30 May 2009

Google Wave: what e-mail would be if it was created today

Google never stops to amaze me with their out-of-the-box thinking. They just pulled off a new product that has the bold intention to change how we communicate and collaborate using the web.

And I must say that it's very impressive. This video is their first presentation of Google Wave. I believe the only person interested in it now will be the early birds in technology usage, but I do believe that in the long run (which is not so long when we speak about the fast paced tech world) this can be one ground breaking way of communicating and collaborating in the workplace, with clients, family and so on. It's a true communication tool, just like e-mail is today.


This is not a wave, but, hey, what do you think of it? Is it so promissing or am I (and them) overestimating?

28 May 2009

Good quote of the day

"You can't microwave leaders and expect a 5-Star Experience"

- Steve Roesler, from All Things Workplace

18 May 2009

What type of CEO makes money for investors

A very interesting article in Great Leadership blog says that, according to a research with CEOs, they identified 2 types of CEOs:

- Lambs (terrible label, I know) - these are the emotional inteligence experts. They are easy to work with, they are open to feedback, know how to deal with people, etc. These guys are loved from the ground floor to the board room. And they have a very nice success rate: 57%.

- Cheetahs - they are fast, agressive, work hard and demonstrate persistance. Their success rate? 100%.

100%? (this is not an statistical rounding error)

Don't jump to the wrong conclusions, been good with people still matters. Acording to the article:

Emotional intelligence is important, but only when matched with the propensity to get things done. Too many executives have fallen into the trap of accentuating their lamb skills at the expense of their Cheetah qualities. They work hard to stay in tune with their employees. They’re well liked on the shop floor and in the boardroom. There’s only one problem: they don’t produce value at anywhere near the rate Cheetahs do.

This isn’t to say that Cheetahs lack soft skills. To the contrary, they are talented people whose soft skills played a critical role in their ascent to the top job. The difference, though, is that Cheetahs know when it is time to stop asking for feedback and to attack a target to achieve key outcomes that move a company forward.

I am for sure trying to get more lamb skills, but is it messing up with my cheetah skills?

What do you think about all this mess?

Read the original blog post: What type of CEO makes money for investors

06 May 2009

How is international exchange different than travelling?

A point of view about it here.

Living abroad is completly different to visiting other places, I can tell that.

05 May 2009

Communication technique: never fight people if you want them to do something to you

I am reading this famous book How to Win Friends & Influence People (which is a somewhat terrible title, let's face it). I am still on the first 3-4 chapters, but what I can say is that it really makes a lot of sense, it's a very light reading and is very useful. Each chapter talks about one principle to be great in the art of influencing people and so on. The book refers itself as the bible of good human relationship and I think I kind of agree.

One of the chapters talks about the principle of never criticizing (or something like that). Which is to never fight anyone about anything, because it won't change the person opinion about it. When you fight, people fight back and justify themselves, even if you get them to understand if they are wrong, you won't get anything from them. We are all surrounded by lots of proofs:

- no dictator ever changed his mind when people were fighting his regime, instead, he fought back harder
- People never gave any single coin to a thief, but lots of people donate much more money to charity or give away money to beggers
- I couldn't change the mind of the local committee presidents on the financial situation by fighting their lack of responsibility

Fighting just doesn't work. But how not fighting will help them?

This week I came across a very interesting example of when people do not fight, how they win the fight anyway:

We all know how piracy is a problem for the entertainment industry and they keep fighting (with no success) with their lawyers, copy protections and so on. So there's this little game company that produced an independent game that was just released called Zeno Clash. Of course in a couple of days it was already available for illegal download at any torrent site. What the producers did? They did not fight, instead, they posted this kind of comment on the illegal file:

"I am one of the developers of Zeno Clash. I would appreciate you read this if you are about to download this file.

Zeno Clash is an independently funded game by a very small and sacrificed group of people. The only way in which we can continue making games like this (or a sequel) is to have good sales.

I am aware that at this moment there is still no demo of the game, but we are working on one which will be available soon.

We cannot do anything to stop piracy of the game (and honestly don't intend to do so) but if you are downloading because you wish to try before you buy, I would ask that you purchase the game (and support the independent game development scene) if you enjoy it. We plan on updating Zeno Clash with DLC and continuing support for the game long after it's release.

Thanks for taking the time to read this... hopefully it will make a difference.

Carlos Bordeu ACE Team"

The answer from the people downloading the game? You can see some here:

"Wow, okay Carlos, I'll buy it off of steam. Thanks for being straight up."

"Hi Carlos Your forthrightness is appreciated, and I can 100% guarantee you I have no intention of playing through this game without PAYING for it. I can only hope everyone else on the torrent will do the same!"

"Will buy If I like. If I dont like it I won't play through it! Most likely buying before I even download it XD"

"Wow this game is amazing, and very cheap, I've bought it and dont regret it. Guys buy this if you like it after trying it because even though the easier way might be downloading, think about the people that invested time and effort in making this great release for us and buy their game, so that they may keep on doing so... otherwise we'll never get anotehr great game like this one from these developers again. Once again, brilliant game well worth the money. (I mean come on, if you have the money to buy a computer that can run this, an internet connection that can download this, and can pay the electricity bill even after u left your PC on long enough to download this: I doubt $20 will be much to ask for will it???)"

"Hi, I bought this game after playing it for an hour(I always need a demo of some sort before I purchase), and I don't regret it at all, I look forward to your future games.

The graphics are simply magnificent."

"good to see you actually appealing to the people instead of putting drm on it. i dont play pc games any more but i do play console games and always d/l the game first if it doesnt have a demo. if i like it i'll buy it. most games that i d/l are crap so they dont get used for more than an hour."

"I was looking for a demo and couldn't find one, but after looking on steam the game is only $20 USD, which is a steal I spent more on beer last night, even if I only get a few hours of game play out of it, it's still worth the money."

"I too was looking for a demo before buying but I realized it's only 20$ on steam or direct2drive so I just bought it. It's cheap and have good reviews, so why not? Can't wait to try it."

Not fighting wins!

Balanced Scorecard planning and achieving goals

One thing that I am very satisfied with is how some local committees (like University of Oslo and NHH) are driving forward the initiative to implement Balanced Scorecard as a planning and management tool in their AIESEC committees.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the AIESEC University of Oslo planning weekend and I could see how much preparation the local executive board put into it. I am very proud with what they are doing, going step by step, from vision to implementation plan. It's quite a step to use BSC in AIESEC Norway, since our planning process was not very good, especially at local committees.

It was also very satisfying to see them being ambitious and realistic at the same time, making me really confident if there's one local commitee who can achieve its' goals, for sure its University of Oslo. If they achieve their goals, they envision to be the biggest local committee in AIESEC Norway sending norwegian students to professional exchanges abroad.

It's extremelly rewarding for me to see the change in University of Oslo mindset and I trully believe a lot of it comes from a better recruitment and selection (so the new executive board is better than the previous and the current should be worst than the next one and so on), which I have some part on it. Another reason is because people understand more the AIESEC way and understand the importance of realizing more exchanges to achieve our vision and mission.

Unfortunatelly, a good planning don't need to get University of Oslo to the results they aim necessarilly. Even if they have the best plan, they still need one crucial thing: execution.

If they manage to track the plan, review it when necessary and put their strategies into action, then I am 100% confident they will achieve.

But that's the hardest part.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. - Peter Drucker