Forbes contributor Christian Stadler writes an important article entitled, “Should Managers Read Academic Articles,” which discusses the value of academic journals in the world of management and business. He uses Rita McGrath’s popular book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business, as an example of a common phenomenon: “Ideas which managers and consultants pick up from successful books have often been discussed in academic journals for years. The problem is that much of that literature is inaccessible to managers. It is full of cumbersome jargon, heavily focused on theory, and there is so much of it that it is hard to find the most relevant articles.” Listed are seven journals that stand out from the others: Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management, and Research Policy. The article makes it clear that accessing and reading academic literature is not necessarily easy. One suggestion on where to go for help is “to approach someone from your field of interest,” such as a professor. “Most professors should be able to point towards a few interesting articles and some will be able to tell you which ideas currently being discussed are most relevant to you.”

Futurist.com has just posted an interesting article on the future of business. These trends “are not the usual suspects regarding technology, AI, robotics and the like.” Here are the five trends summarized (directly quoted).

The nature of motivation – simply working for a paycheck does not suffice for increasing numbers of people

The idea of a basic income – when wage-paying jobs become more scarce the a guaranteed basic income will enable people to pursue personal fulfillment

The role of education – education shifted in past decades from a liberal education to being job centered, but now is poised to back toward learning for personal growth and a well-rounded life

Human capital – as work shifts toward technology then companies and governments may invest less in employee development, leading to a void there and a need to address continuing eduction

Voluntary entrepreneurship – rather than entrepreneurs focused on making big money, with a basic income guarantee entrepreneurs could focus more on simply doing good if that is their passion

Click here to read the entire article.

Jess Whittlestone, writing for Quartz, (May 29, 2015) makes an argument that business books can be misleading by promoting the message “that anyone can be successful if they just understand what it takes, and follow the key steps.” Ultimately, business books can “end up perpetuating a number of harmful misconceptions about what it means to achieve success.” Here are the three misconceptions she outlines:

Misconception #1: The best way to understand high performance is to study successful people and organizations. Example, one big problem with In Search of Excellence, is that the research only looked at successful companies. “Knowing that all successful companies have something in common tells us nothing unless we also know that unsuccessful companies lack those things.”

Misconception #2: Success is a sign of capability. “We might think that as long as we compare successful companies with unsuccessful ones, and ensure our data are uncontaminated by the halo effect, then we can truly uncover the secrets of success. But this relies on a crucial assumption: that success is, in fact, a signal of high capabilities.”

Misconception #3: If we look hard enough, we can find a formula for success. “The key reason there’s no formula for success in business is that success is relative, not absolute.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Created by Oxford University Press, this infographic is fun to read. All about chocolate!

OCSS-Chocolate-History-Infographic

Strategist Jeremy Finch, appearing in Fast Company, has written an interesting article entitled, “What is Generation Z, And What Does It Want?” This group, with the oldest members being 18, “makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers.” Finch stresses that “understanding them will be critical to companies wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond.” Finch’s firm, Altitude, working in-depth with 16- to 18-year-olds, provides a “view [of the] world through their eyes.” Here is what they discovered:

1: IT’S NOT AN ATTENTION PROBLEM, IT’S AN 8-SECOND FILTER.

“Gen Z have a carefully tuned radar for being sold to and a limited amount of time and energy to spend assessing whether something’s worth their time.”

2: THEY’RE NOT SCREEN ADDICTS, THEY’RE FULL-TIME BRAND MANAGERS.

“They need social media to build their personal brands but resist being defined by it. They seek social validation and inclusion but are looking to differentiate themselves professionally.”

3: THEY’RE NOT ALL ENTREPRENEURS—THEY’RE PRACTICAL PRAGMATISTS.

“We found that while Gen Z like the idea of working for themselves, the majority are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic.”

According to Dictionary.com: “In our latest update to the dictionary, we added more than a thousand new and modified definitions including gaming words like esports, permadeath and completionist, terms to prepare you for the 2016 elections like slacktivism, and gender-related terms agender, bigender, and gender-fluid.”

Here’s a selection of words added that are business/technology related:

black hat: a hacker who violates the security of a system for personal profit or for the gratification of causing damage.
dark web: the portion of the Internet that is intentionally hidden from search engines, uses masked IP addresses, and is accessible only with a special web browser.
dox: to publish the private personal information of (another person) without the consent of that individual.
gesture: a particular movement of the fingers or hand over a screen, used to control or interact with a digital device.
haptics: the study or use of tactile sensations and the sense of touch as a method of interacting with computers and electronic devices.
hyperlocal: focused on a very small geographical community, as a neighborhood.
lifehack: a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity.
permadeath: (in a game, often a video game) the permanent death of a defeated character, after which the player of the game cannot continue with the same character.
smartwatch: a computing device that resembles a wristwatch and is attached to a band worn around the wrist.

Business Insider’s Jillian D’onfro complies a great list of tips to use when searching Google. She starts the article by citing a recent study that reveals “most millennials have no idea how to use Google properly.” The idea of searching efficiently is to retrieve the highest quality of search results, with the least amount of “hits” as possible. The number one time waster when researching is slogging through large numbers or irrelevant results (or “bad hits”). Here is a sampling of the tips offered:

“Say you’re looking for results about something that has several different synonyms. If you search for several phrases with “OR” between them, Google will search for both options.”

“You can also filter search results by date. That way, if you’re looking for something general like “iPhone tips,” you can find the latest information published, versus articles from several years ago that still might rank higher.”

Filtering your results. “Google has a set of ‘operators’ that you can add to your search to give it special instructions.”

Google Tip

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