Author Archive | Dan Erwin

The Michael Scott Syndrome

The incompetent rarely know it. Dunning and Kruger have the evidence. This morning I was having coffee with a number of coffee cronies and one asked me about the kid from Texas who was handcuffed for taking a clock he made to school, and got rewarded with a trip to the White House to meet […]

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Four Reasons Why Managing Data Scientists Is Different. . . Even Unique

Managing smart professionals can be difficult, but managing data science professionals can be even more difficult. Cultural differences–understanding how a culture thinks–are rarely clear to most business people, other than when they surface in difficulties. So understanding these differences early on limits the potential for friction and conflict. MIT’s Roger Stein lays out a number […]

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How High Is Your Listening Quotient

Listening is one of those behaviors that most people take for granted. Until, that is, they miss something very important that impacts their job and career. So when interviewing for a developmental client, I inevitably ask about my client’s listening skills. Nearly always the first response is that the client is a “good listener.” Then […]

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No, You Can’t Become a Better Listener by Listening Harder

Listening is far more difficult, more fatiguing and often more frustrating than talking. But no, you can’t become a better listener by listening harder. And furthermore, even the best listeners have to bite their tongues to stop from reacting, interrupting or verbally identifying with the person talking. But there are a few simple ways to make […]

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When Your Best Career Theory Is Wrong. Dead Wrong!

As a research-based consultant, I’m used to getting my ideas tweaked by new research. After all, I think of myself as a fairly flexible, open guy, so a small adjustment to my theories and ideas is usually illuminating. But unknown to Harvard’s Rosabeth Kanter, she took a Shillelagh, a big club to one of my big […]

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“What Am I Missing?”

The key question about big data, economists reveal, is not “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”  However, the question has a lot more value than merely its role in big data. Indeed, when well-placed in a problem-solving conversation, there are few questions more important. Why is “what am I missing?” so rarely […]

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What Makes for Highly Effective Team Smarts?

Collective intelligence has been around for a long time–and in many different forms. For example, people from all over the world collectively created Wikipedia and Linux, high quality intellectual products. Now the knowledge from studies in collective intelligence are being applied to business teams. So what makes for the best, the most trusted team intelligence? Is […]

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How to Take Advantage of Personal Vulnerability

You blush. Confused and discombobulated. Embarrassed. You’re found out. You know the rule in business: don’t let anyone know what you don’t know. Keep up a good front. Don’t trap yourself and have to admit ignorance. Never, never open up and admit to personal vulnerability on any business subject. For nearly all of us, vulnerability […]

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