Peter Crosby

tibbr vs. The Holidays: Which brings people together better?

Holiday FeastIt’s the holidays again. A time when, instead of going somewhere restful and rejuvenating like Bali or Cozumel, people burn off their precious vacation time doing something far less relaxing: Visiting family. Why? Because that’s what you do, you visit family around the holidays. It’s a tradition as old as using leeches to cure migraines (and for some, just as painful).

If you ask most folks “What’s the best way to bring people together?” they’ll tell you that nothing pulls in disparate individuals from all corners of the Earth better than a family holiday celebration. But are “most folks” right? Or is there a better, less argument-prone approach available to you? (continued…)

Peter Crosby

New study shows what really makes people more collaborative.

thumbs-up Back in the 16th Century, Sir Francis Bacon (arguably) coined the now-famous Latin quip: “Scientia potentia est” (i.e., “Knowledge is power”). And while the phrase can have a very noble interpretation, it’s more often a justification for withholding information to gain an advantage over others.

For centuries, this approach was very effective against external enemies. But when this kind of “information hoarding” is used against people within a single organization or business — that is, people ostensibly on the same side— it can have far-ranging and negative repercussions for everyone involved.

Cooperation isn’t just for kindergarteners.

Restricting the free flow of information isolates people and teams, cutting off communications, fostering complacency, and destroying trust. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to get more departments more involved in more parts of your business.

Network

As an organizational business tool, “departments” are pretty much unavoidable. They’re a semi-logical way to categorize people by functionality and focus. But an unintended consequence of departments is that they tend to isolate people from the rest of the business. Categorization puts metaphorical blinders on people that, while helping them focus on their primary tasks and objectives, also prevents people from knowing what else is going on in other areas and needlessly limits their potential contributions.

Take Human Resources, as an example. Typically, HR people play three critical roles, that of administrative expert, employee advocate, and change agent. Yet, in recent Harvard Business Review blog post, “It’s Time to Split HR,” a business advisor/author argues that Human Resource’s skills and knowledge should benefit other areas of the business, too. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

The 3 things CMOs need to know about ESNs now.

Private-Social-Networks-in-20-Years

With the advent of the Internet, complexity in Marketing has increased logarithmically — there are now more moving parts in a marketing mix than ever before. And with so much to track and manage, seamless communication and easy collaboration are more important than ever.

The 3 things every marketer should know now:

1.) Everyone’s in Marketing now.

Regardless of their job function — from the executive offices to the retail floor — every customer-interacting employee should be delivering the same message in the exact same way. So when messaging get updated, everyone needs to know, now. And the best way to make sure people get the message is with an Enterprise Social Networking platform that can provide broadcast communications across offices, time-zones, and borders. (continued…)

Leandro Perez

Why corporate email is bad for your business, and how to escape it.

Business background with drawn ideas. Email concept

Regardless of what you call it — email overload, email fatigue, inbox clutter, or just plain email noise — corporate email is out of control. And if email is still the primary communication and collaboration tool in your organization, then your employees aren’t being as productive or innovative as they could be.

Here are 3 huge problems with email:

1.) Doing everything in email makes people dumb.

Undoubtedly, your employees are already drowning in a sea of CC’s, reply-to-alls, and endless email chains. Not to mention spam. Lots and lots of spam. It’s annoying, sure, but how bad is it really? (continued…)

Peter Crosby

A simple test to tell if your HR department is needlessly wasting money.

Every year — often at the request of corporate HR managers —  an estimated 2 million people take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. It’s reported that 89 of the Fortune 100 still use it to determine the personality “types” of current and future employees so they can be assigned appropriate training and responsibilities.

Okay, so here’s the test: Are you giving your employees the Myers-Briggs test? If you answered Yes, then you’re wasting money. And here’s why.

When a scientific test isn’t exactly scientific.

Back in 1921, Carl Jung suggested that humans broke down into several distinct personality types (based on his own personal observations). (continued…)

Peter Crosby

Here’s why you should stop trying to predict the future of your business.

Joi Ito Who wouldn’t want to know what the future holds? Especially in business, where inventing the Next Big Thing could mean market-share domination for decades.

Yet predicting the future is all but impossible (unless the Next Big Thing you come up with is a time machine). Despite the best efforts of psychics, astrologers, and scientists, nothing has ever consistently worked — crystal balls and studying the past are no more effective than a blindfolded monkey throwing darts. In short, you have absolutely no hope of predicting the future.

On the bright side, neither does anyone else. In fact, when it comes to determining the future, it’s a pretty level playing field.  (continued…)

Peter Crosby

5 common questions smart leaders should never have to ask.

Many times, the difference between good leadership and poor leadership is simply the quality and speed of information a leader has at hand. Bad information leads directly to bad leadership — misinformed people make incorrect choices and take ill-advised risks.

A poor leader could easily be a better leader if his/her information was better. So the key difference then is how a leader gets their information.

Are questions are the best way to get answers?

In a blog post entitled 5 Common Questions Leaders Should Never Ask, the author, Warren Berger, posits that what matters in leadership — even beyond the questions themselves — is how you ask the questions. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

What’s wrong with your conference room, and how to fix it.

Empty Conference Room

Nobody likes conference rooms; the fluorescent lights cause headaches, the projector never has the right dongle, the catered sandwiches taste like plastic, and there are never enough of the “good” chairs. And don’t get me started on those conference call phones…

Thankfully, conference rooms are on their way out. More and more work is being done in disparate global offices, while traveling to those office, or while working from somewhere else entirely. As a result, employees are finding that IRL conference rooms simply aren’t the best way to pull together the right colleagues, content, and conversations around a topic anymore. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How lengthy emails damage your business, and how to put a stop to them.

Hands Typing Email Novels.

I stumbled across a nice blog post the other day suggesting that there’s a simple solution to the problem of email killing employee productivity, and it’s basically this: “Keep emails short.”

While that may seem obvious and self-evident, it’s nevertheless something nobody seems to be able to do — far too many people write emails as if they were authoring the next great novel or a dissertation on the meaning of existence under the mistaken impression that more words are better.

But when it comes to email — as Robert Browning taught us all in his 1855 dramatic monologue, Andrea del Sarto (Called “The Faultless Painter”) — less is more. (continued…)