Links for April 1 2012

  • The Commoditization of Scale by Maxwell Wessel on Harvard Business Review

    Quote: So what’s the solution? Accept that everything becomes commoditized. Develop a strategy that doesn’t simply rely on being the biggest. Develop a strategy — a difficult to replicate, cogent set of practices in an industry — that assumes everyone will have the advantages of being the biggest. Get to know your customers. Develop a vision of the future. Build things that people want. Realize that everyone will have access to scale.

  • Five Ways to Rein in a Runaway IT Project Before It Happens by Perry Rotella on Forbes

    Quote: When it comes to measuring progress, many IT managers focus on tracking percent complete.  The problem with this measure is it typically tracks inputs (time/effort spent) versus outputs (deliverables). So a project gets to an advanced point (as much as 90 percent done) and you have a problem. This characteristic may explain the findings of the research. Needless to say, I don’t track projects using percent complete — I track milestone deliverable progress. If milestones span multiple weeks, I break them down to smaller deliverables.

  • The essential question to ask before extending your brand by Seth Godin

    Quote: On the other hand, there are literally thousands of organizations (including non-profits) that head down the path of mediocrity by rushing to offer 57 varieties, merely to please today’s shareholders, merely because they can.

  • An undersung benefit of coworking: More weak ties by Jessica Stillman on GigaOm

    Quote: Of course, all of this is fancy way of saying that meeting new people broadens your horizons and teaches you things – and coworking helps you meet people who aren’t friends of friends of colleagues of colleagues (and thus more likely to be similar to you). It’s hardly earth shattering news, but nonetheless it’s easy to forget the importance of not sinking into a social rut and helpful to be reminded of what you’re missing out on when you do so.

  • Three Rules for Innovation Teams by Harry West on Harvard Business Review

    Quote: Successful ideas are not born in secret: they emerge from open and vigorous dialog around new information, and then they are actively pulled into the market by a commercialization team rather than being pushed by an ideation team. In the intensity of the innovation process, it’s easy to divide into a world of “us” and “them.” But to innovate well, teams must be permeable, inviting the outside in and engaging the broader community to transform an idea on a napkin into a new product or service in the marketplace.

  • The Entitlement Culture by Marisa Keegan on PandoDaily

    Quote: In some ways, when your company decides to add a culture perk to its benefits, you’re ringing a bell that is hard to un-ring. So don’t be too quick to hire a chef and offer free food to your employees for every meal. Be thoughtful about what benefits you want to add, what the strategy behind the addition is, and how the perk will hold up as you grow and as economic times change.

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