A few titbits caught my eye in an interesting little article in the Economist about the perils of over collaborating:
- Processing emails costs about 95 cents in labor costs. Something to think about when sending email (and cc’ing people!)
- Knowledge works spent ~70-85% of their time doing non-deep thinking – i.e. attending meetings, processing email, on the phone etc. Wow.
The ability to focus is going to be a critical differentiating skill going forward.
It’s hard to believe, but a recent survey from Kaiser suggests that there are industries out there that are more hated than airlines. Apparently just 44% of people have a negative view of airlines, vs. ~50% for health insurance, pharma and oil companies. I’m sure this will warm the hearts of airline execs this holiday season.
I thought I would never use the words great and HR in the same sentence. But I’m about 1/2 way through this book (“Work Rules!”) by the main HR guy at Google, and it’s awesome. It’s chock full of anecdotes, insights and practical tips on how to attract, keep and motivate people. You know, the kind of things HR is supposed to do but usually never does.
Their philosophy seems to be simple: Hire the people with the best potential, motivate them and get out of their way. Sounds simple, but very few companies (in my experience) actually do this. Their practices actually reminded me of what some of the best consulting firms do: Spend an inordinate amount of time / money on recruiting (Google spends twice as much as others), have a low acceptance rate (Google’s is 0.25%) and have a lot of perks (some of Google’s perks are in the image below).
Well worth a read.
A little humor from the New Yorker archives for all bloggers out there
Consultants would feel right to assume that they know something about how hotels work, since they are in them ~3-4 nights a week.
But not is all as it seems. I finally got a chance to read a book (“Heads in beds“) from a hotel worker that offers a perspective from the other side of the check in counter. Key takeaways:
- Hotel workers hate their jobs
- Private Equity is evil
- Don’t try to stiff the bellman
- Checking in with a $20 (or a $100) works wonders for upgrades
- The rest of the hotel staff hate the concierge (as well)
- They don’t really clean your room (or the glasses)
- You don’t have to pay for the movies or the mini-bar
It’s a bit puerile, but laugh out loud in some parts. The appendix alone is probably worth the price of the book. Worth a read.
GE recently wrote a paper that posited that their platform (Predix) will do for the industrial internet what IOS did for consumer apps.
Of course not all the other players are sitting still. By one account, there are about 300 “IoT platforms” out there. Specifically, in the industrial internet, not only are the big software players (Microsoft with IoT suite, IBM with it’s IoT Foundation, SAP with HCP…) active, so interestingly are the manufacturers (Bosch with its suite, Trumpf with Axoom etc.). The Economist had a couple of articles on this a few weeks ago. It’s going to get bloody.
Apparently, Uber now allows one to set up profiles (e.g. business vs. personal).
This should enable consultants to reduce the time to find/file the right expense by automatically allocating the ride to the right card. Courtesy note from BusinessTravelNews.