Posted by & filed under Business, communication, copywriting, dogfooding, Lunch & Learn.

Working remote may be in vogue, but using our smartphones to field email communication, meeting invites and take on-the-go conference calls is nothing to write home about. We’re all doing it, everyday. We’re using mobile for email communication so much so — that this fall, more than two-thirds of emails were opened from mobile devices alone.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under analytics, Programming & Development, Safari, Tech.

Like most companies, Safari’s interest in analytics data has only grown with time. Knowing how our users interact with our platform helps us to make a better product, and the more detailed questions we can ask about our users, the more successfully we can tailor our efforts to improve their experience. Commercial web site statistics platforms provide a relatively easy way to record and summarize analytics data and are enormously valuable in allowing companies to begin to understand their users. At Safari, for example, we’ve gotten a lot of benefit from using Google Analytics over the years, but at a certain point we began to want to answer questions that were very hard to “ask” of it.

Often this was because the data we needed was very granular and Google Analytics tends to want to answer questions about data in aggregate. On other occasions we needed to be able to stitch together data from our analytics software with other datasets that were internal to the company, which required reams of code to be written to fetch data from the Google Analytics API and reams more to perform entity resolution across those datasets. For commercial analytics platforms the trade-off you make for ease-of-implementation is that your data is never truly your own. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, change, Content - Highlights and Reviews, culture, innovation, learning, strategy, work culture.

“The ability of your company to be competitive and survive lies not so much in solutions themselves, but in the capability of the people in your organization to understand a situation and develop solutions.” — Mike Rother

Building a culture of innovation for your organization, without continuous learning, would be equivalent to giving a child an iPad with no battery life. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching a child’s disposition billow from curious excitement to nuclear melt-down, you’re aware that technology, without the juice to fuel progress, can elicit a DEFCON 1 condition.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, leading teams, management, managing yourself.

By Theodore Kinni

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

I took a free online leadership assessment created by the Wiseman Group the other day. The good news: I got a near perfect score. The bad news: the assessment measures the degree to which I would diminish people if I were leading them!

Leaders who are “diminishers” weaken employee performance by draining their momentum, sapping their energy, and otherwise feeding on them, according to Liz Wiseman, who, with Greg McKeown, is the author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Many of the behaviors that diminishers exhibit are self-aggrandizing and simply do not take into account the welfare and interests of employees. But, sometimes, diminishing behaviors can actually be well-intentioned—such as when a leader acts as a buffer between their people and the larger organization, or is overly eager to leap to the rescue whenever people are struggling. Such behaviors can diminish accidentally: For example, by rescuing employees too quickly, a leader can cut them off from learning and empowerment opportunities. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Learning & Development, Product Updates & Tips, Safari News, Tutorials.

Calling all learners! Safari is excited to open up limited-time access for its users to a Beta version of Safari Tutorials, hand-curated learning paths that serve up “just the right bits and pieces” on specific topics across Safari titles. We have added a page of sample Tutorials to our Safari service so we can hear your valuable feedback to inform our future direction. This experiment will only be open for a limited time, so we invite you to check out Tutorials, and let us know what you think!

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 1.59.44 PM

Safari Tutorials provide learners with curated content that is hand-selected by subject matter experts. The Tutorials navigational tool is layered on top of our Safari library to provide a suggested path based on those selections, delivering a mix of trusted content from our authors along with hand-selection to help you focus on a suggested, sequenced learning path. Each Tutorial teaches a specific skill or idea with a series of relevant selections from our world-class library of nearly 30,000 books, videos, conference talks, and audiobooks.

Safari strives to be a trusted guide on your learning journey. In addition to your existing Safari habits of diving into our library for specific titles or browsing for recommendations, we are experimenting with these Tutorials as a way to provide guidance for learners with a specific need, who would like a highlighted path through our content.

This Beta experiment will only be open for a limited time, so we invite you to experience a Tutorial today and let us know what you think!

Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, delegating, influence and persuasion, management, managing yourself, Personal Development.

By Theodore Kinni

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

Long before writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Pink started picking through scientific studies for business tips, there was Robert Cialdini and his classic book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.  The first edition of the book, which was based in part on Cialdini’s own research, was published in 1984. Since then, it has racked up sales of more than 2 million copies.

“I can admit it freely now. All my life I’ve been a patsy,” the Arizona State psychology professor writes in the book’s introduction. “For as long as I can recall, I’ve been an easy mark for the pitches of peddlers, fund-raisers, and operators of one sort or another.” Influence was written as a defensive weapon for the patsy in all of us, but it quickly became a bible for sales and marketing types, too. And from there it spread to business leaders.

Good leaders don’t play their followers for patsies—if they did, they wouldn’t be leaders for long. Nevertheless, they must be able convince people to follow them and to do the things that they ask. In Influence, Cialdini offers up six basic psychological principles—reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity—that any leader can use to obtain compliance. They work because they contain triggers that set off fixed-action patterns within us.“Click and the appropriate tape is activated; whirr and out rolls the standard sequence of behaviors,” Cialdini explains. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, communication, feedback, leading teams, management, performance management.

By Theodore Kinni

DSCN0032

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

To study stress, a couple of scientists offered free job application coaching to unemployed people. The scientists brought each unwitting subject into the lab for a practice interview, during which an interviewer—a ringer, of course—gave increasingly negative feedback, starting with disgusted looks and moving to outright criticism. Understandably, the interviewees’ stress levels climbed the charts.

The moral of the story isn’t to avoid scientists looking for subjects, although that may not necessarily be a bad idea. Instead, says psychologist Daniel Goleman, who made emotional intelligence a byword in the business world, “Managers and supervisors should be aware that this can be what happens to people if you focus in performance feedback solely on what they did wrong, rather than how they can improve and what they did well.” Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, careers, change, Content - Highlights and Reviews, influence and persuasion, innovation, management, managing yourself.

By Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina, co-authors, Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within

What’s the biggest obstacle you run into when you try to introduce new ideas or improve things at work?

That’s one of our favorite questions to ask the people who come to our talks and workshops about how to be more effective change makers — or as we like to call ourselves, “rebels at work.”

The number one obstacle: my boss.  (The second is fear.)

So what do you do if you’re championing a new idea? Learn how to manage your boss — most importantly in these two ways: Read more »

Posted by & filed under Native apps, news, Product Updates & Tips, Safari, Safari News, Safari Queue.

New ways to find your next book or video

Safari’s collection of books and videos is huge, so we’re always looking to create new ways for you to explore. As you know from last month’s update, we’ve been enhancing our Twitter bot and listing newly published content every day. This month, we’ve added two new ways for you to find what you’re looking for.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, communication, Content - Highlights and Reviews, leading teams, management, meetings.

By Theodore Kinni

DSCN0032

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

Fed up with his team’s lack of productivity, the manager calls everyone together yet again. Iron-fisted, he declares, “We’re are going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done.”

I know it’s not a howler of a joke, but then it’s hard to squeeze a laugh out of as pervasive a bane of organizational life as meetings. Think about how much of their time managers spend in meetings (25-50 percent, per Brian Tracy). Then, tally up the labor costs—to say nothing of the impact on productivity and the opportunity costs. It’s no laughing matter.

So what’s to be done about meetings? I went looking for suggestions in Safari and found a slew of ideas. Here are three of the most intriguing: Read more »