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Is Web 2.0 the latest fad, old ideas in new packaging, or a real
change in thinking?
The ongoing transition of the World Wide Web known
as Web 2.0that is, the Web being viewed as a full-fledged computing platform rather than
as a collection of Web sites, as providing services rather than software, and as facilitating
two- rather than one-way communicationwas identified at a conference in October
2004. To date, even experts disagree on exactly what Web 2.0 means, but many think it's an
innovation that business and IT executives need to take very seriously.
For ideas on how to develop ingenious solutions to ordinary problems,
check out the book Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve
Problems Big and Small. Authors Barry Nalebuff and Ian Ayres claim that the key to ingenuity
in the workplace is for middle management to stop killing ideas and to start adopting technology
that lets people get their ideas heard throughout the organization. Here's the authors' innovation
for auto insurance: selling car insurance as an add-on to the price of gasoline. In this system, the
more you drive, the more insurance you pay. The system would build in incentives
for using more gas-efficient cars and, says at least one economist, if the per-mile fee
reflected the incremental risk, driving would be cut back by about 7%, saving
insurance costs of more than $8 billion per year.
Why Not? Idea Exchange
Many managers think that their job is over once they
select a candidate to hire.
They neglect to take advantage of the probationary periodat
most federal agencies a yearlong probationary period for new hires is
"a mere formality." According to a report by the Merit Systems Protection
Board (MSPB), "Probationers should be notified, before accepting a job
offer, that they will be probationers and what that means." Bottom line?
New employees who want to keep their jobs should find ways to excel.
Where can you find a "100% reliable and shockproof crap detector"
for knowing which management advice to follow and which to ignore? Robert
Sutton, co-author with Jeff Pferrer of Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense:
Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, wishes he knew, but says life is just too messy and
uncertain. However, he and his coauthor do suggest five guidelines for deciding "which advice to
ignore, [and which to] study more closely, and perhaps implement on a trial basis":
1. Treat old ideas as if they are old ideas.
2. Be suspicious of breakthrough ideas and studies.
3. Ask, "What are the incentives for the people who are selling you the idea?"
4. Beware "monkey see, monkey do" management methods.
5. Think: Does it seem too obvious?
Read the entire manifesto
On the job and feeling like Job--
Check it out!
Workshops and Book Signings
July 17. Contact: Peggy Christoff
UD Alumni Networking Night,
September 20, 2006, details to come. Contact: