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December 21, 2012
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Leading Edge 
  • End-of-year feedback? You're doing it wrong
    Bosses who hold year-end reviews for their workers are approaching feedback in the wrong way, writes Denis Wilson. Feedback should be a continuous process of praise and gradual course-correction, not a once-a-year blowout event. "Dropping bombs on employees once or twice a year only serves to build up pressure and make feedback sessions feel like indictments," Wilson writes. Fast Company online (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Strategic Management 
  • Corporate spies help firms get a competitive edge
    Corporate espionage is going mainstream, with CIA-trained agents using a wide range of above-board techniques to gather intel on their employers' rivals. It's often possible to root up valuable information by trawling through social media chatter, conducting background checks on rival CEOs, or simply picking up the phone and gabbing with over-eager marketers and sales representatives. "Sometimes they'll slip up ... but just because they give you information you're not supposed to have, doesn't mean you can't use it," says intelligence specialist Michel Bernaiche. CNNMoney/Fortune (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Tailor-made products help build brand loyalty
    A growing number of companies now allow customers to tailor products online before making a purchase. Converse and Nike let customers tweak colors and patterns before ordering a pair of sneakers; Burberry and Prada let fashionistas customize their luxury items; and M&M's fans can order candy with custom-printed messages or photos. "It really helps build a relationship with their customers," says Ann Marie Fiore of Iowa State University. "You're always looking at building that brand loyalty." National Public Radio (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Innovation and Creativity 
  • Innovation is a serious business, says Uglydolls creator
    Uglydolls were dreamed up when creator David Horvath signed a love letter with a doodle of a goofy-looking monster -- but turning that whimsical idea into a $100 million business took business savvy. Every new idea Horvath comes up with is meticulously copyrighted, patented and trademarked around the world, he says. "You have to plan for ultimate success from the first day. You don't want to play catch-up later," he explains. The Wall Street Journal (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The Global Perspective 
  • Deutsche Telekom CEO will step down in 2013
    In a surprise move, Rene Obermann has announced that he will step down as chief executive of Deutsche Telekom by the end of 2013. Obermann will be replaced by Finance Director Timotheus Hoettges, who has played a key role in shaping the company's business model. "The chief strategist so far becoming the new captain indicates that the course will be held," said a German government spokesman. Reuters (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Engage. Innovate. Discuss. 
  • How to coach people like a carpenter
    Coaching your workers should be something you do on a daily basis, and integrate into all your leadership activities, writes Mary Jo Asmus. "Like a carpenter who knows exactly what tool to use for each situation, your coaching can become one of the tools you call upon when needed," Asmus writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Daily Diversion 
  • A doctor watches "Home Alone"
    In "Home Alone," 8-year-old Kevin deters would-be burglars by biffing them with paint cans, scorching them with a blowtorch, dropping an iron on their head and burning them with a super-heated door knob. That would be enough to leave them crippled, with multiple fractures, missing teeth and likely skull necrosis, opines Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College. "Kevin has moved from 'defending his house' into sheer malice, in my opinion," St. Clair states. The Week (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Featured Content 

Better products work great, but a brand means something to people."
--David Horvath, creator of Uglydolls, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal
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