Scott Hodge

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

2.23.12 Mishellaneous

Feb 23, 2012
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Fantastic! – Ira Glass (This American Life) on the secret of success in creative work (video)

LOVE! New York Times slideshow of Gerhard Richter’s art on display at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Random, but interesting… – Photos of Congolese wrestlers.

I’m a nerd, but I like this. The Best Picture Nominees….as Infographics.

Love this. Jay-Z, Ed Ruscha and Thom Yorke to Design Water Tanks in New York.

Looks pretty good! Trailer for Donald Miller’s new film, Blue Like Jazz.

Michael Hyatt had a great post this week, How To Change Organizational Culture.

Needed: New York Times on How To Wear A Tux.

Ben Arment needs an office shed.  I want need….this writers cabin.

Boingo Brings It!

Sep 19, 2008
3 Comments

Picture 11

So….  I'm in the OKC airport today waiting to board my flight back to Chicago.  My inbox is screaming out to me for attention….  But the WiFi charge is crazy for the hour that I need it. 

So what do I do? 

I harness the POWER of Twitter and post this:

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And so within a minute or two, I've got about a dozen offers (my twitter friends are amazing btw…). 

And get this……. 

One of the offers comes from someone at Boingo's official Twitter!
No lie!

And so the guy who responds from Boingo, Jeremy Pepper, tells me to email him for some help.  And the next thing I know, the dude has HOOKED ME UP with a login AND……a few extras for future use! 

(Insert Clapping Here)

And so of course I shoot him back an email to say thanks and he replies with this:

Not a problem – I did get a laugh out of the two pastors sharing log-in information. Tsk, Tsk. ;)

Uh hmmm…..  Wow. 

But still…  That was pretty awesome.

Thank you Boingo!  You guys rocked my face off today.

Pixar Postmortems

Sep 9, 2008
4 Comments

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, offers some good tips on conducting a postmortem (post-project reviews) in his article How Pixar Fosters Creativity in September's Harvard Business Review. 

People in general would rather talk about what went right than what went wrong. 

Left to their own devices, people will game the system to avoid confronting the unpleasant.

Vary the way you to the postmortems.  By definition, they're supposed to be about lessons learned, so if you repeat the same format, you tend to find the same lessons, which isn't productive.

…ask each group to list the top five things they would do again and the top five things they wouldn't do.

Employ lots of data in the review. 

Most of our processes involve activities and deliverables that can be quantified. 

Data can show things in a neutral way, which can stimulate discussion and challenge assumptions arising from personal impressions.

On a side note….  Don't EVER, EVER, EVER Google the phrase "Postmortem" in an effort to find a nice photo to go along with a blog post.  EVER.

EVER!

How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

Sep 2, 2008
4 Comments

Just read a great article in Harvard Business Review on How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity written by Pixar's president, Ed Catmull.  Here are a few notes:

Pixar's Operating Principles:

  1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.
    Icon_luxoThis means recognizing that the
    decision-making hierarchy and communication structure in organizations
    are two different things.  Members of any department should be able to
    approach anyone in another department to solve problems without having
    to go through "proper" channels. 

  2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.
    We make a concerted effort to make it
    safe to criticize by inviting everyone……to email notes to the
    creative leaders that detail what they liked and didn't like and
    explain why.

  3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.
    It helps us attract exceptional talent and reinforces the belief throughout the company that people are more important than ideas. 

A few quotes:

Management's job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur. 

It must be safe to tell the truth.

We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture.

Creativity involves a large number of people from different disciplines working effectively together to solve a great many problems.

Creativity must be present at every level of every artistic and technical part of the organization.

The view that good ideas are rarer and more valuable than good people is rooted in a misconception of creativity.

Our philosophy is this: You get great creative people , you bet big on them, you give them enormous leeway and support, and you provide them with an environment in which they can get honest feedback from everyone.

Seth Godin’s Email Checklist

Jun 6, 2008
3 Comments

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Seth Godin has come up with an email checklist.  It's good.  And much needed.

Yes…..  You know who you are.  So go READ IT.  NOW!

Read it here. 

Smudged!

Oct 30, 2007
6 Comments

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Don’t you just hate it when your lenses get smudged?  Man, I do.  Can’t stand it.  Yet it happens.  It’s unavoidable.

Same thing in our lives.  It’s so easy for our mental lenses to get smudged, isn’t it? 

Think about it…  Someone smudges our lenses by doing or saying something that feels hurtful or embarrassing….  And if we’re not careful, what happens?  Our perception of them ALSO becomes smudged and before we know it, we begin filtering everything that person says or does through those smudged lenses.

It can happen when we go through something painful in our lives too.  Suddenly, that "smudge" tells, or in some cases, confirms that we are victims and we eventually find ourselves living life with a "victim" mentality – which ultimately impacts us in so many unhealthy ways.

Same thing can happen when we face conflict in our workplaces or in our communities.  Suddenly, we see that conflict and all future ones through those smudged lenses.

So what do we do? 

We clean our lenses.  Or in some cases, if the lenses have gotten severely scratched or damaged, we get NEW ONES

Have you ever noticed how much better everything looks through a new set of lenses?  Suddenly everything is clear and clean!  The world looks better!  Our work associates look better!  Our friends and family look better!  (or in some cases worse – depending on how you look at it…but we won’t go there.)

Anyway – all that to share three things I read in Harvard Business Review this morning.  Three types of "new lenses" that we can view challenges/crises/conflicts through – and then the question that each one asks:

Reverse Lens - "What would the other person in this conflict say and in what ways might that be true?"

Long Lens – "How will I most likely view this situation in six months?"

Wide Lens – "Regardless of the outcome of this issue, how can I grow and learn from it?"

Some good stuff from October issue of HBR.  Article entitled: "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time" by Tony Schwartz.

Now I’ve got to go clean my lenses!

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