Joe Hirsch

Break Your Creativity Echo Chamber

creativity

Fresh ideas and new perspectives are the lifeblood of great work. But what happens when inspiration routinely comes from the same place – people who think the same as you? Homogeny of thought can stifle originality and threaten creativity, leading to a creative echo chamber that prevents good ideas from reverberating across teams. Read More

Give Feedforward Like a Fighter Pilot

feedforward

Feedforward is a unique approach to giving feedback that improves performance, boosts productivity, and keeps teams on track. Unlike traditional feedback, feedforward is timely, continuous, and focused on development – a refreshing change from the typical feedback fare that rarely makes a positive difference or offers much insight about how work gets done. Read More

3 ways to build trust among your team

trust

On their way to winning their first World Series in more than a century, the Chicago Cubs did something unusual: They changed the shape of their clubhouse. Read More

Dumbed down by decisions

decisions

People can’t fix what they can’t see. From time to time, it’s our job – as managers, teachers, parents and friends – to see for them. By providing eye-opening feedback, we eliminate some of the tunnel vision that keeps others from recognizing their personal or professional flaws. And while sharing negative feedback can be good news, we need to be particular about how much of it we share at once. Read More

Why Negative Feedback Might Be Good For You

negative

Few people like hearing bad news about themselves. Getting a tough performance review or being called out for a mistake challenges our status and triggers feelings of shame, frustration, and helplessness. Negative feedback floods the brain with stress-inducing hormones that raise our threat awareness and causes a momentary loss of executive functioning. If an unfavorable report makes you think you’ve lost your mind, it’s probably because you have.

But before we write off the criticisms we receive from bosses and friends, here’s the surprising part about negative feedback: It might actually be good for us.

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Pixar’s secret for giving feedback

pixar

Pixar is one of the most successful movie studios in Hollywood. Over the years, it has collected more than twenty Academy Awards for hits like Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo. Its last eight films have grossed more than $500 million worldwide. The memorable characters and storylines that Pixar dreams up have delighted moviegoers of all ages. But behind all of the box office magic is an active feedback system that’s built on candor, communication, and a surprising openness to other people’s ideas. Read More

Teams and the Magical Number 150

teams

We like to claim that some institutions are “too big to fail.” Can the same be said of teams?

Turns out that bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to team size. Not only can large teams put a freeze on workplace culture, they sometimes create silos that stifle collaboration and threaten a company’s ability to innovate and grow – all because of the magical number 150. Read More

Want more from your team? Eat more cake.

culture

The Golden State Warriors just proved that creating a championship culture can be a piece of cake.

Literally.

In what has become a Warriors tradition, players receive custom-designed cakes on their birthdays from Alison Okabayashi, a trained pastry chef in the Bay Area. (What else do you get for a multi-millionaire on his birthday?) Over the past year, Okabayashi has dreamed up MVP-caliber confections for the team. There was the one with the Michigan State mascot in Draymond Green’s uniform. Or the lifelike reconstruction of Anderson Vareajo’s curly hair. And who could forget the birthday cake for Kevin Durant, the newest Warrior, who celebrated his birthday with a cake replica of his jersey adorned with Olympic gold medals and crab legs?

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Time To Fix Our Feedback

This is a book about giving feedback, but not the kind you’ve come to know and loathe.

Whether it’s the feedback we give to employees and co-workers, teachers and students, or family and friends, we have a nagging suspicion that it’s ultimately going to fail. And you know what? We’re right.

According to Columbia University psychologist Kevin Ochsner, people apply just 30% of the feedback they receive. The rest is ignored, rejected, stonewalled, or mangled the moment it arrives. Even if they don’t dread feedback, the vast majority of people just aren’t interested in applying it in their professional or personal lives. If delivering feedback is going to run into that much resistance, sharing it seems like a major waste of time and energy.

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