Business

The Hidden Costs of Overbearing Bosses

At one time or another, most of us have probably worked for a boss who was self-absorbed, vindictive, or just plain inept — a real-life equivalent to Dunder Mifflin’s Michael Scott. One of my first jobs was for an HR manager who thought the best way to humble a cocky new MBA was to have him spend hours sorting files into alphabetical order. Needless to say, he didn’t get the best out of me or anyone else that worked for him. » Read more

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Are the "Best Companies to Work For" really the best companies to work for?

The other day I noticed that the application deadline to be considered for the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list is this week. My company is too small to be considered for this honor (you must have at least 1000 employees), but I always pay close attention when the rankings come out, and I'm sure many of you do as well. » Read more

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Three tired marketing words you should stop using

Over the years, I've had many people label me as a marketing guy just because I help build brands. I don't like being labelled, but I particularly don't like that marketing label. Why?

In my view, traditional marketing sets up an adversarial relationship, a battle of wills pitting seller vs. buyer.

The seller begins the relationship with a goal to convince the buyer to buy something. The buyer begins the relationship wary of believing what the seller is saying (often with good reason). It is an unhealthy connection that is doomed to fail most of the time. » Read more

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OpenOffice + Apache = Open Content Innovation

True confessions: I’ve been using OpenOffice since 2002 (since I started working at Red Hat, where it was mandated) and… I don’t like it (*gasp* – did he just say that?).  Yep, it’s true.  OpenOffice is just not that great of a user experience.  Microsoft Office, with all it’s bloat, is better.  Apple iWork is even better – that is -  from the perspective of an end user.  But you know what?  It doesn’t matter what I think. That’s because the real value of OpenOffice is not the end-user experience – it’s the fact that OpenOffice is a powerful, open content creation platform. » Read more

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Communities, El Camino, and the new GM

I learned yesterday that there's the “old GM” and the “new GM” according to Liz Boone, Global Director, Digital and Social Engagements at General Motors. Like many companies affected by the downturn and forced to make some difficult decisions, GM is still rebuilding. After declaring bankruptcy in 2009, it is no surprise that any and all spend is under the utmost scrutiny. » Read more

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Show me my cookies and no one gets hurt.

It’s 2011. Everything we do, say, like, and click on is tracked and known to the higher gods of the inter-webs. At least that’s what my co-workers Ruth Suehle and Bascha Harris always remind me. And I get it. I do. But when I log into Facebook or my GMail account and see ads served up to me that reference current conversations with friends or target my recent searches on Amazon, I still get weirded out. Why is that? » Read more

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WEBCAST: Drive and motivation with Daniel Pink

We're thrilled to be hosting critically-acclaimed and inspiring author Daniel Pink as the next guest in our Open Your World webcast series this Wednesday, June 22 at 2 p.m. (EDT). Register now.

Note: This event was originally scheduled for June 9 and has been moved. » Read more

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What is organizational health?

We're at the end of an eight-year period, which was marked in the beginning by the demise of Enron and marked at the end by the demise of Lehman Brothers. During that near decade, the quasi-religious mantra of business was shareholder value: Focus on performance and on performance alone. That's what real managers did. They decomposed activity to work out the value creation potential and they focused on performance. Everything else was stuff that needed to be done to run the machine.

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Why you should pay for "free" software

Tell me, what's the difference between open source and commercial software? If you'd have asked me not long ago, I'd say that there was a world of difference between the two, and that they both sat at opposite ends of the software spectrum. "Isn't it bad," I thought, "to pay for software?"
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The strategic divide: Why your employees aren’t delivering what you envision

Brand managers, customer experience executives, and marketing VPs, I need to tell you something. And it might hurt.

Your strategies and innovations may be brilliant, but whether they’ll come to fruition is entirely up to some employees who are quite far down on the corporate totem pole. Most of the time, they aren’t even hearing about the “new direction” the company is going in, and if they are, they’re rolling their eyes at it.

I know, because I’ve been there. And I’m pretty sure it all started with a Beanie Babies calendar. » Read more

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