Summary of “13 Ways to Develop Laser-Like Focus”

Here are some surprising ways to help boost your focus and performance.
If you want to be successful, you have to find strategies that will help you focus despite all of the distractions that prevent you from doing the task at hand.
Luckily, with the help of science, developing laser-like focus is easier than you think.
To learn more, here are 13 ways to develop laser-like focus.
Another advantage of meditation is its ability to help people focus.
According to research, a warmer workplace will help you focus better and be more productive.
In a study, a group of researchers found that by taking a 40-second break and simply looking at a computerized image of a green roof, employees’ focus on a particular task improved.
A study found that people who work in offices filled with natural light experience substantially less eye strain, headaches and blurred visions, all of which deter focus and performance.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Survival of the Mediocre Mediocre”

Mediocrity is in fact the sine qua non of survival itself.
Agency and satisficing are emergent aspects of mediocrity, not explicit calculations involved in the generation of mediocre behavior.
Sometimes antifragility will point to mediocrity as the way, and other times mediocrity will exhibit antifragility.
Computers have learned to be mediocre, but haven’t yet learned to compete at mediocrity out in the open world.
Mediocrity qua mediocrity? We still have an edge there.
Soft mediocrity is mediocrity revealed through middling performance in domains where A-Ark excellence is actually possible on one end of the performance spectrum, and error-free correct, reliable C-Ark useful performance is possible at the other.
So a mediocre chess player, or a sloppy assembly line worker both exhibit soft mediocrity, because both excellence and error-free play are achievable and meaningful.
While disruption always involves mediocrity, mediocrity does not always imply disruption.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Empowering Employees Works, and When It Doesn’t”

Second, by empowering their employees, these leaders are also more likely to be trusted by their subordinates, compared to leaders who do not empower their employees.
Third, leaders who empowered employees were more effective at influencing employee performance in Eastern, compared to Western, cultures, and they had a more positive impact on employees who had less experience working in their organizations.
One study in our analysis found that by trying to provide employees with additional responsibility and challenges at work, empowering leaders burdened their employees and increased their level of job stress.
Our results again showed that the effects of leading by empowering others are determined by how employees perceive their leader’s behavior.
To our surprise, we found that leaders who were perceived as empowering by employees in companies located in Eastern cultures had a bigger effect on routine performance than leaders in Western cultures.
We found that empowering leadership had a stronger positive influence on the day-to-day performance of employees who had less experience in the organization compared to employees who had been in their jobs for longer.
In other words, empowering leaders saw greater improvements in job performance among less experienced employees than among more experienced employees.
Longitudinal studies were very rare and thus we could not determine causality – our correlations do not confirm whether empowering leadership caused increases in employee performance or whether employees who performed better were more likely to be given additional responsibility and empowered by their leaders.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdown drama, offers $29 battery replacements”

Apple says in its letter that batteries are “Consumable components,” and is offering anyone with an iPhone 6 or later a battery replacement for $29 starting in late January through December 2018 – a discount of $50 from the usual replacement cost.
This is a significant change in attitude around iPhone batteries – a decade ago, when the first iPhone came out, Apple said most iPhone users would never need to replace their batteries.
iPhone owners have long believed Apple artificially slows down older phones to drive new sales.
Apple had actually announced this change to performance along with iOS 10.2.1 a year ago, as the fix to a problem with the iPhone 6 that caused unexpected shutdowns if older batteries couldn’t provide enough power to the processor.
For its part, Apple continues to insist that it’s never artificially slowed down phones – just that it’s aggressively managing phone performance to maximize the lifespan of iPhone batteries.
Processor speed is just one piece of the battery- and performance-management puzzle, according to Apple: iPhones with older batteries may also more aggressively dim their screens, have lower maximum speaker volumes, and even have their camera flashes disabled when the system needs more peak power than the battery can provide.
In any event, Apple has a long way to go rebuilding trust with its customers – this story broke well past the tech press and hit TV morning shows and local news with zero nuance about “Smoothing instantaneous peaks” and battery chemistry degradation.
In its letter, Apple says “We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible.” If Apple is serious about that, and equally serious about the battery being a consumable, these first two steps are just the beginning of a major reset in the way we think about maintaining the most important devices in our lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “but Most Organizations Only Focus on One”

Our research into over 20,000 workers of all skill levels across U.S. industries, and a review of hundreds of academic studies on the psychology of human performance, shows that most leaders and organizations tend to focus on just one type of performance.
Essentially, tactical performance is how well you stick to your plan, and adaptive performance is how well you diverge from your plan.
If you’ve ever interacted with a customer representative who is clearly reading a script back to you, you’re witnessing tactical performance destroying adaptive performance.
We asked the management team if we could eliminate the narrow metrics and bonuses, which rewarded only tactical performance, and focus more on the adaptive.
The focus was on learning and adaptation – not on hitting performance goals.
When you find yourself saying things like “I wish my people took more ownership,” “I wish we operated more like a startup,” or “I wish we were more nimble,” remember that most organizations have created so much emphasis on tactical performance that their people cannot adapt.
Maintaining great performance over the long term will require organizations to also emphasize adaptive performance.
Start to measure the effectiveness of the conditions that affect adaptive performance, from how you motivate people to how you build your organization’s structures, performance review systems, and planning processes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Senior Teams Thrive on Disagreement”

Should enterprise leadership teams also pursue cohesion? To explore this question, over the course of six years, we surveyed senior-most leadership teams 99 times at companies representing a variety of industries, including financial services, food and beverage, energy, technology, healthcare, and retail.
Top teams need to navigate greater complexity and uncertainty than teams lower on the org chart.
More specifically, we examined what differentiated the top 25% of performing teams from the rest of the teams we studied when it came to taking calculated risks to lead the industry.
Based on our research, one of the best predictors of high-performing teams is their ability to consistently scan the external environment for consumer, competitor, and industry knowledge and to use that knowledge to adapt.
The best teams do not lose the focus of the external world when getting pulled into internal transformations, change, and turmoil.
Schulte notes that “For innovation to happen, senior teams need to create a culture where those who are closest to the customer can share, challenge, and feel heard.” He also notes that the responsibility of enterprise leadership teams is to “Create empowering cultures of micro-innovation in conjunction with clear, top-down plans to best set up organizations for success.”
For enterprise-wide teams to successfully traverse the tensions outlined above, trust and positive team dynamics are foundational.
While you want the team to operate from the standpoint of what ‘s best for the enterprise rather than what ‘s best for one ‘s individual function, often the way you get there is by people in each department laying out their concerns.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Handle Underperformers on a Team You Inherit”

Instead of building relationships with one or two coworkers, now you have to think about how you relate to the whole team.
Your job is not to compete for the “Most popular manager” award or to make things easy for your team.
Principle number two is that your success depends on the success of your team members.
You have to prioritize the team achieving its goals and everyone performing at the required level.
In order to do this, you have to set your team members up for success.
So not dealing with poor performers can be worse for morale and overall team performance than confronting the issue directly.
So what should the new manager do? First, she needs to make her expectations about high performance clear to everyone on the team.
Creating the expectation for high performance and doing what’s necessary to help your team be successful is a critical skill for anyone managing others.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Getting Your Head Around Performance”

Performance is one of the most interesting and challenging areas in systems development.
Improvements in algorithms and architectures are critical, but they are almost always enabled or made necessary by underlying improvements in performance.
Analyzing performance requires a deep understanding of the current behavior of elements of your design, but also needs to be informed by what is changing and likely to continue to change in the future and whether that will make your design better or worse over time.
The design strategies that catch on are the ones that become feasible and then see performance trends make them a better and better trade-off over time.
So the relationship between the components of the system are constantly changing and diverging which means that performance improvements in the individual components will often enable or require deeper overall changes in design.
The same mechanisms that computer designers use to have additional caches “Automatically” improve performance of existing workloads makes it hard to recognize when those caches fail to be effective.
In-memory databases are an example where increasing memory capacity opened up new performance scenarios as an entire database could fit in memory and no longer be constrained by disk bandwidth and latencies.
Looking at an application like OneNote one could ask how many notebooks will a typical user have open? How many sections with how many pages? How big and complex is a page? A corollary to “Know your design point” is “Your design point will change” - either because of changing usage scenarios or changing performance characteristics of the devices it runs on and how that drives requirements.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives”

The researchers behind the study, called the CEO Genome Project, used a database of assessments – comprehensive performance appraisals and extensive biographical information – of 17,000 C-suite executives, including 2,000 CEOs.
Their analysis, which included help from statisticians, data scientists and financial analysts, examined a sample of 930 of those CEOs to come up with the traits and patterns that most predicted which ones became a CEO. They also gathered information on the performance of 212 of them to compare how top-performers’ behaviors lined up with the traits that tend to get CEOs hired.
A little more than half of the CEOs who did better than expected in the minds of investors and directors were actually introverts, not the usual gregarious CEO known for glad-handing customers.
“The biggest aha, overall, is that some of the things that make CEOs attractive to the board have no bearing on their performance,” said Elena Lytkina Botelho, a partner at ghSmart and a co-founder of the project.
Candidates who displayed a lot of confidence had more than double the chance of being chosen as CEO, the study found, even though particularly confident CEOs were no more likely to show better performance once they got the job.
Nearly all of the executives in their sample who were candidates for a CEO job had some kind of major mistake, the project found, such as overpaying for an acquisition or making a wrong hire, in their assessment.
Nearly half of them also had what the researchers called a career “Blowup” that pushed them out of a job or cost the business a large amount of money – and three-quarters of that group went on to actually become a CEO. So what did make CEOs successful? After analyzing all of their data, the researchers found that roughly half of the candidates earning an overall ‘A’ rating in their database, when evaluated for a CEO job, had distinguished themselves in more than one of four management traits.
“We frankly expected to find that strong CEOs stood out for the quality of their decisions – that they turn out to be right more frequently,” she said.

The orginal article.