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). But he never tested his theory in a controlled setting, and even admitted to the idea’s huge, inherent flaws.

Regardless, in 1942 his theory was adapted by Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs to create their now-famous test.

The basic idea is that knowing your personality type, and those of others, will help you interact more effectively with colleagues.

Unfortunately, while the two Americans were astute observers of human behavior, neither had any formal education in psychology. So no scientific rigor was ever applied to prove the test’s effectiveness.

Thousands of professional psychologists have evaluated the century-old Myers-Briggs, [and] found it to be inaccurate and arbitrary…

Not surprisingly, the test has since been widely discredited by the scientific community. (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. Every company in the same boat regardless of size — larger companies have more resources but are slower, while smaller companies have fewer resources but are more nimble.

But, for all practical purposes, there’s really only one way to know for certain where the industry is headed.

Don’t try to predict the future, invent it yourself.

That’s right. Instead of waiting and reacting to competitors’ innovations, you have to disrupt your own industry yourself.

In this recent TED talk, Joi Ito, head of the MIT Media Lab, spoke about how the Internet has democratized innovation in every 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.

Questions can be great for engaging and motivating people, but they can just as easily be used to confront or blame, and can shift the mood from positive to negative.

He advises asking questions that focus on strengths rather than weaknesses, and on opportunities rather than failures. Instead of “What’s the problem?” a good leader should ask, “What are we doing well, and how might we build upon that?“

Instead of placing blame with “Whose fault is it?” ask “How can we work together to shore up any weaknesses?” Instead of trying to control employees with “Why didn’t you do it this way?” leaders could ask, “How were you thinking of doing it?” In place of “Haven’t we tried this already?” you could ask, “If we tried this now, what would be different this time — and how might that change the results?”

And finally, instead of demanding “Why haven’t YOU come up with something like [insert latest Apple product here]?” smart leaders should really ask, “How might we use our particular strengths to do an even better job of meeting customers’ needs?”

But what if you didn’t have to ask any questions at all? (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.

Enter tibbr Subjects: It’s a virtual workspace for the 21st Century that lets people collaborate more efficiently. It’s accessible from both the office and the road, and available on both desktops and smart devices. So now, no one needs to be in the same physical space to be part of a discussion.

In the recent 5.1 upgrade, we did more than just refresh the look (but we did that, too). Check out this list of upgrades we made to make tibbr Subjects even more useful:

  • Easily access everything from the new toolbar — jump to Wall Posts, People, Links, Files, Bookmarks, and Trends.
  • (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.

The email window itself may be at fault — its wide-open textual expanse all but cries out for logorrheic verbosity. Like the mythical siren’s call, it incites our childhood passion and unrealized dream of being a best-selling author of pompous word-smithery!

Or…it could be that people just can’t cut to the chase.

Regardless of the cause, shorter messages are better messages for one, simple reason:

Short messages get read.

no-email_smallThat’s right. Short messages get read while long emails — even the most carefully crafted ones — get skimmed at best, if not ignored altogether. (continued…)

tibbr

Announcing new tibbr® for NetSuite, with ‘Built for NetSuite’ verification.

tibbr + NetSuite

On May 14, 2014, tibbr launched the tibbr® for NetSuite SuiteApp, which lets Netsuite users collaborate with each other directly within NetSuite. The new SuiteApp even launched with ‘Built for NetSuite’ verification — proof that the application meets NetSuite’s high standards and best practices.

“As effective collaboration proves essential to any thriving business, we are excited to offer a user experience that promotes efficient information-sharing and collaboration right from within NetSuite.”
— Guido Haarmans, VP of Business Development for Technology Partners at NetSuite.

“We’re thrilled to bring tibbr to NetSuite and help more companies of all sizes realize the enormous impact that streamlined collaboration can have on an employee’s daily output,” said Leandro Perez, Director, Product Marketing, TIBCO. “As businesses look to shed workplace inefficiencies — like a heavy reliance on email and silos of information across applications — the demand for a collaboration platform that can integrate across systems grows exponentially.”

The new tibbr SuiteApp takes customers’ communication and collaboration out of email, and moves it into the tibbr Enterprise Social Networking platform − where customer data is recorded, financial transactions are processed, and customer service is managed.

So now, rather than wasting time switching in and out of siloed legacy portals to collaborate, NetSuite users can easily post, discuss, and share knowledge on tibbr without leaving the NetSuite interface. (continued…)

Leandro Perez

tibbr takes collaboration ‘Triple Crown,’ is named Champion, Innovator, and Best Value.

tibbr takes collaboration Triple Crown
Info-Tech Research Group — the global leader in tactical, practical IT research and analysis — recently assessed the collaboration platform landscape to: 1.) See what’s new in the market, 2.) Learn how the convergence of traditional systems and social capabilities is affecting collaboration, and 3.) Recognize outstanding collaboration vendors in the space.

“In only a few short years, tibbr has won the Info-Tech ‘triple crown’ of Champion, Innovator, and Best Value in this evaluation. It remains a great choice for any organization, but especially value-conscious SMBs.” — Ben Dickie, Sr. Consulting Analyst

When the competition was all said and done, tibbr was named the overall Champion. Better than that, tibbr also triumphed in the categories of Innovator, as well as Best Value. That trifecta earned tibbr the coveted “Collaboration Platform Triple Crown” — not a bad outcome considering how quickly tibbr has become a major player in the market.

Info-Tech recognized tibbr as the leading enterprise social networking platform for connecting people, applications, and data to revolutionize the way people work, collaborate, and share, every day. They also applauded its open, flexible platform as a way to get work done better and faster.

Integration was the key difference.

Yet it was tibbr’s integration with other business applications that Info-Tech found critically important to successful deployments — so important, in fact, that they recommended it as a major evaluation criterion because of the big differences between vendors. (continued…)

tibbr

Enterprise collaboration: you can do better, much better

You hear a lot about enterprise collaboration tools these days, but what does “collaboration” actually mean in an organization? Few would deny that improving collaboration and productivity would be categorically good for business. But it’s precisely because “collaboration” is so hard to measure that it’s difficult to recognize the tools that enable or impede it.

I think we can agree, however, that:

• When you gather in a conference room for an intense brainstorming session, you’re collaborating
• When you start a discussion by sending an email to your team with an Excel file attached, you’re collaborating
• When a colleague accidentally deletes your PowerPoint deck on the shared network drive, you’re… having a late night in the office

In this blog, let’s briefly review the importance of enterprise collaboration and the modern tools that genuinely help you achieve your goals, whether you’re on the IT or business side.

Why efficient collaboration is critical

Let’s take a second to review how most people collaborate around content like documents or presentations.

Here are your local and network drives; this is where your files probably hang out during the work week.

drives

Here is your inbox; this is where you derive the majority of your stress and communicate around shared content. (continued…)

tibbr

Webinar: The Real ROI of Collaboration featuring research from Forrester

To stay competitive in today’s fast-changing markets, enterprises now realize they need better technology to streamline collaboration and innovation. Yet determining the “hard dollar return” on a collaboration platform has been challenging. Until now.

After a thorough, six-month long study, Forrester Consulting has determined the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of deploying a collaboration platform using a very sophisticated methodology.

Webinar: Wednesday, March 26th (VIEW THE RECORDING)

Watch this online webinar featuring Forrester Research, Inc.’s VP/Principal Analyst, Rob Koplowitz, along with the group’s TEI Consultant, Adrienne Breslin.

During the webinar, they’ll be discussing how successful companies are deploying collaboration platforms, as well as covering the results of their in-depth commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of TIBCO Software, including the benefits, costs, flexibility, and risks of a social investment.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why the business case is important
  • The methodology they used
  • The financial model to do-it-yourself
  • The ROI break-even period

WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING NOW »

Get Forrester’s 22-page study, free.

Forrester Report thumbnailJust register and attend the webinar — afterward, we’ll make the full 22-page study available to you as a thank you for attending. If you can’t make the webinar, sign up anyway, and you can still watch the on-demand recording of the webinar. (continued…)

The Benefits of Collaboration Software to Your Workflow

In the modern workplace, you are probably used to sending hundreds of emails back and forth throughout the workday.  E-mail has undoubtedly been a great replacement for snail mail and relentless phone tag.  But, e-mail isn’t perfect either.  How many times has an important conversation of yours been buried after the most recent flood of e-mails?  Or, have you ever received a single forwarded e-mail with pages and pages of previous e-mails in it, making the information you really need very difficult to find?

Fortunately, collaboration software, serves as an effective replacement for e-mail.  Once you get the hang of this new workplace tool, you’ll see how it effectively complements e-mail.  Some of the following ways a collaboration tool might replace e-mail at your workplace include:

  1. Streamlining conversations.  Let’s say you work on a team of five people, some of whom you have to contact multiple times per day.  Think about how many e-mails will have to be sent and how much back-and-forth there will be.  Now, consider what would happen if you had an enterprise social network in place.  Everyone could subscribe to one conversation, where all updates would be posted.  You would receive real-time notification of any new updates made in regard to the topic.
  2. (continued…)