Monthly Archives: February 2010
Cool video, posted by Jesse Thomas, on State of the Internet.
This video highlights some remarkable figures and visually depicts the Internet as we know it today.
This is amazing to see how fast it moves and how immersed web technologies have become in our everyday lives.
- There are 1.73 billion Internet users worldwide as of September 2009.
- There are 1.4 billion e-mail users worldwide, and on average we collectively send 247 billion e-mails per day. Unfortunately 200 billion of those are spam e-mailsAs of December 2009, there are 234 million websites.
- Facebook gets 260 billion pageviews per month, which equals 6 million page views per minute and 37.4 trillion pageviews in a year
- Facebook passing the 400 million user mark
- Twitter hitting 50 million tweets per day
- YouTube viewers watching 1 billion videos per day are impressive on their own, but what if we looked at Internet-related stats collectively?
We’ve implemented the Situational Leadership within my Team at Microsoft.
The principle is that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation.
The model allows you to analyze the needs of the situation you’re in, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on employees’ competences in their task areas and commitment to their tasks, your leadership style should vary from one person to another. You may even lead the same person one way sometimes, and another way at other times
Take a look at the Video of Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager)
Here-below more details but just read the book of Ken Blanchard
Behavior of the Leader
S1 – Telling / Directing – High task focus, low relationship focus – leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way. For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.
S2 – Selling / Coaching</b> – High task focus, high relationship focus – leaders still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way. For people who have some competence but lack commitment. They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.
S3 – Participating / Supporting – Low task focus, high relationship focus – leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower. For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.
S4 – Delegating – Low task focus, low relationship focus – leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved. For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.
Effective leaders are versatile in being able to move around the matrix according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. However, we tend to have a preferred style, and in applying Situational Leadership you need to know which one that is for you.
Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower can also be distinguished in 4 quadrants.
Development Level of the Follower
D4 – High Competence, High Commitment – Experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader.
D3 – High Competence, Variable Commitment – Experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well quickly.
D2 – Some Competence, Low Commitment – May have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.
D1 – Low Competence, High Commitment – Generally lacking the specific skills required for the job in hand, but has the confidence and / or motivation to tackle it.
Similar to the leadership styles, the development levels are also situational.
A person could be skilled, confident and motivated for one part of his/her job, but could be less competent for another part of the job.
Blanchard and Hersey said that the Leadership Style (S1 – S4) of the leader must correspond to the Development level (D1 – D4) of the follower – and it’s the leader who adapts. By adopting the right style to suit the follower’s development level, work gets done, relationships are built up, and most importantly,
the follower’s development level will rise to D4, to everyone’s benefit.
Steps in Situational Leadership. Process
Make an overview per employee of his/her tasks
Assess the employee on each task (D1…D4)
Decide on the leadership (management) style per task (S1…S4)
Discuss the situation with the employee
Make a joint plan.
Follow-up, check and correct.
Strengths of the Situational Leadership model. Benefits
Easy to understand
Easy to use
flag : situational leadership, situational leadership, situational leadership, situational leadership
david merzel, david merzel, david, merzel
I’ve explained the concept of ONE MINUTE MANAGER to my team and suggested them to read the book of Ken Blanchard on this.
Feedback from my team was very positive
I really like this book as it is so simple and that you can read if fast and then you can write next pages during your life !
So, we are implemeting this approach within my TEAM and I think this works. The One Minute Manager reveals three fundamental concepts:
- One Minute Goal Setting—Understand the importance of clear goals
- One Minute Praisings—Learn how to help people reach their potential
- One Minute Reprimanding—Learn how to correct poor performance and keep people on track
Take a look at this Video of Ken Blanchard explaining shortly this concept.
Here-below, more details but to know more, read the book …
One Minute Goal Setting
- “Agree on your goals;
- See what good behavior looks like;
- Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words;
- Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it;
- Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance, and
- See whether or not your behavior matches your goal.” [ref01]
One Minute Praisings
- “Tell pople up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing;
- Praise people immediately;
- Tell prople what they did right, be specific;
- Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there;
- Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel;
- Encourage them to do more of the same;
- Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their succes in the organization.” [ref01
One Minute Reprimands
Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms;
Reprimand people immediately;
Tell people what hey did wrong, be specific;
Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong, and in no uncertain terms;
Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel;
Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side;
Remind them how much you value them;
Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation;
Realize that when the reprimand is over, it’s over.
We are also implementing the Situational Leadership, within my Team.
Take a look at this VIDEO showing Great Quotes from Great Leaders
My favorite quotes are :
- If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney)
- Success is not final, failure is not fatal : it is the courage to continue that counts (Winston Churchill)
- Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently (Henri Ford)
- Do what you can, with what you have where you are (Theodore Roosevelt)
- Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful (Albert Schweitzer)
We’ve all seen the locker room speech. It’s in many a movie.
The team, usually with no reason to be there, or having the talent but recently saddled with some heavy baggage, is hanging it’s heads. Then the coach storms in and whispers or shouts, or massages their egos in just the right way so that the end result is fist pumping, hand-clapping, table-flipping, and running out of the locker room by the players.
Well that is what Al Pacino does in Any Given Sunday.
During this scene, you will be fired up, you will re-live certain past glories in your head, and you will believe Pacino’s coach Tony D’Amato when he says, “I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. All comes down to today, and either, we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play. Until we’re finished…”
I don’t know if you have ever worked with a micro-manager?
This is someone who thinks he or she needs to be involved in everything that happens within the company.
These leaders are closing out the talents of others by not divesting themselves from the day-to-day problem-solving activities of the company.
Great leaders let go of the day-to-day, problem-solving activities of the company.
Rather, they choose to maximize strategic and relationship-building efforts.
The majot risk of micromanagement is disengagement.
Fundamentally, it is a state of distance from one’s work.
A disengaged employee puts in time but little else, and his apathy affects not only his own productivity but that of his colleagues.
Because a consistent pattern of micromanagement tells an employee you don’t trust his work or his judgment, it is a major factor in triggering disengagement.
By contrast, engaged employees are more likely to show up to work, to stay with a firm longer, and to be more productive while they’re on the job.
Interesting to read within Gallup research that highly engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% greater profitability than the least engaged teams.
The good news is that you, as a manager, have enormous influence over your direct reports’ engagement levels.
So what can you do to increase their engagement and hence their productivity? For starters, you can take a page from the Gallup playbook and make a practice of building on employees’ strengths.
My take-out is 4 tips to create more enguagement from your team :
- Say you have a direct report who rarely submits sales reports on time or fills them out correctly. Ask yourself, “At what tasks does this person excel?” Maybe he’s great at troubleshooting customer complaints. Or he’s a consistent source of creative ideas for the next promotional effort. Whatever his strengths, think about ways to build on them so that they can add more value to your organization. At the same time, see if you can minimize or redistribute some of the work at which he’s less successful. This is not always easy to implement but this is key to be flexible !
• Be clear about performance expectations for new hires. As they grow more comfortable in their roles, lessen your direct supervision of their work. I realy like the ONE MINUTE MANAGER approach for this. We’ve implemeted this approach within my TEAM and I think this works. The One Minute Manager reveals three fundamental concepts:
- One Minute Goal Setting—Understand the importance of clear goals
- One Minute Praisings—Learn how to help people reach their potential
- One Minute Reprimanding—Learn how to correct poor performance and keep people on track
• If you find yourself feeling consistently negative about a particular employee’s performance, check that you’re not falling into the set-up-to-fail syndrome described by Insead-affiliated management scholars Jean-François Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux. This syndrome is marked by a downward performance spiral. The manager, expecting poor performance from the employee, starts noticing only mistakes and overlooking or minimizing successes. To avoid this pattern, regularly challenge your perception about the employee by asking yourself: What are the facts about her work? Is it as bad as I’ve been thinking? Of course, it may be that her performance is so bad that you’ll have to let her go. But in some cases, adjusting your lens might reveal that she’s actually doing some worthwhile work.
• You don’t want to create a culture that says you’re always right, and the employees are usually or always wrong. So invite employees to challenge your opinions. Over time, as they grow more comfortable in this role, they’ll feel freer to discuss any performance concerns they have with you.
Interesting article in Harvard Business Review regarding Leadership.
My take-out is a list of 5 things you can do to achieve self-awareness and personal mastery in leadership.
•Monitor your performance. Note areas in which you excel and need improvement. Communicate these to your team.
•Realize that failures and mistakes are just one step on the road to success.
•Recognize that being aware of the impact that your behavior has on other people is a critical leadership skill.
•Remember that when criticism is difficult to accept, there is probably some truth to it.
•And, finally, learn to give yourself and others credit for improving.
Check out also this Video of Ken Blanchard
New alliance between Yahoo and Microsoft : Today, this is the final clearance from the European Commission.
The Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance combines the complementary strengths of Yahoo! and Microsoft to create a competitive choice in search with the scale to fuel sustained development.
Both companies aim to ultimately enable searchers to find relevant results faster, and provide more value for advertisers and better results for web publishers.
If you look for more information (Q&A, Press Coverage, …), just go to this following site : http://www.searchalliance.com/home
More information will be available later today, on this site.
60% of consumers are more interested in products’ core benefits and attractive prices — exemplified by netbooks — than in often-unused bells and whistles.
While there will always be high-end buyers willing to pay premium prices, there is an attractive emerging market for easy-to-use consumer electronics products, with features that reflect user demand, priced 30 to 50 percent lower than standard offerings.
What’s driving the growth of the basics market?
First, consumers are overserved. This survey showed that less than a third of the respondents actually used all of the advanced features that manufacturers pile into their televisions, video cameras, mobile phones, and other products. What’s more, less than half of the respondents even knew these features existed (Exhibit 3).
Second, people value lifestyle benefits over technical capabilities. Among respondents who owned a Flip camera, for example, 90 percent liked it because it is lightweight, easy to carry and use, and “lets me share memories with family/friends,” while only 60 percent said that video quality was important.
Third, consumer-friendly products are gaining traction as new tools make it easier for people to compare products and provide feedback. Consumers seeking simplification rather than overspecification can read online reviews: current users are becoming powerful advocates for products via word-of-mouth.
Finally, the recession has accelerated the flight from expensive, high-end products. This mind-set shift seems unlikely to be reversed even when the global economy improves, and the underlying demographics in most developed economies point to thrift, not frivolity.
So, if I read this, this is key to have a consumer centric approach (strating from the consumer needs) and not a product / tehnology centric approach (strating from new features). Once the offer is there, I believe this is key to come with a story telling focusing on consumer needs as consumer friendly (easy to use, not complex), lifestyle benefit (“sexy” product, easy to carry, …) and other practical benefits ‘(durability of netbook seems to be more important that quality / performance of features)
So, this means that the manufacturers have some challenge :
First, they must rethink their approach to product development, moving away from efforts to push the limits of technology and focusing instead on features users really want. Our research found, for example, that durability was by far the most important aspect of quality for most consumer electronics customers.
Second, competing in the basics market also requires manufacturers to reduce their production costs significantly so they can offer products at prices as much as 50 percent lower than those of their regular lines.
Finally, companies should ensure that the value of existing brands isn’t diluted and that sales of higher-priced products aren’t cannibalized. New pricing and promotion strategies will be required to make value-oriented customers aware of these new offerings.
To read more on this Mckinsey survey, just click HERE
Microsoft’s X10 press event has come and gone.
In case you missed anything, you will find a here below a very good wrap-up.
Here-below, another very good overview from Major Nelson
==> 10 things you need to know coming out of X10 today:
- The Halo Reach multiplayer beta will kick off on May 3. You will be able to access the beta via the Halo 3: ODST game disc.
- Dead Rising 2 will release in North America on Aug. 31, Japan on Sept. 2 and Europe on Sept. 3.
- Dead Rising: CASE ZERO an exclusive download only on Xbox LIVE, will launch prior to the full game and provide a playable prologue that bridges the story between the two titles.
- Alan Wake will launch May 18 in North America and May 21 in Europe. Players can pre-order the title to receive the Bright Falls Bonus Pack, which includes exclusive content like Avatar gear, an Xbox LIVE theme, and a “making of” video.
- The Xbox 360 Final Fantasy XIII Special Edition Bundle will release starting March 9 for $399 (in US), and include a 250GB Hard Drive, two Wireless Controllers, exclusive downloadable avatar items and a Standard Edition copy of the game.
- Toy Soldiers will kick off the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party on March 3
- Perfect Dark, Scrap Metal and Game Room will launch this March as a part of the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party.
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction will release at retailers starting April 13 in North America, April 16 in the United Kingdom, and April 28 in Japan.
- Lost Planet 2 will launch in North America and Europe on May 18.
- Fable III will be available this holiday.
Microsoft has just unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system — Windows Phone 7 Series — live at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
For more demo, just click HERE
Among the highlights, the company says in a statement that “for the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone.”
There’s also significant social media integration. Users can post status updates and photos to multiple services at once, and updates from friends can be streamed to the home screen.
The default search and map services are provided by Bing, and all Windows Phone 7 devices will come with a dedicated hardware button for them.
Take also a look at the demo done by Engadget
Forget everything you know about Windows Mobile. Seriously, throw the whole OS concept in a garbage bin or incinerator or something. Microsoft has done what would have been unthinkable for the company just a few years ago: started from scratch. At least, that’s how things look (and feel) with Windows Phone 7 Series. This really is a completely new OS…
Virtually all of the world’s advanced economies have suffered some effects from the recession. Though unemployment is a problem all over the world, some countries have suffered a worse rate of unemployment than others.
Canada and the United States have both experienced massive job losses during the recession. The United States now has an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and Canada has an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.
Europe has also been hard hit by the recession, with some countries faring better than others in terms of unemployment. In Austria, there is 4.5 percent unemployment. In Belgium, there is 7.4 percent unemployment. France has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate. Germany’s unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. In Italy, the unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.
In Luxembourg, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. The Netherlands has a 4.4 unemployment rate. In Norway, the unemployment rate is 3.1 percent. Portugal’s unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. Spain has an extraordinarily high unemployment rate at 18.7 percent. Sweden has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent. Switzerland maintains a low rate of unemployment at 3.5 percent. Israel has an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.
Much of Asia has maintained a low unemployment rate despite the recession. Hong Kong’s rate of unemployment is 5.3 percent. In Japan, the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. In Singapore, the unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent. South Korea has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. The unemployment rate in Taiwan is 5.7 percent. The Australian unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. New Zealand has an unemployment rate of 5 percent.
Facebook was launched on February 4, 2004.
Facebook has undoubtedly become the world’s largest social network, with over 400 million users worldwide and more than 900 employees.
Let’s take a closer look at what kinds of numbers and user activity this growth translates to. The infographic here-above explores Facebook’s growth over the past 6 years.
Wondering how Facebook, flickr, YouTube, wordress or other social media fit with your marketing strategy?
It’s all about conversation. Brian and Jesse had nicely illustrated the different elements of the great social conversation stream.
I really like the term ‘The Conversation’. Indeed, there is one global conversation stream based on all the cross linkages, references, social bookmarks, etc.
It is too easy to say social media is Facebook or Twitter… it is so much more.
There are so many social networking services and tools that it is impossible to cover everything, but the image is powerful.
In addition to standard web pages, social media presences contribute to our portfolio of owned media including Twitter accounts, Facebook Fan Pages, Blogs, YouTube channels, etc. By creating presences in the communities where our customers, prospects, partners, and influencers congregate and collaborate, we can lay the foundation to contribute “earned” social objects of value.
Today, at the occasion of the European Safer Internet Day, I’ve taken part to an Employee Volunteering action together with my Belgian colleagues.
If you want to know more about this nitiative, just click HERE
I’ve visited the school of my kids. By the way, this was also my school
This was a great opportunity to explain how to surf safely on the Internet.
I’ve trained 4th, 5th and 6th year of primary school and general feedback was very positive and I’m sure this day was really useful for the kids but also for the parents who will recieve additional information on this.
Internet is an excellent place for kids to learn, explore, play games and communicate with friends and family.
Still, there are some risks that children, teenagers and parents need to look out for when surfing the Web.
These could include online fraud and identity theft, cyber bullying, or risks to their personal computer or device. But, there are some tips and tricks that kids and parents can learn to help protect themselves, their families, and their computers when they go online. EU Safer Internet Day is all about creating awareness about this, and provides a great opportunity for Microsoft employee volunteers to teach children and parents at schools about how they can make the most of using the internet in a safe and responsible way.
|Tech giant Microsoft saw its second fiscal quarter profits rise 60 percent year over year in the three months rounding out 2009, outpacing a 14 percent revenue gain.|
Entertainment and Devices Division, a larger division that includes the Xbox 360, Games for Windows, and Zune, managed to triple its profits even as revenue fell.
To read more, go to :
|Microsoft Corp. got a bigger boost in customer satisfaction from its latest computer operating system than rival Apple Inc. did from its most recent upgrade.The CHART OF THE DAY shows that respondents giving Microsoft a positive grade for satisfaction rose to 67 percent in the week after the Oct. 22 release of Windows 7, from 64 percent the day before it went on sale, according to YouGov Plc, a London-based market-research firm.
Microsoft’s satisfaction rates rose 14 percent through the end of the year.
To read more on this go to : http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aajIjMcEp.E4&pos=15