Business „out of the box”. How to Convince Extraordinay People to Work With You, Even if Not For You

Mar 22, 11 Business „out of the box”. How to Convince Extraordinay People to Work With You, Even if Not For You

Posted by in Books, Business, Thoughts/Ideas

William Taylor is a writer, antrepreneur and founder of one of the most forward thinking magazines in the US – fastcompany.com – a magazine dedicated to business innovation and to out of the box business practices. In time, Taylor interviewed hundreds of managers from companies whose creative and counterintuitive approaches to business have managed, in several cases, to set new standards for excellence in their respective industries. The most outstanding case studies are comprised in his books, “Mavericks at Work” and “Practically Radical” – both fascinating journeys through a universe where business is fun and colorful, where extraordinary ideas come from the most unusual places. Reading his books I realized, once more, how worryingly often we get caught in the thinking patterns of our own jobs, companies or industries and lose sight of amazing opportunities of finding new and valuable ideas. One of the examples offered by William Taylor in “Mavericks at Work” is particularly worth sharing, since it comes, unexpectedly, from one of the most conservative industries one might imagine – mining. „Gold mining is an old industry, a tired industry. The pace of change is glacial. Traditionally, mining companies have worried about how strong your back is, not how big your brain is. We wanted to do something that no one in the industry had done, to tap into the intellectual capital of the whole world.“– Rob McEwen, Former Chairman and CEO, GoldCorp INC. Rob McEwen a revolutionized the gold mining industry in a moment of, I dare say, despair. For more than 5 years, GoldCorp had been trying to win a dangerous bet – they had acquired a mine in Red Lake, Ontario, in an area famous for its rich gold deposits. That particular mine however, had a sad history – low productivity, failed investments and union problems. Still, McEwen refused to give up the idea that the mine had potential and, for 5 years, he invested over 10 millon USD in experimental drills – all that money for a hope!...

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Wild Horses, Standardized Testing and the Poker of Innovation

Jan 13, 11 Wild Horses, Standardized Testing and the Poker of Innovation

Posted by in Books, Business

Thinking of people’s minds I think of wild horses – majestic, running wild and free in the open fields…There is something humbling about the unimaginable potential of the human mind, just as it is humbling to watch those beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. When you see those horses running together on the open plane it seems like the possibilities are endless – they might go anywhere and do anything.  Just the same, people’s minds on their own are majestic and brought together might achieve miracles. But then reality kicks in and we realize we’re not wild Mustangs, we’re domesticated horses and we don’t run free wherever our beautiful minds lead us but we bend and squeeze our spirit in tiny little boxes. To be accepted and more, to be valued, we need to fit in a specific box, fit a particular profile. Have you ever heard the expression “he/she is a good fit with the company” used in the corporate world? I’ve heard it often enough. And, in the end, it seems in companies’ best interest to search for a “good fit” . For that they will go to great lengths, organizing all sorts of standardized tests and trials that candidates have to go through to get in and then, once they’re in, in order to get up the corporate ladder, they will go through various types of evaluations again and again, receiving “development recommendations” and having a “career path” drawn out for them. All that is understandable. But what exactly is ” a good fit” – and my question is – a fit for what? What is it that we are trying so hard to be a fit for? What is the essence of that company if not its employees? Maybe its clients? Or its stock-holders? Or maybe  its suppliers? It occurs to me that companies tend to create this “profile” of the ideal employee and then stubbornly seek for that specific type of person. But you know what happens if they...

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