Negotiations at the IRL/URL Border | Motherboard

Great article about our relationship with the NET.

“Appropriate online behavior is characterized by Victorian gestures of withholding. Good girl Tweets are moderate, both in number and in subject matter. Speak only of your sex life and your politics in the abstract. Do not cry openly in the feed. Remain aloof and distant from any project of online self-making, preface your links with the affectless, “I wrote a thing.” One may feel “real emotions” over books, over sex, over the Mad Men finale or even video games, but today’s net is willfully dumb and cheap and base.” 

Image: Liz Barr

Read the full piece…

Negotiations at the IRL/URL Border | Motherboard.

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Intrapreneurs …. the bravest of them all.

I have been an intrapreneur for practically my whole career. Even before it was called Intrapreneur. It’s really hard sometimes. You find yourself being that innovative and fearless voice in the corner of a large organization (whether you work for the co, or for the consulting co or agency they’ve brought in to play the role). And when you are that person – alot of people just plain out hate you. Your mere existence gives threat to an established world order.

Most people don’t like change. They fight it tooth and nail. I never understand it. Discovering new things, trying new ways – it’s so exciting! It’s like the world is a giant puzzle but so many people just can’t do it.

I absolutely loved this article. Especially the part about integrity. So much of corporate life can be filled with a lot of smokescreens. Watching that succeed has always been so frustrating for me…because I do really believe that authentic integrity is hard to come by these days. And I’m proud I have it. Thanks David K Williams for highlighting the importance.

INTRAPRENEURS
The 4 Essential Traits Of ‘Intrapreneurs’
David K. Williams
Contributor Forbes.com

Intrapreneurs are the heroes of a business environment

There’s been much discussion of late about the entrepreneurs within an organization—those highly valuable executives and team members who will perhaps never become a company founder, but who have learned to apply the essential principles of entrepreneurship to the roles they fill within a company.

We refer to these employees as “intrapreneurs” because they’re not entering into their own, work venture, but they are working within your company, thus the “intra” part.

Our company, Fishbowl is filled with intrapreneurs. They think and behave like owners. Most of them actually are as our organization is employee owned. They are invaluable to the company’s health. But how do organizations recognize and develop intrapreneurs, and, even more importantly, how can you be sure they won’t leave?

As authors Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai have noted in a Harvard Business Review blog post, there are certain characteristics that successful intrapreneurs share. I would like to focus on four of them:

1. Money is not their measurement. Intrapreneurs certainly respect the value and importance of money. They understand the economic drivers that allow the organization to succeed and are able to support this fundamental truth and not fight it. A non-intrapreneur is perpetually looking for non-economic ways to justify their own advancement and payment. An intrapreneur “gets it” and does their work in a way that shows the organization they are someone it can’t afford to lose. The money and advancement finds them.

2. They are “greenhousers.” When you speak about an intriguing idea to an intrapreneur, the idea never leaves them. It germinates within their mind, and they carry with them the desire to figure out how to make it work. When you see them next, they are likely to have grown the seed of an idea into a full-blown plan or they will have created an even better set of alternative plans in its stead.

3. They know how to pivot. Intrapreneurs aren’t afraid to change course, nor do they fear failure. It isn’t outward bravado that drives them but an inner confidence and courage that every step takes them closer to their ultimate goal. In my own training and vernacular I call this phenomenon “failing up.” I celebrate opportunities for growth, even painful ones.

4. They behave authentically and with integrity. Most importantly, intrapreneurs exhibit the traits of confidence and humility—not the maverick behavior of corporate hotshots, Govendarajan and Desai say. I agree fully with this conclusion. Integrity (along with Respect, Belief, and Courage) are key among the traits I call the 7 Non-Negotiables, which have driven my own company to miraculous accomplishments and are at the core of the methodology I describe in my book. A budding businessperson could carry every other characteristic in spades, but without a foundation of integrity, they will fail (and the work landscape is littered with many examples of such failures).

So if these are the traits that describe what an intrapreneur looks like, where will you find these individuals and how can you ensure they will stay?

For starters, a company founded with an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial emphasis becomes a magnet for more of the same. Employees recommend the company to others who share their values. Like breeds like, which is also to say that a company can’t conduct itself without integrity and still expect to find those traits upheld in its ranks. With time and experience, you will learn to ask the searching questions that will help you determine the true traits of the individuals you consider.

The search will be worth the effort, as tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrapreneurs.

steve jobs

Thanks Steve. RIP

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

digital declutter

32 feet of books for every man woman and child

De-cluttering your digital life can set you free


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  • Buzz up! 

 

We’ve got multiple e-mail accounts, social networks, media streams, blogs, websites, electronic calendars, instant messages, phone contacts, online bills, passwords coming out of our ears and screen after screen after screen of computer stuff to back up, share and sync.

That doesn’t include the virtual reams floating in the ether, enough to fill the Library of Congress more than 40,000 times, said Douglas C. Merrill, former chief information officer for Google, Ph.D. in cognitive science and dude who wants to help us better manage our digital clutter.

“That’s 32 feet of books for every man, woman and child in America. We’re drowning in information,” said Merrill, who nearly wrecked his health helping to manage the details of taking Google public.

Merrill, once an information scientist at the Rand Corp., struggled with dyslexia as a kid, so de-cluttering — digital and otherwise — is a huge priority for him, so much that he’s written a book on the subject with James Martin, “Getting Organized in the Google Era.”

We all know about clutter offline, but our digital selves have filled up in a huge way, too. We’re suffering, but we can’t dig out or keep up with rapidly changing and proliferating tools. Geeks do. They track products and reviews — and have the time and skills to test them. The rest of us fret and stress.

“I have several e-mail accounts. I have several websites. I’m constantly behind returning phone calls. It’s a good day if the number of unread messages is below 200,” said Berit Brogaard, a St. Louis college professor and single mom to a busy 6-year-old whose life also needs to be managed.

Anybody looking for a non-urgent e-mail reply from Brogaard might be waiting awhile. She relies on a few canned e-mail responses that she stashes in Gmail and rolls out when she’s swamped, like this one for close friends:

“Hey there! Miss you. I am insanely busy. Sorry for being so lame. Will fill you in soon.”

Merrill, who left Google for the music company EMI, then his own financial startup in Los Angeles, said a good place to begin a digital de-clutter is accepting that our brains are lousy multitaskers, among other bad things. They need all the help they can get in clearing out space, just like our computers and smart phones.

Another good place to start is taking heart in the array and flexibility of today’s tools. He offers these tips, acknowledging there’s no one-size-fits-all answer:

___

SEARCH, DON’T FILE

Abandon the notion of “filing” and “folders” as a way to alleviate anxiety over a messy computer desktop, Merrill said. Folders, the paper and digital kind, must be maintained, and your brain must remember what you’ve put in them.

“The problem is we can never find the information we’ve stored, so we wind up with folders and folders we don’t know what to do with,” Merrill said. “Search is the new organization. Search can set us free from the clutter of our imperfect minds” by allowing us to get a little messy. No time is lost on meticulously filing and hunting for folders when well-defined searches are used.

Desktop tools don’t have to be fancy or expensive. They’re everywhere, including right there in Windows and operating systems for Macs and other computers. Tools like Google Desktop or Spotlight allow you to search with the same ease you enjoy for the Web. Quicksilver is popular with geeks.

“The goal is to keep yourself from being overwhelmed emotionally by not making your brain do what it’s not good at. Computers are good at searching. You’re not. They’re good at remembering. You’re not.”

___

SOME PAPER’S OK

You’d think Mr. Google would have no use for paper. Not true.

“I think paper’s great for certain things,” Merrill said. “It’s still important.”

He uses huge sticky sheets that he plasters on his walls when he’s brainstorming a big idea. They’re easy to move around as his thoughts firm up. He also uses paper for legal and tax documents that could be scanned into electronic files only to be retrieved and printed on demand when lawyers and accountants require hard copy.

The idea of a paperless office has been bounced around for three decades. In the early days, Google itself required employees to submit a trail of paper forms for reimbursement of expenses, Merrill said.

The goal is to be more efficient, so evaluate digital tools versus paper, or digital as a backup to hard copy when trying to decide. Are you looking for storage alone? Do you need to share information with many people at work, or with a small group of trusted loved ones in emergencies? We need wills, contracts and life insurance policies on paper, but should we take the time to scan them for sharing and protection?

___

PASSWORDS

For the truly nervous, storing numerous login names and passwords can be done on paper, but since it’s recommended that passwords change substantially at least every six months, that could be time consuming. Merrill suggests e-mailing yourself password hints.

Plenty of software power and browser tools are available for sorting dozens of passwords. The important thing, he said, is to actually change passwords and make the changes substantial.

___

MINIMIZING FAKE CLUTTER

A paperless real-world desk isn’t realistic at the end of each day, but well organized piles by subject, project or function will do a lot of good to relieve the stress and guilt of walking away from a cluttered work space that looks like a pile of loose ends.

Merrill suggests taking an hour each week to evaluate what’s on your desk, determining what can go, what can be converted to digital, what needs to be in a physical file cabinet and what remains on your to-do list.

Some people swear by hard-copy task management planners, but the Web is full of online apps to do the same. Online to-do apps can be easily updated on the go.

Having several e-mail accounts may be another of your unavoidable realities, but they don’t need to be a source of stress. Use Gmail or smart phones, for instance, to check accounts for you so you’re not constantly jumping from one e-mail server to another.

“Get rid of the wasted effort,” Merrill said.

___

SOCIAL NETWORKS

Twitter, Facebook and other social networks mean different things to different people. They’ve become a business tool for many but remain entertainment or a way to stay in touch for others.

Either way, many interfaces — like Tweetdeck — exist to integrate our busy social network lives that often have us posting frequent updates or sifting through the output of others.

One that Merrill likes, mostly for Twitter, is Brizzly. It offers support for viewing pictures online, expanding links that have been shortened, for people with multiple Twitter accounts, and includes some features for Facebook as well.

“I don’t want to clutter up my life with having to go to Facebook and do this and go to Twitter and do that,” Merrill said.

online suicide

Experiment Results: 2 Weeks Sans Facebook

I recently conducted my own small behavioral science experiment. I quit Facebook. Now I’m not just talking about not visiting – I’m talking deletion.  Not as far as committing “online suicide” via the folks at SuicideMachine.org – but i did just erase myself. There were a number of reasons. But mostly I wanted to see what would happen.

The Results List:

10 emails from people telling me they went to find me on FB and then asking me “where i went”?

5 emails from friends asking me “are you okay?”

i missed 4 birthdays of people very close to me – meaning I was a day late remembering – that’s missed.

I didn’t get to see my friend’s vacation photos while he was traveling over the holidays.

Both of my brothers picked up the phone and CALLED ME. TWICE.

I spent 3 hours at a time on the phone with a few different friends catching up.

I finished 2 books.

I cleaned the house, got more laundry done and in general made more progress “around the house”.

I was aware of less news – not that I missed Haiti or anything – but i didn’t know about it IMMEDIATELY. Despite having NY Times alert on my iphone.

I missed all the esoteric links that a few friends post regularly – the “fun links” that are the bizarre and interesting articles that suck you in to websites you haven’t heard of.

I looked at my email less often purely because I was looking at the Iphone less often due to not facebooking continuously.

This said – I paid more attention to my surroundings but was frustrated by the thought of not being able to share them. I missed being able to post photos to communicate what i was seeing.

I noticed that my brain now “thinks” in “status updates” language – stop  sort of like I constantly have a western union telegram in my head – stop.

I missed SCRABBLE! BUT – I will tell you this – my dog plays scrabble online. With MY scrabble friends – how dare he. (this was the absolute one thing i couldn’t give up!)

I went on AIM more – but i felt like i was cheating whenever i logged on.

I blogged on my own website!

I’m still a bit skeptical of foursquare.  Online USED to be a mystery to people…there was something interesting about being a part of the “small community” that got it….now that it’s big and EVERYONE “gets it”….I’m not so sure.

Maybe I have more in common with my 12 year old niece than I think – she doesn’t want me to see everything on her profile and I’m not allowed to make comments. Aunt Erin is just not “cool enough” i guess!

I’m back but i do think i’ll be limiting my time. Not sure if I will reinstall the facebook app for iphone just yet….