Meetings want to suck. Wrest control of them with this seven-step strategy.
You know when a meeting turns into a complete waste of time? Maybe you’re trying to come up with ideas, or make a decision. Before anyone realizes it, the meeting starts to suck.
Meetings want to suck. Two of their favorite suckiness tactics are group brainstorming and group negotiation. Give them half a chance, and they’ll waste your time, sap your energy, and leave you with poor ideas and a watered-down decision. But meetings don’t have to be that way.
On the Google Ventures design team, we dislike sucky meetings as much as anyone. We use a process hack that short-circuits the worst parts of groupthink while getting the most out of different perspectives. For lack of a better name, we call it the “note-and-vote.”
The next time you need to make a decision or come up with a new idea in a group, call timeout and give the note-and-vote a try.
What it takes to get hired at these top tech companies: A mixture of hard problem-solving skills and the right rapport with company culture.
When you’re hiring, how do you know when someone is right for the job? Is it an intuitive decision, or based solely on the facts of their experience?
It’s not so cut and dry, these leaders say.
“The one piece of advice that I would tell young people getting into the tech industry today is to surround yourself with smart people you can learn from,” says Jess Lee, CEO of Polyvore. When having inspiring comrades around means handpicking them from a crowd of applicants, the process of assembling your all-stars can be overwhelming.
A candidate’s success or failure at your company depends on more than their cover letter and resume. These industry influencers don’t rely on an applicant’s list of experiences, but read between the lines to what makes a great hire.
Starbucks gets great PR when a chain of customers pays for each others coffee. But thats not whats really going on.
When you combine coffee with a poor understanding of economics, two things can happen: You feel smug and self-congratulatory, or you demonize the wrong person. Both happened at the same Starbucks this week, when a chain of 378 people “paying it forward” was supposedly broken by “some cheap-ass” in a white Jeep.
Everyone seems to misunderstand what’s actually happening during these “pay-it-forward” chains, which occasionally develop at this and other coffee joints. So let’s break it down, at the end of which you’ll understand this: The woman in the white Jeep is innocent. And nobody involved in these chains should be overly pleased with themselves.
Life is full of new beginnings. Here’s some valuable advice to help you along the way.
My son leaves for college this week, and I’ve realized that it’s one of several fresh starts many of us make in life. This adjustment will be followed by new jobs, new relationships, and maybe career changes. In fact, chances are good that my son will have more fresh starts than I did; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person stays with an employer for 4.6 years, while millennials average just 1.3 years on a job.
As I pull together my thoughts, grab some tissue, and prepare the words of wisdom I’ll leave with my son as we unpack his dorm, I’m reminded of the great advice I’ve heard over the years. One of the perks of being a writer is that you get to interview a lot of experts. Since I write about time management, productivity, and leadership, I hear plenty of tips and new ways of thinking aimed at getting more out of life. Here are 10 of my favorite words of advice for starting anew:
As a 20-something looking for his purpose, Rohan Marley found it by going back to his roots.
Marley Coffee is still a relatively small company, having churned out $6 million in revenue in 2013. But founder Rohan Marley, one of Bob Marley’s children, has big plans for his Jamaican-born coffee business.
When we’re left to our own pace to complete training, do we take advantage of the flexibility or fizzle out?
Employers and employees still value training. But the old gold standard—sequestering employees in classes for extended periods of time—is falling out of favor.
“We’re seeing a huge decrease in the amount of time people are spending in training rooms and classrooms,” says Janet Pogue, principal and global workplace leader at Gensler, a design firm that studies how people use office spaces (among other things). Instead, employers increasingly rely on modules that allow people to learn at their own pace, on their own schedules.
The ability to intuit future problems before they become serious can be an invaluable trait in the workplace. “Any manager will tell you that having an assistant who anticipates his or her needs and offers solutions without being asked is virtually indispensable,” says Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam executive director.
This week we battled with our brains and willpower while giving up on work-life balance.
Sometimes it seems like much of work life is spent trying to find a balance that is always just out of reach: coming up with great ideas, and having the willpower to follow through, staying both productive and healthy, networking without being annoying.
While we can’t solve all of you problems, we explored ways to bring a little more balance into your work life this week.
Here are the stories you loved in Leadership, for the week of August 18.
Grounded leaders are able to do away with traditional leadership stereotypes based in gender roles.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “men are from Mars and women are from Venus.” In the business world, this has had unfortunate consequences for male and female leaders.
Male leaders were typecast as dominant competitors who played politics inside hierarchies and were great at leading with power, while female leaders were expected to understand connection and communication and lead people and teams better.
With this lens, the business world developed a whole theory of preconceived notions and biases about what to expect from men and women leaders. And like most assumptions, these supposed differences took on a life of their own. Over time, we became experts at typecasting people and, ultimately, shackling men and women to these stereotypes.
It’s time to put an end to this preoccupation with gender differences. It represents an old way of thinking and does a real disservice to both men and women.
Over the past decade, categories such as yogurt, chocolate, and juice have made this leap from commodity to mass delicacy. Some consumers no longer blanch at a $9 bar of chocolate half the size of a Snickers or $11 for a cold-pressed juice. Not only have these become the fastest-growing segments in their respective categories, they’ve created multimillion-dollar markets that never before existed. Greek yogurt was an obscure 1% of U.S. yogurt sales in 2007. Then Chobani entered the scene, luring consumers away from their sugary-sweet Yoplaits. Now Greek yogurt accounts for 40% of the $7.4 billion U.S. yogurt market, while industry heavyweights like Danone and General Mills are racing to catch up.
Coffee crusaders are convinced that they are on the verge of a similar disruption, and they’ve got deep-pocketed investors cheering them on. After Starbucks’s 20-year reign as coffee’s dominant force, this once fringe group is launching a culinary, cultural, and financial battle to get a piece of the $30 billion U.S. coffee market.
These are the purists who aim to persuade us to convert our morning ritual to a $7 cup of black gold.
Here’s how to keep in touch with your connections, without becoming a stalker.
From finding a job to meeting your next business partner or new client, you know that there are countless ways that your network can help you when you need it.
The problem is that reaching out, especially out of the blue, can feel awkward and inauthentic. You want to establish regular communication so that any requests are just part of the conversation.
So how do you reach out without feeling sketchy about the whole thing? “The key is if you strive to provide real value in your outreach, people will look forward to hearing from you, every time,” says Jenny Powers, founder of the professional women’s networking group, Running With Heels. “Soon enough, they’ll be reaching out to you as well and it won’t feel like a one way street.”
When your boss isn’t in the office, it’s easy to let communication slip down the priorities list. Here’s how to stay in touch and on task.
The workplace today is much different from the workplace of 30, 20, and even 10 years ago. Open office designs, in-house baristas, and for many organizations bosses managing from across the country are now the norm. Between video conferencing, email, and instant messaging, physical proximity to the office is no longer a requirement. Companies are hiring based on talent and fit, not if someone can be in their chair 24/7. This change has led to entire teams being spread across time zones, states, and even countries. While it can be tricky to report to a remote manager, I’m here to tell you it’s possible.
I work for a non-profit in Washington, D.C., but my manager works from her home in southern California. I’ve been working with her remotely for over a year, and in that time have expanded the responsibilities of my role and received a salary increase. Here are the tips that have helped me succeed:
When your days already feel jam-packed, how can you afford to experiment with productivity? Get to the bottom of time-wasting habits.
It’s classic productivity advice: Match your most important work to your most productive hours. If you do that, you’ll get a lot more done.
But this advice assumes you know when your most productive hours are. Many people don’t, says Daniel Gold, a productivity specialist and author of Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, among other life management books. “We’re too often stuck without thinking about the bigger picture,” he says. If you’re constantly in reactive mode, or your life features irregular hours or travel, you may not be familiar with your own internal rhythms. Getting there is “really just about taking that uncomfortable step inwards,” he says. Here are strategies for paying attention.