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Medium 9781626561625

Rule #1

Edesess, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You may not believe this: Whether you’re a small investor with a few thousand dollars to invest, or a wealthy investor with a few million dollars, or a gigantic pension fund with a hundred billion dollars, you need only consider at most about 10 investment products. The rest are of no use and aren’t worth thinking about.

If you were going to buy a computer, how many brands do you need to choose from? About 10? And the same thing for a smartphone—maybe 10 models, at most? This point applies whether you’re a teenager doing homework or a top executive at a Fortune 500 firm.

Shopping for investments is a little different. You’re faced with tens of thousands of investment vehicles to choose from, offered by thousands of investment firms. There are more than 80,000 mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) worldwide. There are almost 10,000 hedge funds. The array is mind-boggling. And it keeps expensive financial advisors busy trying to guide confused investors through the mess. They let you know it’s difficult to choose because there are so many choices.

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Medium 9781609945282

8 Can Big Companies Train Entrepreneurs?

Cohan, Peter S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

MANY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS are drawn to entrepreneurship but they’re not ready to start companies while still in their senior years. These budding entrepreneurs are hungry for information to help them decide whether to start their companies.

Some students conclude that, thanks to their ability to subsist on Ramen noodles and an absence of financial obligations to others, graduation is the perfect time to start a company. Others decide in college that they will always need the structure of a big company and hope to find one that encourages some degree of innovation. Still others know that they want to start a company but believe that they need big company experience before they jump into entrepreneurship’s bracingly chilly waters.

While everyone is different, most aspiring entrepreneurs can get useful advantages from big company experience, including

Acquiring knowledge of an industry

Learning how to make effective business decisions

Developing contacts that can help provide access to customers, capital, and talent

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Medium 9781576751886

Chapter 7: Twelve Priorities of Big-Vision Small Businesseses

Jamie S. Walters Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

BEFORE MOVING INTO a discussion of what vision might mean in a big-vision small business, it’s helpful to review some of the priorities that such owners have for their enterprises. The priorities speak to how the business owner wants others to experience his enterprise, how the organization affects the community or world at large, and what greater purpose the activities of the enterprise support. That the enterprise is small in size and more independent in ownership increases the likelihood that the priorities can be put into practice more deeply and sustainably in comparison to what’s possible—and necessary—in a large firm that’s more quantitative in focus.

Unlike many companies that seem to have a significant gap between espoused principles and actual decisions and effects, big-vision small-business owners may opt to limit quantitative growth, turn away a profitable account, or forego entry into a hot new market if it means casting aside their business’s core values or the larger mission to which the enterprise contributes. Interviewees for this book aspired to some if not all of the following guiding principles in their day-to-day decision making.

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Medium 9781626561199

chapter three Methods • Match the Measurement to the Processes, Roles, and Teams

Levenson, Alec Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you scan the topics covered in many organizations’ annual employee surveys, you will see some common patterns. There are questions on leadership/supervisors, communication and support, training and developmental opportunities, compensation and benefits, teamwork and collaboration, and effectiveness across organizational boundaries (function, department, business unit, etc.). Judging by the common themes, you could easily conclude that there is widespread agreement about what should be covered in any employee survey. An easy conclusion, but a wrong one. This chapter addresses how to match the right measurement to different processes, roles, and teams.

Why this is an important issue to be addressed. A survey’s legitimacy depends in part on most questions being applicable to everyone who is surveyed. To make the largest number of questions applicable to the largest number of respondents, a common approach focuses the core of the survey questions on topics that generally hold for all or most employees, even if the topics are not the most critical for any single group of employees. This is not a bad solution, but it does nothing to ensure that the best questions are asked for any particular group. The most important topic areas typically vary across roles, business units, functions, geographies, organizational levels, and level of analysis.

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Medium 9781626560284

4 Enable Thriving at Work

Dutton, Jane E. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Gretchen M. Spreitzer and Christine Porath

Reflect on a time when you felt most alive at work. What were you doing? Why does the experience stand out? More than likely, it was an experience marked not only by vitality but also by learning and growth—what we term “thriving at work.” People experience growth and momentum marked by a sense of vitality while thriving at work; it is literally a feeling of energy, passion, and excitement—a spark.1 In this chapter, we draw on the growing body of evidence to demonstrate why individuals and organizations should care about thriving. We also highlight strategies for individuals and leaders to enable more thriving at work.

Organizations seek thriving employees. They report less burnout,2 because the way in which they work generates, rather than depletes, resources.3 In a thriving state, people exhibit better health, including fewer days of missed work and fewer visits to the doctor.4 When people are thriving at work, they report more job satisfaction and organizational commitment.5 Thriving individuals are apt to have a learning orientation—experimenting with new ideas to propel their own learning. Thriving employees take initiative in developing their careers. Their supervisors rate them as high performers. And thriving employees exhibit more innovative work behavior, generating creative ideas, championing new ideas, and seeking out new ways of working.

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