Igor Gmaz

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Use Tension and Conflict to Create Breakthrough Products

I’ve written before about the science that helps explain why and how constraints and limits, often in the form of intelligent, well-set stretch goals, result in more creative solutions.<p>Too often, though, managers set what appears to be a good stretch goal, only to discover that it did not produce …

How to Tell a Story with Data

An excellent visualization, according to Edward Tufte, expresses “complex ideas communicated with clarity, precision and efficiency.” I would add that an excellent visualization also tells a story through the graphical depiction of statistical information. As I discussed in an earlier post, …

Standard Operating Procedures Can Make You More Flexible

Most people think standard operating procedures are a strait jacket that limits their flexibility. Yet in our increasingly complex world of work, with so many possible decisions and steps, clever use of standards can liberate. They can actually make it easier to tailor customer experiences at low …

How to Influence People with Your Ideas

One of my young clients, let’s call her Julie, is on a mission. Julie has an idea, one that has been gestating in her mind for quite some time, but now she realizes that for her idea to have any impact at all she will have to “go public” with it. Julie believes there are countless intelligent, …

How to Really Understand Someone Else’s Point of View

The most influential people strive for genuine buy in and commitment — they don’t rely on compliance techniques that only secure short-term persuasion. That was our conclusion after interviewing over 100 highly respected influences across many different industries and organizations for our recent …

Why Getting Comfortable With Discomfort Is Crucial To Success

In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.<p>When I first left my parents’ small farm at eighteen to move to “the city” for …

When Presenting Your Data, Get to the Point Fast

Projecting your data on slides puts you at an immediate disadvantage: When you’re giving a presentation, people can’t pull the numbers in for a closer look or take as much time to examine them as they can with a report or a white paper. That’s why you need to direct their attention. What do you …

Analytics is Fast Becoming a Core Competency for Business Professionals

McKinsey’s Big Data report lists shortage of talent in the big data space. Interestingly, the shortage of business professionals who can work with data (1.5M by 2018) is about 10X that of data scientists (140K by 2018). In my experience this shortage ratio exists even today. For every 10 business …