1. Huffington Post: The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business
... Despite a growing media interest in the study of philosophy and dramatically increasing enrollment in philosophy programs at some universities, the subject is still frequently dismissed as outmoded and impractical, removed from the everyday world and relegated to the loftiest of ivory towers.
That doesn't fit with the realities of both the business and tech worlds, where philosophy has proved itself to be not only relevant but often the cornerstone of great innovation. Philosophy and entrepreneurship are a surprisingly good fit. Some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs and innovators come from a philosophy background and put the critical thinking skills they developed to good use launching new digital services to fill needs in various domains of society. Atlantic contributor Edward Tenner even went so far as to call philosophy the "most practical major." ...
... Here are a few reasons that philosophy majors will become the entrepreneurs who are shaping the business world. ...
2. BusinessWeek: Half of U.S. Business Schools Might Be Gone by 2020
Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a dire forecast for business education: “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” he says.
The threat, says Lyons, is that more top MBA programs will start to offer degrees online. That will imperil the industry’s business model. For most business schools, students pursuing part-time and executive MBAs generate crucial revenue. Those programs, geared toward working professionals, will soon have to compete with elite online alternatives for the same population.
Lower-ranked business schools, rather than recognized names such as Harvard Business School and Wharton, are most vulnerable to this phenomenon. When the big players start offering online degrees, they’ll draw far-flung students who might otherwise have opted for the convenience of a part-time program close to home. ...
3. Huff Post Business: All Hail, Do-Gooding MBAs!
Don't look now, but it seems that some MBA students are increasingly interested in doing good as well as making money, and more business schools are happy to accommodate them. This is all to the, ahem, good, because we need all the smart, talented MBAs we can get to attack our biggest social, ethical and environmental problems.
While the vast majority of jobs for MBAs are still the traditional ones, I'm seeing evidence of a nascent shift. Indeed, no less a prophet than Michael Porter sees the same thing, and believes that there are opportunities a-plenty for companies that focus on solving there world's most urgent social environmental problems. "If we can get business seeing itself differently and others to see businesses differently," Porter said in a recent TED talk, "we can change the world. My students are getting [the fact that [sic] we can break down this divide, this tension and finally have solutions." As Porter (and C.K. Prahalad before him) suggest, there is plenty of money to be made in doing so. ...
4. Salary.com: 8 College Degrees with the Worst Return on Investment.
...While there's no doubt that a college degree increases earning power and broadens opportunities, today's high cost of education means it makes sense to more carefully consider which degree you earn. When it comes to return on investment (ROI), not all degrees are considered equal. This article exposes eight college degrees with poor ROI....
... Improving your capability for both giving and receiving feedback is a key factor for every leader. This assessment can help you to understand what you currently prefer and avoid. Living in extremes generally doesn’t lead to lasting success. Positive feedback helps you to know what went well and encourages you to move forward, while corrective feedback opens different options to explore. Whether you prefer one or avoid the other, next time you are faced with a feedback challenge, take the opportunity to be fully aware of the value of what you give and receive.
... Pushing back on a request from your boss can be intimidating (especially if you work for someone who’s, let’s say, not the most receptive to answers outside the realm of “Of course! When would you like it completed?”), but the truth is, it’s significantly better than setting yourself up to fail.
The trick is to push back more diplomatically—getting your point across without actually using the word “no.” Read on for how to approach some common situations, as well as one time you should probably just say “yes.” ...
7. Huffington Post: Women at Work: The Unspoken Rule of Meetings
... Men have the luxury of not having to worry about such details. Instead, they can devote their brains to developing cunning strategies to advance their own interests and careers. Men often see meetings as a chance to profile themselves, particularly if the boss or an important customer is in attendance. They will speak up, even if they have little of value to offer -- the main point is that everybody sees them talking. Women will often not speak up unless they have something important to say. Who's going to win the deal?
In addition to the tedium and insipidity of the typical meeting -- dreaded by male and female alike -- women have to think about their voices, their gestures, their eye contact, their style and their very woman-ness. Men simply don't have to worry about these things. This is utterly unfair, but until women occupy more executive positions, these unspoken rules of meetings will remain a challenge for them. ...
8. Huffington Post: Why 'Follow Your Passion' Is Bizarre Advice
... In his TEDTalk, Rowe explains that the tradespeople he profiled on his show, Dirty Jobs, are surprisingly happy. "Roadkill picker-uppers whistle while they work," he said. "I swear to God -- I did it with them." To Rowe, these experiences began to challenge many of the "sacred cows" he had been taught to believe about work satisfaction. Perhaps foremost of these sanctified ideas he began to doubt was the importance of pre-existing passion.
"Follow your passion... what could possibly be wrong with that?" Rowe joked in his talk. "Probably the worst advice I ever got." ...
... In his talk, Rowe points out that many of the happiest people in the country have jobs that no one would ever identify as a pre-existing passion. He cited a sheep herder, a pig farmer ("smells like hell, but God bless him, he's making a great living"), and a guy who makes flower pots out of cow dung, as examples of unexpected professional contentment. These observations are powerful for a simple reason: They separate career satisfaction from the specifics of the work.
The pig farmer is not happy because he was born with a pig farmer gene, or because he grew up feeling a deep pre-existing passion for pork. He's instead happy because he's making a great living, has tons of autonomy, and does work that's useful to the world (he raises his pigs on food scraps from nearby casinos that would otherwise go to waste). You could replace pig farming with any number of pursuits, but so long as they yielded these same traits, he'd love his work. ...
... The physicists are far from the only people moving away from PowerPoint-style presentations: The CEOs of and have eliminated the presentations from meetings. In his recently published memoir, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Gates writes that as CIA director, he banned slides except for maps and charts, but he could not do so as Secretary of Defense. Gen. James Mattis, former commander of U.S. Central Command, Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster banned the presentations when he led a successful mission in Iraq, and he compared PowerPoint to an internal threat.
The main advantage of forgoing PowerPoint is that it forces both the speaker and the listener to pay attention, says John Paul Chou, an assistant professor of physics at Rutgers University who recently presented at one of the Fermilab forums.
With PowerPoint, he says, it's "easier to let your mind go on autopilot, and you start to lose focus more easily." ...
10. Huffington Post: Charitable Giving Could Harm A Company's Image, Study Says
Giving to charity may actually hurt a company’s reputation, a new study from the Yale School of Management has suggested.
Interested in how people view donors who make a profit while doing good, Yale professors George Newman and Daylian Cain presented a number of charitable scenarios to their research participants. Their findings, which have been published in Psychological Science, suggest that people are quick to dismiss those who benefit in any way while engaging in philanthropy.
"This work suggests that people may react very negatively to charitable initiatives that are perceived to be in some way 'inauthentic,'" Newman explained in a press release. ...
11. Business Insider: 15 Small Business Owners Share What They Wish They'd Known When They First Started
Building a successful business is typically done by trial and error, with many hurdles along the way. And when it's your first company, every day involves making mistakes and learning something new.
We asked small business owners around America to tell us the one thing they wished they'd known when they first started their businesses.
We've broken out some of the best to serve as a primer on getting as much as possible right the first time around. ...
12. Atlantic Cities: Why Some Communities Foster More Entrepreneurs Than Others
... But new research shows there's clearly more to the story than just individual skill, pluck, and ambition. The study, by Temple University’s Seok-Woo Kwon, the University of Missouri’s Colleen Heflin, and Duke University’s Martin Ruef, examines the relationship between self-employment levels and community support structures across America’s metro areas. Published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review, the authors argue that the strength of local social networks and trust — using the term “social capital,” popularized by Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam — plays a major role in whether a city is able to foster a culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship.
The study measures entrepreneurship using data on self-employment from the Census, and compares that to data from Putnam’s own Social Capital Benchmark Survey and the General Social Survey. The results get at how key aspects of social capital, such as membership in voluntary organizations or variation in trust across communities, affect rates of self-employment and entrepreneurial activity. ...
13. New York Times: For Many Older Americans, an Enterprising Path
... Kimberly Palmer, author of “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” said she had noticed that the most eager audience for the book was often people approaching retirement, or already in it. “They want to leverage their skills and experience into something entrepreneurial,” she said.
According to a recent study published by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom, in 2013, about 20 percent of all new businesses were started by entrepreneurs aged 50 to 59 years, and 15 percent were 60 and over.
And, in fact, over the last decade, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to those in the 55-to-64 age group, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.
A desire to work for oneself and create a business that is meaningful and has social impact at this stage of life, combined with a job market that makes it tough for workers over 50 to get hired, has clearly pushed more people to pursue the entrepreneurial path. ...
14. Business Insider: 10 American Industries That Are Going To Boom In The Next Decade
... A new data release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals which industries are going to grow the fastest between 2012 and 2022. Health care and technology, already giants today, are expected to keep up their rapid growth over the next decade. At the same time, manufacturing is expected to continue its rapid decline.
So if you're looking ahead to the future, here are the industries that are going to boom. ...
15. Business Insider: 10 Predictions For How Shopping Will Completely Change In The Future
Retail is an incredibly dynamic industry.
"We will see more disruption in the next ten years of retail than we did in the previous one thousand," said Doug Stephens, founder of industry website Retail Prophet and author of The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism.
Stephens recently published his 10 predictions for how retail will change this year.
He agree to share his list with us. ...
16. Economist: The music industry will see better times in 2014
17. CNN Money: Inside the world of one-click grocery delivery
FORTUNE -- It all seems so simple: Hit the "place order" button online and get a head of lettuce, a dozen eggs, or a gallon of milk delivered to your doorstep within 24 hours. But behind the scenes, the burgeoning market of online grocery delivery involves a surprisingly delicate dance to ensure that perishable food gets from producer to consumer in just enough time to avoid (quite literally) a spoiled delivery.
With demand on the rise, giants such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) are jumping into the fray as investors bet millions on a crop of startups with names like Good Eggs, Relay Foods, and Farmigo. Yet actually turning a profit and managing the logistics of food delivery is tricky, says Leslie Hand, a director at IDC Retail Insights, a market research firm. Unlike shipping books or durable products via UPS, fresh food delivery requires specific short routing, planning, technology, and a race against the clock. ...
18. BloombergBusinessweek: Three Restaurant Chains With Happy, Low-Paid Workers
Low pay in the restaurant industry has spurred a series of one-day walkouts this year by fast-food employees demanding more, yet a trio of chains found their way onto a new list of the 50 best places to work. Starbucks (SBUX) (No. 39), Chick-fil-A (No. 43), and Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) (No. 47) made it onto the annual ranking by jobs website Glassdoor.com, derived from reviews submitted by U.S.-based employees. ...
19. Businessweek: Why the Gender Pay Gap Persists—and How to Really End It
Embedded in a new research paper (PDF) by Harvard economist Claudia Goldin is a valuable piece of news for anyone who is frustrated by the stubborn persistence of the gap in earnings between women and men. It has long been held that women earn only $0.77 for ever dollar that men do, in large part because of discrimination. But, Goldin argues, most of the difference comes down to factors that have nothing to do with sexism: The number of hours a person works and the degree of job flexibility.
This means that companies offering true, stigma-free flexibility and linear compensation—meaning the same pay per hour worked, regardless of when it is worked—have the lowest gaps in pay between men and women—and, in many cases, more women employees overall.
All that’s left is for corporate America to do something about it. ...
20. Forbes: What Happens When Leaders Only Care About Money?
... So yes, under any of the preceding conditions, a profit-is-all-that-matters approach will work.
But, under circumstance other than those above – it probably won’t work. If a leader needs to build a sustainably growing and profitable enterprise in an industry that requires a high degree of innovation or creativity and/or must provide excellent customer service – then the money-only approach will not work. I’ve seen profit-only leaders fail time and time again under such circumstances.
And the core reason – from my observation – is that delivering innovation, creativity or extraordinary customer service demands talented, hardworking employees who are loyal and motivated, and who are supported to do their best. And in this day and age, such employees are in high demand. As soon as they realize that a leader, or a company, cares about them only as a means to the end of raking in the dough – and will therefore consistently look for ways to give them as little of that dough as possible – their resumes will be on the street.
If you, as a leader, need to build a sustainably profitable business that relies upon innovation and/or great customer service to succeed, then I’d suggest the following approach: hire the best people you can find, support their development and their creativity, and establish an environment that both demands and rewards great results. I predict you’ll make lots of money – all without having to avoid telling your mom how you run your business.