Knowledge organization is changing | Are your workers getting dumber? | Burberry boss accused of playing "buzzword bingo"
July 11, 2012
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Knowledge organization is changing
Big Think
The real disruption of the Internet is not about technology, argues author James Gleick in this Big Think video. Many technologies have made the world a smaller, faster place. Rather, it's that our library of knowledge is no longer sorted in the old ways. "[W]e may have reached a point where alphabetical order has gone obsolete. Wikipedia is ostensibly in alphabetical order, but, when you think about it, it’s not in any order at all," Gleick says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (7/10)
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Want to Be a Better Salesperson? Build Relationships
Today's knowledge-hungry consumers often know as much about a product as the people trying to sell it. So what's your sales edge? Learning to build stronger relationships with your clients. Read the featured article.

Leading Edge
Are your workers getting dumber?
Workers with solid track records sometimes start making dumb mistakes; when that happens, it's important that you respond quickly and decisively, writes Tom Searcy. There's always a specific reason for their change in performance, and it's usually possible to remedy the situation. "Smart people don't just turn stupid. ... If you deal with the underlying issues, you can usually get that high performer back on track," Searcy writes. Inc. online (free registration) (7/10)
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Burberry boss accused of playing "buzzword bingo"
Burberry chief Angela Ahrendts uses corporate buzzwords like they're going out of style, writes Lucy Kellaway. Her blend of "balderdash and brand" sounds good but is literally incomprehensible, Kellaway asserts. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (7/8)
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Strategic Management
6 rules for crafting a legitimate social media policy
The National Labor Relations Board recently published guidelines to help employers avoid falling afoul of the National Labor Relations Act when setting social media policies. It's generally kosher to ask your workers to be honest, accurate and respectful in their online activities, explains Mikal E. Belicove, but companies are on much shakier ground when they seek to specifically limit employees' ability to discuss work-related subjects. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (7/10)
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Innovation and Creativity
Do you really understand innovation?
Most leaders fail to understand that innovation comes in two distinct flavors, says Mark W. Johnson. Short-term innovation is valuable, but every firm also needs long-term innovation aimed at generating new business platforms. "All too often, companies fail to distinguish between the two and treat all innovation efforts as short-term, core initiatives," Johnson warns. (7/9)
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The Global Perspective
"Toolkit strategy" turns Volkswagen into a juggernaut
Volkswagen had record sales in 2011, with robust pretax margins of almost 12%, thanks in part to a ""toolkit strategy" that standardizes parts across dozens of vehicle models. That's a high-risk tactic that potentially could lead to an undifferentiated lineup, but it's also helping to make Volkswagen far more efficient. CNNMoney/Fortune (7/23)
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Pepsi targets China with fishy chips and fungal oatmeal
Pepsi wants to break into China with products tailored to local tastes, including fish-soup-flavored potato chips and white fungus oatmeal. Chinese consumers don't eat much junk food, so Pepsi officials say there's enormous growth potential. "China will be the largest consumer market in the next decade, and PepsiCo aims to be the largest food and beverage company in the market," says Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/10)
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Daily Diversion
Could you hit a fastball thrown 600 million miles per hour?
Could a sufficiently skilled baseball player hit a ball pitched at 90% of the speed of light? No way, writes cartoonist Randall Munroe. Physics says that a ball moving that fast would trigger a fusion explosion that would obliterate everything within about a mile of the diamond. "In this situation, the batter would be considered 'hit by pitch,' and would be eligible to advance to first base," Munroe adds. XKCD/What If? blog (7/10), Mashable (7/10)
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I find that when smart people get stupid, they are either overwhelmed or underwhelmed."
-- Tom Searcy, author and consultant, writing at
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