Personal MBA

The Personal MBA (PMBA) is a project designed to help you educate yourself about advanced business concepts. This manifesto will show you how to substantially increase your knowledge of business on your own time and with little cost, all without setting foot inside a classroom.

The PMBA is more flexible than a traditional MBA program, doesn’t involve going into massive debt, and won’t interrupt your income stream for two years. Just pick up one of these business books, learn as much as you can, discuss what you learn with others, then go out into the real world and make great things happen.

Check out the Personal MBA Recommended Reading List.

Multitasking gets you nowhere or does it?

Lifehacker just featured an article called “Debunking The Myth of Multitasking“.

In a fast-paced business culture of “get everything done yesterday,” it’s easy to admire and reward those busybusy people who always seem to be juggling 14 things at once. But business coach Dave Crenshaw argues that the most common kind of multitasking doesn’t boost productivity–it slows you down.

I kinda forget the reference for this, but a while ago I read that, with each interruption, the brain will need about 15 minutes to get all things in order again. This so that you’re at the same situation that you were when you were interrupted.

Don’t look down!

Whilst walking over a rope at a higher altitude, one might say

Don’t look down!

Yet the the first thing one does after giving this advice is to look down. It’s almost impossible not to … and it’s the opposite of the advice given. The hard part wasn’t avoiding the temptation, but deciding that you won’t be paralyzed by it. There’s no point in pretending that the reality of your situation doesn’t exist because it does. It’s better to embrace it and then take the next step in a direction that moves you forward. We just can’t linger on that moment that we look down and realize the gravity of our situations.

Look down, and move on!

Face reality and act accordingly. It’s always about context and how you deal with it. When you’re reading my blog you’re probably interested in a lot of techniques and methodologies. But be aware that these are only tools. It’s you who has to choose which to use in a given context!

A tool with a fool is still a fool.

Brain Magician

The next video is from Keith Barry at TED. He demonstrates how our brains can fool our bodies. I’m a believer of NLP yet this seems to go the next level, more towards the “magician”. Here I must say that I don’t believe in magic, that it’s always an illusion… 😉

We’re predictably irrational!

Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Professor Dan Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

Your Motivated Team

Having a skilled team is one thing, but having a motivated team is what makes the difference. People can go just that extra mile when motivated in the right way. So a mediocre motivated team will outperform a truly skilled yet low morale team any given day. I must admit that the next video isn’t appropriate to use in a business context, yet it’s a nice motivational speech…

Do you think they would have gone the extra inch without the speech? Some might have, but not all… Motivate your team to get the most out of the situation. It will help your project(‘s performance), but also your surroundings… 😉

The 8 steps to succesful Change Management

The father of Change Managemnet (John Kotter) outlined 8 steps to succesful Change Management in his book “The Iceberg is melting“. Let’s go through them:

  • Set The Stage
      Create a Sense of Urgency : Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately. Remind people that they are on a burning oil rig; they’ll die, if the don’t jump off…
      Pull Together the Guiding Team : Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change; one with leadership skills, bias for action, credibility, communications ability, authority, analytical skills. Just like project teams; one needs to have a great team to drive the change.
  • Decide What To Do
      Develop the Change Vision and Strategy : Clarify how the future will be different from the past, and how you can make that future a reality.
  • Make It Happen
      Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in : Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy. Start communicating from the start; remember that there is always communication, be sure that you are the one providing the correct information!
      Empower Others to Act : Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.
      Produce Short-Term Wins : Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible. Go for the quick wins to boost moral.
      Don’t Let Up : Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with instituting change after change until the vision becomes a reality. Be persistent in driving the change.
  • Make It Stick
      Create a New Culture : Hold on to the new ways of behaving, and make sure they succeed, until they become a part of the very culture of the group. Think neurological levels here…. where culture is at the top of the pyramid.

Visual & Creative Mindmapping

The written and/or oral part is only a slight part (7%) of the whole message. We’ve already learned that the brain rules show an increased recognition when using visuals. Combine this with the way the brain is wired, and you’ll get the concept of MindMapping.

Where “Visual & Creative thinking” meets mindmapping

The bottom line
Put down the (false) limitation where you might think you are not creative enough, and start trying! Start by using it for your own mindmaps; mindmapping is a great tool for remembering large pieces of information, but it’s the most effective when using visuals. And after a while you might even try implementing it on your presentations… 😉