From August 2011

Deep Thinking, Sharing, Lego, Action and the problem with Interviews

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our 24/7 connectedness is affecting our thought processes and interactions. Especially since reading The Shallows by Nicholas Carr which delves into what the internet is doing to our brains, I’ve become much more aware of how technology influences my life. I can’t imagine life without it now that it’s here. Scott Belsky raises the issue of how such connectedness is limiting our time and ability to think deeply. To do the kind of thinking that yields the best solutions. The  innovation we need as a nation to power out of the major slump we’re in.  I encourage you to think deeply about this one.

Here’s a great primer on the sharing economy emerging around us. As we seek experiences over consumerism and economics force us to consider doing without major times like a car, more and more entrepreneurs are creating businesses offering the goods we need only when we need them. Not only does this save us money, but it reduces the clutter in our homes. The social web has now made such businesses possible and look to see this trend expand. Beyond this  article I also recommend reading The Mesh by Lisa Jansky which goes into further detail.

This collection of ads for Lego shows the power of simplicity and creative thinking, not to mention a willingness to take a risk with your creative. These are provocative and memorable. They cut through the clutter and make me want to go play with legos again – something I spent hours on growing up. To me the most important takeaway is to not be too rigid and conservative with your advertising. Doing so is just a waste of money – you’ll just be lost in the clutter. These push new ground and represent thinking and creative risk taking that many executives don’t have the guts for.

Simon Sinek outlines the model for leaders who inspire action – the kind that separates those that change the world from those that don’t. His model is dead simply which is exactly why it’s so hard. The crux is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So rather than go from What to How to Why, start with Why. This is well worth the 18 minutes.


 

I don’t know about you but I find the traditional resume a pretty tired, painful document as they all quickly sound the same. You hardly get a good sense for what a person is all about from that one or two-page outline of career accomplishments that talk about their ‘managing market growth’ or ‘driving performance’. It simply doesn’t tell much of a story, but you can discern whether or not they pay attention to details. But trying to pick the gems out of 200+ resumes is tough. So goes the traditional interview process in which we try to determine capability and fit. Few things are as important as hiring the right people for your team. Bring in one bad seed and the entire harmony of a small team can be disrupted. You don’t always know such things until after you’ve hired someone. Here’s an interesting take on how interviews provide TOO much information and what to do about it. It’s especially important to note how poor they are for making good hiring decisions. Particularly in our hyper-competitive economy, a key differentiator is your culture and the people you have on your team. Choose wisely.