The next generation of talent and ‘sideways ladders’

'Ladder' by Andy.Schultz


What is the traditional career path? You go to school and get good grades so you can go to university. Study hard, get a job and work hard to earn a promotion. And then it is one of two avenues: get on the bill-per-hour treadmill and work your way to executive level, or jump ship, work for one of your old clients and start your trip towards the executive suite.

Today, things look different. Raised on an appetite of instant gratification, talented Gen Y workers tend to jump ship every time it feels like its progress, momentum, and development have slowed down. Some studies show that in developed countries, under-30 professionals will change jobs up to 29 times across 5 different industries by the time they are done. Never mind that they are meant to be creating value and giving their employer a return on their investment.
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Book Review: Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From cover

This week’s book review looks at a book by Steven Johnson called Where Good Ideas Come From, and let me just tell you,
this book is a phenomenal read. I’ve often said that the world does not need new ideas, but this book was absolutely eye-opening to me. Steven Johnson’s approach to researching the history and evolution of ideas over time, the way ideas actually develop in the brain and what happens when we play in “the white space” or the area just outside our expertise. He tracks the impact on society of over 600 ideas and is able to translate these concepts into their significance in the context of building a business.

The rest I’ll get into in the video. Hope you enjoy, and definitely grab a copy of this book the next time you’re in a bookstore – in person or online.
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Author Interviews: Tim Sanders on holding the nerve

TWAR cover

“Confidence is rocket fuel.” – Tim Sanders

I love that quote. It packs a ton of meaning for anyone thinking about or in the process of starting a business, selling a new product or kicking off a movement to change the world – anyone who is ready to make it happen. I just had a great conversation with my friend and bestselling author Tim Sanders about this very idea. Last month I posted a video review of his most recent book Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence and in this podcast he shares his insights into the how crucial it is to keep your “mojo”, or the self-confidence required to hold the nerve in early-stage entrepreneurship. He has some phenomenal advice for how to handle the moments that unnerve us the most as we’re going through the process of getting funding and building a business, as well as how to prepare to be a trailblazer in your field. If you’re in need of a little inspiration as the week goes on, give this a listen – by the end of this clip, you should be ready to take on the world.

For more information and insights from Tim, check out www.timsanders.com or on Twitter at @sanderssays.


 

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Gaming for safer streets

Gaming



Theories abound as to why crime rates have dropped so sharply in the last 2 years, and so counterintuitively in a recession. I read an article in the Economist last month highlighting the falling crime rate in America that claimed “nobody seems to know quite why.” Closely followed by an article by the BBC, several possible causes for the decline were posited, including the decrease in lead exposure after it was phased out of gasoline and the increased availability of multiple forms of birth control. And I am sure these things do have an impact – but neither explains the full story.
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Book Review: The Other Side of Innovation

The Other Side of Innovation cover

Today I’m taking a look at The Other Side of Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble. I love this book; it’s given me and my team at ChangeLabs a lot of insight about introducing new ideas to the market and managing expectations both internally and externally, and they use phenomenal case studies and research to demonstrate what works and what doesn’t when setting up a new team. It also challenges some of the core assumptions of driving innovation in a corporation about which metrics you use to judge success, and brings the focus onto what really matters: it’s not about simply generating new ideas, but how you and your team execute on those ideas.

Check out more on Vijay’s blog at www.vijaygovindarajan.com or on Twitter at @vgovindarajan and @trimble_chris.
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Missed opportunities and flipping assumptions

You’re familiar with the saying “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Put differently, it is the same as saying we get conditioned to see the world, through the lens of our experience and the biases of our existing skills and capability. Most of the time this works fine! What about when the world is changing so fast, that what made us successful in the past may not in the future?
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Author Interviews: Dan Ariely on creating value by association

The Upside of Irrationality cover

In this next installment of the podcast series with Dan Ariely, bestselling author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, Dan explains the power of associating yourself and your offer with other powerful icons and brands, as well as how to generate demand while putting a premium price your product. Case studies include the introduction of Haitian black pearls, the Apple iPod pricing mixup and Williams Sonoma creating value in one product through comparison with another.

We also discuss the urge most early-stage entrepreneurs have to give their product or service away for free just to get customers in the door, and how to position your offer in a away that is as attractive as free without permanently devaluing it. If you’re struggling to determine your price point in the market, Dan’s insights into the way buyers perceive value will be, in a word, priceless.

For more information about Dan and his books, check out his blog on danariely.com or on Twitter at @danariely.


 

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Confusion Management

bang head here


Confusion management means dealing with ambiguity, contradiction and uncertainty while still retaining the ability to function. The other day I had a Q&A with Smart Company about managing stress and complexity; my best strategies are below.
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Author Interviews: Dan Ariely and ‘getting sharp’

The Upside of Irrationality cover

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Ariely, bestselling author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home. We’re going to post a series of excerpts from that conversation over the next few weeks; in this first piece, Dan discusses the innate urge we have as human beings to keep our options open, and yet how resisting that urge and being willing to focus in on what is most important to the core of our business or personal lives often brings in exponentially better results than trying to be everything to everybody. We discuss this same premise in Making It Happen: getting sharp on your target market is one of the most difficult yet most important steps to getting on the right side of your buyer’s mental barrier.

I hope you enjoy the first post in this series, and remember: Freedom follows focus!

For more information about Dan and his books, check out his blog on danariely.com or on Twitter at @danariely.

 

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One-Hit Wonders cont.: Silly Bandz

Continuing our look at the One-Hit Wonders featured in this week’s Wall Street Journal, the creator of Silly Bandz – brightly colored plastic bands shaped like animals that children wear as bracelets – got a good look at what it takes to make it happen, and what can happen if you’re not prepared for jaw-breaking success once it comes your way.
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