marco sesana

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Want to Be an Outstanding Leader? Keep a Journal.

From The New York Public Library<p>Research has documented that outstanding leaders take time to reflect. Their success depends on the ability to access their unique perspective and bring it to their decisions and sense-making every day.<p>Extraordinary leadership is rooted in several capabilities: …

Improving Customer Satisfaction with Simple Analytics

Let’s say that you’re a customer service operations manager with a ton of data sitting on your desktop — customer service call stats, email data, customer satisfaction reports, etc. You’re staring at a mountain of customer shipping and delivery data, and an always-open daily dashboard counting …

Getting Employees Excited About a New Direction

When your company is in trouble — a new competitor or technology threatens your business model, your cost structure changes, the economy tanks — you have one job as a leader: to get the company back on track. The crisis provides compelling reason for change and, if companies can weather it, they …

How to Manage People Who Are Smarter than You

The best managers hire smart people to work for them. But what if your direct reports are smarter than you? How do you manage people who have more experience or more knowledge? How do you coach them if you don’t have the same level of expertise?<p><b>What the Experts Say</b> <br>Getting promoted to a job that …

How Google Has Changed Management, 10 Years After its IPO

Google went public 10 years ago today, and since then has dramatically changed the way the world accesses information. It has also helped shape the practice of management. Staying true to its roots as an engineering-centric company, Google has stood out both for its early skepticism of the value of …

So You Want to Join a Board

Many senior managers desire — and are qualified — to join a board. And many companies around the world would greatly benefit from infusions of fresh talent and insight into their boards. Yet all too often board positions go to people who are already serving on other boards. So how can you, a …

Save Your Next Staff Meeting From Itself

While many leaders see staff meetings as vital to the success of their organization, most employees see them as a painful waste of time. As a result, employees arrive or leave whenever they wish; check their emails; doodle; or use the time to make to-do lists of all the things they’re <i>not</i> getting …

Make Getting Feedback Less Stressful

Much of my work as an executive coach and an instructor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business involves helping people improve their abilities to deliver feedback more effectively. It’s a critical skill, particularly for both leaders in flat organizations where giving orders is generally …

4 Motivating TED Talks to Help You Bounce Back From Failure

Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>We’ve all heard the preachy platitude “Failure isn’t an option.” And, generally speaking, it’s not. At least not an option most would purposely choose. But failing is inevitable. Everyone eats humble pie in some way at some point, …

10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

Over the last 12 months I have conducted countless productivity experiments on myself, interviewed some of the most productive people in the world, …

Time Management

11 Financial Books Every Young Person Should Read

Those of you who are seeking investing enlightenment are not going to find much of it on the web.<p>I suggest you log off, power down your computer, and read some books. Take your time. The months you spend perusing this list will be well spent.<p>I'd recommend reading at least the first four books …

The IT Project That Brought a Bank to Its Knees

Sir Christopher Kelly, a former British senior civil servant, recently produced a damning report, which reviewed the events that led to the £1.5 billion capital shortfall announced by the U.K.’s Co-operative Bank in June 2013. This shortfall resulted in its parent, Co-operative Group, ceding …

Is It Better to Be Strategic or Opportunistic?

<i>I spoke with contributor Don Sull, who teaches strategy at MIT and the London Business School, about the tension between scholars who put sustainable competitive advantage at the center of strategy and those who argue that some industries are changing too quickly to allow for sustained performance.</i> …

8 Ways Not to Manage Your Email (and 5 and a Half Tactics that Work)

In 1635, England’s Charles I expanded the island’s mail delivery service to the public — with postage paid by the recipient and based on the weight of the letter. If Great Aunt Henrietta wrote you a 10-page letter asking why you weren’t married yet, throughout most of the country you paid for the …

Delivering an Effective Performance Review

It’s performance review season, and you know the drill. Drag each of your direct reports into a conference room for a one-on-one, hand them an official-looking document, and then start in with the same, tired conversation. Say some positive things about what the employee is good at, then some …

Why Your Analytics are Failing You

Many organizations investing millions in big data, analytics, and hiring quants appear frustrated. They undeniably have more and even better data. Their analysts and analytics are first-rate, too. But managers still seem to be having the same kinds of business arguments and debates — except with …

How is Big Data Transforming Your 80/20 Analytics?

Even today, most organizations technically struggle to answer even the simplest 80/20 analytics questions: Which 20% of customers generate 80% of the profits? Which 20% of suppliers are responsible for 80% of customer UX complaints? What 20% of customers facilitate 80% of the most helpful …

Time Management 101: Stop Managing Time

Do you find yourself running at an even more frenzied pace during the holiday season? I do. So, as I looked at my bottomless to-do list and deadlines fast approaching I did a Google search on “time management”. I got 1,610,000,000 search results. Clearly a lot of us are searching for ways to manage …

Use Your Data to Get a Holistic View of the Customer

A few years ago, at LiveNation Entertainment we were accumulating a lot of data from consumers but weren’t doing much with it—and we weren’t sure what <i>could</i> be done with it (a pretty common situation for companies these days).<p>After thinking about the data strategically, we figured out ways to put it …

CIOs have a mandate to innovate

CIOs should be leading technology-driven business innovation at their organizations, business leaders say, yet the daily concerns of running IT may …

Innovation

How Location Analytics Will Transform Retail

Any company building an online presence wouldn’t think twice about the need for sophisticated web analytics. In fact, 98% of IR500 retailers use some form of web analytics. It’s become an essential tool for understanding online customer behaviors and driving site improvement efforts.<p>Despite its …

The Strategic Mistake Almost Everybody Makes

“It is simple math,” the strategist said in a tone that sounded suspiciously similar to how I explain things to my six-year-old daughter. “Decreasing churn by a percent — a single percent! — creates tens of millions of dollars of value. A point of market share creates five times that amount. Our …

What to Do When You Can’t Control Your Stress

Everyone can relate to a day at work that just starts off on the wrong foot. Perhaps you have just had an argument with a spouse or loved one, or you’re late for an appointment even though you had a million reminders in your schedule, or your inbox contains e-mail after e-mail with what seem like …

For a More Flexible Workforce, Hire Self-Aware People

Companies frequently complain that it’s tough to find the right people. If, amidst high unemployment, this seems counterintuitive, consider the deep trends driving the mismatch: technology and globalization have transformed what it takes to succeed in business. A new generation of professionals …

Become an Ex-Pat and Still Get Ahead: Research on Choosing the Right Company

For young managers aspiring to climb the ranks, working at a big corporation within their home country can seem stifling. In the case of a Japanese or Korean business, workers may fear a slow career progression, as seniority tends to take priority over performance and potential. When it comes to a …

The Relationship Between Anxiety and Performance

I choked.<p>It was just a middle-school tennis match against a manifestly worse player, but I became overwhelmed with anxiety. Before we’d started, the most important thing was to win. But during the match, I just wanted to get off the court <i>fast.</i> Burping uncontrollably, afraid of throwing up, I hit …

Don’t Abandon Innovation — Simplify It

My fellow HBR blogger Bill Taylor recently made a pitch for all of us to stop using the word “innovation” in 2014. Despite his plea, I suspect this word isn’t going anywhere. It’s too important as a driver of growth and renewal. What can be done, in the spirit of Bill’s admonishment, is to stop …

Quentin Tarantino Lists the 12 Greatest Films of All Time: From Taxi Driver to The Bad News Bears

<i>Creative Commons image via Wikimedia Commons</i><p>Any list of the most respected American filmmakers of the past half-century would have to include Stanley …

The New CTO: Chief Transformation Officer

We all know that if you put a frog in water and slowly heat it to the boiling point, the frog will stay put and die. But if you throw the frog into already boiling water, it will quickly jump out. Today’s IT leaders have known about the exponential growth of processing power, storage, and …