How many work hours are too many?
November 1st 2013
Attention, workaholics: Ease up. That’s the message from an academic study reported by Business News Daily. Employees who worked more than 50 hours a week suffer from decreased physical and mental wellbeing, research from Kansas State University shows. The researchers suggest that the more money you make, the more likely you are to work long hours.
Eight habits of top entrepreneurs
October 31st 2013
Successful entrepreneurs don’t have making money as their initial goal; financial gain is a byproduct. Successful entrepreneurs don’t need millions to start a new venture. And they play to their strengths, finding others to handle the areas in which they lack proficiency. Those are three of the habits of successful entrepreneurs, according to Paul B. Brown, who writes in Forbes about five other habits, including how they think.
How to prepare for activist investors
October 30th 2013
Activist investors can be a thorn in the side of public companies. These companies can prepare for activist investors’ interventions by establishing a media relations program that gives them a voice, BusinessFinance suggests. Other best practices include setting up ongoing discussions between shareholders and management, having explanations for stockpiles of cash and establishing clear policies regarding confidential information.
Struggling to keep app development on track
October 29th 2013
About 60% of enterprise application teams struggle to deliver an app project on time and on budget, eWeek reports, based on a study by Forrester Consulting. Making decisions with business needs, processes, technology, architecture, integration, customer needs, experience, and design in mind can ease the struggle.
When not to be nice at work
October 28th 2013
Creativity can sometimes be stimulated in unusual ways. Research from South Korea suggests employees exposed to a moderate level of abuse from supervisors are most creative, Pacific Standard reports. Very low and very high levels of abuse were shown to have detrimental effects.
The best leaders keep quiet
October 24th 2013
Everybody wants leadership, but no one really knows what it means. That’s the opinion of Scott McDowell, writing on Open Forum. So what is leadership? McDowell says it starts with asking questions and listening. Then, when the impulse for most is to start telling people what to do, ask more questions and listen more. The best leaders, he says, know when to keep quiet and when to speak up.
Pros and cons of managed technology services
October 23rd 2013
CFOs should ask five questions before they decide to switch to the cloud, allow employees to bring their own devices and engage other managed technology services, CFO.com writes. Answers to the questions will, for example, give them a better handle of the company’s existing IT assets and the cost of managed-storage services.
Why Americans need vacation lessons
October 22nd 2013
An American HR executive speaks about a work assignment in Saudi Arabia that exposed him to the way Europeans approach vacations on TLNT, a talent management blog, and what he learned: European co-workers who took off an entire month, untethered from electronic devices, were no less productive but a lot less stressed.
Holiday season is job-hunting season
October 21st 2013
Don’t interrupt your job search during the year-end holidays. That’s the topic of a blog by Susan Adams on Forbes. Adams quotes Catherine Jewell, an author and career coach, who says that the holidays are a good time to find a job. There’s less competition and people are in a more receptive mood.
The five-word performance review
October 17th 2013
Paul English, founder of travel search engine Kayak.com, distills to five words performance reviews he gives to employees. He scribbles the words down on paper, and then he and the employee go to lunch and get engaged in an hour’s worth of feedback, he tells Fast Company in a Q&A. The feedback he says he gets from employees most often: “Wow, no one ever told me that before. That’s so valuable.”
How to avoid M&A failure
October 16th 2013
To ensure the finance department scrutinises a proposed merger or acquisition with sufficient diligence, CFOs must ask the right questions, says Jonathan Chadwick, finance chief at software company VMware and a veteran dealmaker. Chadwick, speaking to CFO.com, says that questioning whether the deal makes sense, whether cultures match and why the other side is selling can avoid a deal that promises more than it can hold.
Seven tips for better email management
October 15th 2013
Follow seven tips to get on top of the increasing number of emails arriving in your inbox, writes Elizabeth Grace Saunders for cultural blog 99U. Not all emails need a response. Among the suggestions: Prioritise your replies to the ones that do add value, use standard replies, and aim for a 24-hour turnaround.
The eight kinds of office politicians
October 14th 2013
“Office politics, like chess, is a combination of one-time calculation and general pattern recognition,” writes Jack Godwin for human resources publication TLNT. Godwin goes on to detail the eight types of players in office politics. Are you a mentor, recluse or opportunist? Or none of the above?
Five reasons to quit to-do lists
October 10th 2013
To-do lists have five fundamental problems that render them ineffective, Daniel Markovitz writes for Harvard Business Review. The longer they are, the more likely they paralyse us. They lead us to focus on short-term, quick or pleasant tasks rather than tasks that are difficult, require thought or don’t have an immediate payoff. And they don’t provide enough information to prioritise intelligently. So, Markovitz says, cross them off your list.
Oversharing is an information security threat
October 9th 2013
Looser restrictions now allow qualified companies seeking funding to publish company information on Facebook and Twitter, but the new ruling issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also carries the risk of public, messy missteps through oversharing, writes business adviser Brian Barnier in InformationWeek. To manage compliance, Barnier recommends applying automation tools and sticking to one information security compliance policy that meets multiple requirements.
Twitter IPO rests on rapid revenue growth
October 8th 2013
The first financials Twitter filed publicly in its planned initial public offering show that the online messaging service generated a loss of $69.3 million on revenue of $253.6 million in the first half of 2013, Reuters reported. Twitter, which started selling advertising in earnest just three years ago, hopes to woo investors with rapid revenue growth to pull off the largest Silicon Valley IPO since Facebook’s last year.
“Friendly” analyst calls can equal poor company performance
October 7th 2013
Companies that “script” earnings calls are likely to underperform, probably because they have information they’d rather not publicise, according to research by professors at Harvard and the London School of Economics and Political Science. The researchers, according to CFO.com, showed that companies that call only on analysts who have given the company favourable reviews tend to barely meet earnings forecasts.
Three questions job-seekers should ask in interviews
October 3rd 2013
Job interviews are structured mainly for the employer to ask questions to get to know the job candidate, but, as James Caan writes for LinkedIn, candidates should be prepared to ask insightful questions as well. He has a list of three questions that every candidate should ask of a prospective employer. Can you guess what they are?
Better CSR reporting needed
October 2nd 2013
A leading UK charity has charged the UK government to come up with a set of recommended practices to eliminate distortions in corporate social responsibility reporting, AccountancyAge reports. Directory of Social Change argued that the standards would improve the quality, transparency and consistency of reports.
Tips to keep a team meeting on track
October 1st 2013
To keep team members on track in meetings, have them agree on the purpose of the meeting, make sure everybody is ready to move on to the next topic once the meeting has started, and address team members’ off-track remarks right away to find out whether their remarks might be connected to the topic at hand, the Harvard Business Review suggests. Roger Schwarz’s meeting tips in HBR mirror some of those discussed in a CGMA Magazine article by Rhymer Rigby.