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Why Success Doesn’t Lead to Happiness

“Our most commonly-held formula for success is broken,” says Shawn Achor, former Harvard instructor and New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage. Achor explains that success doesn’t fuel happiness. It’s the other way around: being happy leads to success. And you can actually train your brain to be happy.

Download the infographic “Shawn Achor’s 7 Principles of Positive Psychology” to find out more. Achor provides many simple techniques that you and your employees can apply immediately to raise happiness levels and significantly boost organizational performance.

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The Real Numbers Around Employee Engagement

Studies show employee engagement isn’t just “nice to have”, but yields measurable outcomes 

If you’re like most executives you’ve heard plenty of talk about how to get your employees to feel happy and engaged in their work. While it sounds like a nice thing to do, you may be thinking, “Hey, I’m not a mean person or anything, but spending time and effort on things like employee engagement and positive leadership is a luxury my division can’t afford.

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Why the Inertia Around Business Change?

Why do some people, when faced with a mandatory hurricane evacuation, refuse to leave their homes?

They might simply be, well, nuts. Or, according to Dr. Keith Ablow—a psychiatrist and frequent contributor to the New York Times— they may be experiencing something called “reflex denial”: they have trouble believing that a rare, highly dramatic event could actually be happening to them.

Sue Todd finds the reflex denial phenomenon an apt metaphor for the way leaders shut their eyes to the increasingly breakneck speed of business change.

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What Happened to Gary Hamel’s Moon Shots?

When Gary Hamel wrote “Moon Shots for Management” for the February 2009 Harvard Business Review, it seemed like it would be a “shot heard ‘round the world” for business, according to Sue Todd, Chief Strategy Officer for CorpU. But why, Todd wonders, hasn’t it had more effect?

According to Todd, Hamel (who was recently ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker) outlined work by a team of business leaders and academicians in which they “created a roster of make-or-break challenges—management moon shots—that would focus the energies of management innovators everywhere.”

One imagines,

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Supply Chain Costs: Does Your Boss “Get It”?

Transportation costs represent a huge chunk of total supply chain costs. In fact, 60% of every supply chain dollar is spent on transportation. And expenses can increase even in a sluggish economy because of market and regulatory pressures. As a supply chain professional you’re probably all too familiar with this type of situation. But how do you successfully explain it to your boss?

Communicating strategically about supply chain issues with higher-ups—whether a direct supervisor,

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The Approaching Crisis in Corporate Leadership

As companies prepare the top, middle and bottom layers of managers to face a VUCA world—a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—there’s a crisis brewing in corporate leadership development. So says Sue Todd, Chief Strategy Officer for CorpU and an expert on leadership best practices.

Todd outlines some challenges faced by senior executives, HR officers, and talent management leaders as they try to build “ready now” leaders to steer 21st-century organizations.

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Splitting the Brain of the HR Professional

Business and management guru Ram Charan commented in a recent HBR article that it’s time for companies to split the HR function in two. One HR leader would focus on leadership and organization—and report directly to the CEO—and the other would manage things like compensation and benefits.

This trend is arising in response to widespread CEO frustration over what the HR function actually constitutes. Many CEOs want their Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) to serve as a trusted advisor and a link to the organization’s numbers,

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Do Vacations Make Us Happier?

Need a vacation? Before you email your boss, breathe a sigh of relief, and start packing your skis, passport, tennis shoes, binoculars, or sun block…make sure it’s the right kind of vacation.

Workplace happiness guru Shawn Achor—Harvard researcher and the New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage—did a study that showed that some vacations are more effective than others in lowering stress,

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Ed Skonecki on Connected Learning

Ed Skonecki, CorpU’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, recently sat down with Luke Kempski of JPL Learning Solutions to talk about virtual learning and why it leads to better retention than face-to-face workshops. He also discussed the challenges of getting a whole company on the same page.

What we’re focused on is not only the individual learning, but how do you get the organization to learn? It’s not enough just to have you get better,

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Holiday Cookies and the Art of Negotiation

When I was little, my mom would make these awesome sugar cookies for Christmas.  The ingredients were pretty basic—the usual flour, sugar, butter—but she’d add a hint of orange peel so they had a wonderful scent of fresh citrus. Then my sister and I would have a blast decorating them, slathering on so much frosting that only a kid would consider them fit to eat. (Yes, my dad ate them anyway.)

But then came the year that,

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Are You Forging Your Supply Chain with Forgeries?

Recent headlines about counterfeit goods would alarm any supply chain manager (and for that matter, anyone on the planet). Stories involving tainted supply chains are popping up everywhere from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to industry-specific publications. Instances of fakes range from the more familiar (phony designer handbags and smartphones) to the terrifying (counterfeit, potentially deadly flu medications and cancer drugs).

How great is the threat?

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Big Data: Catch the 40-Foot Wave

Half a century before Facebook and a quarter century before the Internet, a social anthropologist named John Barnes was the first to identify the concept of social networks. He spent time with the residents of a remote Norwegian fishing village, tracing their family trees and interrelationships. (“Net” was an apt usage—after all, they were fishermen.)

Today we don’t need to go knocking on rugged, windswept doors and inquiring who someone’s cousin,

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Happiness is a Bigger Ping-Pong Paddle

Do you feel sometimes that life is coming at you too fast, like a bunch of speeding Ping-Pong balls? The solution: build a bigger paddle. So says Shawn Achor, former Harvard instructor and New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage. 

Achor describes a fascinating study in which players of Pong—one of the earliest video games—were unknowingly given bigger or smaller paddles. Those with the larger paddles actually perceived the ball to be moving more slowly even though it wasn’t—so they felt more confident of success.

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Corporate Culture: Measuring the Un-measurable

About 80% of all mergers and acquisitions crash and burn—for two main reasons. The first is that technical processes such as IT don’t match. The second is that the corporate cultures don’t match. Companies almost always assess the first factor, but they normally don’t assess culture. Why not? Because they don’t know how.

Work culture is largely invisible to people inside an organization. But Kim Cameron, associate dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business,

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Change is a Constant, But You Can Stack the Deck for Success

“I did what I had to do: I downsized a 25,000-person company by 10,000 people. But I was slow and uncertain, and had trouble coping with this new reality of my job. I was emotionally paralyzed…I had stopped leading change, and instead I became a change that someone else needed to make.”

In Pottruck’s new book Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds, he presents leaders with a 9-step course of action that he says will inspire meaningful,

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CLOs and Measuring ROI: They Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Do you remember the cry, “We’re not worthy!” of the Wayne and Garth characters from SNL’s Wayne’s World skit, when the wild-haired teens kowtowed at the feet of a famous rock star?

Unfortunately, “we’re not worthy” is also the silent cry of many corporate chief learning officers these days.

It’s because they’re internalizing the fact that—to paraphrase the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield—“they don’t get no respect” from the C-suite.

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