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Peter Crosby

How to succeed in business without being an obnoxious blowhard.

Obnoxious Blowhard

A lot of business advice in recent years centered on people branding themselves to get ahead. The Internet, they argue, offers everyone the same opportunity to “promote themselves as well as celebrities and large corporations, even without a multi-million dollar marketing budget.

That’s all well and good, but what about those who’d rather do less branding and just do a good job instead? What if those people could get promotions and succeed in their career without having to toot their own horn 24/7?

A recent book from David Zweig suggests that it’s entirely possible. Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion profiles successful individuals who succeeded without always showing off. (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

Four things every business must have to create a modern digital workspace.

Manager Working In The Office

Often lauded as the starting point of people’s day, typical corporate intranets have been perpetually disappointing, never really living up to businesses’ expectations. Newer social intranets — while somewhat better — are just as often homogeneous, monolithic software stacks locked into one vendor’s view of the world.

So how do companies provide the kind of modern workspace that will increase employee efficiency and productivity? The following are 4 minimum tenets of a modern, effective enterprise social networking platform:

1. An open, agnostic architecture.

Illustration Of A Manager Working In The OfficeEven in 2014, there are still companies pushing a “their way or the highway” business model.  (continued…)

Peter Crosby

The one thing America’s founding fathers valued that your business should, too.

Declaration of Independence

America is celebrating its 238th birthday this weekend, but it’s important to remember that we’re celebrating more than the country’s age.

After its “discovery” in 1492, the New World labored under the dominion and control of the time’s most powerful nations. And, for over 280 years, the early American colonists obeyed the laws of other countries. So when the Continental Congress finally declared independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, 1776it was kind of a big deal.

Don’t be a victim of vendor oppression.

Controlling your own destiny isn’t just good advice for people running a country, it’s good advice for people running a business, too. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

Do social networks just encourage people to brag about their accomplishments?

social network bragging

Do social networks encourage coworkers, friends, and family to brag about their accomplishments? While it’s probably true that social networks do encourage some bragging, I’d argue that “sharing positive news about yourself” isn’t limited to social networks.

Even without social networks, we’d still find some way to put our best foot forward — in conversation, email, TPS reports, and even on blogs like this. It’s just human nature to want to make yourself look good to others — heck, it may even be Darwinian — but we realize that still doesn’t make it right.

We’d never stoop to blatant self-promotion.

(continued…)
Peter Crosby

What chefs can teach businesses about being focused and effective.

Fresh Vegetables
By now, we all know that multitasking is a lie. Still, that doesn’t mean we don’t all have lots of things that need to be done efficiently every day — here’s how to make people more effective.

Dealing with the day’s to-do list takes focus. But in a hectic business environment, focus is often hard to come by. It’s a challenge that restaurant chef’s face every day, too. And they deal with it using a practice called “mise-en-place,” which roughly translates into “everything in its place.”

Essentially, it means that chefs start their day thinking through — and gathering up — the totality of recipes, tools, and ingredients they need to do their job that day. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to make Microsoft Outlook® part of your social strategy.

banner-outlook

If you work at a company that’s been in business for more than five minutes, odds are pretty good that you use Microsoft® Outlook. Like it or not, Outlook is still the workhorse of enterprise communication. And now there’s a way to make it part of your social strategy.

Outlook is omnipresent.

Outlook is more than just an email client — it includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, a journal, and even web browsing (for some reason). As a result, it’s entirely possible for employees to come to work in the morning, launch Outlook, and never leave the app all day. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

The missing piece of the SharePoint engagement puzzle.

banner-sharepoint

You’ve probably heard the pitch before: “Hey, we can make SharePoint better so more people will use it!” By now, you’ve heard it all a billion times. So why should you listen to us? What’s so “different” about our approach? A lot, actually.

tibbr puts SharePoint and other apps on the same page.

Unlike other social-only add-on products, tibbr is a social platform. That means tibbr doesn’t just interact with SharePoint, it acts as connective tissue between it and all your other business apps, too.

“We wanted to integrate [tibbr] with our products, we also wanted to integrate it with other technologies and to do that you had to have a very flexible architecture.”
— Jeff Bagby, Head of Social Media Platform, Thomson Reuters

Better yet, tibbr is application-agnostic: Got Outlook? (continued…)

Peter Crosby

The biggest advantage big organizations have when it comes to innovation.

Office building on blue sky

The authors of a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, studied innovative groups and their leaders over the past decade to see how the innovation process works in repeatedly successful organizations. And what they learned was good news for big organizations.

The innovation myth of the solitary genius.

Their studies indicated that innovation doesn’t happen solely by hiring a few creative people and executing their brilliant ideas.

“Contrary to the popular myth that it’s the work of solitary genius, organizational innovation is most often the work of many hands – [it's] a ‘team sport’…” — Linda Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, and Kent Lineback

The authors argue that the real goal is creating what they call “singular collective genius” — that is, a gestalt innovation made from the various, individual pieces of genius contributed by members of a group. (continued…)

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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…)