/blog > archive > October 2011

futurenextexit

Occasionally someone will ask me why a company like Zapoint needs a Chief Futurist. (People don’t ask so much about the “Strategy Guy” part — I guess they figure a strategy guy is a lot like a product guy, only more on the strategy side.) The truth is, Career Management (a subset of Life Management) is a largely future-directed activity. The tools we use for managing our careers are grounded in the present and the past, but all the effort is aimed at the future. Consider your resume. It is a snapshot of Present You, telling the story of how Past You came to be so amazingly experienced and qualified. The information is all bout the present and the past, but what you do with your resume is all about the future. A futurist is tasked with predicting or at least trying to understand the future. That is to say,…

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1470576-groucho_glasses_large

I think it’s great that Southwest Airlines looks for candidates that have a good sense of humor, and even considers sense of humor to be part of what qualifies an applicant for a job. But I’m not wild about the examples given… I would probably kid around with an interviewer who wore their clothes backward, but I can see how some people would be more intimidated by that than amused. The really problematic one, though, is the guy pretending to be a fellow applicant. It’s dishonest. And I frankly don’t see the humor. I do like the brief clip of the flight attendant hiding out in the overhead luggage bin. That’s at least arguably humorous. But overall, I think Southwest Airlines needs to work on this sense-of-humor-screening-policy of theirs. Their test material needs to be (what’s the word I’m looking for?) funny. Plus, they might try some humor at their…

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zapointbooth

This week Zapoint is exhibiting at Workday Rising 2011. The theme of the show is Citizens of the Cloud. I talk to conference attendees and get their perspectives on what it means to be a citizen of the cloud. The opening session started with a terrific video depicting a city skyline wherein the skyscrapers morph into rockets that ascend in to a glorious blue sky and come to rest (forming a new city) in a beautiful cloud. A title then flashed across the screen: “Welcome Citizens of the Cloud.” Wonderful imagery, but are we really moving to the cloud? Tune in to hear what some of the “citizens” have to say. Special guest Workday co-founder and co-CEO Dave Duffield joins us to discuss. Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio If you’re having trouble with the player you can also listen at our page on Blog Talk…

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Sleepy

Think you’ve got it rough where you work? Check out the best headline I’ve ever read over at Ask a Manager: sleeping coworker’s snores are disrupting my work. People, people, people. If we’re going to sleep at work we need to do so quietly. (This shouldn’t come as big news to anyone.) The sad part here is that this individual wrote to Alison Green with this problem after two levels of management refused to do anything about it. What the what? Alison’s advice: go shut the offending snoozer’s door. Or better yet, quit. This one little problem probably speaks volumes about what it’s like to work for this particular employer. If the management doesn’t have the wherewithal to address such a blatant problem, it might be better just to leave.  Read More…

You're ... uh ... now free to pursue other interests

That is the question. Donald Trump has come down clearly in the  “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits” camp. A few weeks ago we linked to a Freakonomics podcast that was all bout the wisdom of knowing when to quit. Trump says people don’t make it as entrepreneurs because they quit too easily. You must never, ever quit. Stephen Dubner says the decision of whether to quit is as simple as calculating sunk costs and opportunity costs. Hanging in there when it’s costing you in the long run makes no sense. So who’s right? Perhaps they both are. Maybe entrepreneurs measure opportunity costs differently from the rest of us. Maybe that’s what makes them entrepreneurs?Read More…

Takeoff

Just discovered Career management TV — what a great idea. This is installment #6, in which we learn that takeoff is the hardest part of getting an airplane off the ground. Likewise it’s the hardest part of launching just about anything. More energy, more time, more money, more people. That’s what you need to get anything going — a career move, a new career, a new business — anything. How do you come by these additional needed resources? It’s not easy, but there are some helpful ideas here.Read More…

BuckminsterFullerquote

Found this on Facebook, the work of Bannerthoughts. Fuller’s call for the emergence of new models applies across the board — in business, government, and our personal lives. One of the difficult things about making progress in any of these dimensions is that we (and so many others) have so much invested in the models that need to be made obsolete. Even if the benefits of a new approach are obvious, an entrenched status quo is a hard thing to displace. But we must! UPDATE: My exchange with Bob in the comments got me thinking that it’s not enough to say that models need to be made obsolete. We need to say which models. With that in mind, here’s this week’s Friday Poll, a day early in honor of Buckminster Fuller, a man who was truly ahead of his time. Online Surveys – Zoomerang.comRead More…

magicmushrooms

Yes, sometimes the access that doctors have to drugs leads to poor decisions and bad behavior, but that’s not what the title of this piece refers to. We’re asking a totally different question, here: what if doctors were required to take certain drugs? The question comes from Instapundit, who put it this way: IF “SMART DRUGS” IMPROVE DOCTORS’ PERFORMANCE, is it malpractice not to take them? The question is not as facetious as it seems. The linked article describes a study showing that doctors on a performance-enhancing drug called modafinil were able to make better decisions faster than their counterparts who have not taken any “smart” drugs. If smart drug usage becomes a reliable predictor of better outcomes, it’s possible that doctors will feel increasing pressure to take them. It’s even possible that those who do will advertise that fact so that people who want an “enhanced” doctor will know…

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willbrown

This week we explore a topic we’ve not talked about before on the Transparency Revolution, although it relates closely to almost every subject we’re ever covered: strategy. What does strategy looked at from a classical point of view have to do with the kinds of things we normally talk about here on the Transparency Revolution? Our good friend Will Brown joins us to discuss. About Our Guest Will Brown took a GED and joined the US Navy in early 1971.  Following his military service, he worked in the Middle East and Europe before returning to California.  Along the way he discovered Sun Tzu and the concept of classical strategy and has read extensively on the topic ever since.  Will asserts that the precepts of strategy are directly applicable to individual lives and offer compatable guidelines for work, social interaction and politics to name only a few examples.  He writes about…

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Doogie

Jodi Glickman at Harvard Business Review Blogs writes (provocatively) that your first job doesn’t (really) matter, citing a poll of 100 women business leaders, only 3% of whom in mid-career are on the same career path they started out on. About 20% are still in the same industry, however.Read More…