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Entries for the 'Article Links' Category

How Do You Spell Karl?… IdeaPaint

Monday, October 19th, 2009

ideapaintWhat if every surface in your office could be a white board?

You’d be in my dream office.

Now we can do it. IdeaPaint is here.

I’m seeing whole new worlds emerge. Creativity unleashed. Random ideas captured. Boundary-less brain maps.

This is emancipation day for the right side of the brain!

Check it out.

My Guest Appearance on “Management Tips”

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

wooden-nickel-management-tips-4Nick McCormick, author of Lead Well and Prosper, interviews me on his podcast, “Joe and Wanda on Management.”

I share my three “Hard Facts of Working with People.”

If you want your team to come alive and give 110% on the job, they need an opportunity to:

  1. Contribute and make a difference.
  2. Learn and develop.
  3. Connect and belong.

Listen in and join the conversation.

Can Leadership Be Moral?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

insightful-linkThe economic crisis in this country is not simply a result of financial assumptions gone awry.

Decisions were made that had no connection to the benefit of anything or anyone other than the achievement of short term financial results. No connection whatsoever.

DangerCompanies were purchased for their intangible brand value, their assets sold, loaded up with debt, long term employees fired, and resold at a premium re-presented as restructured for success. In reality they were stripped bare and abandoned before the operational implications of high debt and high turnover set in.

All that to say you should read Mike King‘s recent article entitled, “Do You Demonstrate Moral Leadership?” It’s both insightful and practical.

Is your team in conversation about your standards?

If we’re going to reap the benefits of democratic capitalism, then we need to get more voices in the conversation than just the greediest, most driven and most ruthless of us.

What do you think?

Film Short “Obedience” Is Thought-Provoking Treat

Friday, May 8th, 2009

familyposterweb2Check out this film, Obedience, made by a couple of friends of mine.

Obedience was originally created as part of the 168 Hour Film Project, in which participating filmmakers had exactly one week (168 hours) to interpret an assigned quote from the Bible in film.

I think you’ll enjoy it.

Study Shows Personal Net Surfing Increases Work Productivity

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

insightful-linkI love it when data emerges that validates my hunches.

People who surf the internet while at work are more productive. Gotta love it.

“People who do surf the Internet for fun at work – within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office – are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t.”

The productivity arises from our need to zone out (take a break) every once in a while in order to restore our concentration. It’s simply not possible to focus all of the time.

Seems obvious, but some employers are (now irrationally) concerned that they’re not getting their money’s worth out of employees who are not fully focused on work every moment they’re “on the clock.” I’ve long counseled that this attitude foments an adversarial posture with the very people on whom you depend for maximum engagement.

With one set of policies (e.g. no personal internet use) you communicate that you don’t trust them. Then you turn around and ask them to give 110%, go the extra mile for a client or contribute to brainstorming restructuring ideas, and you wonder why they hold back.

No matter how you feel about personal internet usage at work, the facts about its impact are emerging. Can you turn this information into a learning opportunity?

Click here for the University of Melbourne article.

What’s Wrong When You’re Always Right?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

insightful-linkHave you ever been in a meeting with a leader who is always right?

Any new idea is dismissed or destroyed before it’s barely uttered. The logic of these leaders is irrefutable. Their conclusions obvious. The discussion is over before it even started.

It isn’t long before the group stops generating new ideas altogether.

Could you be one of these leaders?

Have you stopped hearing ideas different from your own? Have opposing points of view disappeared from your meetings? Are your initiatives met with silent, listless compliance?

Check out this article by Ellen Weber, “Hear Voices on the Other Side?” She asserts that, “human brains default back to ruts.” You may be inadvertently cutting yourself off from voices different than your own.

I think you’ll appreciate her insights on how your brain works… for you or against you.

On your side,

- Karl

Utopia or Hell… or just a bit of fun

Monday, January 26th, 2009

insightful-linkHad to pass on this link to 31 Laws of Fun on the Overcoming Bias blog.

It’s for the quirky lovers of the esoteric among us for whom “fun” and a life worth living are connected at a deeper level than simply having a good time.

On your side (or you might now wonder),

- Karl

Action Ideas During Recession

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

insightful-linkIn this month’s newsletter article we started a series on, “When Crisis Presents Opportunity.

This morning I came across this article over at Harvard Business.org entitled, “Four Actions to Survive the Recession and Emerge Triumphant.” How’s that for a title?!

I really enjoyed Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s insights:

  1. Move while others are distracted.
  2. Announce and own a grand concept.
  3. Get rid of things that have outlived their usefulness.
  4. Concentrate on helping your users, clients or customers succeed.

It may be more difficult to find or create opportunities during a distressed economy, but the need for new ideas to emerge and the upside for success are greater. Everybody piles into fields that are already successful, exasperating the competition. Few venture to forge new opportunities in struggling areas, so the early entrants become the experts.

Most important is to remain steadfastly confident in your own value even as you increase your flexibility as to what form its expression might take.

On your side,

- Karl

Not All Nightmares are Economic

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Jos, NigeriaMy friend, Mike Blyth, reminds me that not all nightmares are related to the insecurities arising out of Wall Street’s collapse this year.

Check out his touching post about his son’s recent “bad dream” over in Jos, Nigeria.

My problems are quickly framed in a different perspective.

Keep Nigeria in your prayers.

Plato As Prophet of Economic Hope?

Monday, December 29th, 2008

insightful-linkPlato asserted, “Necessity is the mother of all invention,” and did so quite a long time ago.

It seems his maxim continues to hold true in the harsh realities of 21st century economic upheaval given Jeff Stibel’s interesting historical survey. Check out his blog post titled, 2009 Will Be an Economic Engine of Change.

Stibel asserts, “2009 is shaping up to be a trigger for an unprecedented surge of innovation that may be one of the most important turning points in the last 100 years… Times of economic contraction create dislocation in free markets. Smart entrepreneurs recognize this market opportunity and create ‘engines of change.'”

In one sense you may have experienced great pain this past year in terms of job loss or undermined financial security. In another sense, your need may strangely force you (free you?) to search out, spot and act upon opportunities you would not otherwise have noticed or done.

How might we develop eyes and ears for unearthing and creating our own opportunities in this time of dislocation and upheaval?

On your side,

- Karl Edwards