Categories
EME Ling- English Manage your team Management and Organizations PBM

100 recommendations for making meetings more beautiful

Members of the House of Beautiful Business community shared ideas on how to improve meetings. Before you join your next meeting, have a read-through of what they came up with. See what the repetition is saying (or not saying).

Even better: before you schedule your next, ask yourself: does this really require a meeting?

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.

Categories
Leadership Ling- English Manage the business Management and Organizations Management v. Leadership

Can we manage without managers?

In response to an article in The Economist about the need for middle managers, Michele Zanini writes:

Just because the ladder has fewer rungs doesn’t mean leadership opportunities are scarce-quite the opposite. By giving people the ability to gain influence (and compensation) based on accomplishment as opposed to advancement, an organization ends up with more, not fewer leaders. And these leaders don’t have to devote their talents and energy to politicking or sabotaging each other in zero-sum promotion battles.

The accomplishment-advancement distinction is worth exploring, but I don’t share Michele’s conclusion: the organization will likely end up with more spirit of initiative, not necessarily more “leaders”.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.

Categories
Ling- English Manage yourself Managing oneself

It’s time to rewild your attention

When you read what everyone else is reading, you’re likely to think what everyone else is thinking. And you might only be reading what the algorithms are putting before you. It’s time to rewild your attention.

Big-tech recommendation systems (…) pose a (…) challenge for our imaginative lives: Their remarkably dull conception of what’s “interesting”. It’s like intellectual monocropping. You open your algorithmic feed and see rows and rows of neatly planted corn, and nothing else. (Clive Thompson)

Here’s a simple idea: go to a bookstore or a library, look for a book, and let serendipity (the books around the book you’re looking for) provide surprises and discoveries.

Creativity is not about “being creative”. It’s work. And it doesn’t have to be hard work.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.

Categories
Business Communication Ling- English

It’s not always rude to talk over each other

It’s called Cooperative overlapping.

It seems self-evident. Starting to speak before another has finished violates their right to the floor. In formal contexts such as political debates, it breaches the rules. In casual conversation, it is simply rude.

But it’s not so simple. As a linguist who studies the mechanics of conversation, I’ve observed and documented that beginning to talk while another is talking can be a way of showing enthusiastic engagement with what the speaker is saying. Far from silencing them, it can be encouragement to keep going.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.

Categories
Business Basics Ling- English

Your own privacy policy

Food for thought about privacy policies from Doc Searls:

There is no reason why websites and services can’t agree to your privacy policy, and your terms of engagement. In legal terms, you should be able to operate as the first party, and to proffer your own terms, to which sites and services can agree (or, as privacy laws now say, consent) as second parties. That this is barely thinkable is a legacy of a time that has sadly not yet left us: one in which only companies can enjoy that kind of scale. Yet it would clearly be a convenience to have privacy as normalized in the online world as it is in the offline one.

Doc is Founder and director of ProjectVRM at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Co-founder and board member of Customer Commons,

He is a blogger and he is a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter

Categories
Business Basics EME Ling- English Management Work and the workplace

Doing novel things and doing old things… is not enough

Cliff Hazell:

Building a successful organization is a mix of doing new/novel things, old things, and very old things. I think we usually spend too much time talking about the new and novel as if it’s a silver bullet. Doing the old and very old things consistently and well is overlooked.

I would add an additional distinction: there’s the new/novel and there’s the timeless. There is also the timely: doing things at the right time.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.

Categories
Ling- English

Are you an Asker or a Guesser?

From The Atlantic:

In some [groups], you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t even have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter

Categories
Ling- English

A contrarian social network

Ben Grosser thinks that

platforms embed within us the idea that our own sociality is best evaluated and understood through quantity. They reconfigure our sense of time in ways that can make minutes or hours ago seem old. And their personalized feeds teach our brains that the only content worth watching or reading is that which we can already imagine.

Enter Minus – a social network where users get only 100 posts—for life.

Categories
EME Ling- English Management

The CIA’s 8-point plan for disrupting meetings and conferences

From the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual, here is an 8-point plan for disrupting meetings and conferences. You will probably recognize some of these from your own circumstances:

(1) Insist on doing everything through ‘channels’. Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2) Make ‘speeches’. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your ‘points’ by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.

(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for ‘further study and consideration’. Attempt to make committees as large as possible—never less than five.

(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

(7) Advocate ‘caution’. Be ‘reasonable’ and urge your fellow-conferees to be ‘reasonable’ and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

“(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision. . . . It might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.”

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter

Categories
Ling- English Manage yourself Teaching and Learning

15 questions about learning

  1. Do you know?

  2. Have you ever said (or thought), “I’m too old to ____”?

  3. Were you right about that?

  4. Who has taught you the most in the last two years?

  5. Last ten?

  6. Do they know you regard them in this way?

  7. Would it benefit them to know?

  8. Who or what has been an unexpected teacher?

  9. Would you consider yourself an expert?

  10. Are you striving to be seen as one?

  11. Do you wish to unlearn something?

  12. What have you learned from experience that studying could never have conveyed?

  13. What do you know of sensuous knowledge?

  14. What’s a film that made you see the world anew?

  15. When did you last feel a sense of awe?

 

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source: https://houseofbeautifulbusiness.com/read/learning-to-survive