, at the age of 26 and seeking a little "joy of life," Chip Conley founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality by transforming a small motel in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin district into the now-legendary Phoenix. Today, Joie de Vivre operates nearly 40 unique hotels across California, each built on an innovative design formula that inspires guests to experience an "identity refreshment" during their visits.
During the dotcom bust in 2001, Conley found himself in the self-help section of the bookstore, where he became reacquainted with one of the most famous theories of human behavior -- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which separates human desires into five ascending levels, from base needs such as eating to the highest goal of self-actualization, characterized by the full realization and achievement of one’s potential. Influenced by Maslow's pyramid, Conley revamped his business model to focus on the intangible, higher needs of his company's three main constituencies -- employees, customers and investors. He credits this shift for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008.
Conley has written three books, including his most recent, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, and is at work on two new ones, Emotional Equations and PEAK Leadership. He consults widely on transformative enterprises, corporate social responsibility and creative business development. He traveled to Bhutan last year to study its Gross National Happiness index, the country's unique method of measuring success and its citizens' quality of life.

http://www.chipconley.com/#




10/10/2010

Charlie Simpson: Fundraising All-star

Charlie Simpson, a schoolboy from London, England, isn’t one to sit idly by. He’s changing the world, at the tender age of seven.

Charlie was understandably upset by the TV images of children being rescued from the rubble in Haiti. His mother, Leonora Simpson, said her son “burst into tears. Then we had a chat about the things he could do, and how he could go about it.”

What did Charlie do about it? He raised over £136,000 (about $233,650 Canadian) for UNICEF UK and the amount is still climbing. He did it by riding his bicycle five miles (8 km) around his local park. Charlie set out to raise £500, but thanks to the Internet, public generosity and his kind heart; he raised £50,000 in a single day and the money hasn’t stopped coming.

His mother can’t get over the response.

“We put it on the Web and that was it, it suddenly took off and we can’t believe it.”

Charlie’s efforts have attracted the attention of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Wyclef Jean and the world.

“Children in Haiti are by far the most vulnerable in a situation like this,” said Haiti Appeal director, Michael Newsome. He has been moved by Charlie’s efforts too, “It’s always heart-warming when any child starts to respond, and there’s something quite special about a child in the UK reaching out to the children of Haiti.”





His web site is: http://www.justgiving.com/CharlieSimpson-HAITI

10/09/2010

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

A voracious reader from age three, Adora Svitak's first serious foray into writing -- at age five -- was limited only by her handwriting and spelling. (Her astonishing verbal abilities already matched that of young adults over twice her age.) As her official bio says, her breakthrough would soon come "in the form of a used Dell laptop her mother bought her." At age seven, she typed out over 250,000 words -- poetry, short stories, observations about the world -- in a single year.
Svitak has since fashioned her beyond-her-years wordsmithing into an inspiring campaign for literacy -- speaking across the country to both adults and kids. She is author of Flying Fingers, a book on learning.



10/08/2010

AFGHAN ENERGY

Without a national power grid, some isolated communities in Afghanistan rely on wind and solar systems to generate affordable energy. (3:50)
Courtesy of: Assignment Earth

10/07/2010

SUN TZU

SUN TZU es el autor de El arte de la guerra, un influyente libro chino sobre estrategia y táctica militar. También suele ser considerado uno de los primeros realistas en ciencias políticas.




Se deduce que Sun Tzu nació hacia el 544 a.C. en el estado de Qi, uno de los Reinos Combatientes de la historiografía tradicional china. El relato dice que llevaba el nombre de Sun Wu y que su familia pertenecía a la clase de los shi, aristócratas que habían perdido sus tierras durante las luchas del Primaveras y Otoños. En esta época era común que muchos shi viajasen como estudiosos en los diferentes reinos de China, pero Sun Tzu prefirió desempeñarse como mercenario. Después de haber combatido en diversas regiones, el gobernante del estado de Wu; el rey Helu solicitó sus servicios como general en el año 512 a. C. Como resultado de su experiencia militar al servicio del monarca, Sun Tzu redactó "El arte de la Guerra"

10/01/2010

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING - JONAH LOMU

Visa World Cup´s Most Impactful Player

Visa Rugby Legends choose Jonah Lomu as the player who had the greatest impact on the Rugby World Cup in its twenty year history.

video



www.jonahlomu.com


9/29/2010

TONY HSIEH ON DELIVERING HAPPINESS

Tony Hsieh is the CEO at www.zappos.com and the author of Delivering Happiness




TONY HSIEH - THE ASIA SOCIETY

9/28/2010

NOBEL PRICE IN ECONOMICS PAUL KRUGMAN ABOUT GLOBAL ECONOMY

Princeton economist Paul Krugman, acclaimed in his field for insights into international trade patterns that overturned longheld theories about the global economy before he rose to popular distinction as a media columnist and commentator, has been awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics.




PAUL KRUGMAN ON STIMULUS PROGRAMS



PAUL KRUGMAN- How did a few failed banks add up to a financial meltdown?

9/21/2010

LEARNING BY DOING, NOT BY LISTENING

JP RANGASWAMI

JP Rangaswami is chairman of the social enterprise School of Everything. In 2020 - Shaping Ideas he talks about how the educational institutions of the past have overlooked our human urge to feel free and to participate. In social networks and the open source movement he sees the potential for a whole new approach to learning.

9/20/2010

JEFFREY SACHS - 2020 - SHAPING IDEAS

Proffesor Jeffrey Sachs, explains how mobile phones are decreasing economic isolation in Africa, and why we could be halfway to achieving an important goal in 2020: the end of extreme poverty.

9/14/2010

TENER AMIGOS ES BUENO PARA LA SALUD

Tener amigos es bueno para la salud

Autor: Eduard Punset 29 Agosto 2010

“La magnitud del impacto sobre la salud de una buena red de apoyos familiares y de amigos es similar a la que se obtiene dejando de fumar”, comentan los científicos que han investigado sobre este tema en las universidades de Utah y Carolina del Norte, EE.UU. La gente empieza a impresionarse por las pruebas repetidas de que la soledad es fuente de todas las angustias y desvaríos, mientras que la relación de un cerebro con otro resulta esencial para sobrevivir.

En lenguaje llano, lo que están sugiriendo ése y otros estudios similares, iniciados hace 20 años, es la importancia de lo que los científicos Salovey y John Mayer llamaron “inteligencia emocional”. Veinte años después, descubrimos que las personas con relaciones sociales prolijas –un estado inaccesible sin un cierto grado de inteligencia emocional– tienen un 50 por ciento más de posibilidades de sobrevivir que los ajenos al torbellino social.


Dejar de fumar, el cuidado de la dieta y hacer ejercicio son tan importantes para tener buena salud como cultivar las relaciones sociales.


“Los médicos, profesionales sanitarios y educadores tienen en cuenta factores de riesgo como el tabaquismo, la dieta o el ejercicio. Los datos que presentamos aportan razones de peso para añadir las relaciones sociales a esa lista”, anotan los científicos citados. Caminamos hacia una situación en la que la rutina de las revisiones médicas sanitarias comportará también medir el grado de bienestar social. ¿Y eso cómo se come? –se preguntarán mis lectores– ¿Cómo lo podemos medir con la misma facilidad que el tabaquismo, la buena dieta o el ejercicio físico o cognitivo?

Con un pequeño esfuerzo colectivo. Las relaciones sociales se modulan con multitud de prácticas, unas conocidas, como las de vecindad o laborales, pero totalmente ignoradas las otras; es aquí donde entran en juego las emociones básicas y universales fruto de nuestra biología y psicología. Ya sabemos que, siendo importante el conocimiento de la “inteligencia emocional” de cada individuo, lo es sobremanera la “inteligencia social”: es decir, los comportamientos surgidos a raíz de la comunicación recíproca entre distintos cerebros.

Gracias a las investigaciones de los autores citados, además de la implementación de proyectos específicos de gestión emocional y social como el de la Universidad Camilo José Cela de Madrid, o los de Rafael Bisquerra, de la Universidad de Barcelona, o Richard Davidson, de la de Wisconsin, EE.UU., contamos hoy con el modelo –constructo lo llaman los académicos empedernidos– susceptible de explicar nuestro comportamiento social y emocional. Estamos hablando ni más ni menos que de la mayoría de nuestras decisiones diarias. Por favor, que alguien me explique por qué en el pasado sólo nos hemos concentrado en una minoría de los temas que nos pasaban por la cabeza.

Contamos hoy con una idea más que perfilada de las habilidades que componen estas competencias emocionales y que deberemos aprender a transmitir a las nuevas generaciones por el tamiz de la enseñanza infantil, primaria, secundaria, corporativa y de la tercera edad. Para que no les sirva de excusa a los rectores sociales, se las voy a enumerar, dejando para los próximos 20 años el detalle de sus contenidos: aprender a focalizar la atención en las emociones propias; apreciar la interacción entre emoción, comportamiento y procesos cognitivos; infundir autoestima, resiliencia y curiosidad; trabajar en equipo de modo cooperativo y no competitivo, lo que supone aprender a escuchar y comunicar y saber solucionar conflictos ejerciendo un liderazgo emocional.

El aprendizaje de estas nuevas competencias es la clave para que los jóvenes encuentren trabajo en lugar de sumirse en el paro. ¿Por qué no intentamos recoger dos millones de firmas entre todos para impulsar el proyecto?

9/10/2010

WEB 3.0 - CRM - ERP...- ¡USE THE TECHNOLOY!

Companies should use updated and latest technology tools so to communicate world-wide their products and services.

WEB 3.0


CRM


CRM ESPAÑOL


ERP

8/18/2010

WHY YOU CAN´T WORK AT WORK

Jason Fried
Co-founder, 37signals
With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this.
Source: www.bigthink.com





Question: What is your take on the typical workplace?

Jason Fried: Yeah, my feeling is that the modern workplace is structured completely wrong. It’s really optimized for interruptions. And interruptions are the enemy of work. They are the enemy of productivity, they are the enemy of creativity, they are the enemy of everything. But that’s what the modern workplace is all about, it’s interruptions. Everyone’s calling meetings all the time, everyone’s screaming people’s names across the thing, there’s phones ringing all the time. People are walking around. It’s all about interruptions. And people go to work today, and then they end up doing most of their real work after work, or on the weekends. So, people are working longer hours, people are tired – I’m working 50-60 hours this week. It’s not that there’s 50 or 60 hours worth of work to do, it’s because you don’t work at work anymore. You go to work to get interrupted.

What happens is, is that you show up at work and you sit down and you don’t just immediately begin working, like you have to roll into work. You have to sort of get into a zone, just like you don’t just go to sleep, like you lay down and you go to sleep. You go to work too. But then you know, 45 minutes in, there’s a meeting. And so, now you don’t have a work day anymore, you have like this work moment that was only 45 minutes. And it’s not really 45 minutes, it’s more like 20 minutes, because it takes some time to get into it and then you’ve got to get out of it and you’ve got to go to a meeting.

Then when the meeting’s over, you’re probably pissed off anyway because it was a waste of time and then the meeting’s over and you don’t just go right back to work again, you got to kind of slowly get back into work. And then there’s a conference call, and then someone calls your name, “Hey, come a check this out. Come over here.” And like before you know it, it’s 4:00 and you’ve got nothing done today. And this is what’s happening all over corporate America right now. Everybody I know, I don’t care what business they’re in. Like when I talk to them about this, it’s like “Yeah, that’s my life.” Like, that is my life, and it’s wrong.

And so I think that has to change. If people want to get things done, they’ve got to get rid of interruptions. And so I think that’s something we’re focused on, is trying to remove every possible interruption from people’s day. So they have longer and longer periods of uninterrupted time to actually get work done. And so, our whole workplace, whatever the word you want to use, the office, workplace, although we’re kind of virtual anyways; it’s structured around removing interruptions. And one of the best ways you can do this is to shift your collaboration between people to more passive things. Using our products or someone else’s products. Things that you can put aside when I’m busy. So, if I’m busy, I don’t have to look at Base Camp, I don’t have to check email, I don’t have to check IM. I can put those things aside and do my work. And then when I’m done with my work and I need a break, I can go check these things out.

But if someone’s calling my name, or tapping on my shoulder, or knocking on my door, I can’t ignore those things. I can quit a program, but I can’t quit someone knocking on my door. I can’t quit someone calling my name, or someone ringing me on the phone. So, we try and, even though we might be sitting right across from each other, we don’t talk to each other, hardly at all during the day. Even though we’re right there, we’ll use instant messaging, or email, and if someone doesn’t respond, it means they’re busy. And they probably put that window away. Instead of calling, “Hey Jason, Jason, Jason” until they respond, that’s interrupting somebody; that doesn’t work and that’s how most workplaces are.

And managers are the biggest problem because their whole world is built around interruption. That’s what they do. Management means interrupting. Hey, what’s going on? How’s this going? Let me call a meeting because that’s what I do all day, I call meetings. And so, managers are the real problems here and that’s got to change too. So, as managers of our company, we don’t really manage people, but we prefer people to be managers of one. Let them just figure things out on their own, and if they need our help, they can ask us for it instead of us always constantly asking them if they need help and getting in their way. So, we’re all about getting rid of interruptions. And I think that if companies were more focused on getting rid of interruptions, they would get a whole lot more work done.

Question: How does your company avoid these distractions?

Jason Fried: So, this isn’t really a plug, but we use our product called Campfire, which is a real time chat tool. That is our office. Campfire is our office, and that’s a web based chat tool where there’s a persistent chat room open all the time. Anyone who has a question for anyone else in the company posts it there and in real time, everyone else can see it if they’re looking at it. But if they’re busy, they just don’t pay attention. And then if non one responds, then that means someone is busy. Not like, I’m going to keep calling their name until they turn around. That’s what it’s like in most offices. Or you ring someone and they’re not there and so you call their name, and they’re not there, so you go to their office and you bang on their door. If someone doesn’t respond in Campfire, it means they’re busy. And unless it’s a true emergency, where you really need an answer right now, then you just let them be and they’ll get back to you in three hours. And the truth of the matter is, there are almost no true emergencies in business. Everything can wait a few hours. Everything can wait a day. It’s not a big deal if you get back to me later in the day for me to know right now.

And the other thing about interruptions and calling people’s names, and ringing them on the phone and stuff, it’s actually really an arrogant sort of move because you’re saying that whatever I have to ask you is more important than what you’re doing. Because I’m going to stop you from doing what you are doing for me to ask you this questions that probably doesn’t matter anyway. So, we’re very cognizant of this, and we make sure that we only ping people, that’s what we call it, digitally and in ways that will not really get in their way if they’re really busy.

And that’s not always the case, but that’s really what we try to do. And use Campfire and use Base Camp and use High Rise and all our products. Other people’s products this well as well, but we just use our own because we built them for ourselves and we use them and they’re free for us.

Question: Does your office have a hierarchy?

Jason Fried: Yeah. So, we don’t really have hierarchy, technically. I mean, ultimately the buck stops with me, but like it doesn’t get to that. We really let people make their own decisions and we give them feedback on those decisions and help them learn and make better decisions. And we have some small teams. People work in teams of three, but there are really no true leader in those teams necessarily. It’s like, the leader is the product. Like the product is what leads you. It’s got to be good. Quality is the leader and everyone has to understand that that’s what this is all about. We’re making good products here. We’re not making your idea, or my idea, we’re making a product that useful for our customers. So, that’s kind of what guides everything. And it’s surprisingly works pretty well.

We have like, big visions for things, and we all share common points of view on like what’s important, but ultimately it’s quality, it’s the product, it’s usefulness, it’s clarity. Those are the things that lead us on the right direction.