How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary

How Complicated Is Your Company? PDFNot satisfied with how productive your employees are?

Willing to restructure processes in order to make them more efficient?

Well, authors Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich from the Boston Consulting Group believe that you should start with a simple question:

“How Complicated is Your Company?”

Who Should Read “How Complicated Is Your Company?”? And Why?

As a rule of thumb, the more complicated your company is, the less productive and satisfied your employees are.

However, going simple is not as easy as it sounds.

Hence, this article should be a must for every owner, CEO, upper-level manager and leader of a company who knows he/she should keep things simple but doesn’t know how to do that.

About Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx

Reinhard Messenböck and Yves Morieux are both involved in several projects at the Boston Consulting Group as senior managers.

Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx is currently one of the leading partners of the organization where Donat Wunderlick absorbs the role of a principal.

“How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary”

In the words of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, “productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run, it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”

Now, many factors can influence productivity – everything from erratic political instability to predictable business cycles – but, none of them have been found to properly explain the global economic decline of late.

in the opinion of Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich – global management consultants at the Boston Consulting Group – “the underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness.”

Its definition?

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment.

A wide-ranging survey of executives and employees at over 1,000 companies led the authors of “How Complicated Is Your Company?” to few interesting conclusions.

First of all, that complicatedness can be found in eight different dimensions and that, consequently, there are at least eight ways to simplify an organization.

#1. Leadership
#2. Strategy and Transformation Agenda
#3. Structure
#4. Activities and Roles
#5. Processes, Systems, and IT
#6. Decision Making
#7. Performance Management
#8. People and Interactions

Leadership is, by far, the most crucial dimension, since it “binds together and affects each of the other areas.”

Leaders often create complex procedures and structures which seriously affect productivity.

If you want to simplify, the best way to do this is via leading by example when hiring, promoting and firing. This reinforces desired behaviors in your employees and inspires cooperation and transparency.

In the area of strategy and transformation, the key objective is to “translate strategy into concrete must-win initiatives,” since that’s the only way to ensure consistency between overall goals and lower-level initiatives.

As far as the company’s structure is concerned the solution one should be a no-brainer: simply remove unnecessary layers.

This streamlines top-to-down communication and, moreover, it gives low-level managers just enough freedom, empowering them to make minor decisions quickly and independently.

Eliminate duplication of activities and roles: be sure that each and everyone of this adds value to your company by itself.

It’s the 21st century, so it should be fairly easy for you to completely abolish handoffs between departments and streamline processes and systems via IT.

This simplifies and speeds up communication and boosts end-to-end responsibility.

Give each and every one of your managers strictly delineated area of responsibilities and mandates so that you are able to take decision making back to first principles.

Not only this promotes understanding and cooperation, but it also eliminates conflicts and accelerates the workflow.

So that you can help your managers lead and ensure appropriate recognition for the most cooperative employees, you must master the art of performance management.

Introduce proper collaboration-fostering KPIs should be a great start!

If you want to maximize the output of your employees, then silo mentality is one of your worst enemies!

So, to simplify things in the people and interactions dimensions, try eradicating silos altogether, by creating an unhostile work environment.

The key word – if you ask us – is fun.

In conclusion,

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Business leaders following this road will harvest the fruits of improved productivity and gain a competitive advantage for their companies.

Key Lessons from “How Complicated Is Your Company?”

1.      Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness
2.      Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions
3.      The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness

Even though many factors can affect productivity, it seems that one of the most important ones – if not “the underlying cause” – in relation to the recent economic falloff is the growing complicatedness of companies.

It’s easy to blame external factors, but a survey of the executives and employees of over 1,000 companies has pinpointed complicatedness as the main obstacle to faster growth.

And this is especially true for companies which operate in regulated environments, such as the healthcare industry and the public sector.

Those in the IT world are much simpler and, consequently, agiler.

Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions

Complicatedness can take root in any of eight different dimensions: leadership; strategy and transformation agenda; structure; activities and roles; processes, systems and IT; decision making; performance management; and people and interactions.

The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

The authors recommend “a four-step approach to implementing a lasting solution” for complicatedness-related problems:

#1. Smart Start. Identify the complicatedness dimensions which need to be remedied by, for example, conducting belief audits.

#2. Diagnosis. In-depth employee interviews should help you understand the root causes of unproductive behavior.

#3. Solution Design. Develop appropriate interventions which address the root causes. We’ve gone over some sample actions in the summary above to help you understand how this part works.

#4. Implementation. Now, apply the interventions.

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“How Complicated Is Your Company? Quotes”

The underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment. Click To Tweet

Companies that develop strategies and design processes to respond quickly and effectively to their complex business environments can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers. Click To Tweet

Striving for simplicity involves more than addressing a single dimension of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Since it addresses a complex problem, “How Complicated Is Your Company?” is too simple for its own sake.

True, companies should streamline processes and structures, but this is not as innovative as the article makes it sound.

And, somehow, we are not convinced that complicatedness is “the underlying cause” for the economic decline.

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Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary

Woo, Wow, and Win PDFService Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight

Everybody wants to please the customer nowadays.

The point is – to delight him!

Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell give the full details in “Woo, Wow, and Win.”

Who Should Read “Woo, Wow, and Win”? And Why?

By its own profession, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is a thorough investigation of the “what, why and how of service design and delivery.”

Consequently, it’s a book which specifically targets the service sectors.

So, if you are in retail or banking, health care or other public services – do consult this book and try employing the strategies it offers.

About Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell

Thomas A. StewartThomas A. Stewart is the Executive Director of the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

A summa cum laude Harvard graduate, Stewart is a respected management thinker, ranked #17 in European Foundation for Management Development’s “Thinkers 50” list in 2005.

He has authored two more books: the 1997 seminal classic, “Intellectual Capital” and the 2003 “The Wealth of Knowledge.”

Patricia O’ConnellPatricia O’Connell is a writer and the president of Aerten Consulting.

In addition to this one, she has co-authored (with Neil Smith) one more book: “How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things.”

“Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary”

For all intents and purposes, Disney is the paragon of customer service.

And Thomas A. Stewart could only back this claim when he arrived, exhausted after a long flight, at a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida.

He couldn’t wait to go to his casita to lie down a bit, so he was more than grateful to see how much the front-desk clerk was professional and how quickly he was able to register.

And then came the problems: in the absence of markings and employees, Thomas Stewart wandered for more than 20 minutes around the hotel in an attempt to find his room.

This had nothing to do with customer service, though – that part was excellent; however, it had everything to do with customer experience, which almost all companies neglect.

Even though it may seem like they the same thing, customer service and customer experience are pretty different; in fact, even though you’ve read hundreds of books about the former, chances are you haven’t read one about the latter.

Well, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is interested in changing that – in addition to your mindset regarding customer service and experience.

What Walt Disney World lacked in the case just described above was something Stewart and O’Connell dub “service design and delivery,” or SD2, for short.

In the words of Victor Ermoli from the Savannah College of Art and Design:

Service design is a system for developing the relationship between an entity – a bank, a law firm, a health care system, a store, a church – and its customers.

And this system starts with a simple equation:

Ahhh + Ow = Aha

An Ahhh moment is the moment your customers experience something positive enough about your company to instill in them confidence that you are going to provide them with the experience they asked for – and some more.

An Ow moment is the very opposite of an Ahhh moment, i.e., the moment when your customers realize that “something is broken.” True, they may complete the deal – and may even come back – but the bittersweet feeling guarantees that they will never recommend you.

Finally, an Aha moment is the result of your analyses of all Ahhh and Ow moments you’ve noted. An Aha moment, should be followed by an appropriate remedy, and Stewart and O’Connell believe that they have a panacea:

SD2.

It’s based on ten elements and five principles.

The ten elements of SD2 form a neat mnemonic: E10!

They are:

#1. Empathy – put your customers first.
#2. Expectation – understand what you are expected to deliver and what you can realistically deliver.
#3. Emotion – never take the customer’s emotions out of the equation.
#4. Elegance – take a lesson from Steve Jobs’ book: make everything clean and simple.
#5. Engagement – include your customers in the design.
#6. ExecutionDon’t be a politician: deliver on your promises.
#7. Engineering – your products and services should always demonstrate technical excellence.
#8. Economics – don’t exaggerate with your prices.
#9. Experimentationtest and innovate.
#10. Equivalence – may your customers be happy as much as you and vice versa.

The five principles of SD2 are the following:

#1. The Customer Is Always Right – Provided the Customer Is Right for You
Basically, the first principle boils down to THIS: focus on your most valuable customers. Don’t spend any of your time on retaining demanding clients.

#2. Don’t Surprise and Delight Your Customers – Just Delight Them
Surprises are fine for birthday parties; but not for customer service. Simply meet the expectations of your customer over and over again.

#3. Great Service Must Not Require Heroic Efforts on the Part of the Provider or the Customer
Your goal is to provide service which is “efficient, effective, scalable and, if not error-proof, error-resistant.” Which means: minimal effort with maximum results. Think of the intuitiveness “designed into an iPad” – that’s great service.

#4. Service Design Must Deliver a Coherent Experience Across All Channels and Touchpoints
“Wherever and however you choose to play, you must play well.” It’s pointless to have a great telephone customer service, but a bad online platform.

#5. You’re Never Done
SD2 is a cycle. Constantly check your service against its 10 elements and improve wherever possible.

Key Lessons from “Woo, Wow, and Win”

1.      In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha
2.      Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2
3.      Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha

Your customers experience either ahhh or ow moments in relation to the products you offer.

The former are a signal of positive experience and should inspire you to improve in the same direction.

The latter indicate trouble, and you should correct the areas which have caused them.

Analyzing the ahhhs and ows results in your aha moment.

Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2

Give yourself a score on a zero-to-four scale in each of these 10 categories and see how well your service ranks on an SD2 scale: empathy, expectation, emotion, elegance, engagement, execution, engineering, economics, experimentation, equivalence.

A score about 30 means that you’re doing a good job; but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t improve until you score 4 in each of the categories.

Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

No matter what you do, always adhere to these five principles:

#1. Focus all your energy on your most valuable customers.
#2. Delight your customers by meeting all their needs – don’t surprise them even if you think it’s for the better.
#3. Always aim for minimum effort on the part of your customers – and try to achieve this with minimum effort on the part of your employees as well.
#4. Be coherent – offer the same quality of service across all checkpoints.
#5. You’re never done: always modernize and improve.

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“Woo, Wow, and Win Quotes”

Service design presents an exciting opportunity to explore something that is new to management thinking, new to business practice, new to many business leaders. Click To Tweet

Companies that apply the principles of service design will create…strategic strength. Click To Tweet

The three foundational questions of strategy – where to compete, what to sell, how to win – are inextricably bound up with design. Click To Tweet

What are you doing about your customer capital? Are you growing it, or are you living off it? Are you actively managing it or letting it fend for itself, like money in a checking account? Click To Tweet

When you make it hard for employees, they take shortcuts – and customers leave. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Woo, Wow, and Win” may have a somewhat silly title and an unattractive cover, but it’s actually a pretty great manual to have on hand if you are in the service sector.

To quote Steve Case, the author of “The Third Wave,” “Woo, Wow, and Win” is “a roadmap for success in a landscape being rapidly transformed by technology and entrepreneurship.”

Don’t be afraid to use it.

 

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Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary

Make Mentoring Work PDFThe very core of creating value for your community revolves around the idea of having someone to teach you and gear you up for the unavoidable clash.

Each organization requires a person with expertise to handle the toughest challenges!

In this book summary, we turn our heads towards finding the secret recipe in delivering the ultimate solution to every problem.

Who Should Read “Make Mentoring Work”? And Why?

If at some point, you’ve shown promising signs of developing into a smart leader or manager, this book comes as a blessing to you.

Each leader in-the-making should explore the depths of it and learn how to make the most of each activity.

In other words, “Make Mentoring Work” questions the traditional styles of managing human resources and provides revolutionized ideas you can use.

About Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson currently has the role of national president of the Australian Human Resources Institute Ltd.

He is also an author and a mentorship expert.

“Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary”

Top-notch organizations are totally aware of the necessity of recruiting and most-importantly spotting talents to help them launch their mentoring ideas. Nurturing these programs takes more than just proper planning and even better execution.

Nowadays, job applicants and employees in various companies look ahead to perceiving mentorship as some sort of a job benefit. To bring these demands into line with the digital age, corporations are prepared to initiate planned programs.

Laying the groundwork for the mentoring program requires a certain dose of expertise and discipline to abide by these guidelines:

  • The person who is in the spotlight must be aware of its role in the mentorship agenda.
  • People who thrive in mentorship situations, and those being coached should specialize in all features related to management and building such relationships.
  • Regardless of your position, you should wholeheartedly enroll in programs to understand the big picture in an often-neglected race against time.
  • Although many organizations skip this step, it’s vital for the mentor and the student to reach a state of full-compliance and blend their ideas into the overall objective.
  • Mentors should actively support their students and show them how to destroy their shallow limitations. Seize the day and don’t dread the idea to endorse your new concepts and give them a go.
  • The bottom line is – the mentor should allocate some time in writing and defining the final report.
  • Both need to perpetrate acts which lead to finding a final resolution to job-related issues.
  • Mentoring requires supervision, control, and higher understanding.

It’s needless to say that without integrity and honesty, mentors can’t carry out the fundamental activities on a daily basis. In other words, they have to be friendly and honest regarding all matters that involve human management. Moreover, they have to put themselves in the shoes of their subordinates and look at things differently.

For instance, every noteworthy mentor is aware that its responsibilities are stretched out to the maximum. Basically, without wisdom, hard work and credibility they can’t enforce rules or enact specific ideas.

Today’s top workers are looking for an employer prepared to invest in their skill levels and career learning.

They should always lean towards active listening and deep understanding, instead of promoting their official status on every occasion. A good mentor spends 80% listening and only 20% talking.

Most importantly, skillful mentors place emphasis on filling the atmosphere with hope and welcoming approach. For instance, many companies now pay their employees to generate ideas. For every bad idea, each employee gets a reward.

So, encouraging your mentees to speak up and share their views leads to profits; and ultimately, satisfaction at the end of the sales funnel. Mentors must not step outside the lines of decency and protocols. Behaving positively at meetings will give the mentees the vital edge they require.

Expanding the network of associates and partners is one of the few things you should strive to achieve.  

It’s not all butter and milk. Friendly mentors must sometimes go for a hard pep talk, which can lift the spirits of all parties involved in the process. You have to feel the situation and provide a response that is in tune with the environment.

The mentor must show understanding and interest in paving the way with healthy habits and even better management skills. Mentees, on the other hand, must display a commitment to follow the lead and thus increase their input. Proficient mentors are a valuable gem for up-and-comers in these activities:

  • Handling complex relationships and dealing with complicated characters.  
  • Managing the corporate framework and the needs of the stakeholders.
  • Lean towards the idea of becoming a full-equipped manager who tackles social, economic and political ambiguities.
  • Looking for answers that cast doubt on ethical norms.

Here are the three crucial roots:

  1. Socratic philosophy – Socrates had a huge base of students, who perceived him as a figure of authority whose actions revealed great wisdom. Mentors have the same role and act with the same dose of mystery. They provide guidance and instruct younger mentees on how to improve their performance.  
  2. Parental behavior – It comes as no surprise why many people refer to mentors as “second parents” who guide them through life.
  3. Spiritual vibes – Last but not least – mentors are spiritual gurus. Whenever an employee/mentee has a problem, a mentor should be willing to listen and find time to resolve the issue.

Key Lessons from “Make Mentoring Work”

1.      The harder you train, the easier the game
2.      Discover new forms of leadership
3.      Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

The harder you train, the easier the game

Face-to-face meetings are pivotal and unavoidable routine for every four-start mentor. Why’s that?

In these gatherings, the students learn how to act with decorum, because in the foreseeable future they may have to test the burden of being a mentor.

Discover new forms of leadership

You must not allow direct interference in the company’s long-term prosperity by any newbie, and on such occasions – the ends do justify the means.

It’s fair to say that coaching, is the embodiment of proper leadership because it directs the employees’ efforts and puts the mentor’s expertise to the test.

Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

In the traditional sense of mentor-mentee relationships, the mentor often takes the role of an older brother.

However, in the modern era, the age difference is melting, and co-mentoring emerges as a method way of coping with the increased pressure.

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“Make Mentoring Work Quotes”

Good mentors help you to walk in your own shoes, even if you start out just wanting to walk in theirs. Click To Tweet Listening to how the challenges of the mentee would have been handled at a similar stage in the mentor’s own working life is hugely powerful. Click To Tweet Mentoring is also about life leadership. It’s about becoming a leader in your own life with a little help from someone who has already shown leadership on their own. Click To Tweet Mentoring is a proactive bespoke art that confers rights but also places obligations on both mentor and mentee. Click To Tweet Mentors need to telegraph that their purpose is to give unconditional positive support and encouragement. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Mentoring is a real struggle. A fierce psychological battle that you have to win.

Peter Wilson makes it easier for you by developing a full system that can guide your efforts. Don’t miss it and understand the benefits of it!

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Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does PDF Summary

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work... and What Does PDFThe New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging

The good old carrot-and-stick method doesn’t work anymore?

Well, times have changed!

And there’s a new science of leading, energizing, and engaging!

Time to find out “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does.”

Who Should Read “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does”? And Why?

Traditional motivational techniques may have worked in the past, but, to expect them to work still would mean to ignore how much the world has changed over the past several decades.

In “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does,” Susan Fowler urges leaders and managers to move beyond outdated motivational tactics and embrace the new science of energizing.

Start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners will find plenty of advice here as well!

Susan FowlerAbout Susan Fowler

Susan Fowler is a sought-after speaker and motivational trainer, the lead developer of The Ken Blanchard Company’s Optimal Motivation program.

Throughout her career, Fowler has co-authored numerous books, including “Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager” (with Ken Blanchard and Laurie Hawkins), “Achieve Leadership Genius” (with Drea Zigarmi and Dick Lyles) as well as “Leading at a Higher Level” and “Empowerment” (both with Ken Blanchard).

In addition, Fowler also blogs regularly for SmartBrief on Leadership, the Huffington Post, and LeaderChat.

She has coached in over 30 countries.

“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does PDF Summary”

In a way, there are only two types of motivation.

People are motivated to do something either because they must do it or because they want to do it.

In the former case, it’s all about ambition, rewards, and goal; the motivation of the must-doers is an ego-grounded motivation.

In the latter, the point is to grow, to learn, to excel; the motivation of the want-doers is a values-based motivation.

What science has recently discovered is that the values-based motivation is the only one which actually makes sense in the long run.

Because:

Peak performers are not goal driven. Peak performers are values-based and inspired by a noble purpose.

It took science a long time to reach this conclusion.

Why?

Well, because just a few years after the Second World War, B. F. Skinner – possibly the most influential psychologist of the 20th century – did quite a few experiments with pigeons, investigating phenomena such as superstitions and motivation.

A radical behaviorist, he came to a startling conclusion: you can make a pigeon do absolutely anything if it knows that there’s a reward; in addition, you can visibly inhibit some aspects of its behavior if you punish it by holding back on the food pellets.

What did this mean in terms of motivation at the workplace?

In an idiom (which, coincidentally, dates back to around the same time when Skinner was conducting his pigeon experiments): carrots and sticks.

And for many decades, managers believed that if you reward your employees for their good work and punish them for their bad behavior, you’ll eventually carve out the perfect worker out of them.

The problem is – it doesn’t work that way.

For even when they do, rewards only work in the short term – and cause plenty of problems in the long run.

That is, when there is a lack of money in the company, and you must put an end to the reward program, the reward-oriented employees will start doing a lot less work.

In fact, Drs. Richard Ryan and Edward Deci have demonstrated all but conclusively that real long-term motivation has nothing to do with carrots and sticks – but everything with “hope and promise.”

In other words, most people are already motivated but usually in a much more abstract way than the market would want them too.

Consequently, the job of leaders and managers is practically mission impossible: they need to motivate their employees to do things which may not be aligned with the employees’ inherent motivation.

It’s almost like a Catch-22:

The motivation dilemma is that leaders are being held accountable to do something they cannot do –motivate others.

But, if people are already motivated, how motivated are they?

And is there anything you can do?

According to Susan Fowler, there are six motivational outlooks, which can be easily illustrated by examining the reaction of six different employees to a routine work meeting:

#1. Disinterested: Employee n. 1 thinks that the meeting was a waste of time.
#2. External: Employee n. 2 thinks that this (like any other) meeting was a venue for him to exercise his power and position; he now expects a reward for being there.
#3. Imposed: Employee n. 3 was under severe pressure to attend the meeting because, well, everybody did; otherwise, he wouldn’t have come.
#4. Aligned: Employee n. 4 believes that he learned one or two valuable lessons at the meeting.
#5. Integrated: Employee n. 5 loved the meeting: he/she sincerely believes in the things discussed during this meeting and would want many more meetings such as this one in the future.
#6. Inherent: Employee n. 6 loves being around people, and meetings are his thing. This one? It was (like all the others) fun and enjoyable!

Now, as is obvious at first sight, the first three motivational outlooks are suboptimal drivers which can physically drain a person. Fowler calls them “motivational junk food.”

The last three motivational outlooks are energetic: they are the “motivational health food.”

Now, someone likes his burgers and Nachos, but others prefer broccoli and spinach. And, if you have a child, you know that it is pretty difficult to motivate it to eat the latter if it likes the former.

Scientific research has discovered that the same is true with motivation as well.

The good news?

Just like children feed themselves better by themselves, employees seem more motivated when they feel that three fundamental psychological needs of theirs are satisfied:

#1. Autonomy: I’m free to choose what you can do;
#2. Relatedness: I care about other people, and they care about me as well;
#3. Competence: I am capable of doing this job – and I am capable of doing it better than many.

So, the way out of the motivation dilemma is quite counterintuitive: instead of trying to motivate your employees to do something, just discover what they are already motivated about.

And, afterward, allow them to do exactly that.

Key Lessons from “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does”

1.      External Motivation Undermines Internal Motivation
2.      The Internally Motivated Live Under an ARC of Freedom
3.      There Are Six Motivational Outlooks – and Only Three Are Good

External Motivation Undermines Internal Motivation

In a nutshell, there are two types of motivation: either you must do something, or you want to do something.

In the case of the former, even though mostly in the short run, external motivation works; however, in the case of the latter, it is, in fact, an impediment.

Why?

Because money and promotions motivate people only to a certain extent; everything after that is intrinsic.

The Internally Motivated Live Under an ARC of Freedom

An internally motivated person will move mountains for you and ask for nothing in return.

The reason is quite simple: the three fundamental psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness, and competence – ARC) are already satisfied in his case.

In other words, when people feel competent to do something, have complete freedom to do it the way they want to and have evidence that their work brings some good in the lives of others – then they’ll do it without any external incentives.

In fact, they may feel these as a sort of an insult:

People who experience ARC are thriving. They do not need something or someone else doing the driving.

There Are Six Motivational Outlooks – and Only Three Are Good

There are six motivational outlooks.

The disinterested, external and imposed are the junk food of motivation, while its health food is the aligned, integrated, and the inherent motivational outlook.

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“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does Quotes”

The motivation dilemma is that leaders are being held accountable to do something they cannot do – motivate others. Click To Tweet

Misunderstanding what motivation means leads to a misapplication of techniques to make it happen. Click To Tweet

Devoting time and effort to help people shift their motivational outlook pays off in countless ways for them, your organization and you as a leader. Click To Tweet

Leaders are so immersed in five motivation-eroding beliefs that they find it difficult to hear, see, or do something different. Click To Tweet

Motivation is a skill. People can learn to choose and create optimal motivational experiences anytime and anywhere. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does” seems to borrow a lot from Daniel H. Pink’s classic “Drive.”

However, this doesn’t make Susan Fowler’s book obsolete.

Because, what it lacks in originality, it compensates in applicability.

And that is at least as important.

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How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices PDF Summary

How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices PDFSome hail it as the future; others warn that it may be the newest economic bubble.

Either way, few people haven’t heard of bitcoin by now.

In this May 2008 FRBSF Economic Report, authors Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak and Patrick Shultz take a careful look at “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices.”

Who Should Read “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices”? And Why?

“How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices” is not exactly an article for people who have been, are, or are planning to trade with bitcoins or bitcoin futures.

Simply put, there isn’t any investment advice here – especially not in relation to Bitcoin.

However, there is an interesting conclusion concerning the relation of price dynamics and futures trading in general.

Which should make this article interesting for any future investor or trader.

About Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak and Patrick Shultz

Galina B. Hale Galina B. Hale is a research advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Arvind KrishnamurthyArvind Krishnamurthy is a Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, with a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from MIT.

Marianna Kudlyak and Patrick Shultz are both research advisors in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  

“How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices PDF Summary”

Nobody knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is, or even if it is one person for that matter.

But many people know that, almost a decade ago, he/she/they developed the bitcoin and devised the first blockchain database.

The first decentralized digital currency, bitcoin was hailed by the leaders of the bitcoin movement as “inherently anti-establishment, anti-system, and anti-state,” not to mention “fundamentally humanitarian.”

Now, between January 2009 and February 22, 2017, bitcoin’s price never exceeded $1,150.

And, then it suddenly started skyrocketing, reaching $19,511 on December 17, 2017.

Coincidentally, the day bitcoin reached its peak was the very same day the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) opened up a futures market for the cryptocurrency.

In barely a month, bitcoin’s price fell to half of its peak price and is currently at half of that, selling at about $6,000 per bitcoin.

So, you can’t blame the authors of “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices” for seeing much more than just a coincidence between bitcoin’s fall and the opening of the futures market for bitcoins.

Even less so if you take into consideration that the same happened in the home financing market in the 2000s, when “financial innovations in securitization and groupings of bonds” attracted optimistic investors, before instruments were created which “allowed pessimistic investors to bet against the housing market.”

Similarly, the advent of blockchain introduced a new financial instrument, bitcoin, which optimistic investors bid up, until the launch of bitcoin futures allowed pessimists to enter the market, which contributed to the reversal of the bitcoin price dynamics.

Simply put, before December 17, 2017, there was no way for pessimists to bet on the decline in bitcoin prices.

The only ones who traded were optimists who, by buying bitcoins, were betting on the rise of bitcoin.

It’s always easier to bet on the rise because all you need to do is just buy a bitcoin.

However, once CME futures trading for bitcoin was launched, pessimists entered the equation.

Now, they could finally bet on the bitcoin prices going down, by short selling the digital currency.

The prophecy was, once again, self-fulfilling: as many people took short positions on the digital currency, its price started falling, and this triggered even more pessimism.

According to the authors, this pricing dynamic happens over and over again:

Once derivatives markets become sufficiently deep, short-selling pressure from pessimists leads to a sharp decline in value.

Now, the only question left is: do we know the real price of bitcoin?

Of course, this is not an easy question to answer.

However, in time, by analyzing some fundamentals such as mining costs, transactional demand, regulatory governance and the use and benefits of rival cryptocurrencies, investors will reach a clearer picture of bitcoin’s value.

By then – it’s all a speculation.

Key Lessons from “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices”

1.      Bitcoin Was the First Decentralized Digital Currency
2.      Bitcoin’s Decline Coincided with the CME’s Opening of a Futures Market for the Cryptocurrency
3.      In the Future, Sell Before the Futures

Bitcoin Was the First Decentralized Digital Currency

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, i.e., a digital currency not backed by any asset of intrinsic value.

Launched in 2009, it was the first decentralized digital currency since its system was designed to work without administrators or a central bank.

Bitcoin’s Decline Coincided with the CME’s Opening of a Futures Market for the Cryptocurrency

Between 2009 and February 22, 2017, bitcoin’s price was relatively steady, never passing the $1,150 threshold.

However, during the next 11 months, it skyrocketed, and on December 17, 2017, one bitcoin was selling at a price of nearly $20,000.

That very same day, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange opened the futures market for bitcoin.

This provided pessimists with a mechanism to express their opinion about bitcoin by short selling. In merely a month, the price of bitcoin halved, and half a year after that, it revolves in the realm of $6,000 per bitcoin.

In the Future, Sell Before the Futures

“How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices” argues that Bitcoin’s price volatility is consistent with the rise and collapse of the home financing market of the 2000s, i.e., that, once again, the price dynamics was reversed once futures were launched.

If the logic of the authors is sound, be sure to sell before the futures start trading during the next investing craze.

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“How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices Quotes”

The launch of bitcoin futures allowed pessimists to enter the market, which contributed to the reversal of the bitcoin price dynamics. Click To Tweet

The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Click To Tweet

As speculative dynamics disappear from the bitcoin market, the transactional benefits are likely to be the factor that will drive valuation. Click To Tweet

Optimists bid up the price before financial instruments are available to short the market. Click To Tweet

Once derivatives markets become sufficiently deep, short-selling pressure from pessimists leads to a sharp decline in value. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“How Futures Trading Change Bitcoin” is a well-written, tightly-structured, thought-provoking analysis of a hotly debated topic. Highly recommended.

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The Accidental Investment Banker PDF Summary

The Accidental Investment Banker PDFInside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street

Want to learn more about investment banking?

Interested to find out more about its fabulous past and its speculative present?

Then delve inside the decade that transformed Wall Street – the 1990s.

With Jonathan A. Knee, the “The Accidental Investment Banker.”

Who Should Read “The Accidental Investment Banker”? And Why?

“The New York Times” has described “The Accidental Investment Banker” as “a rare, ringside seat inside the madcap and often egomaniacal world of Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe” adding that for would-be bankers, the book is an excellent primer on what it’s really like; for current bankers it will be a guilty pleasure.

And even if you are neither, we truly believe that you’ll find a lot of enjoyment in peeking behind the curtain and seeing what’s really happening on the fabulous stage of Wall Street.

General readers will marvel, noted “The Wall Street Journal.”

Jonathan A. KneeJonathan A. Knee

Jonathan A. Knee is the Michael T. Fries Professor of Professional Practice of Media and Technology at Columbia Business School and a Senior Advisor at Evercore Partners.

He has earned a BA from Boston University, MSc from Trinity in Dublin, MBA from Stanford and JD from Yale. Before joining Evercore Partners, Knee was a Publishing Sector Head in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group at Goldman Sachs and, then, a Managing Director and Co-head of Morgan Stanley’s Media Group.

In addition to “The Accidental Investment Banker,” he has authored one more book, “Class Clowns,” and co-authored another, “The Curse of the Mogul.”

“The Accidental Investment Banker PDF Summary”

Before we delve briefly into the quiet beginnings and the wild decades of investment banking, it’s only appropriate to explain what an investment bank actually is.

By strict definition, an investment bank is usually a private company which provides various financial (and finance-related) services to individuals, corporations, and even governments.

Mostly these all boil down to two primary functions: corporate finance and sales and trading.

Corporate finance is what investment banks traditionally do (and have done for centuries).

In a nutshell, it means helping customers raise funds (via mutual funds, pension funds, etc.) so that they can develop new capabilities or purchase new assets.

In the latter case – i.e., mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – investment banks can also give advisory services to companies on how to best consolidate the new assets under one entity.

In its sales and trading function, an investment bank basically serves as the middleman, buying and selling securities on behalf of itself and its clients, earning some percent of the funds it raises.

On IPOs, for example, an investment bank’s “spread” can be up to 7% of the raised finances!

Now, even though investment banking began with the activities of the Dutch East India Company a few centuries ago, it actually became something big in the United States in the early 20th century.

More or less just as today, the leading investment banking houses at the time were Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, closely followed by Merrill Lynch.

Behind them, four investment banks which, for one reason or another, don’t exist anymore: First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), and Salomon Brothers.

After the Great Depression of 1929, investment banks entered a golden era.

How could they not?

In a world practically bereaved of financial euphoria, the investment banks of the time were all but the only model financial institutions, so everybody respected them as such.

Loyal to their customers and as conservative as possible, the investment banks of this period prized integrity above all and didn’t want to blow their own horns that much:

With roots going back over a century, the major investment banking houses largely eschewed publicity and had developed their own idiosyncratic cultures built on notions of exclusivity, integrity and conservatism.

And if there is one man who embodies golden-era investment banking, then that man is certainly Goldman Sachs’ long-time leader, Sidney Weinberg, Mr. Wall Street himself.

Widely respected, Weinberg was both a shrewd and an honest man, with a keen eye for business, but also with the integrity to stay away from speculative businesses; for example, he refused to underwrite gambling-related businesses.

However, soon after Weinberg’s death in 1969, views such as these became not only outdated but also a competitive disadvantage.

And the relatively humble white-shoe conservative investment banker of the war years morphed into the unorthodox M&A rock star with a lavish lifestyle and a six-figure paycheck.

J.P. Morgan Jr. may have advised doing “first-class business in a first-class way,” but the Wall Street motto of the 1990s spelled anything but: “IBG-YBG” (i.e., “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.”) meant that “short-term thinking,” was now the only valid way to run an investment bank.

And, as usual, short-term thinking resulted in a disaster in the long run.

Investment banks did rebound a few years after the crash of 2000 rattled the industry, but, expectedly, they never regained their reputation of the golden-era Weinberg years.

Key Lessons from “The Accidental Investment Banker”

1.      The Two Primary Functions of Investment Banks
2.      The Golden Era of Investment Banking
3.      The Boom and the Bust of the 1990s

The Two Primary Functions of Investment Banks

Investment banks have two primary functions: corporate finance and sales and trading.

The corporate finance function includes raising funds for their clients, be they individuals, corporations, or governments. It also incorporates giving valuable advice concerning mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

The sales and trading function means underwriting the clients’ assets, i.e., buying and selling securities, and earning a percentage of it.

The Golden Era of Investment Banking

After the Great Depression, investment banks were conservative institutions, mostly interested in long-term plans and staying away from speculations.

Sidney Weinberg – Goldman Sachs’ CEO from 1930 to his death in 1969 – typified the era: an honest and reliable man, he stayed away from hostile takeover bids and refused to underwrite gambling businesses.

Most investment banks followed suit, making them the most reliable financial institutions of the war (Second World War, Cold War) years.

The Boom and the Bust of the 1990s

However, the 1980s infamously turned Wall Street into a den of thieves, and during the 1990s things really spiraled out of control.

First – for the better; and then – for the worse:

Just as the investment banks were ill-prepared to deal with the boom of the 1990s, they had no road map to manage the bust of the new millennium.

Unsurprisingly, investment banks haven’t recovered their golden-era reputation of trusted, loyal advisers.

In fact, nowadays, there’s “an unprecedented level of cynicism, suspicion, and distrust of investment banks” among CEOs.

Probably for a very good reason.

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“The Accidental Investment Banker Quotes”

What sends an investment banking firm into decline is typically a major scandal, a capital crisis, a mass exodus of productive partners, or usually some combination of the three. Click To Tweet

Investment banks and investment bankers had always thought of themselves as providing a highly differentiated value-added service – strategic advice selected based on quality. Click To Tweet

Investment banking, at bottom, is a sales job. Click To Tweet

The ‘spin’ involved in any sales job has a comic aspect that takes on an even more absurd quality when the financial stakes are as high as in investment banking. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Accidental Investment Banker” is, by all accounts, a rare book: an insider’s look into the world of investment banking.

Written by someone who has worked at both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the book chronicles the madness of the boom and the bust of the 1990s with appropriate flair and panache and abounds with engaging intrigues and memorable anecdotes.

To quote “Fortune” magazine, “For anyone who remembers the crazy boom times, and the even crazier bust, Jonathan A. Knee’s ‘The Accidental Investment Banker’ is a must.”

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Managing Transitions PDF Summary

Managing Transitions PDFMaking the Most of Change

Whether you own a $100 startup or the largest Internet company in the world – one thing is fairly certain: things change.

The key is to make the most of these changes.

In “Managing Transitions” William Bridges explains how.

Step by step.

Who Should Read “Managing Transitions”? And Why?

When it was first published 26 years ago, “Managing Transitions” was one of the very few books on the market – if not the only one – to point out that as difficult as it can be for a company to deal with situational change, the psychological transitions which come by way of it are much more challenging and strenuous.

In other words, that it is essentially the people one should be worried about during times of change.

And when we say “people” we mean the employees, just as when we say “one” we mostly mean managers.

However, even though primarily a business book, some of Bridges’ psychological insights are so profound and his step-by-step instructions so clear, that we feel that “Managing Transitions” can be used by anyone who deals with almost any kind of change in ordinary life.

William BridgesAbout William Bridges

William Bridges was an American author and organizational consultant, widely considered the foremost expert on business change and transitions for most of his life.

Educated at Harvard (BA, English), Columbia (MA, American History) and Brown (Ph.D., American Civilization), Bridges started off as a professor of American Literature at Mills College but changed careers in 1974.

He wrote ten books, three of which are still in print: “The Way of Transition,” “Transitions” and “Managing Transitions.”

Bridges passed away in 2013 at the age of 79.

“Managing Transitions PDF Summary”

Even though “where there’s change, there’s transition,” change and transition are actually two very different things.

Change is merely a new situation presenting itself, but transition is the personal transformation which goes with it.

Change, in other words, is situational; transition, however, is psychological:

People are the ones who have to embrace new situations and carry out the corresponding changes. The psychological shifts that accompany the situational shifts can be difficult for people and must be managed to have everyone on board.

So, when there’s downsizing or a company relocates, when there’s a merger or a new management team comes on board – there are also hundreds of employees who need to go through a personal transition to keep pace with the factual change.

If managers don’t help them, they may remain stuck in the pre-change situation, which is a double catastrophe: both organizational and personal.

Every transition is a three-phase process, which consists of an ending, neutral zone, and a new beginning.

So, let’s have a look at how managers can help employees to go through each of these stages.

#1. Ending

Not many things begin with an ending, but every transition does:

Before you can begin something new, you have to end what used to be.

And there are few simple, but quite crucial steps one needs to make to (help someone) put an end to something:

a) Understand the situation: you need to explain/understand every change in detail, clearly and comprehensibly;
b) Look ahead: go beyond Stage One: every change brings another and then another;
c) Identify losses: once you understand the situation fully, make a list of who loses what;
d) Recognize the reality: losses are not only material – they can also be subjective and emotional;
e) Expect strong reactions: some will grieve, some will be angry; nothing is an overreaction from the perspective of the one who has lost something due to a change beyond his power;
f) be open and keep the information flowing: sometimes, there’s nothing you can do; communicate that in an earnest, sympathizing manner; don’t lie and don’t hide anything from those going through the transition;
g) respect the past: Hernán Cortés burnt his ships at Vera Cruz to make clear to his crew that going back to Spain was now not an option; make your point in a similarly dramatic way.

#2. The Neutral Zone

Think of the neutral zone as some sort of a bardo or a limbo: you’re on your way, but you’re not there just yet.

And even though “one doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time,” we don’t need to tell you that there are a few things worse than uncertainty in life!

The same is true for your employees, so don’t expect them to be orderly and logical once they realize that there’s no turning back.

So:

a) Keep your demands reasonable: reasonable in the neutral zone means lowered expectations;
b) Old rules out: if necessary, allow your employees to circumvent some of the old policies;
c) Set concise goals: to give your employees a boost in morale, set concise short-term goals;
d) Communicate: help your employees communicate among themselves.

#3. The New Beginning

Beginnings are strange things,” Bridges says. “People want them to happen but fear them at the same time.

To help your employees kickstart their future, always have the four P’s in mind:

Purpose: if people know where they are going, they would be willing to tolerate the change;
Picture: go beyond words: show your people the final destination;
Plan: a change plan is not the same as a transition plan; the latter consists of subjective, individual, emotional and psychological elements;
Part: if one is not part of the transition, he/she will be part of the problem; so, make sure everybody gets a role.

To make sure everyone’s on board with the new beginning, follow these four simple rules:

a) Consistency: be consistent with your goal; otherwise, you’ll lose your people;
b) Go for quick wins: as in the neutral zone, boost your employees’ morale with a few quick and low-risk wins;
c) Use the power of symbols: symbols are powerful and meaningful; so, don’t underestimate them, even if we’re just talking about the color of the uniform after a merger;
d) Throw a success party: celebrate the new beginning.

Key Lessons from “Managing Transitions”

1.      There’s a Difference Between Change and Transition
2.      Transition Is a Three-Phase Process
3.      Take Few Tips Out of Moses’ Book

There’s a Difference Between Change and Transition

Even though the thesaurus may list them as synonyms, change and transitions are two completely different things.

Change is situational and much more objective; transition, on the other hand, is a psychological and subjective experience.

In a nutshell, transition is, in fact, the process of adjusting to change.

It’s easy to change; it’s difficult to make the transition to stay even with the change.

Transition Is a Three-Phase Process

Every transition consists of three phases: ending, neutral zone, and a new beginning.

Putting an end to something means leveling the field for something new: the latter will never arrive if you still hang on to the former.

The neutral zone is the region of chaos and confusion, the in-between place where you can feel the loss of the old but are still unaware of the benefits of the new.

Once you become aware of the advantages of the new situation, you’ve gone through the neutral zone; it’s time for the new beginning.

Take Few Tips Out of Moses’ Book

One of the greatest transition stories in history is the sojourn of the Israelites from Egypt to Israel.

So, be a Moses!

Take your people on the much necessary journey once you’re sure you can get them to Canaan.

Tell them that your journey has a purpose and that the next stage is the promised land.

But, also, be very aware that many will not want to follow you and, while in the neutral zone, will look back with nostalgia on the previous phase, the same way the Israelites did while walking in the desert, when they yearned to go back to Egypt even though they had been slaves there.

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“Managing Transitions Quotes”

Where there’s change, there’s transition. Click To Tweet

Before you can begin something new, you have to end what used to be. Click To Tweet

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Click To Tweet

Economic and social forecasting is a big business, but when tested against subsequent events, it misses as many boats as it catches. Click To Tweet

Plans are immensely reassuring to most people, not just because they contain information but because they exist. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Managing Transitions” was first published in 1992 and it was widely hailed as a classic even back then. A quarter of a century later, this brief volume of fewer than 130 pages is considered the definitive guide to dealing with change.

Clear and comprehensible, timely and thorough, “Managing Transitions” is one of the best business books you’ll ever read.

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Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach PDF Summary

Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach PDFNothing new on the program today: once again, we talk about coaching and mentoring.

Or, rather, the necessity of it.

However, this time we’ll leave the subject where it’s most safe: in the hands of a surgeon, Atul Gawande.

Unsurprisingly, he’s pretty precise and straightforward:

Want to get great at something?” he asks. “Then, get a coach!

Who Should Read “Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach”? And Why?

Coaching is not only for the amateurs, Gawande says; it’s also for the experts.

So, “Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach” should function as a wakeup call for everyone who thinks that he/she has reached his/her peak.

In merely 15 minutes, we guarantee that Gawande will change your ways of thinking.

Atul GawandeAbout Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande is an American surgeon and writer.

A professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Gawande is also the executive director of Ariadne Labs and chairman of Lifebox.

He has authored few bestselling books: “Complications,” “Better,” “The Checklist Manifesto” and “Being Mortal.”

In 2010, he was listed among the 100 most influential people in the world in the annual list assembled by “Time” magazine.

“Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach PDF Summary”

There’s no such thing as reaching your peak.

So, if you believe that you are there –  Atul Gawande says in his unassuming (and all the more brilliant for it) 2017 TED Talk “Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach” – you’re not seeing things objectively.

In other words: if you are at a stage where you can’t find any more room to improve, that doesn’t mean that you can’t; it only means that you can’t on your own.

It all boils down to this small, but extremely important distinction, which, in its less formal imperative version, sounds a bit Nazi:

Get a coach!

However, this, in Atul Gawande’s opinion, is the best advice you will ever get, and his conviction is deeply rooted in a continual interest for and personal strive for excellence, best summed up by his inspiring and thought-provoking credo:

It’s not how good you are now; it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters.

Now, Atul Gawande is a world-renowned surgeon who just recently – barely two weeks ago (June 20, 2018) – was named a CEO of a healthcare venture jointly owned by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase.

So, how much better can he get?

Or, to rephrase that: if he’s the best, then who’s better than him to coach him?

To answer this, Gawande starts by addressing one fundamental question: “How do professionals get better at what they do?”

And there are two views about this.

The first one is the pedagogical view.

According to it, expertise means not needing to be coached. That is: you know you’re good, when you can make it on your own.

In fact, you allow yourself to be coached (read: “you go to school, you study, you practice, you learn…”) so that you can reach a stage in which your know-how will make a coach obsolete:

A professional is someone who is capable of managing their own improvement.

There is practically no professional on this planet who hasn’t gone through this process.

Which is why, for the most of them (whether they are lawyers, scientists or musicians), it seems a bit shameful to ask someone else for help.

It basically means that you haven’t finished your training process; or even that you are admitting that the other guy knows more than you.

The opposing view comes out of sports.

According to this one, everybody needs a coach; in fact, in sports, coaching is an essential part of talent, no matter how talented you are.

And, as opposed to other fields of human endeavor, we are not at all surprised to see even the greatest basketball or chess players coached!

According to Gawande, this latter view is the right one – no matter what you are, or what you want to become.

Take him, for example!

As we said above, he’s one of the best surgeons in the world.

But, once he realized that he wasn’t improving anymore, Gawande decided to hire a coach, i.e., to ask a former professor of his (Bob Osteen) to observe him in his operating room.

I remember the first case,” notes Gawande. “It went beautifully. I didn’t think there would be anything much he’d have to say when we were done. Instead, he had a whole page dense with notes.

Why?

Because Bob could see Atul from a different perspective; and from where he was, Atul’s elbow was up in the air every once in a while, and the light had swung out of the wound.

Small things – but it’s them that matter in the long run.

Another great example would be Itzhak Perlman, one of the greatest violinists of our time.

His coach?

His wife, Toby, who’s always in the audience at his performances, observing him and giving him feedback.

And why should Itzhak listen?

Because coaches perform three fundamental functions you can’t do (at least not as well) on your own.

First of all, they can be your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of reality – one that you can’t see from where your standing.

Next, they are capable of recognizing fundamentals and instilling positive thinking, i.e., they can motivate us and remind us of the things we might have forgotten.

Finally, they can break our actions down for us, and then, they can help us build them back up once again.

So, do you still think you are better off without a coach?

Well, think again!

Key Lessons from “Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach”

1.      What Does It Mean to Be a Professional?
2.      Two Views on Coaching
3.      What Do Coaches Do? Three Benefits of Coaching

What Does It Mean to Be a Professional?

In the opinion of most people, a professional is someone who is capable of performing what he does independently.

And few – if anyone – can argue with this definition.

However, a professional is also someone who is constantly improving in his field.

Here’s the catch:

Can you improve unaided?

If you can – then what’s the deal with the education system?

Should we redefine the term “professional”?

Two Views on Coaching

There are two opposing views on coaching.

According to the pedagogical one, coaching is the process through which you need to go to become a professional. According to sports-related people, coaching is an essential part of being a professional.

In other words, the former think that once you learn your craft, you don’t need to be coached anymore; the latter believe that even if you are the best in the world – you still need a coach.

What Do Coaches Do? Three Benefits of Coaching

Why would a Tiger Woods or a Michael Jordan need a coach?

Well because coaches provide three benefits of utmost importance.

In the words of Gawande, they are

your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality. They’re recognizing the fundamentals. They’re breaking your actions down and then helping you build them back up again.

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“Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach Quotes”

I think it's not just how good you are now, I think it's how good you're going to be that really matters. Click To Tweet

The greatest in the world needs a coach. Click To Tweet

You don't recognize the issues that are standing in your way or if you do, you don't necessarily know how to fix them. And the result is that somewhere along the way, you stop improving. Click To Tweet

Great coaches…are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality. Click To Tweet

I saw a team transformed because of coaching. And I saw at least one life saved because of it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The main idea of Atul Gawande’s TED Talk is there in its title: “Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach.”

And, obviously, it’s not exactly an innovative one.

However, his argumentation, and the fact that he’s a surgeon and has successfully employed this advice in his own practice, makes all the difference.

Put differently, this TED Talk may finally help you realize the importance of coaches and even inspire you to get one.

No matter what you do.

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The New Financial Order PDF Summary

The New Financial Order PDFRisk in the Twenty-First Century

Over the course of thousands of years, people did everything in their power to minimize the risks.

Consciously or unconsciously, we strive to create a better living space, in which we can then indulge in leisure activities.

To do so, you have to take every potential financial threat into account.

Acting with caution is what this book summary is all about – Read on!  

Who Should Read “The New Financial Order”? And Why?

We often hear about the New World Order, but is there a new financial one? Let’s find out. Indeed, having an alternative for every possible scenario is impossible.

The New Financial Order” targets a new set of audience, which realize that risks are everywhere and hiding from them is easier said than done. We recommend it for people who have at least basic knowledge in economic processes and inconsistencies.

About Robert J. Shiller

Robert J. ShillerRobert James Shiller is one of America’s finest economists and authors. Currently, he is an economics professor at Yale University.

Robert is the author of several books including Irrational Exuberance.

“The New Financial Order PDF Summary”

Economic risks in the new age are treated as harmless voice, whose impact is widely disregarded. Politicians don’t seem to be stressed out about the influences which may affect the country’s GDP and global economy.

We are accustomed to stability, which is fragile even after WW2. The progress and the endless opportunities have made the everyday person feel like – there’s nothing significant to make a fuss about!

90% of these low-profile risks are perceivable only in the long-run, thereby making it impossible to spot an early threat. Due to such occurrences, politicians, the general public, and the media take them for granted.

For instance, having life or property insurance is the central defense mechanism most people embrace to safeguard their interest. Nonetheless, have you given any thoughts on the risks deriving from business twists, such as – What if Global Warming instigates chaos in your industry? Or, what if the new administration affects the currency that you are highly dependent on?

You don’t need us telling you that such precautions are non-existing, and insurance policies can’t cover similar eventualities. So, what can at least minimize the risk? Companies and organizations are compelled to manage present-day threats triggered by cutting-edge technology and here’s how:

  • Gradual replacement of human resources with more-advanced technological machinery and gear.
  • To find lucrative opportunities for you to leverage by using globalization as your main weapon.
  • The prowess on the “battlefield” which allows a few prominent individuals to absorb the lion’s share of incomes and eventually profits.
  • The ability to allocate resources to focus on building highly-advanced military equipment.

Fluctuation in currency values occurs mainly due to external influences such as in the event of war, change of foreign policy, and others. This never-ending economic issue can be put under control by pressing into service the indexed units of an account.

People are aware of the growing economic concern, which may one day leave them on the brink of financial collapse. In addition, people buy insurance policies to ensure that after some unpleasant event in the future, they’ll have a backup plan to cover their losses.

However, the society falls short in delivering highly needed offers to deal with two prevailing economic risks:

  • The potential risk of not being able to sustain the earning power.
  • The potential risk of a drop-off in terms of property value.

How the process goes? Similar to other insurance policies, the idea is to pass the buck over to investors who would then manage to diversify the portfolio to control the risks:

Livelihood Insurance

Let’s say that a company may face a potential bankruptcy, and the workers are in a real threat of ending up penniless. So, what do we do? To bottom line is, the insurance companies must find a way to put all skills and specialists into one basket. By stretching the net wide, students will not be reluctant to choose a risky profession instead of going for something mediocre.

Home Equity Insurance

In the late 70s, the idea of this type of insurance came to light. Coming directly from the Chicago suburbs, the movement was launched to stem “white flight.” Nowadays, when we have all the available technology and data in home price indexes, people can create better policies.

Macro Markets

How far is the stock market obliged to go? We often take it as an indicator of the economic performance of a single country or region. It’s critical for you to realize that only a tiny portion of country’s financial capabilities can be gauged in the same manner.

If you are in pursuit of a better proxy-indicator – you might want to take into account the macro markets, in which potential investors could have a look at the country’s GDP.

Not being able to trade securities in similar eventualities could inflict a major blow in the country’s economic display on the global arena. This market exchange allows the investors to bet on the future values of incomes or properties!

Finding common ground with all parties is vital for keeping the morale up and ensuring that the poorer countries are gradually escaping the circle of stagnation.

Key Lessons from “The New Financial Order”

1.      Currency values are at risk
2.      Global awareness and understanding
3.      The power of a deal

Currency values are at risk

Most people don’t know that currency as a way of evaluating someone’s wealth is declining in popularity.

According to recent financial analysis, less than 5$ of U.S. household financial capabilities are “guarded” in bank vaults. A significant chunk of the daily transactions including electronic money transfer are not cashed.

Global awareness and understanding

To stabilize the market, you need global contribution. Wealthier nations should bear the cost of low GDP in economically-weak regions, by lending money in the Third-World.

In addition, expecting a compensation when the country exceeds the GDP-expectations in the foreseeable future.

The power of a deal

The potential progressive problems can be subsided if agreements are made. The amounts paid as a foreign aid are targeting to improve the well-being of the global community.

Directing these economic resources to newly-formed or transition countries can lead to relieving the plight of those living in poverty.

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“The New Financial Order Quotes”

History shows that much of financial innovation, even that which appears in the private sector, occurred only after some government initiative to improve financial markets. Click To Tweet Concerns about privacy should not lead us to try to stop progress in identification systems tied to databases. The challenge is to design these systems correctly. Click To Tweet Inequality insurance is not a Robin Hood plot to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Like other risk management devices, it focuses only on protecting all of us from future risks. Click To Tweet Investors around the world are perfectly capable of handling the risks of Bulgaria, or of any other country, by putting it into a diversified portfolio. Click To Tweet The new information technology puts economics today roughly where astronomy was when the telescope was invented. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Every book designed around the objective of improving the reader’s financial status deserves our praises.

This is not a “How-to-get-rich-quickly” Guide but how to stay wealthy.

Learn the gapes, and protect yourself and your family from a possible breakdown.

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Death by Meeting PDF Summary

Death by Meeting PDFA Leadership Fable… About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

Ready for another business fable?

Well, who isn’t?

Especially if it is by Patrick Lencioni, one of the masters of the genre.

In “Death by Meeting” he tries to find a solution to “the most painful problem in business”:

Uninspiring, boring, time-wasting meetings.

Who Should Read “Death by Meeting”? And Why?

Meetings are a puzzling paradox,” states Will Peterson, one of the characters in 2Death by Meeting,” while presenting his model. “On one hand, they are critical. Meetings are the activity at the center of every organization. On the other hand, they are painful. Frustratingly long and seemingly pointless.

Needless to add, “Death by Meeting” tries to transcend this paradox.

And it should probably be consulted by every manager who wants to add some drama and context to the meetings in his company.

Patrick M. LencioniAbout Patrick M. Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni is an American author, motivational speaker, and the President of The Table Group.

One of the “10 new gurus you should know” according to CNN Money, Lencioni has so far written about a dozen books which explore different aspects of business management, mostly team dynamics and obstacles to success.

He is most famous as the author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and “The Advantage.”

Find out more at https://www.tablegroup.com.

“Death by Meeting PDF Summary”

“Death by Meeting” may be subtitled “A Leadership Fable,” but that only describes half of it.

Literally.

Since the book itself is divided into two very distinct parts: “The Fable” and “The Model.”

As is obvious from the titles, the first part narrates Lencioni’s story and encompasses about four-fifths of the book, providing the framework for the second part, which, in no more than 40 pages, extracts the lessons learned in the form of an applicable – and supposedly “groundbreaking” – meetings model.

Appropriately, we’ll explore the model in our “Key Lessons” section.

In this one, we’ll merely summarize Lencioni’s fable.

It concerns Casey McDaniel, the founder and CEO of Yip Software, a likable, but not at all an inspiring guy.

After winning a golf scholarship in his youth, Casey enrolled at the University of Arizona and studied electrical engineering and computers.

He wasn’t a very good student, but he was a great golfer, resulting not only in him joining the PGA tour shortly after graduating but also in winning a few tournaments and a couple of complimenting epithets.

Unfortunately, that was it for Casey, since, early on, he contracted a case of the dreaded yips, which led to him leaving the tour and inventing a virtual golf game.

The game proved a tremendous success, so Casey started Yip Software, which, by the time our fable starts, had managed to release eight mildly popular games.

Their problem?

No violence.

A personal preference of Casey himself who didn’t want his four children to grow up in a world of violent games.

Unfortunately, he seems to have had no problems with his employees withering out in a corporate world of boring meetings, made even more tedious after a passionate conference or an exciting presentation by some of Yip’s competitors!

One day Casey hires an HR manager named Michelle.

For the first time in the history of Yip, Michelle organized a meeting with an agenda. And her preparations included a study on the morale of Yip’s workers.

Her conclusions?

There is no such thing in the company.

The reason?

According to Casey, the lack of a why, a motto, a mission; apparently, in his opinion, his employees needed a new cause to rally around, and they needed it fast.

According to Tim Carter, the CFO, the reason for the low morale was much more tangible: the lack of bonuses and similar financial incentives.

To this, Connor, the head of marketing, replies something which shakes Casey to the core of his existence. “I would like to make more money,” he says, “but I have accepted my fate.”

Fate?

Are all of his employees so resigned?

Soon, Casey sees no option but to sell his company to Playsoft, a rival company, and the second biggest video game market in the country.

In return, J.T. Harrison, the head of business development at Playsoft, promises Casey that he’ll get to keep his job and his team.

But Playsoft’s stocks take a plunge, and J.T. starts visiting Yip much more often, in an apparent attempt to supervise Casey’s managing more closely.

One of the first things he realizes: Yip’s meetings are as demoralizing as a modest income or a last-minute loss!

After attending one of them, he writes a mail to Casey, stating:

I have rarely seen such an unproductive, uninspired meeting in my career.

Casey fears that J.T. is angling for his job and doesn’t know where to turn for advice.

He’ll get one from an unlikely source: Will Peterson, Yip’s new administrative assistant, a brilliant guy with a psychological problem for which he takes regular medications.

However, one day he just doesn’t, and he suddenly bursts into a string of expletives during another one of Casey’s endless, pointless meetings.

Afterward, he secretly reads his CEO’s emails and finds the one sent by J.T.

So, he goes over to Casey and tells him straight away: meetings matter; yours don’t.

Casey is all ears.

And Will proposes a groundbreaking meetings model to shake things up.

Its main premise: most of the meetings are useless or wrongly conducted, lacking drama and context.

Fortunately,

There is nothing inherent about meetings that makes them bad, and so it is entirely possible to transform them into compelling, productive and fun activities.

Only four kinds of meetings are meaningful: check-in, tactical, strategic and quarterly review.

Key Lessons from “Death by Meeting”

1.      The Daily Check-In Meeting
2.      Weekly Tactical Meeting
3.      Monthly Strategic Meeting
4.      Quarterly Review

The Daily Check-In Meeting

Think of the daily check-in meeting as a football huddle!

Meaning: it should be short and conducted while standing up.

The only reason why it exists?

To help the participants quickly review their intentions and plans for the day.

And that’s it.

Weekly Tactical Meeting

Once a week, you need to organize a 45 to 90 minutes long tactical meeting.

This one should be a highly structured one, and it should include at least four parts.

First, the lightning round, during which everyone has a minute to state his or her priorities. Then, the review portion, when, obviously, everyone’s performance is reviewed against the four most important metrics.

Only after this part, you’ll be able to move on to setting an agenda and a challenge for the next week, which comprise the last two segments of the weekly tactical meeting.

Monthly Strategic Meeting

The strategy of a company should change and be updated much less regularly than its tactics, which means that a monthly strategic meeting should be just enough.

However, don’t be stingy with the time you dedicate to each of the important discussion topics during the monthly strategic meeting.

In fact, that’s exactly why you have it once a month!

Quarterly Review

Regardless of the bad reputation of quarterly reviews, dividing the work year into four quarters makes a lot of sense on so many levels, so don’t try to get rid of them.

Instead, just optimize them.

Every quarterly review should address four topics, four separate reviews: a review of strategy, a review of the team, a review of personnel, and a review of the operating environment.

Only then it can be successful!

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“Death by Meeting Quotes”

No matter what kind of organization I work with – regardless of size, industry or geography – the same general experience drives people crazy when it comes to meetings. Click To Tweet

Bad meetings, and what they indicate and provoke in an organization, generate real human suffering in the form of anger, lethargy and cynicism. Click To Tweet

The issues you’re supposed to be talking about here are what puts bread on your tables and keeps you all employed. How much more could be at stake? Click To Tweet

Think about your favorite movies. You can probably remember the opening scenes. Something about them got your attention and hooked you. And that’s what you have to do in your meetings. Give people a reason to care. Click To Tweet

There is nothing inherent about meetings that makes them bad, and so it is entirely possible to transform them into compelling, productive and fun activities. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you’ve read “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” you already know that Patrick Lencioni knows full well how to write an engaging business fable.

However, we feel that “Death by Meeting” doesn’t live up to the high standard he had set with his previous books.

For one, the fable is about four times as long as the model, even though the former is merely the framework for the latter.

So much so that you can easily do away with the first 200 pages and lose nothing.

There is, nevertheless, some good advice in the last 40.

So, read only those.

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