Holiday Cookies and the Art of Negotiation

When I was little, my mom would make these awesome sugar cookies for Christmas.  The ingredients were pretty basic—the usual flour, sugar, butter—but she’d add a hint of orange peel so they had a wonderful scent of fresh citrus. Then my sister and I would have a blast decorating them, slathering on so much frosting... Read More »

Big Data: Catch the 40-Foot Wave

Half a century before Facebook and a quarter century before the Internet, a social anthropologist named John Barnes was the first to identify the concept of social networks. He spent time with the residents of a remote Norwegian fishing village, tracing their family trees and interrelationships. (“Net” was an apt usage—after all, they were fishermen.)... Read More »

Corporate Culture: Measuring the Un-measurable

About 80% of all mergers and acquisitions crash and burn—for two main reasons. The first is that technical processes such as IT don’t match. The second is that the corporate cultures don’t match. Companies almost always assess the first factor, but they normally don’t assess culture. Why not? Because they don’t know how. Work culture... Read More »

Happiness is a Bigger Ping-Pong Paddle

Do you feel sometimes that life is coming at you too fast, like a bunch of speeding Ping-Pong balls? The solution: build a bigger paddle. So says Shawn Achor, former Harvard instructor and New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage.  Achor describes a fascinating study in which players of Pong—one of the earliest video... Read More »

Change is a Constant, But You Can Stack the Deck for Success

Former CEO of Charles Schwab, Dave Pottruck knows all too well about some of the tough realities of leading breakthrough change. “I did what I had to do: I downsized a 25,000-person company by 10,000 people. But I was slow and uncertain, and had trouble coping with this new reality of my job. I was... Read More »