Categories
Ling- English Persons

Suggestions for 2022

Take wrong turns.

Talk to strangers.

Open unmarked doors.

And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing.

Do things without always knowing how they’ll turn out.

You’re curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off.

There are so many adventures that you miss because you’re waiting to think of a plan.

To find them, look for tiny interesting choices.

And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.

Randall Munroe

 

Categories
Ling- English Management and Organizations Work and the workplace

The corporation: it’s something more than the people in it

John Naughton is surprised at journalists and commentators being horrified at corporations doing despicable things.

Don’t they understand that a corporations is essentially a superintelligent AI which is entirely focussed on achieving its purpose — which in the case of corporations these days is to maximise shareholder value? That’s why Facebook could be entirely run by clones of Mahatma Gandhi and St Francis of Assisi and would still be a toxic company.

I have been taking an unscientific survey among friends, acquaintances, and clients about the type of manager they have had throughout their careers. No list of types or categories. I just ask. Bob Sutton would not be surprised to learn that most of the answers can be clustered around the concept of asshole.

But Naughton’s idea here is different. He is talking about the corporation as a whole. He calls on John Steinbeck to illustrate his pont:

a passage from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrathin which tenant farmers are objecting to foreclosure:

“Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land… We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours…. That’s what makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.”

“We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man.”

“Yes, but the bank is only made of men.”

“No, you’re wrong there — quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

The corporation is something more than the human persons in it. It’s a monster. They made it but they can’t control it.

 

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?

==
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.

==
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.

==
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.

==
Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter

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.”

==
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?

 

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

Categories
EME Ling- English Management and Organizations Work and the workplace

How to change the people’s behavior: make it fun!

This was the first of a series of experiments for a VW brand campaign.

Categories
EME Ling- English Manage yourself Management and Organizations Work and the workplace

Around the world, workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers

“Lockdown provided an opportunity to reflect – and help me realise what I want from work. I want a job that suits my life and means I’m not tied to a desk all day, every day. And if I don’t feel happy, I can just quit. There are more than enough jobs out there.”

“Workers are drafting up resignation emails, handing in their notices and heading for the exit door in their droves. The trend is worldwide.
In the UK, job vacancies soared to an all-time high in July, with available posts surpassing one million for the first time.
In the US, four million people quit their jobs in April – a 20-year high – followed by a record ten million jobs being available by the end of June.
A Microsoft study has found that 41 per cent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year.”

They call it the Great Resignation.

==
source – https://www.wired.co.uk/article/great-resignation-quit-job