Softskills obtained by gaming

Games are not good. Or at least that’s what many people would have you believe. In English idiom, the exhortation to “stop playing games” implies manipulation, prevarication, even procrastination.

Yet many games teach us very good softskills. Some form of conversation is always necessary for a game to progress. Many games take social interaction to new heights by placing a premium on negotiation. In Monopoly, deals to waive interest, exchange property and form strategic alliances are common in multiplayer games.

For example : No player can win – or even hope to survive – without engaging with others and learning to smell false promises in military games. Its central attraction lies in the negotiations, alliances, betrayals, poker faces and backstabbing that follow.

Read more? Collect life lessons as you pass go!

The Bookclub

Next up some small reviews on some books I’ve read recently… Have fun!

Small is the new Big!

A book full of rants and ideas by Seth Godin. It had some good moments but I wouldn’t recommend it if you only had a few Euros to spare… 😉

Competitive Strategy

A lot of things where one would think that they are common sense. Yet I learned two wise lessons from this book. A company has to focus on building it’s brand, being low-cost or going for a certain niche. If you remain in the middle of those three areas, then it’ll lose in the long run. The second lesson is kinda basic; instead of growing, first think of losing the customers where you only have an uninteresting profit margin.

The Halo Effect

A good book for everyone who is reading a lot of management books! It puts popular management books (like for example “good to great”) in perspective by showing that statistics are affected by the “Halo Effect“.

12: Elements of Great Managing

Very good book! Yet another book where you’d think that it’s common knowledge, but all 12 rules are illustrated by “real life” examples. A very good read for every manager!

Good to Great

Probably one of the most known management books where researchers try to identify the reasons why companies make the leap from good to great. Put aside the comments made by the halo effect and you will find some good lessons in there. Just know that there isn’t a holy grail to management!

Presentation Zen

A MUST READ for everyone who gives presentations! Also check out slideshare or “death by presentation“.

The adventures of Johnny Bunko

I bought this book after reading Garr Reynolds his post about it and I found it amusing. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a manga fan. The slideshare presentation made by Garr gives you all the insight you need… 😉

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.