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Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s? (Ep. 359) - Freakonomics Freakonomics
"ROBERTO: “I’d like to open a new kind of grocery store. We’re not going to have any branded items. It’s all going to be private label. We’re going to have no television advertising and no social media whatsoever. We’re never going to have anything on sale. We’re not going to accept coupons. We’ll have no loyalty card. We won’t have a circular that appears in the Sunday newspaper. We’ll have no self-checkout. We won’t have wide aisles or big parking lots. Would you invest in my company?”



"So we put on our Freakonomics goggles in an attempt to reverse-engineer the secrets of Trader Joe’s. Which, it turns out, are incredibly Freakonomical: things like choice architecture and decision theory. Things like nudging and an embrace of experimentation. In fact, if Freakonomics were a grocery store, it might be a Trader Joe’s, or at least try to be. It’s like a real-life case study of behavioral economics at work. So, here’s the big question: if Trader Joe’s is really so good, should their philosophy be applied elsewhere? Should Trader Joe’s — I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but … should Trader Joe’s be running America?"
traderjoes  2018  freakanomics  retail  groceries  psychology  choice  paradoxofchoice  decisionmaking  michaelroberto  competition  microsoft  satyanadella  markgardiner  sheenaiyengar  economics  behavior  hiring 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Cyd Harrell on Twitter: "just putting a note here to make my next rant about the "warm neutral" communication style & how important it is to my practice"
"just putting a note here to make my next rant about the "warm neutral" communication style & how important it is to my practice

so, about warm neutral - it's my intentional communication posture for any interaction where my job is mainly listening.../1

so user research, hiring interviews, 1:1s as a manager, escalations I take at work, etc. I think most people won't be surprised by 1:1s /2

but I've been with a few people recently who were surprised by my using warm neutral in hiring interviews. I think it's really effective /3

for similar reasons, it's effective in user research - if done well, it puts people at ease, makes them feel heard (as opposed to judged) /4

it shows you're interested without being creepy or directing, & it encourages the person to keep talking about what they're talking about /5

I should probably say what it is: warm-neutral listening is present, receptive, and positive. it doesn't show a ton of surprise /6

it *does* show interest, but it doesn't add a lot of comments. it's not too heavy on reflections back; it asks questions, politely. /7

it's fine to smile or nod when you're dong warm-neutral, if those things are authentic for you; it's not fine to freak about an answer... /8

whether you are positively or negatively excited, variations of smiles and nods and receptive body language are all you should do. /9

you can acknowledge problems and frustrations, & I personally think it's fine to show excitement about tangential things.../10

like if you're in a remote research session, loving the participant's desktop photo is fine & easily segues into the right neutral /11

or if you're researching travel planning, saying their destination sounds amazing (but staying neutral about their planning process) /12

in a hiring interview, it's not a poker face; it's an encouragement to keep talking *even if you didn't like what you just heard* /13

I want people to leave a hiring interview with me feeling like they had a friendly conversation and that they were heard... /14

*I* want to leave a hiring interview with good sense of what the candidate will say if they believe they're being well received /15

that tends to make great candidates look better, and problematic ones look more problematic, so it's a win as far as I'm concerned /16

& it's all about a friendly even keel. warm neutral takes emotional work of course, but I don't think it takes more than cold neutral /17

it does take practice. I practice on chatty people on planes & busses (if I'm feeling up to it) or on people who talk a lot /18

I think the best reference I've ever seen about it is this @ftrain piece https://medium.com/message/how-to-be-polite-9bf1e69e888c … which has a slightly different angle /19

anyway, I think people often believe that being neutral means you shouldn't be warm, and I think that's usually not right. you can. /F"
interviewing  hiring  communication  via:kissane  2017  cydharrell  listening  ethnography  research  neutrality 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews - The New York Times
"This is a widespread problem. Employers like to use free-form, unstructured interviews in an attempt to “get to know” a job candidate. Such interviews are also increasingly popular with admissions officers at universities looking to move away from test scores and other standardized measures of student quality. But as in my friend’s case, interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.

People who study personnel psychology have long understood this. In 1979, for example, the Texas Legislature required the University of Texas Medical School at Houston to increase its incoming class size by 50 students late in the season. The additional 50 students that the school admitted had reached the interview phase of the application process but initially, following their interviews, were rejected. A team of researchers later found that these students did just as well as their other classmates in terms of attrition, academic performance, clinical performance (which involves rapport with patients and supervisors) and honors earned. The judgment of the interviewers, in other words, added nothing of relevance to the admissions process.

Research that my colleagues and I have conducted shows that the problem with interviews is worse than irrelevance: They can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees."



"What can be done? One option is to structure interviews so that all candidates receive the same questions, a procedure that has been shown to make interviews more reliable and modestly more predictive of job success. Alternatively, you can use interviews to test job-related skills, rather than idly chatting or asking personal questions.

Realistically, unstructured interviews aren’t going away anytime soon. Until then, we should be humble about the likelihood that our impressions will provide a reliable guide to a candidate’s future performance."
hiring  jobinterviews  sfsh  2017  jasondana 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Genius and the Sharing Economy — Medium
"At this point, I became probably overly obsessed with the fact that Jeremy and Rap Genius were featured front and center in that Times article about the declining interested in the Humanities, and then with the use of that Times piece as a “hiring” strategy of sorts. Whatever their deal was, it seemed clear that The Times gave Genius the credibility to claim that [1] the humanities needing saving and [2] that increased traffic and content on their site was the way to do it. I’m not sure what Genius gave The Times in return, but I’ll just add here that the Genius guy giving the talk said the New York Times wasn’t going to be around in 5 years anyway.

In a room full of bright-eyed future businesspeople, I felt like a alien interloper and began to fashion my own tinfoil hat theories even though I suppose this sort of deal is how the marriage of journalism and commerce always works. More selfishly, I began to suspect that the job ad I had read was not actually a real job ad. (I know, kind of rich given my last post here [https://medium.com/@exhaust_fumes/the-inside-can-didate-f8d0c2312be8 ]).

I suppose anything I say from here on out could easily be dismissed as elitist or turf warring, or maybe just naive and overly-sensitive; it’s quite possibly true that my reaction to the Stern talk was rooted in my own vested interest in universities keeping Humanities programs funded. I generally have a very weak stomach for any kind of pro-capitalist language in academic and educational contexts, and in the winter of 2013, I was emotionally drained from trying to finish a book and find another job, and spiritually-speaking, I was running on fumes."



"The opportunity to go to Brooklyn is indeed a good thing; I live in Queens, but I know how good it is across the bridge where many of my friends live. Really, I shouldn’t be so glib: it’s cool to be part of something devoted to teaching and a bonus to have your travel expenses paid. I think it is also, as I was saying at the beginning of this long-ass post, a great example of the fucking sharing economy and what’s wrong with it. Be grateful to people who use a small fraction of their VC money to fly you somewhere — but also think about the value of what you give them in return.

I’m using swears there in the hopes that I sound like a Genius when I say things I’m not totally sure about; I’m a bit out of my comfort zone talking about how a start-up makes and uses money. I’m really good with my own financial affairs and budget, but my academic expertise is in 16th and 17th century drama and history so I worry I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But perhaps you are somebody who knows a lot more about these things and perhaps you know where to look to answer some of the questions I’ve tried to raise here.

I have no doubt that Genius has content and a viable business model without content from educators. But I still want to know more about the role and real worth of our labor in an economy that asks the precariously employed to share while its founders and investors make money. Humanities scholars can see all the tensions of our professional choices in this economy: the fact that we do our work for pleasure, that others find pleasure in our work, and that the work we love is only lucrative for some."
vimalapasupathi  genius.com  annotation  hypothes.is  labor  sharingeconomy  work  2016  technology  humanities  scholarship  gigeconomy  mahbodmoghadam  precarity  unemployment  rapgenius  business  adjuncts  hiring  2015  jeremydean  stanfordlitlab  evankindley  disclosure  tamarlewin  nytimes 
july 2016 by robertogreco
A theory of nonscalability | A Working Library
"Tsing on scalability:
Progress itself has often been defined by its ability to make projects expand without changing their framing assumptions. This quality is “scalability.” The term is a bit confusing, because it could be interpreted to mean “able to be discussed in terms of scale.” Both scalable and nonscalable projects, however, can be discussed in relation to scale. When Ferdand Braudel explained history’s “long durée” or Niels Bohr showed us the quantum atom, these were not projects of scalability, although they each revolutionized thinking about scale. Scalability, in contrast, is the ability of a project to change scales smoothly without any change in project frames. A scalable business, for example, does not change its organization as it expands. This is possible only if business relations are not transformative, changing the business as new relations are added. Similarly, a scalable research project admits only data that already fit the research frame. Scalability requires that project elements be oblivious to indeterminacies of encounter; that’s how they allow smooth expansion. Thus, too, scalability banishes meaningful diversity, that is, diversity that might change things.

(Emphasis mine.) I think about scalability and diversity in my work-life quite a bit: the tech and media industries have explicitly acknowledged the need for diversity (while so far only making token steps towards achieving it). But there’s often a notion that diversifying an organization will not require changes to that organization’s culture: the concept of “culture fit” presumes someone can neatly fit into the existing culture, as opposed to challenging it or expanding it—or even razing it. That tech (and, increasingly, media—and oh, that boundary is nothing if not fluid) also speaks of scalability in religious terms puts Tsing’s contention here in an even more interesting light. Scalability is expressed not only in the external artifacts of an organization—the software, the servers, the business model—but also the people who work for it and the people who interact with it as customers, clients, and, increasingly, inconstant laborers. That latter category—the Uber drivers, TaskRabbits, and Postmates—seems especially relevant to notions of scalability. Uber can scale, but the single parent who works as a driver and can’t predict what they’ll make from week to week cannot.

Tsing continues:
Scalability is not an ordinary feature of nature. Making projects scalable takes a lot of work. Even after that work, there will still be interactions between scalable and nonscalable project elements. Yet, despite the contributions of thinkers like Braudel and Bohr, the connection between scaling up and the advancement of humanity has been so strong that scalable elements receive the lion’s share of attention. The nonscalable becomes an impediment. It’s time to turn attention to the nonscalable, not only as objects for description but also as incitements to theory.

A theory of nonscalability might begin in the work it takes to create scalability—and the messes it makes. One vantage point might be that early and influential icon for this work: the European colonial plantation. In their sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sugarcane plantations in Brazil, for example, Portuguese planters stumbled on a formula for smooth expansion. They crafted self-contained, interchangeable project elements, as follows: exterminate local people and plants; prepare now-empty, unclaimed land; and bring in exotic and isolated labor and crops for production. This landscape model of scalability became an inspiration for later industrialization and modernization.

There’s the savage bit again: scalability often swamps all other considerations. If you define scalability as the solitary success metric, then you are bound to ignore—or violently overcome—all other measures. So another place to begin to build a theory of nonscalability might be to ask by what other metrics we should measure progress. Scalability cannot be our only aim."
mandybrown  leadership  management  scalability  hiring  scale  2016  annalowenhaupttsing  nonscalability  diversity  small  business  annatsing 
july 2016 by robertogreco
How to Hire — # S W L H — Medium
"TLDR

Hiring Principles:
Hiring means we failed to execute and need help
Startup employee effectiveness follows a power law
False Positives are ok, False Negatives are not
Culture is defined by who we hire

Hiring Heuristics:
Hire for Strength vs Lack of Weakness
Hire for Trajectory vs Experience
Hire Doers vs Tellers
Hire Learners vs Experts
Hire Different vs Similar
Always pass on ego"
hiring  2016  henryward  howto 
january 2016 by robertogreco
How to apply for an internship at NPR Visuals | NPR Visuals
"We want to see your best work.

Here’s how.

(In case you missed it, applications are currently open for our fall internships.)

Cover letters

All candidates must submit a cover letter. Your cover letter should be a statement of purpose. We’re interested in what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about it. (Most cover letters tell us that you are hardworking, passionate and talented, etc. And that you love NPR. We don’t need you to tell us that.)

• Tell us what you care about and work on.
• Tell us why you are passionate about your work.
• Tell us why this opportunity will help you reach your potential.
• Tell us how you will contribute to our team.

Other expectations

• Photo internships candidates must have a portfolio.
• Programming/design candidates with either projects on Github or a personal site are strongly preferred.

Selection process

After you submit a resume and cover letter, our selection committee will read through all the applications. We’ll reduce the list to approximately 8-10 candidates by eliminating applications that don’t have a cover letter and resume or who clearly aren’t a good fit for the team.

If you’re one of these candidates, two or three folks from the Visuals team will conduct a 30 minute Skype interview with you. You’ll get an email before your interview with outline of the questions you’ll be asked in the interview and also given the opportunity to ask any questions beforehand. The questions may vary a bit from interview to interview based on your professional experience, but we will be as consistent as possible.

Then we’ll call references and conduct some follow-up via email, possibly asking one or two more substantial, interview-style questions. Email communication is crucial in our workplace, and gives us an opportunity to see how you communicate in writing. We expect that answers are prompt, succinct, and clear.

We’ll follow up with all of our finalists with some constructive criticism about their application and interview.

Why we’re doing this

Everyone on the Visuals team wants to open our field to the best people out there, but the process doesn’t always work that way. So we’re trying to make the job application process more accessible.

Applicants with strong cover letters and good interview skills naturally tend to do well in this process. Often, those skills are a result of coaching and support — something that not all students are privileged to have. To help candidates without those resources, we’re being more transparent about our process and expectations.

We’re certain that we’re missing out on candidates with great talent and potential who don’t have that kind of support in their lives. We think knowing our cover letter expectations and interview questions ahead of time will help level the playing field, keep our personal bias out of the interview process, and allow better comparisons between candidates."
jobapplications  hiring  npr  davideads  coverletters  process  internships  2015  via:kissane 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Future is Learning, But What About Schooling? | Higher Ed Beta @insidehighered
"I am, in short, moving away from my earlier conviction that schooling is learning enacted for public purposes through public institutions, and moving toward a broader vision for learning as a social activity upon which society depends for its future development. I am increasingly aware that the weight of politics and public policy upon the institutions of schooling is making schools less and less likely to be the privileged place where learning occurs in the future.

The future of learning in society is virtually unlimited, at least for the foreseeable future. Learning is the conversion of information into knowledge; information, in the digital age has become a vast sea of ones and zeros; information becomes knowledge by passing through some medium that transforms the ones and zeros into a conceptually organized form.

In the past, we have thought of this transformation as a single authoritative portal, called schooling. The advent of digital culture means that this portal is now one among many possible places, virtual and physical, where information can become knowledge. The type of knowledge and skill required to negotiate this increasingly complex world is completely different from what schools have conventionally done, and schools are institutionally disadvantaged as players in this new world, in large part because of the well-intentioned efforts of school reformers.

While learning has largely escaped the boundaries of institutionalized schooling, educational reformers have for the past thirty years or so deliberately and systematically engaged in public policy choices that make schools less and less capable of responding to the movement of learning into society at large.

Standards and expectations have become more and more literal and highly prescriptive in an age where human beings will be exercising more and more choice over what and how they will learn.

Testing and assessment practices have become more and more conventional and narrow as the range of competencies required to negotiate digital culture has become more complex and highly variegated.

Teacher preparation, hiring, induction, and evaluation practices have become more and more rigid and hierarchical in an age where the teaching function is migrating out into a more individualized and tailored set of learning environments.

We are continuing to invest massively in hard-boundary physical structures in an age where learning is moving into mobile, flexible, and networked relationships. In other words, it would be hard to imagine an institutional structure for learning that is less suited for the future than the heavily institutionalized, hierarchical world that education reformers have constructed."

[via: http://willrichardson.com/post/107596923875/oh-the-irony ]
richardelmore  2015  education  learning  howweteach  unschooling  dechooling  schooliness  edreform  netwrokedlearning  policy  standards  standardization  expectations  evaluation  hierarchy  schooling  decentralization  obsolescence  irrelevance  bureaucracy  knowledge  information  schoolreform  institutions  institutionalization  publicschools  society  scriptedlearning  testing  assessment  hiring  flexibility  mobility  experience  leadership  politics 
february 2015 by robertogreco
‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ Is Still Going Strong - NYTimes.com
"When I went through the 42-year-old copy, I was struck by how pertinent most of its advice still was. Yes, it contains references to “personnel departments” (even the newer name for those, “human resources,” is starting to sound dated) and the wording may occasionally sound sexist to modern ears (“You must identify the man who has the power to hire you and show him how your skills can help him with his problems.”)

But three main points in the book still hold, as Mr. Bolles explained in a personal note he sent along with the book:

■ The traditional job-hunting system is a numbers game that is “heavily loaded toward failing the job hunter.”

■ A “creative minority” has come up with nontraditional, highly successful methods of job hunting that involve choosing the places you want to work and approaching the people there who can hire you.

■ Before choosing those places, job hunters must look inward, figuring out what they would most love to do — and where, geographically, they want to do it.

Those three concepts are as relevant in 2014 as they were in 1972, as are the shock of rejection, the loss of self-esteem, and the depression that can result from a prolonged round of job hunting, which Mr. Bolles also covers. Those parts of the book have stayed the same because human nature doesn’t change, he said."
employment  unemployment  rejection  self-esteem  depression  2014  rochardbolles  purpose  capitalism  humans  humanresources  hiring  hiringprocess  jobsearches  jobhunting  power  inequality 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Kerri Miller - How to Interview and Why - Burlington Ruby Conference 2014 on Vimeo
"An interview too often feels like a first date - awkward, strange, and not entirely predictive of what’s to follow. There are countless books and websites to help you when you’re a job seeker, but what about when you’re the one doing the hiring? Will you just ask the same puzzle questions or sort algorithm problems? What are your metrics for evaluating or contextualizing the answers? In this talk, I’ll discuss successful practices and techniques to help you find someone who will innovate your business, bring new energy to your team, get the work done, AND be someone you’ll want to work with."
kerrimiller  hiring  interviewing  employment  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Dreaming about the future is bad for your career — Gigaom Research
"Dan goes on to make this a cautionary tale for business leaders. But I believe the issue isn’t just managers and leaders: it’s everybody. People are afraid of creativity in general, and especially in times of stress, where traditional approaches to problem are strongly favored, even when they don’t work.

And creative people are uniformly considered unsuitable leaders unless they couple that with high degrees of charisma, as I detailed in The cultural bias against creatives as leaders. In fact, this bias has been suggested as the root cause of why so many leaders fail, and why groups seem to resist change. We continue to select for leaders that are uncreative, who strongly favor tradition over innovation, and who inspire a culture that follows that lead.

The answer? Alas, I am not sure that there is one. Being a dreamer may be something like ‘following your passion’. As Cal Newport has observed, following your passion may be terrible job advice."



"So, before you can get a job where you get to dream about the future, you need to sharpen your skills and share a lot of dreams that matter to others. Share your dreams, hone them, but don’t be surprised if you are sidelined because of them. You may need to intentionally take on the techniques of charisma to be considered a leader if you lead with ideas instead of traditionalism.

Sagan is right, that we rely on those who can imagine new worlds, devices, tools, or practices, but many of those dreamers pay a high price, and many of those dreams never see the light of day."

[Update: see also:
http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2014/04/change-agents-and-the-hiring-dilemma.html

"Here’s a working hypothesis:
The organizations that most need change agents probably are the least likely to hire them because change agents typically make people with non-change orientations scared or nervous. If the people within were already oriented toward change and innovation, their organizations wouldn’t be the ones in the most need of change agents.

So a change- and innovation-oriented job candidate has a steep uphill battle to get considered and hired. The challenge is how to get people on hiring committees in non-change-oriented institutions to recognize the value of hiring for innovation, not replication…

Got any thoughts on this?"]
leadership  creativity  charisma  2014  bias  passion  cv  stoweboyd  carlsagan  danpontefract  calnewport  values  administration  management  careers  scottmccleod  schools  changeagents  change  hiring 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Your Job, Their Data: The Most Important Untold Story About the Future - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
"My colleague Don Peck has an unnerving feature in this month's magazine on precisely this issue: "They're Watching You At Work." I highly encourage you to absorb this tale's anecdotes and data. 

After reading it, your gut may feel optimistic, like his, or queasy, like mine. Because the "Moneyballing" of human resources and corporate management has already begun, and who is going to stop it? 

Peck's reporting turned up some amazing/horrifying details about the current prevalence of data-driven corporate practices. For example, he writes, "The Las Vegas casino Harrah’s tracks the smiles of the card dealers and waitstaff on the floor (its analytics team has quantified the impact of smiling on customer satisfaction)." 

Maybe that's nice from a bottom-line perspective, but imagine working at Harrah's: "Hey, Alexis, your smile ratio was down today. Keep those lip corners up, buddy!"

Do we want to live in that world? 

As we reported this week, American truck drivers will soon have all their miles logged by electronic devices. Though safer roads are the nominal goal, no one really disputes that the data on braking or fuel efficiency might be used for other things (like hiring and firing decisions). 

Corporations already have so much power relative to their workers. And the data — because they're the ones generating it — only seems likely to enhance that imbalance. At least that's how I see it."
donpeck  alexismadrigal  hiring  humanresources  work  data  evaluation  2013 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires | The New OPEN Forum
"Years ago while interviewing an English major, I mentioned that—for many reasons—I liked hiring individuals who have a degree in the humanities. When I finished speaking, I noticed that the applicant was slightly choked up. He said, "You are the only person who has made me feel good about my degree." It's not uncommon for English majors—or anyone majoring in the humanities for that matter—to get a bad rap. Even Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, not too long ago said that people should get math-oriented degrees; otherwise, they will end up working in shoe stores.

We place a great value on a STEM education (degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics). But are the tables turning? Are hiring managers beginning to see the value that a liberal arts education—and an English major in particular—brings to the workplace? Recently, some high-profile businesspeople came out in favor of hiring English majors. Bestselling author and small-business expert Steve Strauss, for example, has admitted that "English majors are my employee of choice." And Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, had this to say: "When I look at where our business is going, I think, boy, you do need to have a good technical understanding somewhere in there, to be relevant. But you’re really differentiated if you understand humanities.""

[Related: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/07/30/tech-job-unemployment/2595669/ ]
englishmajors  humanities  education  hiring  work  employment  trends  careers  2013  brunamartinuzzi  stem  stevestrauss  brackendarrell  communication  writing  research  empathy  janerobbins  davidboyes  ideo  jobs  highereducation  highered  arts  art  theater 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The University as a Googleplex | MPG
"When you hear people say - now and in our present context - that they want the university to be run like a business - full of "sherpas" but not "coasters" - what they really mean is that they don't want it to exist. At all. They don't want it to be dependent on public dollars, or "welfare," or that they don't want "tenured radicals" to be rewarded for obscure, narrowly applicable research agendas, or that they want higher education to be cheap and affordable. This is a certain kind of business model. More like Wal-Mart. It cheapens education. And it spells, down the road, the end of schooling, generally, as anything other than a bestowal of bare skills on a prospective worker."



"Yes, there are serious structural problems with interdisciplinarity. Many clever deans and provosts and chancellors see the metaphors of "bridges" and "switching points" and "nodes" as cutting-edge cost-saving measures, since, in many cases, a single jointly-appointed faculty isn't a truly new hire; he or she is a reallocated budget line, once wholly in one department or another, and now split. Budget problems are real and ongoing. Your average administratrix does the best that he or she can in an age of limited resources to keep the antique disciplines strong and to open the curriculum up to the avante-garde at the same time. Sometimes, they figure - or hope? - that a single person, allocated in two directions, can do the institutional work of many.

If you are trying to foster new knowledge, hiring is the start of it, not the end. What comes next, though, is what often gets skipped: building a more robust interdisciplinary infrastructure - a Googleplex for academics.

So, then, build bridges, where and when you can. Worry as much about sidewalks as that new humanities building. Offer faculty and staff subventions for a bicycle, or give them away. Don't get too caught up with putting the cognate units close together. Make the process of connection over space easier, so that the practice of articulation between units and fields and offices is generative. Keep your faculty moving. Good ideas often come on the road, in transit, in the spaces between destination and departure. If budgets are tight, worry less about clustering like-minded units; worry more about the creation of scenic walkways with flat, safe sidewalks, and benches.

But, then, don't skimp on the tech. You know what kills ideas? It isn't the sprint from one office to another. It is the discovery, on the end of the route, of dodgy wifi, spotty ethernet, and the chatter of the prehistoric desktop computer. Or it is the grinding weight of that 10 lbs. laptop from 2005. So, really, ipads for everyone and segways, too, along with moleskine notebooks, whiteboards, and color pens. Pay for iphones and cover the data costs. Spend the extra 10 million (a tenth of the cost of a big new LEED building) for the best internet connection. And, while you're at it, set up a shuttle bus. And if someone wants to see if the new google chromebook works for them - just as an experiment - say "yes." This isn't pampering. It is dreamscape infrastructure.

When the time comes to hire someone, embrace the weird. Hire people who don't mind wearing running shoes, or who text while they run, or who gchat through meetings. People who love to be in two places, or three, at once. People who aren't just working on three books at once, but who can actually make progress on each. People who can speak to a handful of fields and not just one. Hire foxes, not hedgehogs. And, above all else, hire people who can work with other people.

And then, finally, don't screw it all up by hanging these people out to dry: change the rules about tenure and promotion to protect interdisciplines, groupwork in the humanities, and digital publishing. Make it possible for new forms of knowledge production to be recognized as equally important and valuable. In the humanities, this means that we need to stop the unthinking worship of the book, and remember that the book is a vehicle for ideas, which get expressed - fully and richly - in many ways.

All of this stuff costs about as much as one lab for one scientist, which sounds pretty efficient to me. And the payoff, which may not come in the form of grant money or retail teaching, is worth every penny. If we want to measure our "best" and our "brightest" universities by their movement of the conversation, by their reorientation of everything we know about anything, then let's steal some good ideas from the Googleplex.

But let's also remember that the Googleplex and Google are different. The former is a structure of innovation, while the latter, just like Wal Mart, exists chiefly to market a product, in this case an eco-system through which an enhancement can be bought and downloaded. So build a Googleplex, but don't be Google. Because the central point here is that while universities can learn some useful things from studying corporate cultures of innovation, they can't ever be businesses. And anyone who says otherwise really, truly, and seriously just wants to kill them off."
highered  google  highereducation  education  business  publicgood  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  schooldesign  organization  2013  academics  technology  crosspollination  lcproject  openstudioproject  hiring  hierarchy  flatness  money  matthewprattguterl 
may 2013 by robertogreco
MSU expert has surprising advice about liberal arts degrees, job hunting | Bridge Michigan
"I think there is still value in the liberal arts. Companies on the East and West coasts are hiring a new kind of a professional that we don’t hear as much about in the Midwest.

IBM has gone from manufacturing to a systems, problem-solving approach in its business. Thirty-five percent of its people have social science and humanity degrees. They’re not all engineers and computer scientists.

Companies like IBM are looking for people who have mastered a discipline, have strong communication skills and skill sets that allow them to work across boundaries. Those are liberal arts skills.

Liberal arts also provide a lot of creativity and advancements in communications that spread to other areas of the university. We’ll lose that if we eliminate the liberal arts. We need to be careful what wish for."
2013  liberalarts  philgardner  education  colleges  universities  highered  highereducation  hiring  interdisciplinary  postdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  learning 
march 2013 by robertogreco
What Your Culture Really Says - Pretty Little State Machine
"We make sure to hire people who are a cultural fit

What your culture might actually be saying is… We have implemented a loosely coordinated social policy to ensure homogeneity in our workforce. We are able to reject qualified, diverse candidates on the grounds that they “aren’t a culture fit” while not having to examine what that means - and it might mean that we’re all white, mostly male, mostly college-educated, mostly young/unmarried, mostly binge drinkers, mostly from a similar work background. We tend to hire within our employees’ friend and social groups. Because everyone we work with is a great culture fit, which is code for “able to fit in without friction,” we are all friends and have an unhealthy blur between social and work life. Because everyone is a “great culture fit,” we don’t have to acknowledge employee alienation and friction between individuals or groups. The desire to continue being a “culture fit” means it is harder for employees to raise meaningful critique and criticism of the culture itself."

"We have a team of people who are responsible for organizing frequent employee social events, maintaining the office “feel”, and making sure work is a great place to hang out. We get served organic, vegan, farm-raised, nutritious lunches every day at work.

What your culture might actually be saying is… Our employees must be treated as spoiled, coddled children that cannot perform their own administrative functions. We have a team of primarily women supporting the eating, drinking, management and social functions of a primarily male workforce whose output is considered more valuable. We struggle to hire women in non-administrative positions and most gender diversity in our company is centralized in social and admin work. Because our office has more amenities than home life, our employees work much longer hours and we are able to extract more value from them for the same paycheck. The environment reinforces the cultural belief that work is a pleasant dream and can help us distract or bribe from deeper issues in the organization."
business  culture  management  work  workculture  2013  hiring  policy  process  google20%time  hierarchy  power  powerdynamics 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Valve: Handbook for New Employees: A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do [.pdf]
"There is no organizational structure keeping you from being in close proximity to the people who you’d help or be helped by most."

"Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work on after asking yourself the right questions."

"What’s interesting? What’s rewarding? What leverages my individual strengths the most?"

"…our lack of a traditional structure comes with an important responsibility. It’s up to all of us to spend effort focusing on what we think the long-term goals of the company should be."

"Nobody expects you to devote time to every opportunity that comes your way. Instead, we want you to learn how to choose the most important work to do."

"We should hire people more capable than ourselves, not less."

"We value “T-shaped” people…who are both generalists (…the top of the T) and also experts (…the vertical leg of the T). This recipe is important for success at Valve."
agency  initiaive  motivation  tcsnmy  administration  management  hiring  t-shapedpeople  responsibility  creativity  videogames  projectbasedlearning  pbl  community  leadership  lcproject  flatness  flat  hierarchy  specialists  generalists  work  culutre  valve  specialization  horizontality  horizontalidad 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Woods+ (Ftrain.com)
"Anyway, the new thing from the Gootch makes it really easy to sort people into the holes, which is good, because this lets you divide people into clusters and lie to each group in different ways, which makes it easier to preserve the fictions that make up our polite racist society. And it looks pretty sweet and works well so far, which probably means that there will be a huge battle-in-earnest between the Gootch and the Books, between Circles and Friends. For example, I don't know if you saw this but according to the New York Times Mark Zuckerberg is taking walks in the woods with people he'd like to hire. If he really wants you to work for him he takes you for a walk in the woods. It's gotten that serious. And this is a responsibility of a well-educated American, to think about Mark Zuckerberg taking walks in the woods with multiple unnamed sources."
paulford  ftrain  facebook  google  google+  markzuckerberg  mostdangerousgame  hiring  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Olbermann's Exit: The Inside Story
"I'm difficult for management. That's why I have the reputation because nobody challenges management." He adds that his run-ins are simply out of good conscience: "I stand up to people. I do not believe that simply because I signed a contract that that gives people the right to make [unilateral] decisions. As part of the process by which you hire me, you hire me. You just don't hire an hour of me to do a performance." [More people should approach their work this way, see part of their job as challenging management, have some conviction, be willing to be fired for speaking out.]
keitholbermann  convictions  cv  management  administration  leadership  reputation  conscience  decisionmaking  process  hiring  employment  employees  challenge  2011  tcsnmy 
june 2011 by robertogreco
CEOs vouch for waiter Rule: watch how people treat staff | Protocol Advisors, Inc.
“Watch out for people who have a situational value system, who can turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person they are interacting with,” Swanson writes. “Be especially wary of those who are rude to people perceived to be in subordinate roles.”
business  character  kindness  hiring  power  leadership  management  administration  control  waiterrule  waiters  hierarchy  truth 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Three rules for bringing out the best in teachers « Re-educate Seattle
"My friend Nick wrote to me earlier this week and scolded me for constantly critiquing the existing paradigm while rarely proposing specific solutions. So, with a nod to Nick, here’s my specific advice:

1.    Hire talented teachers and let them teach what inspires them.

2.    Never require—in fact, never allow—a teacher to teach content that doesn’t inspire him or her.

3.    Allow teachers to bring their whole selves to work; don’t limit their ability to share talents and things they love simply because it falls outside of their academic department.

I know what you’re thinking: If we followed this advice, we’d have to completely re-invent the way we’ve structured our schools. The current model simply can’t accommodate these recommendations.

Exactly. We have to re-invent the way we structure our schools."
pscs  stevemiranda  tcsnmy  education  teaching  change  gamechanging  passion  interest  interestdriven  interestdriventeaching  standards  hiring  management  administration  curriculum  curriculumisdead  lcproject  schools  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Cirque du Soleil: A Very Different Vision of Teamwork | Fast Company
"Gathered from around the world, these special performers are pushed to their limits, learning their craft for up to four months before a performance. Although auditions are demanding, people are not hired for who they are, but for what they may become. Transformation is the key. Heward states, "Creative transformation is the most important doorway for us. We're trying to find the ‘pearl,' the hidden talent in that individual. What is the unique thing that person brings?"

At Cirque, it's all about spontaneity, creativity, imagination and risk taking--not always qualities associated with Olympic athletes. Many gymnasts, athletes, and dancers come from competitive environments where individual excellence, instead of team work, is reinforced. Boris Verkhovsky, Cirque head coach and trainer notes, "A lot of athletes come from an environment where they are literally told when to inhale and when to exhale.""
creativity  teamwork  risktaking  collaboration  hiring  spontaneity  imagination  cirquedusoleil 
february 2011 by robertogreco
What We Can Do - New Teachers - Practical Theory
"Don't just take any job. Work in places that you agree with. And ask a ton of questions when you interview. Include some of these:

* What is the pedagogy of this school?
* How do you nurture, support and develop that pedagogy?
* (To a principal) - What is your theory of action? How does innovation happen here?
* (To a teacher) - How does what you do in your classroom relate to the whole of learning in the school?
* What is the common language of teaching and learning here?
* How do you create systems and structures to support and enhance that language?
* How do teachers learn and grow here here?
* What is the role of the student here? (And don't settle for "To learn.")

And only work in the places where the answers are in line with what you believe. And never work in the places that cannot answer those questions."
chrislehmann  education  teaching  advice  values  educationalphilosophy  cv  learning  lcproject  pedagogy  change  reform  schools  interviews  hiring  toshare  topost 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Geoff Vuleta Says 100-Day Plans Build Consistency - NYTimes.com
"I try to uncover what people are really good at doing and then give them a hell of a lot of that to do. I really, truly believe in that. I am the sort of person who’s never really believed in obsessing over trying to get people to do things that they are no good at anyway. … We’re looking for an inquisitive, restless mind and eclectic interests. And you’ve got to prove restlessness rather than saying restlessness. Prove to me that restlessness in a breadth of ways. If you have narrow interests, you’re probably not going to be right.

And the other thing is, are they the sort of person who thinks that being right is important? You don’t have time to be right where we are. We’re developing conceptual things. We’re inventing things that don’t yet exist. We’re working with enormously complex things all the time. And if you’re obsessed with being right, you won’t get there."
geoffvuleta  farenheit212  hiring  generalists  restlessness  cv  curiosity  interested  complexity  interestedness 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Scaling startups
"People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year."

"Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity."

"If you follow process religiously, you’ll never get anything done!"

"Hire well: This goes without saying, and I didn’t mention it in the panel. It’s a big topic probably best left for another post. Hiring great people makes everything else below easier.

Communication: Everyone in the company uses IRC, not just engineers. Everyone, all the time, from the CEO on down. Sure, sometimes you can miss things if you’re not in IRC at the time, but the benefits far outweigh the costs, and you have a lot fewer meetings about day-to-day mundane issues. …

Encourage experimentation … External transparency … Embracing failure …"
business  culture  startups  startup  entrepreneurship  scalability  risk  failure  strategy  chaddickerson  transparency  experimentation  tcsnmy  communication  process  purpose  riskassessment  riskaversion  risks  risktaking  hiring  via:stamen  scale 
august 2010 by robertogreco
What Happened to Yahoo
"Why would great programmers want to work for a company that didn't have a hacker-centric culture, as long as there were others that did? I can imagine two reasons: if they were paid a huge amount, or if the domain was interesting and none of the companies in it were hacker-centric. Otherwise you can't attract good programmers to work in a suit-centric culture. And without good programmers you won't get good software, no matter how many people you put on a task, or how many procedures you establish to ensure "quality."

Hacker culture often seems kind of irresponsible. That's why people proposing to destroy it use phrases like "adult supervision." That was the phrase they used at Yahoo. But there are worse things than seeming irresponsible. Losing, for example."
paulgraham  hackers  entrepreneurship  yahoo  technology  startups  startup  management  media  programming  culture  business  google  history  software  hackerculture  facebook  markzuckerberg  tcsnmy  hiring  leadership  values  business-iness  lcproject  hierarchy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
What makes a great teacher? - Practical Theory [An old post of his that Chris Lehmann pointed out on Twitter. All still holds true seven years on.]
1) Passion for teaching... 2) Love of kids... 3) Love of their subject... 4) Understand of the role of a school in a child's life... 5) A willingness to change... 6) A work-ethic that doesn't quit... 7) A willingness to reflect. 8) Organization... 9) Understanding that being a "great teacher" is a constant struggle to always improve... 10) Enough ego to survive the hard days. 11) Enough humility to remember it's not about you. It's about the kids... 12) A willingness to work collaboratively."

[All described more fully in the post.]
chrislehmann  humility  teaching  tcsnmy  2003  howto  hiring  professionalism  change  reflection  organization  passion  cv  work  collaboration 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Blog Archive » Creative Corporate Cultures
"* Creative reviews, even for stuff you’re not working on. Oftentimes a company gets to a size in which no one knows everything that is going on elsewhere, which results in overlap, duplication, inefficiencies and just plain bad organizational structures... * People before ideas. Creative individuals trump project ideas. Bring in creative talent and allow the ideas to come from that... * Constructive post-mortems on projects. I think this is crucial. The time to consider what was done and what went right and wrong is a requirement if a team/company/studio is to learn from what it spent so much time and energy to create."
creativity  pixar  process  projects  reviews  work  tcsnmy  reflection  hr  hiring  leadership  culture  values  management  julianbleecker 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Harvard Kennedy School - New Study: Teacher Effectiveness in Classroom Unrelated to the College Teacher Attended
"study finds that a teacher’s effectiveness at lifting student performance in reading & math is unrelated to preparation teachers have received, whether it is the college they attended, or whether they received a major in education, or earned a master’s degree...
teaching  schools  hiring  compensation  administration  management  tcsnmy  leadership  experience  credentials  meritpay  education  policy 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Philip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system | Video on TED.com
"The land of the free has become a legal minefield, says Philip K. Howard -- especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of suits. What's the answer? A lawyer himself, Howard has four propositions for simplifying US law."
broken  innovation  reform  health  law  simplicity  risk  authority  us  schools  medicine  teaching  learning  education  philiphoward  trust  constitution  values  principles  rules  ted  fear  freedom  lawsuits  gamechanging  fairness  playgrounds  passion  care  waste  money  productivity  decisionmaking  hiring  judgement  paralysis  dueprocess  rights  threats  government  litigation  recess  warnings  warninglabels  labels  psychology  society 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Designer Bruce Mau plays Scrabble for creativity's sake | Taking Names with Shia Kapos | Crain's Chicago Business
"he's been known to have job candidates play Scrabble during their interview. "It's hard to play Scrabble, be interviewed, & think up (B.S.) answers all at the same time," Mr. Mau explains to journalist Warren Berger in "Glimmer." Mr. Mau designed the cover. Applicants answered questions more honestly and showed their ability to multi-task and keep a sense of humor. "Some people would freak out and say, 'Why are you doing this to me, this isn't how an interview is supposed to go,' " Mr. Mau said, mimicking the whine. "But others would just laugh and go with it. If you laughed, you were in."...Mr. Mau likes to limit research in the early stages of the design process, so designers don't get too bogged down in numbers and other facts. And he encourages all-nighters. "Strange things happen when you've been up too late, worked too hard and you're separated from the rest of the world," he says. Some call it sleep deprivation. For Mr. Mau, it's the height of creativity."
glimmer  brucemau  hiring  sleep  sleepdeprivation  allnighters  administration  leadership  management  humor  creativity  research  design 
january 2010 by robertogreco
2¢ Worth » 10 Ways to Promote Learning Lifestyle in Your School
"Here are just a few suggestions for administrators for promoting these conversations [about new learning and about learning new things]: 1. Hire learners. Ask prospective employees, “Tell me about something that you have learned lately.” “How did you learn it?” “What are you seeking to learn more about right now?” 2. Open your faculty meetings with something that you’ve just learned – and how you learned it. It does not have to be about school, instruction, education managements, or the latest theories of learning. 3. Make frequent mention of your Twitter stream, RSS reader, specific bloggers you read. Again, this should not be limited to job specific topics. 4. Share links to specific TED talks or other mini-lectures by interesting and smart people, then share and ask for reactions during faculty meetings, in the halls, or during casual conversations with employees and parents just before the PTO meeting."
professionaldevelopment  learning  trends  administration  presentation  hiring  leadership  ideas  pedagogy  motivation  tcsnmy  schoolculture  lcproject  management 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Sci-Fi Hi-Fi: Weblog: It was a couple of simple questions: Have you ever...
"couple of simple questions: Have you ever made a mistake? &, if so, what was your worst mistake? people who said, ‘Gee, I haven’t really had one,’ or, ‘I’ve had a couple of bad outcomes but they were due to things outside my control’—invariably those were the worst candidates. & residents who said, ‘I make mistakes all the time. There was this horrible thing that happened just yesterday & here’s what it was.’ They were the best. They had ability to rethink everything that they’d done & imagine how they might have done it differently. — Charles Bosk, on “a set of interviews w/ young doctors who had either resigned or been fired from neurosurgery-training programs, in an effort to figure out what separated unsuccessful surgeons from successful counterparts,”...The more I’ve had to deal with people professionally, the more convinced I’ve become that, as Milton Glaser says, “One of the signs of a damaged ego is absolute certainty.” Beware of people who lack the capacity for self doubt."
success  mistakes  learning  hiring  ego  miltonglaser  self-doubt  cv  honesty  human  failure  tcsnmy  certainty  administration  management 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Bunchberry & Fern: The Armageddon Problem
"A problem with professional teachers is that they're often baseball players, to use Jeffrey Sonnenfeld's term. They often care more about their profession than they do about the work or the service or the organisation itself. They're like HR people, most CEOs and lawyers in this respect.

Every time you hire a teacher, you rule out any chance of somebody else learning to teach."
teaching  hiring  lcproject  learning  training  tcsnmy  administration  management  leadership  unschooling  deschooling 
december 2009 by robertogreco
How I Hire Programmers (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)
"To find out whether someone’s smart, I just have a casual conversation with them. I do everything I can to take off any pressure off: I meet at a cafe, I make it clear it’s not an interview, I do my best to be casual and friendly. Under no circumstances do I ask them any standard “interview questions” — I just chat with them like I would with someone I met at a party...what it is that makes someone seem smart...First, do they know stuff? Ask them what they’ve been thinking about and probe them about it. Do they seem to understand it in detail? Can they explain it clearly? (Clear explanations are a sign of genuine understanding.) Do they know stuff about the subject that you don’t? Second, are they curious? Do they reciprocate by asking questions about you? Are they genuinely interested or just being polite? Do they ask follow-up questions about what you’re saying? Do their questions that make you think? Third, do they learn?..."
startup  hiring  programming  interestingness  people  administration  management  leadership  entrepreneurship  business  work  interviews  howto  process  jobs  life 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Funny Business of Managing Creatives :: Articles :: The 99 Percent
"Van Veen attributes the lion’s share of College Humor’s success to a simple hiring practice: “I always hire people that are smarter than I am. If you look around at the people [in the office], they do what they do a lot better than I could. It can initially be a blow to the ego, but it pays off in the long run.” Put another way, the art of management lies in recruiting people who can manage themselves. As he says, “Hire people that don’t need to be managed, and can make decisions.” ... a piece of advice given to his business partner, Josh Abramson: “If you want to be creative at your job, you should make your job boring. Meaning, the more you have to do in your day, the less of a chance that you’re going to think of that great idea.”"
management  leadership  creativity  business  collegehumor  hiring  administration 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Bob Sutton - 85 years of research tells us the best way to evaluate potential employees: - Barking up the wrong tree
"The upshot of this research is that general mental ability (IQ and related tests) was the best predictor and work sample tests (e.g., seeing if people can actually do key elements of a job -- if a secretary can type or a programmer can write code ) were the second best of the 19 examined. Here is the rank order of the 19 predictors examined:" [years of education is #16 out of 19]
hiring  psychology  management  administration  employment  business  life  education  leadership 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Why I Never Let Employees Negotiate a Raise, Corporate Culture Article - Inc. Article
"Because salary information is viewed as particularly sensitive, employers often go to great lengths to keep it under wraps. Some companies even make it a fireable offense for employees to compare salaries...trouble with keeping salaries a secret is that it's usually used as a way to avoid paying people fairly...not good for employees -- or the company. When my partner & I started Fog Creek, we knew that we wanted to create a pay scale that was objective & transparent. As I researched different systems, I found a lot of employers tried to strike a balance between having a formulaic salary scale & one that was looser by setting a series of salary "ranges" for employees at every level of the organization...felt unfair to me. I wanted Fog Creek to have a salary scale that was as objective as possible...manager would have absolutely no leeway when it came to setting a salary. & there would be only one salary per level."
joelspolsky  fogcreek  management  administration  hiring  pay  salaries  business  money  employment  compensation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Daring Fireball Linked List: Regarding Marissa Mayer's Personnel Decisions
"I realize how hard it is to find good employees, and how hard it is to evaluate prospective employees from their résumés — that snap judgments from limited information must be made. But this makes it sound like Mayer still uses SAT scores and college grade-point averages to judge current Google employees being considered for promotion.
hiring  marissamayer  google  sat  perfectionism  grades  grading  assessment  management  leadership  education  psychology  intelligence  gpa  badchoices  lackofvision  administration  johngruber  personnel  exams  conformism  conformists  schooliness 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Studies Find Reward Often No Motivator
"a 1982 study...showed that any task, no matter how enjoyable it once seemed, would be devalued if it were presented as a means rather than an end...when verbal feedback is experienced as controlling, the effect on motivation can be similar to that of payment. In a study of corporate employees...those who were told, "Good, you're doing as you should" were "significantly less intrinsically motivated than those who received feedback informationally." There's a difference...between saying, "I'm giving you this reward because I recognize the value of your work" & "You're getting this reward because you've lived up to my standards." A different but related set of problems exists in the case of creativity. Artists must make a living...but..."the negative impact on creativity of working for rewards can be minimized" by playing down the significance of these rewards & trying not to use them in a controlling way. Creative work...cannot be forced, but only allowed to happen."
education  teaching  learning  schooling  rewards  motivation  productivity  alfiekohn  psychology  economics  management  philosophy  administration  leadership  via:rodcorp  creativity  brain  hiring  unschooling  deschooling  endsandmeans  parenting  glvo 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Annals of Education: Most Likely to Succeed: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?:The New Yorker
"Hanushek recently did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about what even a rudimentary focus on teacher quality could mean for the United States. If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performing countries like Canada and Belgium. According to Hanushek, the U.S. could close that gap simply by replacing the bottom six per cent to ten per cent of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality. After years of worrying about issues like school funding levels, class size, and curriculum design, many reformers have come to the conclusion that nothing matters more than finding people with the potential to be great teachers. But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like." Also on Gladwell's blog:

[http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/2008/12/teachers-and-quarterbacks.html ]

[see comments here: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/12/08/malcolm-gladwell-on.html ]
malcolmgladwell  teaching  school  policy  assessment  newyorker  education  statistics  learning  psychology  research  hiring  management  administration  leadership  us  effectiveness  credentials  economics  children  schools 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Hire managers of one - (37signals)
"A manager of one is someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do — set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc. — but they do it by themselves and for themselves. These people free you from oversight. They set their own direction. When you leave them alone, they surprise you with how much they’ve gotten done. They don’t need a lot of handholding or supervision. How can you spot these people? Look at their history. Have they been self-sufficient at previous jobs? Have they defined their own role before? Have they started their own site/company before? Or done their own thing in some other way? Find someone with initiative & a budding entrepreneurial spirit. And then nurture it. You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch & seeing it through. When you find these people, it frees up the rest of your team to work more & manage less."
hiring  management  administration  entrepreneurship  people  business  work  leadership  hierarchy  37signals  tcsnmy 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The You Show
"One approach is to be reactive, to sit where you're supposed to sit, have your resume appear just so, wear what you're supposed to wear and answer each and every question in the safe and secure way.
work  individualism  hiring  careers  cv  personality 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Change Agent - Issue 31
"next time you review résumés, try ignoring all of "perfectly qualified" applicants...disqualify everyone who is clearly competent to do the job at hand...Don't hire people w/ experience at another airline unless you're sure that they can unlearn what they've learned at that other airline. "Competence" is too often another word for "bad attitude." Instead, find serial incompetents - folks who are quick enough to master a task & restless enough to try something new. The zoomers...Competent people resist change. Why? Because change threatens to make them less competent. And competent people like being competent. That's who they are, and sometimes that's all they've got. No wonder they're not in a hurry to rock the boat...In the face of change, the competent are helpless. It doesn't take a lot of time to change...to reinvent…or to redesign. No, it doesn't take time; it takes will. The will to change. The will to take a risk. The will to become incompetent – at least for a while."
sethgodin  innovation  change  productivity  gamechanging  learning  creativity  work  management  administration  leadership  business  philosophy  fastcompany  process  sociology  gtd  hiring  1999  reform  cv  unschooling  deschooling  unlearning 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Recruiting Teachers - Practical Theory
"Over the past few years, many administrators have asked me how SLA has such an incredible faculty, and while I think there are many reasons, not the least of which are the colleagues that you get to work with and the edu-blogger network that has made SLA more well-known than the average high school, I do think there are some things we do are replicable for schools that are looking to both get more candidates for teaching positions and find teachers more aligned with their school's philosophy in their candidate pool."
chrislehmann  hiring  leadership  teaching  schools  management  administration  howto 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Want to attract and retain Gen Y? Better rethink everything
"In order to appeal to us, employers need to rethink their rules a bit. Forget rigid 40-hour workweeks. Forget traditional company hierarchy...way we approach the workplace & how post-college employees are challenged, might set tone for much more symbiotic relationship...Jason Fried says today's employers present biggest roadblock... "employees are treated like children...not allowed to think for themselves...too many layers of approval...prevents anyone from doing anything. The traditional workplace is broken, and until someone realizes that, there's always going to be conflict." This suffocation by protocol is dead on and will never allow an employee to "go beyond" or achieve something extra for the company. This is a critical link that most organizations continually fail to acknowledge. They are too focused on ensuring employees do no wrong that they actually prevent them from achieving anything beyond status quo."
business  economics  leadership  work  careers  management  administration  generationy  geny  hierarchy  culture  society  hiring  philosophy 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Gladwell on the mismatch problem (kottke.org)
"Gladwell says that while we evaluate teachers on the basis of high standardized test scores and whether they have degrees and credentialed training, that makes little difference in how well people actually teach."
assessment  hiring  management  jobs  careers  leadership  administration  schools  teaching  learning  credentials  work  gamechanging  kottke  malcolmgladwell 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Why bother having a resume?
"If you don't have a resume, what do you have? How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects? Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch? Or a reputation that precedes you? Or a blog that is so co
future  careers  work  education  reputation  employment  sethgodin  business  resumes  lifehacks  marketing  hiring 
march 2008 by robertogreco
al3x.net: On Side-Projects
"*Projects keep you learning. *Projects are mentally refreshing. *Projects can be fun. *Projects can be profitable. *Projects make you friends. Getting involved with a community is rewarding personally and professionally."
via:migurski  programming  software  hiring  projects  creativity  dedication  administration  business  management  leadership  curiosity  opensource  work  community  learning  lcproject  unschooling  trends  future  howwework  gamechanging  coding 
february 2008 by robertogreco
"Joy's Law"
"smart(employees) = log(employees)...For any company of more than a handfull of employees, hiring the next smart person get exponentially more difficult with each new hire."
creativity  work  via:russelldavies  hiring  intelligence  management  opensource  development 
february 2008 by robertogreco
blog.pmarca.com: How to hire the best people you've ever worked with
"make sure drive, curiosity, and ethics accompany smarts and degrees...ask questions until they can't answer...hire the one that admits they don't know the answer, avoid the bullshitter"
advice  hiring  jobs  work  administration  management  people  employment  business  human  tips  industry  curiosity  entrepreneurship  passion  howto  ethics 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Who should you hire?
"There is a fundamental shift in rules from manual-based work to project-based work. And yet, we're still trying to hire people who have shown an ability to follow instructions."
business  entrepreneurship  productivity  management  administration  sethgodin  work  leadership  jobs  future  autonomy  teaching  projects  hiring  projectbasedlearning  pbl 
may 2007 by robertogreco

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