In The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman uses the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience and management to reveal what really makes us successful at work. Combining powerful stories with cutting-edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation and stronger performance. Among the many surprising insights, Friedman explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help you defuse a workplace argument, why placing a fishbowl near your desk can enhance your thinking, and how incorporating strategic distractions into your schedule can help you reach smarter decisions. Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organization — regardless of its size, budgets or ambitions — into an extraordinary workplace.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why successful teams make more mistakes than other teams.
• How the design of our workplace impacts our performance.
• Six insights to delay the adaptation that erodes happiness.
• Why the best managers focus on themselves.
• How to provide daily opportunities for autonomy, competence and relatedness.
What do Uber and Birdseye frozen foods have in common? They are what the authors of a new book, Play Bigger, call category kings. Category kings are unique companies that revolutionize industries by inventing entirely new categories — and then dominating that category. Play Bigger is written by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson and Christopher Lochhead, three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who co-founded a consultancy focused on designing category king companies — the name of the book is the name of their consultancy; a fourth co-author is long-time technology journalist Kevin Maney. The authors begin by defining the term “category.” A great category, they write, “solves a problem people didn’t know they had, or solves an obvious problem no one thought could be solved.”
On a visit to the Arctic, Clarence Birdseye, who created the frozen food category, watched the Inuit catch a fish and throw it on the ice, where it would instantly flash freeze. Birdseye’s reaction was not, “Finally, the solution to the problem of frozen food!” — for the simple reason that frozen food was not a concept and, therefore, not a problem. The founders of Uber, on the other hand, realized that their concept would solve a problem familiar to nearly anyone who has been near a city: the often frustrating experience of trying to hail a cab. It was an obvious problem but not one that people thought could be solved.
Finding the Missing
A vision for a new category, write the authors, often emerges from what they call a “missing” — the recognition by entrepreneurs that there is something missing in the market and that their solution can fill the gap. Marc Benioff realized that the cloud offered a way to provide CRM solutions without the expense and hassle of software. Leaving Oracle, he founded a new company called Salesforce.com, which would become the king of the cloud-based salesforce automation. An inventive idea, however, is just a small initial step in the category king strategy. The authors tell the story of a company called Jawbone. Among its inventions was a small headset that connected wirelessly to cell phones — just as states were passing no-hands regulations for drivers. However…(click to continue reading this review)
Fun as a Competitive Advantage
Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Nick Gianoulis
Register for this FREE webinar!
Whether you’re a believer in the proven theories that fun in the workplace can lead to endless business benefits, or just starting to wonder if this may be true, you’ve come to the right place.
In this FREE Soundview Live webinar, Fun as a Competitive Advantage, Nick Gianoulis will show you how to take the traditional (and sometimes expensive and ineffective) concepts for fun at work and turn them into customized, brief, cost-effective and highly impactful experiences.
What You’ll Learn:
- The foundations on which to develop a positive and productive culture
- The specifics of what to do, where to start and how to implement fun in your workplace
- How to spark conversation, ignite team unity and boost employee engagement across your company
You’ve been promoted to leadership — congratulations! But it’s nothing like your old job, is it? William Gentry says it’s time to flip your script. We all have mental scripts that tell us how the world works. Your old script was all about “me”: standing out as an individual. But as a new leader, you need to flip your script from “me” to “we” and help the group you lead succeed. In Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For, Gentry supports and coaches you to flip your script in six key areas. He offers actionable, practical, evidence-based advice and examples drawn from his research, his work with leaders, and his own failures and triumphs of becoming a new leader. But this book is more than a series of best practices — it’s your guide to internalizing a leader’s perspective. Gentry helps you flip your script so you’ll know what to do to help yourself and the team you lead succeed. That’s the kind of boss everyone wants to work for — and the kind of boss who accomplishes the most. Get started flipping your script, and become the kind of boss everyone wants to work for.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why becoming a new leader brings a sea change in roles and expectations.
• The six ways you can “flip your script” to become a boss everyone wants to work for.
• The importance of non-verbal communication among leaders.
• How to adjust to new relationships with subordinates and teams.
• How to gain a leader’s perspective and develop and focus on others.
Who Makes Our Decisions?
In a provocative new book called Invisible Influence, Wharton professor Jonah Berger explains that we are not the independent thinkers making well-informed decisions and choices that we might think we are. The reason is that many of our decisions and choices are made based on what others are doing. This is called social influence, and in Invisible Influence, Berger demonstrates, through scores of stories and academic research, the power of others on our decisions.
What Makes a Hit
For example, Berger describes an experiment by Princeton sociologist Matthew Salganik based on a website where people could download free music (actual but obscure music that no one knew). Salganik provided a list of songs to choose from, and included in the list how many other people had downloaded the song. Eventually certain songs began to attract more and more downloads, while other songs elicited much less interest. Over time, the chasm between the popular and unpopular songs grew wider and wider. Most people were attracted to the songs that most people had already downloaded.
However, the most surprising stage of Salganik’s experiment was yet to come. Salganik, writes Berger, decided to create eight different websites but with exactly the same list of songs and the same rules. Only the listeners were different. Over time, the same chasm between popular and unpopular songs appeared. The popular and unpopular songs, however, were different for each of the eight websites. Salganik thus demonstrated that if any song started to gain momentum, the mimicry gene kicked in: People decided that was the song they liked best. (Quality plays a role, but smaller than we might think).
Click here to continue reading this review, or sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter to receive business book reviews in your inbox every month!
More Recent Articles