Business Advice From Van Halen

Dan Heath and Chip Heath go to eighth grade, Google, and a Van Halen concert to find early-warning signals for big problems.

Bruce Pandolfini

When I do talk with students, my goal is to help them develop what I consider to be two of the most important forms of intelligence: the ability to read other people, and the ability to understand oneself. Those are the two kinds of intelligence that you need to succeed at chess — and in life.

Nancy Lublin

We’ve overdone this whole leadership/founder/entrepreneur thing. And we’re not spending nearly enough time crediting the folks who turn all that visionary stuff into tangible reality: the chief operating officers, the midlevel managers, the staffers. If the word didn’t have a pejorative tinge to it, I guess you’d call them followers.

We degrade the very idea of followers — lemmings! — yet the world needs people who … [ Read more ]

Nancy Lublin

The working world would be a happier place if more of us aspired to roles that were just right — if we valued job fit and performance at every level and stopped overemphasizing the very top.

Switch: Don’t Solve Problems—Copy Success

Find a bright spot and clone it.

That’s the first step to fixing everything from addiction to corporate malaise to malnutrition. A problem may look hopelessly complex. But there’s a game plan that can yield movement on even the toughest issues. And it starts with locating a bright spot — a ray of hope.

Why Your Gut Is More Ethical Than Your Brain

If you’ve ever been part of a discussion on ethics, in school or elsewhere, chances are you didn’t spend much time talking about your feelings. It’s believed that to live ethically, we must engage our reason, which reins in the whims and follies of emotion. Ethics, then, is heavy on Spock and light on Sally Struthers. But what if unethical behavior is actually spurred, rather … [ Read more ]

Dan Heath, Chip Heath

Our rational brain has a problem focus when it needs a solution focus. If you are a manager, ask yourself, What is the ratio of the time you spend solving problems versus scaling successes? We need to switch from archaeological problem solving to bright-spot evangelizing.

Seth Godin

…the sad truth about marketing just about anything, whether it’s a product or a service, whether it’s marketed to consumers or corporations: Most people can’t buy your product. Either they don’t have the money, they don’t have the time, or they don’t want it.

Seth Godin

If you’re remarkable, then it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise — ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.

Why It May Be Wiser To Hire People Without Meeting Them

When the economy finally turns around, you’ll start hiring people again. You’ll sift through dozens of impressive-sounding résumés — who knew there were so many VPs in the world? — and bring in the standouts for the critical final stage: the interview. You’ll size them up, test the “culture fit,” and peer into their souls. Then you’ll make your decision. This is the Official Hiring … [ Read more ]

Three Secrets to Make a Message Go Viral

Viral marketing has become a hip, low-cost way to reach a lot of people very quickly — with little effort. But as marketers slash ad budgets, “viral” needs to mean more than “free” and “fueled by prayer.” Making an idea contagious isn’t a mysterious marketing art. It boils down to a couple of simple rules.