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Ditch the Checklist, Productivity is Not About Numbers

Ditch the Checklist, Productivity is Not About Numbers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Getting things done is all about focusing on the task at hand.
Don Dea's insight:

Instead of lists and numbers, productivity should be about focusing on one thing and doing it well.

Have you ever heard of flow psychology? It’s when you’re entirely absorbed on one task at a time. You’re not distracted by anything else and you’re eager to work on whatever’s in front of you.

Scheduling your “flow” can be tough. It tends to happen naturally, especially during that specific time of day where you feel most creative and ready to conquer the world. Once you are in it though, you crank out high-quality work, something even the world’s best productivity hacker would be impressed by.



Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231499#ixzz2tNYEMu6l

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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The next-generation operating model for the digital world

The next-generation operating model for the digital world | digitalNow | Scoop.it
From running uncoordinated efforts within siloes to launching an integrated operational-improvement program organized around journeys

Many organizations have multiple independent initiatives underway to improve performance, usually housed within separate organizational groups (e.g. front and back office). This can make it easier to deliver incremental gains within individual units, but the overall impact is most often underwhelming and hard to sustain. Tangible benefits to customers—in the form of faster turnaround or better service—can get lost due to hand-offs between units. These become black holes in the process, often involving multiple back-and-forth steps and long lag times. As a result, it’s common to see individual functions reporting that they’ve achieved notable operational improvements, but customer satisfaction and overall costs remain unchanged.
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Upgrading your business to a digital operating system

Ability to establish fast concept iteration

Fast concept iteration is something that Steve Jobs believed in. When the Apple founder launched the first iPhone in 2007, it still only used the slow Global System for Mobile (GSM) transmission standard even though his rivals were using the faster Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS). The early iPhone couldn’t even receive GPS signals for satellite navigation. Digital natives refer to it as the minimum viable product (MVP), a product that offers only the minimum possible number of essential features. For the product to be a success, it needs to address a pain point, a place in the market where customers encounter problems. With its touch-screen design, Apple displaced number pads and keyboards and hit on one such pain point. With Apple’s open interface, a rapidly growing range of apps soon followed that could be downloaded to the device, thus greatly increasing the appeal of the iPhone. Customers did the rest: the Apple engineers fed reactions and comments of customers back into development virtually in real time, and before long they had the most popular smartphone in the world.
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The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention 

The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
These decisions occur in the four phases of a successful digital transformation program:

Discovering the ambition for the business based on where value is migrating
Designing a transformation program that targets profitable customer journeys
Delivering the change through an ecosystem of partners
De-risking the transformation process to maximize the chances of success
In each of these areas, the CEO has a lot of things to do, from modeling new behavior to driving a change in culture to executing strategy.1 But this article focuses on some of the big decisions CEOs need to make, and how they can go about making them. Based on our experience with dozens of digital transformations, we believe these seven decisions are the most important ones.
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Mobile and IoT Apps Are a Threat to Security

A new study reports that companies are "unprepared for risks created by vulnerabilities in internet of things applications." The report, "2017 Study on Mobile and IoT Application Security," was conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Arxan Technologies and IBM. It surveyed 593 IT and security practitioners involved in safeguarding mobile and IoT application security. Organizations participating in this study are users of mobile apps (44 percent) and IoT devices (48 percent); developers and manufactur­ers of mobile apps (27 percent) and IoT devices (21 percent); or both users and developers of mobile apps (29 percent) and IoT devices (31 percent). "Respondents acknowledge the risk of security vulnerabilities in both mobile and IoT apps," said the report, "however, 84 percent of respondents are likely to say that IoT apps are harder to secure than mobile apps (69 percent)." In addition, more than half of respondents said there is a lack of quality assurance and testing procedures for IoT apps. Highlights of the report follow.
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Untangling your organization’s decision making 

Untangling your organization’s decision making  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The ultimate solution for many organizations looking to untangle their decision making is to become flatter and more agile, with decision authority and accountability going hand in hand. High-flying technology companies such as Google and Spotify are frequently the poster children for this approach, but it has also been adapted by more traditional ones such as ING (for more, see our recent McKinsey Quarterly interview “ING’s agile transformation”). As we’ve described elsewhere, agile organization models get decision making into the right hands, are faster in reacting to (or anticipating) shifts in the business environment, and often become magnets for top talent, who prefer working at companies with fewer layers of management and greater empowerment.

As we’ve worked with organizations seeking to become more agile, we’ve found that it’s possible to accelerate the improvement of decision making through the simple steps of categorizing the type of decision that’s being made and tailoring your approach accordingly. In our work, we’ve observed four types of decisions (Exhibit 2):
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The future of workplace structure: Cross-functional teams, AI impact

The future of workplace structure: Cross-functional teams, AI impact | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Future of workplace collaboration

Employees able to cultivate a cross-functional role and willing to work on a team may have the best shot at employment longevity, executives suggested.

As the future-of-workplace picture begins to emerge, the safest employees will be those with analytical backgrounds who can adapt, evolve and acquire cross-functional skills, noted Cynthia Nustad, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Health Management Systems, and that company's former CIO. Health Management Systems, based in Irving, Texas, focuses on cost containment in healthcare.

The best-positioned employees are "not locked into what they are doing day to day," she said.

The future of workplace teams, however, won't be limited to corporate employees. Teammates may also drift in from outside an enterprise's walls.
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How Will Analytics, AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning Replace Human Interactions?

Turns out that only two of these four actions merit human intelligence and human interactions (Simplify and Leverage), while the other two present opportunities to reduce demand for support (Eliminate, via root cause analysis to remove confusing or mistake-ridden processes or tools, and Automate, via self-service or proactive alerts.

Over 9 years since The Best Service is No Service debuted a lot has changed surrounding the need for and ability to provide human interactions, automated solutions, and shape experiences using predictive analytics. In some cases good old human intelligence in human interactions is still needed, and often the best path. However what I am seeing is the ability now to apply that human intelligence to deliver highly impactful automated solutions and predictive models.



One big reason for this is the rapid onset of analytics, robotics, AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, and machine learning to augment, and in some places replace, human intervention. These new solutions have shown to me that the core Principles of Best Service is No Service were spot on, and it has reinforced the need to dig more deeply into data in order to confirm the problem and to determine how to address the problem.

Let me share three quick examples, some of them based on “omni-channel” interactions and broad knowledge sharing, both also representing breakthroughs.
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Creativity’s bottom line: How winning companies turn creativity into business value and growth 

Creativity is associated with superior performance

There are many reasons why companies perform well, such as market position or technology leadership. But it’s also true that creativity is at the heart of business innovation, and innovation is the engine of growth. With an increasing focus on the science of marketing—including performance marketing, marketing AI, and advanced analytics—it’s important not to forget about the art of marketing.

Creative leaders outperform their peers on key financial metrics

When we looked at the financial results of companies whose ACS scores were in the top quartile, we found they performed better than peer firms on three key measures:

67 percent had above-average organic revenue growth.
70 percent had above-average total return to shareholders (TRS).
74 percent had above-average net enterprise value or NEV/forward EBITDA
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Design for value and growth in a new world 

The key to design-driven growth is blending traditional design-to-cost principles with consumer insights and specialized product-redesign expertise to create a winning combination of lower costs and more desirable products. This enhanced, reinvigorated approach requires an end-to-end perspective on D4VG:

knowledge of the competitive landscape to frame the product space
insights about competing products to understand potential alternative offerings and learn from companies facing similar design challenges
insights from customers to determine what makes them desire a product and what they are willing to pay for
a complete understanding of a product’s cost drivers and of production capabilities and constraints to ground discussions about feasibility and cost limits
design teams that bring together this knowledge in desirable product options
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Urban mobility at a tipping point 

Urban mobility at a tipping point  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Four major technological trends are converging: in-vehicle connectivity, electrification, car sharing, and autonomous driving. If cities can figure out how to make these elements work together, mobile-productivity solutions could be substantially improved.

In-vehicle connectivity: The broad adoption of in-vehicle connectivity, either through the mobile phone or through an embedded system and screen, is opening up possibilities. For example, real-time analytics and data on traffic conditions can reroute drivers to avoid congestion; there are apps that offer information allowing people to shift the timing and route of travel. Eventually, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication could be used to reduce accidents and to anticipate traffic congestion.
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Leaders who listen create space for great ideas to emerge

This “quiet Jack” was a departure. My interactions with him were usually conducted with groups of 3-4 people, in which his demeanor was assertive, sometimes to the point of being confrontational. Known as a hard-charging, results-oriented manager, Jack liked to “stir the pot” in small group settings to challenge people’s assumptions and test their convictions.
Why the quiet stance? I asked him at a break on the second day. “Because if I don’t shut up and listen, I won’t learn anything,” he replied.
Fair enough. (Jack is a man of few words. That was the sum total of our conversation.)
One of the reasons Jack was so respected as a leader is that he had learned to distinguish the circumstances under which he should speak up—and those in which he should stay silent. In small group meetings, his aim was to move the conversation along with his challenging statements. In a larger group setting (in this case, a strategy-setting meeting), Jack knew that it was important to hear from all parties without influencing them with his opinions.
Although most leaders would say they want to foster a speak-up culture, many are inadvertently quashing ideas before they can come to light. As this white paper on Groupthink by Northwestern University’s Arpita Das Behl explores, numerous studies have shown that when leaders state their opinion, the group tends to move their opinions towards those of their leader. This form of “follow the leader” often leads to erroneous assumptions and faulty decision-making.
When deciding whether or not to speak up in a group setting with your team, answer this question:
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How To Shift Complaints To Constructive Conversation

How To Shift Complaints To Constructive Conversation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Complaining is normal. We all complain about something on occasion. But when your team seems to be spending more energy complaining rather than on making progress, it’s time to intervene. It’s important to note that, while complaining can be obvious and overt, many times complaining is happening in informal, more covert, conversations. Still, you can recognize the inertia of complaints in the form of blaming and excuses about why things aren’t going as well as expected or planned. Complaints can also manifest as a general mood of discontent.

While the need to intervene might seem obvious, a typical approach to dealing with complaints is to ignore them or attempt to shift the conversation to something more positive. The prevailing belief seems to be that the best way to deal with a complaint is to let it resolve itself or shift the focus to something positive.

But is the power of positive thinking enough to overcome the downward pull of complaining and demonstrably shift to constructive conversation?

When there’s a one-off complaint or a single complainer, positive thinking can be enough to shift the focus and mood. On the other hand, when the complaint is shared among many, changing the subject or ignoring the complaint is unlikely to turn the complaint into a constructive conversation. In fact, left unattended, a persistent and widely held complaint can create an unhealthy pressure that will undoubtedly be experienced by you and your team or organization.
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More than digital plus traditional: A truly omnichannel customer experience 

Retailers have increasingly recognized this reality, with some folding one-time web-only subsidiaries back into their larger businesses. But in other consumer-facing industries, such as financial services or telecommunications, digital efforts often end up becoming just another channel—in effect, a whole set of subchannels including mobile, social, and chat. Given that channel conflicts have bedeviled large companies for decades, with competition among channels sometimes more intense than with the outside world, adding even more to the list is not ideal. The result? More complexity (and cost) for the company and a less-than-optimal experience for customers.

By contrast, integrating digital into an omnichannel experience breaks down barriers for customers—and for performance, allowing companies to hone their digital skills in a way that takes advantage of their strength in traditional channels. But first, companies must break down their own internal barriers, initially by developing a more sophisticated understanding of how their customers think about all of the channel options. Mapping out the journeys customers follow among the channels reveals the most important opportunities for channels to cooperate, forming a list of changes for the company to roll out. Finally, to ensure the changes last, each major journey will need its own leader and cross-unit team—supported by revamped incentive structures to facilitate cooperation, new performance dashboards, a road map for transformation, and clear communications and governance from top executives.

Getting these steps right provides new opportunities to make customers happy—for instance, by letting them start a loan application on their phone before bed and finish it at a branch the next day after asking a few questions via the call center. Capturing moments such as these turns omnichannel into a major growth platform.
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Perpetual evolution--the management approach required for digital transformation 

An enterprise architecture built for perpetual evolution differs from a traditional one in six important ways. When considering business processes and activities, IT and business leaders emphasize end-to-end customer journeys rather than discrete product- or service-oriented processes. They use multiple operating models rather than one. When considering the application landscape, IT leaders design and develop applications to be modular and work independently rather than being tightly coupled with other applications or systems. The enterprise architecture features a central integration platform that boasts lightweight connections rather than a heavyweight bus.1 The IT organization deploys an application-development model in which developers and IT operations staffers work closely to test and launch new software features quickly (DevOps). And the general view of information and communications technology is as a commodity rather than a strategic factor (Exhibit 1).
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Use These 8 Tips To Be A Successful CEO 

Use These 8 Tips To Be A Successful CEO  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Overscheduling should be avoided

With too much on your plate, it will be difficult for you to stay motivated at all times. In fact, it will create unnecessary pressure, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and other resources. Even in the case of meetings, make sure that you’re attending the ones that are important and focusing on the agenda only. Use the unstructured time to get into the zone and save yourself from the issues that can burden you unnecessarily.

“You gotta make it a priority to make your priorities a priority.” ― Richie Norton
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How to Build a Better IoT Framework

To develop IoT ecosystems, business and IT leaders must connect various technologies, manage partnerships, oversee APIs, and address security and privacy issues.


The idea of an enterprise connecting devices, objects and other things is nothing new. Over the past several years, many organizations have experimented with RFID, beacons, sensors, automation platforms, mobile technology and a spate of other systems.

"If you go back a few years, business and IT leaders were mostly kicking the tires on the IoT," observes Craig McNeil, managing director of the IoT business for consulting firm Accenture. "Now we are beginning to see companies investing heavily in the IoT. They recognize that it represents the future of business."

Make no mistake, as data becomes the new currency and the desire for insight into processes and activities grows, the internet of things will play a key role. However, establishing a clear IoT strategy and building a framework to transform ideas and concepts into systems that generate revenue can be challenging. Not only must business and IT leaders connect a spate of technologies and systems, but they also must manage partnerships, oversee APIs, and deal with security and privacy concerns.
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Why IT Often Doesn't Meet User Expectations

IT managers said they make a wide range of efforts to boost the productivity and effectiveness of their users, but many users don't think the technology department is aligned with the needs of the business, according to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting for Nexthink. The accompanying report, "Mind the (Perception) Gap: How Misaligned Perceptions and Priorities Create a Fissure Between IT And End Users," indicates that a significant number of employees are much less confident in IT than IT is in itself. The vast majority of IT managers, for example, believe they prioritize user satisfaction while aligning the tech department's agenda with that of the business units, but only a minority of employees said this is the case. IT managers and users express similarly contrasting perspectives with regard to the need to boost productivity, deliver new initiatives and reduce tech-related work disruptions. "[There's a] growing divide between IT and the business," said Vincent Bieri, co-founder of Nexthink. "As this divide grows, so too does productivity loss, which is costing enterprises millions of dollars and unimaginable aggravation. Often, IT is delivering services without user visibility, which creates a lot of problems in terms of quality, costs and change management. It's vital for IT executives to get to the root of this gap and rethink the ways in which IT teams collaborate with end users and receive feedback." A total of 100 U.S. IT managers responsible for user monitoring and 300 office workers who use computers daily in their jobs took part in the research.
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Are you ready to decide? 

Are you ready to decide?  | digitalNow | Scoop.it

Good managers—even great ones—can make spectacularly bad choices. Some of them result from bad luck or poor timing, but a large body of research suggests that many are caused by cognitive and behavioral biases. While techniques to “debias” decision making do exist, it’s often difficult for executives, whose own biases may be part of the problem, to know when they are worth applying. In this article, we propose a simple, checklist-based approach that can help flag times when the decision-making process may have gone awry and interventions are necessary. Our early research, which we explain later, suggests that is the case roughly 75 percent of the time.

Biases in action

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Use the cloud to achieve operating model transformation: Six steps

So, cloud may be more expensive on a per-unit cost, but that difference can pale next to the investment required to, for example, support large-scale upgrades of legacy technology and supporting facilities. Because the capabilities afforded by the cloud are accessible now, it can appear economically smarter from the standpoint of the "digital story" that the CFO and CEO want to tell Wall Street. Articles about the cloud strategies of companies like General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Capital One make this abundantly clear. None of them talk about cloud as an end in itself, but as part of a larger digital effort -- and operating model transformation -- to innovate, deliver digital services to customers or speed up new product development.

This also means that the cloud should be just one component of corporate IT's operating model transformation. Cloud can't be expected to deliver top-line digital results without software design and development strategies that connect it to digital business projects.
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How Workers' Actions Cause Risks for the Business

A majority of workers said their employers have not come up with written policies about data retention, social media or the personal use of work devices—or they are unaware of such policies if they do exist, according to a recent survey from kCura. The resulting report, "Big Data From Employees Leads to Big Risk for Employers," indicates that most professionals feel that they won't do any harm to their company if they use work devices for personal communications. They also greatly value their privacy, but they compromise that privacy by sending personal emails and text messages on their employer-provisioned devices—as well as other potentially problematic activities. At the same time, the volume of back-and-forth business emails (much of which is unnecessary) creates additional risk issues, especially as many employees view their inboxes as information filing systems. "The technological advances of the big data era have brought conveniences few could have imagined only a few years ago," according to the report, "but this ever-increasing sea of data brings significant legal, regulatory and reputational risk. … We have a long way to go in getting 21st century technical education to the level of 21st century technology. Employee data is putting employers at risk, and without sufficient information governance programs, the potential damage to the American workplace is substantial." More than 1,010 U.S. employees took part in the research, which was conducted by Harris Poll.
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Everybody Wins in Divestitures

Everybody Wins in Divestitures | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Dispelling divestiture myths

Our recent research and experience working on deals across industries has helped us dispel the myths that have made divestitures an underutilized tool for shareholder value creation. The fact is that companies achieve better results when they take a four-step approach. They need to proactively and selectively prune their portfolios to select the right assets to divest. And when they decide to divest, sellers yield higher multiples by investing the time, talent and money required to make a business attractive for sale, instead of waiting until it’s too late and selling quickly. They need to run a smooth selling process that clearly communicates value to buyers and ultimately implement a low-risk carve-out program aimed at minimizing execution costs and future stranded costs.
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Are you a boss who plays favorites? Break those bad habits

Habit No. 1: Going with who you know

It’s great to have familiar faces on your team, whether you’re starting a new project or moving up in the company and taking people with you. While they can add continuity and get up to speed quickly with your working style, you’re missing out if you don’t add fresh perspectives and new ideas from new people. Don’t forget to consider people you’ve worked with in the past, too – they may surprise you with how they’ve grown and changed since you last interacted.
Instead: Balance your teams with a mix of old and new to keep both continuity and fresh perspectives flowing.
Habit No. 2: Picking youth over experience, or vice versa

Some of us are drawn to the brightness and vitality of young members on the team. Whether we see a glimpse of our earlier selves in them, or we are simply energized by the vigor they bring to the table, it can seem natural to give extra focus and attention to foster and refine that youthful drive. Similarly, it can seem logical to reward knowledge and experience, giving extra weight to the opinions of those who have been at the table the longest.
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Feel your disappointment, then move forward

The easy emotion is feeling the rush of excitement when your team nails it. Celebrating, high-fiving and doing the victory dance. It’s the uncomfortable feelings we try to avoid: disappointment, regret and frustration.
There we were, five of my best movers standing around a storage vault, peering in on the damaged furniture. There was a rock in my stomach. This was the third vault in two months. We prided ourselves on having one of the lowest damage ratios of any moving and storage company in the country.
As a recovering Pollyanna, I used to dismiss uncomfortable emotions. I’d rally the troops with “it’s all good” and look for the “silver lining” and the “lessons learned.” I’d lean on “there’s a reason this happened.”
While there’s still value in seeing the bright side, it wasn’t until I finally let the disappointment hit our shared ego and pride that powerful progress was made.
The first instance I brushed aside as a fluke. The second instance made me nervous, but again, I avoided making the team “feel bad.” I leaned on my mantras of “we’ve got this” and simply asked the core crew to refocus their efforts and be more careful.
But here’s the problem, if it’s always “all good” then there’s nothing to change, nothing to do or shift. Which, if you think about it from a team member’s perspective, is concerning. If the boat is sinking and “it’s all good,” we’re all going to drown while our leader is in state of denial.
Harness “negative” -- (read “not fun”) -- emotions to galvanize your team and motivate them towards action. When you visit* disappointment, regret and frustration, you start to ask why. It ignites a fire to change and improve and you begin to evaluate, how did we get here?
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Overcoming obstacles to digital customer care

Overcoming obstacles to digital customer care | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Root causes of slow migration to e-care

Companies tend to concentrate their e-care efforts in three channels: apps, social networks, and websites (exhibit). However, despite the impressive growth in use of social media for customer care (for example, use of Twitter to connect with brands has increased 2.5 times in the past two years4 ), customers have been slow to adopt live digital-service channels. For instance, while about 50 percent of companies offer live chat and e-forum support, fewer than 2 percent of customers use them. Instead, customers choose channels closely tied to just a handful of specific functions. A majority of people use web and mobile apps for billing and payments, for example, but prefer social networks—where people under 35 spend four hours each day5 —and forums for information on fees and services.
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Managers! Learn to budget your involvement

That’s advice that Scott Rudin believes is the role of every producer. One of the most successful producers on Broadway today, as well as a successful film producer, Rudin believes that it is the role of a producer to create a safe place for people to collaborate.
As Rudin told Terry Gross on NPR’s "Fresh Air," he didn’t always believe that. When he was producing films -- after starting on Broadway -- he felt he needed to be everywhere and do everything. Not only was that a recipe for burnout it negated the talents of the people hired to work on the film. So Rudin learned to budget his involvement to the benefit of his people and his projects.
Rudin’s lessons apply beyond the footlights. Management itself is the art of bringing people together to work on something in which they believe and in which they can succeed.
It is a matter of knowing your place.
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