Ciaran Smith

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6 Mistakes with Remote Project Teams

Whether you work from home, have an international project team or simply want to stay current, take the time to sharpen your work with remote teams. …

Tesla's Electric Domination Moves Forward With Debut of Beautiful Solar Shingles

In a move that would make Steve Jobs boil over with envy, Elon Musk presented Tesla’s latest product in an over the top presentation at Universal …

5 Easy Steps to Boost Remote Team Productivity

It was inevitable. As digital communication became easier and more sophisticated, elements of the workforce began to work remotely. By the end of the …

Microsoft has hit a milestone in voice recognition

Microsoft Research developed a voice recognition system as accurate as humans, with an error rate of just 5.9%, according to Microsoft's Chief Speech Scientist Xuedong Huang.<p>The historic breakthrough comes just one month after the company surpassed IBM Watson's previous record of 6.9%. Microsoft …

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It came and went so quickly that one could easily forget it ever existed, but it was only two years ago that Amazon released its own smartphone.<p>Developed in the web retailer’s secretive “Lab 126”, a Silicon Valley subsidiary 800 miles south of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, the “Fire Phone” was …

Operating Systems

How Leaders Can Help Others Influence Them

Recently, I was talking with a senior leader from a world-class global learning and development company. We were discussing his firm’s approach to teaching leadership. He was talking about how to help leaders influence others. I asked him, “Do you also teach leaders how to be influenced <i>by</i> others?” …

Leadership May Not Be the Problem with Your Innovation Team

Last November we published an assessment on HBR.org to help readers diagnose the extent to which their organizations create conditions that favor successful innovation. About 1,500 people completed the assessment, representing organizations across industries at different stages of maturity. Despite …

The Reason So Many Analytics Efforts Fall Short

Given the role analytics has played in reshaping industries and rewarding innovative adopters over the last two decades, it is surprising how frequently we are asked: “Does this analytics stuff really work?” More often than not, the reason for the skepticism is prior efforts that did not produce …

Gartner's 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Identifies Three Key Trends That Organizations Must Track to Gain Competitive Advantage

The technologies on Gartner Inc.'s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2016 reveal three distinct technology trends that are poised to be of the …

We tested a new online tool that aims to eliminate the worst part of being a manager

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both," wrote Robert Frost.<p>Major business decisions can leave many of us feeling "sorry" we can't have it both ways, as well as panicked and overwhelmed by the possible consequences — especially if our choice affects other people.<p>A …

Meetings Waste Money, And Now You Can Calculate Just How Much

Use this in your pitch to remove a useless meeting from your schedule.<p>It’s well known that companies waste a lot of time and money organizing and having meetings. We waste time endlessly emailing to find time-slots that suit everybody. We waste time waiting for everyone to arrive. We waste time …

Forget Micromanaging, Hands-Off Leadership Could Hurt Workers More

Hovering isn’t terribly helpful, but hands-off management can hurt the team even more.<p>No one likes to be micromanaged. But when it comes to leadership, going too far in the opposite direction can be just as bad.<p>That’s the conclusion Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson reached in their new book, <i>Stop</i> …

WISP Is A Tiny Wireless Computer That Draws Power From Radio Waves

Batteries not included or required<p>Power is a limit. When creating an electrical device, it needs some way to draw energy, or else it might as well be an awkward, inert rock. The easiest way is to tap into the grid, limiting the device's mobility to the length of a power cord, or using batteries, …

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shares thoughts on corporate culture, decision-making and failure

It may not be<p>Warren Buffett's eagerly anticipated letter to shareholders, butAmazon.comChief ExecutiveJeff Bezos' annual investor missive has become known for offering its own yearly insights into how he runs the online retail giant.<p>Two years ago, for instance, Bezos shared in his letter that …

An Introduction to Benefits Realization Management

This presentation provides a practical overview of benefits realization management with a specific focus on practical steps to begin implementing benefits realization management as a business function.

60 seconds with the world's first Bluetooth padlock

In just a matter of three months, the Noke smart padlock managed to make its way from Kickstarter to our Expand event as an Insert Coin contender, so of course it's rather special. First of all, it's a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled steel bolt that can be unlocked with a click on the shackle when your …

How Quitting Email Made My Team Communicate Better

<i>Max Nalsky is the founder and CEO of Pyrus, the workplace collaboration and productivity platform.</i><p>We operate in a world of inboxes. Everyone has his or her collection of points where other people can touch them — email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype – the list goes on. It’s easily overwhelming, and we …

10 Ways to Take Charge of Your Own Leadership Development

<i>This post was recently published at Smartblog on Leadership.</i><p>When I first started in the field of leadership development (when gas was 89 cents a …

An App That Tracks Water Use In Real Time, So Californians Can Save In The Drought

Partnering with utility companies, Dropcountr is letting residents know for the first time how much water they are actually wasting.<p>Three years into California’s worst drought in half a millennium, most of the state’s residents still aren’t saving water. Water usage actually ticked slightly upward …

Even the Tiniest Error Can Cost a Company Millions

Think of your data as a mound of rocks. All managers know they need to be able to sort the rocks and count the rocks; but the best ones can also turn over each rock to see what crawls out. By doing so, you can make some startling discoveries.<p>An example of this go-deeper approach comes from AT&T, …

Wireless charger uses ultrasound to power your phone from across the room

We first came across uBeam's unusual wireless charging technology three years ago, at the <i>All Things D</i> Science Fair, where the fledgling company was only just introducing its creation to the public. Today, the company's finally ready for a big move forward -- uBeam co-founder Meredith Perry just …

Inside Google’s Big Plan to Race Amazon to Your Door

An attempt to steal back product searches from the country's largest online retailer.<p>Google is the undisputed king of search in all but one lucrative and vital category: Product searches.<p>Over the past decade, Amazon has transformed itself from a seller of books online to the place Americans turn to …

This Band Of Small Robots Could Build Entire Skyscrapers Without Human Help

The Minibuilders could take on tall tasks, including automating another frontier of human labor: the construction industry.<p>Even though most buildings are designed using the latest digital tools, actual construction is stuck in the past; building is messy, slow, and inefficient. 3-D printing might …

It Looks Like Google's Plan To Improve Your Android Phone's Battery Life Is Working

Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica ran the website's battery test on a phone running Android L to see just how well Google's new battery saver initiative works in practice.<p>Android L comes with a host of new features, mostly backend enhancements, aimed at extending general battery life across Android …

Encourage Your Employees to Talk About Other Job Offers

Why can’t employees speak honestly about their career goals with their managers? It’s because of the reasonable belief that doing so is risky and career-limiting if the employee’s aspirations do not perfectly match up with the manager’s existing views and time horizons. It seems safer to wait until …

Record-breaking magnet crams three tons of force into the size of a golf ball

University of Cambridge scientists have broken a decade-old superconducting record by packing a 17.6 Tesla magnetic field into a golf ball-sized hunk of crystal -- equivalent to about three tons of force. The team used high-temperature superconductors that work at minus 320 degrees F or so -- not …

Why Good Managers Are So Rare

Gallup has found that one of the most important decisions companies make is simply whom they name manager. Yet our analysis suggests that they usually get it wrong. In fact, Gallup finds that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.<p>Bad managers cost …