Links – 13 Jan 2012

13 Jan
  • of all the events that can deeply engage people in their jobs, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work…
    managers at all levels routinely—and unwittingly—undermine the meaningfulness of work for their direct subordinates through everyday words and actions. These include dismissing the importance of subordinates’ work or ideas, destroying a sense of ownership by switching people off project teams before work is finalized, shifting goals so frequently that people despair that their work will ever see the light of day, and neglecting to keep subordinates up to date on changing priorities for customers…
    four traps that lie in wait for senior executives…
    Trap 1: Mediocrity signals
    Trap 2: Strategic ‘attention deficit disorder’
    Trap 3: Corporate Keystone Kops
    Trap 4: Misbegotten ‘big, hairy, audacious goals’

    tags: business management traps senior_management leaders mckinsey leadership meaning wp

  • One of the first things anyone working in any creative field discovers is just how diverse opinion is (and, following on quickly from this, just how willing the majority of people are—whether qualified or not—to share that opinion). Generally, this is a positive. Ideas, opinions, suggestions, these are the things that can, with the right attitude, spark creativity. They can also, however, utterly and completely stifle it.

    tags: wrong ideas creativity wp

  • These are fascinating studies…But all of them ignore the elephant in the room: there’s a heck of a lot more expense to bringing a product to market than component costs.
    For example, they completely ignore the cost of developing the software. It doesn’t write itself, you know.
    What about the cost of the packaging? Would you like them to send your new iPhone in a Ziploc bag?
    What about the shipping from China? The royalties, licensing, taxes and insurance? What about the marketing and PR that let you know the product exists? The tech-support department? The factory workers? The sales and accounting teams? The graphic design? The prototypes, field testing and beta testing?
    Big companies can’t work out of a rusty van. They need office and lab space somewhere, and that means rent, facilities management, electricity, heating and cooling, water and taxes.
    Every time I read about one of those teardowns — whether it’s an i-gadget or a chicken sandwich — I cringe at the fallacy of the entire exercise. If you think that Amazon’s real cost to make that Kindle Fire is $201, then by all means, go to China and cobble one together yourself.
    And if the purpose of the analysis isn’t to get you outraged at the markup, then the premise is suddenly a lot less interesting. What, in the end, makes the component costs any more important than all of the manufacturer’s other expenses? Why aren’t people publishing similar exposés about the company’s shipping costs, or real-estate taxes or licensing fees?
    It’s actually amazing that the electronics companies have found a way to make their powerful, beautiful machines available to the masses at prices that millions can afford, even after paying all of those expenses (of which the components are just one component). Once you have the facts, the proper reaction isn’t outrage — it’s awe.

    tags: gadget nytimes management business wp costs profits

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Links


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