The Downside of Multitasking

One of the long-standing assumptions about leadership in today’s wired and global economy is the critical importance of multitasking.  With information coming at us through email, RSS, Twitter, smart phones and the like, the ability to perform multiple actions at once, quickly prioritizing tasks and making decisions, would seem to be an important contributor to leadership success. […]

U.S. Army Embraces Wikis

In July, the U.S. Army broke with long-standing tradition and began encouraging all personnel to contribute to U.S. Army Field Manual.  The Army Field Manual, which contains detailed information and how-to’s, serves as a playbook for soldiers operating in the field.  The New York Times reports: The goal, say the officers behind the effort, is to tap more[…]

A Netflix Competition Highlights Trends in Talent Management

In October 2006, Netflix announced a competition to significantly improve the recommendation system currently used at the popular movie rental site.   Teams and individuals were competing for a $1 million prize.   Last week, an article in the New York Times reported that two finalist teams have been selected and a winner will be declared in September. There was[…]

Using Soccer to Teach Leadership

Soccer is by far the world’s most popular sport.  In many ways, soccer, or football as it is known outside of America, transcends the sports world and is deeply embedded in the culture of most countries.  The hype and media saturation of soccer is going to increase steadily as we approach World Cup 2010 in South Africa.  The[…]

WolframAlpha: The Answer Engine

When I was studying mathematics at the University of Puget Sound in the early 1990s my professors were extremely excited about a newly purchased, and quite expensive software program called Mathematica.  There were only a few copies available to our department, but when I got my hands on one I immediately recognized the power of Mathematica as a[…]

Inspiring and Motivating Others

I was recently involved in a research project asking me to submit my views on leadership development.   The following is the first in a series of five questions and corresponding answers.  I found the exercise to be extremely useful and encourage you to come up with your own answers to these questions.  It will help you clarify[…]

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

In February 2008, the National Academy of Engineering proposed 14 grand engineering challenges that represent the biggest opportunity for human improvement in the next 100 years. Well, if the engineers can do it, why can’t we in management and leadership determine the greatest opportunities for human advancement through the profession of management? In May of 2008, a[…]

To Twitter or Not to Twitter

A few weeks ago I reluctantly jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and claimed the address: @seanpmurray.  For the un-initiated, Twitter is a communication and networking tool, similar to blogs, that allows you to broadcast short (140 characters or less) messages to followers.  The technology puts a premium on being both concise and witty. My initial impression[…]

Global Quest for Talent

I was following John Byrne’s (Editor-in-Chief of Businessweek) twitter acount and he mentioned that the most popular article on Businessweek.com today is “Microsoft: Layoffs for Some, Visas for Others:” As recently as Jan. 5, the company posted a policy proposal on President Obama’s transition Web site requesting that the government “remove caps that bar entry[…]

Business Trust Report Card: D-

Trust in business is falling like dominoes all over the economy.  Just think back over the past year.  Last year, Bear Stearns collapsed and was purchased by JPMorgan Chase for a pittance, leaving its stockholders and creditors facing steep loses.  Dock a few points from the trust barometer.   After all, Bear Stearns wasn’t some fly-by-night operation (or was it?). […]