links for 2009-12-04

04 Dec
  • What was once the domain of motley crews of uni students has now become a centralised hub for new parents. You can’t so much as check your status updates without seeing some adorable tyke smiling a toothless grin or a parent giving the latest update on what their little genius is up to today. With everyone from Dr. Sears to CafeMom hanging up their FB shingle, it seems this former bastion of social networking cool has been taken over entirely by parents — oftentimes with mixed results. Here are the five biggest offenders.
  • Do you ever feel like the only good desktop wallpapers you can find are the either the basic 15 or 20 Apple provides or solid colors? Do you often find yourself spending time looking for something that isn't a beautiful photograph but also isn't a gradient and drop shadowed mess with a little lens flare and some annoying copyright information in the corner?
    Do you want less, but not boring? Then you want Simple Desktops.
    (tags: Pics computers)
  • What follows is intended as a broad discussion of the most common types of musculoskeletal injuries. You should take care not to conclude that any pain you may be experiencing could only be coming from the diagnoses discussed below, nor should you use this discussion as confirmation of a diagnosis you may be considering yourself without consulting your own doctor. Having said that, once a clear diagnosis is made, you may find the principles below helpful:
  • Don't be tempted to bend the feedback rules for top performers. No matter who is receiving the feedback, it is essential to follow good feedback practice. Do your homework; gather data and details to support your feedback. Always describe behaviors, not traits. Don't dwell on the past; instead focus on what the employee can change in the future. Be sure to check for understanding and agree on clear next steps and a fair way to measure progress…
    remember that results don't always speak for themselves. High performers often have great results; yet it's important to understand how they achieve those results, and often at what cost…top performers often get results by forgoing other things, such as caring for their people, building alliances with others, or maintaining a healthy work/life balance… a top performer's strengths may often be her weaknesses. Think carefully about the behaviors that have enabled your star to succeed — they may be the same behaviors holding her back.
  • Churchill at age 40 found himself very much alone and reviled. So what did he do? He "brooded" for a bit; his wife Clementine said "I thought he would die of grief." But then to his great delight, Churchill found a new hobby — painting. And through his art, for which he exhibited great talent, he reconnected himself. Rejuvenated, he enlisted in the Army and served on the Front in France for six months of 1915-16. Later Churchill re-entered politics, and from there continued his public life.
    The Churchill of this period teaches us that we can recover from our mistakes if we do two things: one, recharge; two, act. The latter is familiar to any executive but action after adversity should be preceded by a period of reflection as well as rejuvenation. Here are three ways to make this happen.
  • When he says he uses a stopwatch, he means that he tracks his time to make sure he gets the most from his waking hours. He divides his life into blocks — 50% creative time, 30% teaching time, and 20% other stuff ("random things that just need to get done").
    Jim took out a piece of paper and drew a picture of four blocks stacked atop each other. Pointing at the top block, he said, "I block out the morning from 8 am to noon to think, read and write. " He unplugs everything electronic, including his Internet connection. Although he has a reputation for reclusiveness, when asked about this, he replies: "I'm not reclusive. But I need to be in the cave to work."…
    He aims to spend 100 days next year in the white space. "As a great teacher, Rochelle Myers, taught me, you can't make your own life a work of art if you're not working with a clean canvas," he says. (Another smart bit of Collins philosophy: "Speak less. Say more.")
  • Some organizations undercut their ability to discover their way to greatness by confusing the information needed to see problems with the information needed to solve them. So, they overburden staff with establishing the former and then underarm them in tackling the latter…
    What are the lessons here? First, simplify reporting systems. Make it easy to report where, when, and what went awry — in a few seconds, and certainly under a minute. Second, act on that information quickly…
    those doing the direct work of the organization have to be expert "crime scene investigators," supported by those who are even more expert. This could mean reconfiguring QA roles from enforcing compliance to developing easy-to-use triggers and supporting problem investigation and resolution.
    Approached this way, people's work can more directly contribute to creating the things that customers value — and can devote themselves to relentlessly figuring out how to do so ever better.
  • Cricket is a non-contact sport, but watching Virender Sehwag bat is as visceral an experience as watching Muhammad Ali dominate the ring in his prime…But for back spasms that restricted him to a more mortal scoring-rate in the last half hour, Sehwag might have become only the second batsman after Sir Donald Bradman to score 300 runs in a day…
    Has there ever been another like him? Matthew Hayden could pillage bowlers too, but his strike-rate looks pedestrian next to Sehwag's. Adam Gilchrist scored marginally quicker but how often did he have to face the new ball? Even the King, Sir Vivian Richards, never went after bowlers with such menacing intent, day in, day out…
    When remotely attacking fields were set, Sehwag just shifted his feet and cleared the infield with an ease that bordered on contempt. When the fielders then fanned out, he was free to pick gaps at will…
  • Virender Sehwag batted like the nearby Arabian Sea in high tide – and when Sri Lanka tried to plug one hole, he rushed in through the other. He ended the day 16 short of becoming the first man to score three triple-centuries in the history of Test cricket but he'd already broken a string of records – the most double-centuries by an Indian, the second-highest scorer of 250-plus scores, the most runs by an Indian in a day…
    Sri Lanka had forgotten what an edge looked like. In the 71st over, with Sehwag on 264, they finally saw one…
    Sehwag did slow down after that edge…but as a parting shot he crashed Dilshan through covers for his 40th four, to go with seven sixes. That's when Dravid came in, and took the majority of the strike till close of play. A fair time, then, to acknowledge Vijay, who at some other time would have been the story of the day. But when Sehwag bats like he did, you feel sorry for the bowlers, put the other batsmen in the footnote, and move on.
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Posted by on December 4, 2009 in Links


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