Continuous feedback, anonymous "idea boxes" and clear communication are ways to help employees stay engaged and share their successes and their problems with management, say members of the Young Entrepreneur Council. "Everything is solvable, but someone has to bring an issue up for us to start solving it," says Joseph Walla of HelloSign.
A 12-year-old Taiwanese boy stumbled while on a museum tour and wound up punching through a $1.5 million masterpiece by 17th-century Italian artist Paolo Porpora. The episode was captured on security cameras and uploaded to YouTube.
Each division within an organization, like the organization as a whole, has a finite production capacity, writes Keith Stalder. The best bosses understand those limits and don't ask people to do what isn't possible. "No rational person would expect the same results from a little league baseball team as from the New York Yankees. But the equivalent practice occurs every day in business and government," Stalder writes.
The best communicators use questions to establish common ground with people, to encourage the conversations their interlocutor wants to have, and to steer discussions toward useful and interesting topics, writes Paul Sohn. For more formal networking or interview conversations, Sohn takes at least a half-hour to research whom he'll be talking with.
There are several time periods and methods that all suggest productivity growth, especially in the US, has been slowing down. Pinpointing a reason is difficult, Michael Spence writes, particularly when the effects of emerging technologies are difficult to measure. The unanswered question, Spence writes: "Is the productivity slowdown a permanent condition and constraint on growth, or is it a transitional phenomenon?"
The best CEOs are constantly seeking ways to develop people around them, writes Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft. That starts with the onboarding process and continues with clear plans, communication and a program of continuous learning and development. "Leadership goes far beyond the executive team, and it's my belief that great companies must have strong leadership throughout the organization," Mask writes.
Companies with fiscal years that end in August may find their pension plans are finishing the year with lower-than-expected rates of return unless markets continue their recovery. These companies could choose to make larger cash contributions to make up the difference.
When Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is hiring people, she focuses on their attitude, their ambitions and their emotional makeup. "By the time they have reached my office, I think it is pretty safe to say they are incredibly smart in their field. I want to make sure they are culturally compatible," she writes.
Real leaders know that common sense is a rare commodity, writes S. Chris Edmonds. Rather than relying on people's intuition and hope they do the right thing, set clear, public goals to guide them. "Create common goals and shared values, then reinforce them daily. Your organization will thrive," Edmonds writes.
Practicing a speech or presentation over and over won't necessarily make you any better at delivering it, writes Jonathan Li. What's needed isn't just repetition but also feedback -- recording yourself and examining the video can be helpful. "You need to learn how to be self-critical about what you're spending all that time practicing, then make adjustments accordingly," Li writes.
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