Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 7 April 2016


The Power of the "Power Pose" • 19 January 2016

If you did this before your presentation it just wasted a little time. These two statisticians who work in social science say that "Some of the most glamorous, popular claims in the field are nothing but tabloid fodder. The weakest work with the boldest claims often attracts the most publicity, helped by promotion from newspapers, television, websites, and best-selling books. And members of the educated public typically only get one side of the story." They use the case of The Harvard Business School social psychologist who achieved fame for a TED talk, which is among the most popular of all time, and now a book promoting the idea that "a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful."

We've featured a variety of articles about the problems of science fraud, concerns about science replicability and slithery publication practices around the periphery. Most recently we recommended "Science Isn't Broken" which showed how biases impact the actual work of science. That's where I learned about p-hacking. This article deconstructs the too-good-to-be-true findings about the benefits of "power posing" (think Wonder Woman) and the results from a large-scale replication of the study. (Michalko)



We Don't Need Another Hero CEO • 19 January 2016

Leader, Manager, Culture—choose one. The author writes a post about the paradox that persists in our thinking about management. As she puts it, "The need to build and foster collaborative teams has become a kind of organizational holy grail. And yet the mania for seeing organizational leaders as either all-conquering heroes or unabashed villains continues unabated."

This nicely unpacks the CEO-hero meme that pervades the popular management literature. It used to be that we heard about "Jack Welch's GE" and a few decades on we talk about "Elon Musk's Tesla." Not much different. She points out that thinking that a manager is a different beast than a leader had its genesis in a 1977 article by an influential Harvard Business School professor, Abraham Zaleznik. And then she makes a convincing case that most successes come from collaborative teamwork not the C-suite. If you need an influential "C" it's culture. (Michalko)



The Internet Isn't What's Distracting Us The Most At Work • 15 January 2015

Who needs to take solace in a quiet bathroom stall? How we spend time at work not working is changing the way we manage work-life balance, and it might not be what you think. The author of this post breaks down an infographic displaying the analysis of a recent workplace survey that shows traditional workplace distractions trump digital pursuits when employees are on the clock.

Not to keep you in suspense, here are "the most common ways workers reported spending time at work not working, in order of which activity takes up the most time:
  1. Taking breaks to visit the office kitchen/water cooler/break room (other than for lunch)
  2. Going to the bathroom
  3. Participating in small talk/gossip with coworkers
  4. Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with family members
  5. Surfing the web/online personal errands (e.g., paying bills online, online shopping, etc.)
  6. Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with non-work-related friends
  7. Using social media for non-work-related reasons
  8. Watching TV (including mobile and computer)"
Her analysis is interesting. Particularly the men-women and upper-lower level differences. Why would senior managers need nearly twice the bathroom breaks and trips to the break room? You might click over to the original analysis where you can get a full look at the infographic. (Michalko)



Why Desktop UX Still Has Something To Teach Mobile • 14 January 2016

One device to rule them all…ha! Scott Jenson says that "New technologies may usurp old ones nearly every year, but many of us still reach for our old-school laptops. That's no accident….This isn't just nostalgia, there is something deeply inadequate about mobile. This post is about figuring out how to fix it."

We are constantly reading about how mobile is eating the world but here I am doing this blog post on my laptop for all the good reasons you can imagine and that Jenson outlines. Consider as he does "text precision" or "copy/paste." Anything that requires much of that and I push the tablet and phone aside. This is a very nice summary of mobile challenges for people who are neither UX experts nor zealots. (Michalko)



Retro, Weird, Wacky

Kodak's Old-School Response to Disruption
The New Yorker • 27 January 2016

Who, What, Where, When, Weird
Pacific Standard • 30 June 2015

Buster Keaton Tries, Fails to Make Milkshakes
Mental Floss • 17 January 2016

The first because it suggests that the urge towards all things retro is a sustainable niche business—books next?

The second because it did not occur to me that entire categories of news not just "newspapers" would be disrupted—I always wondered who wanted the "news of the weird" job.

The third because I never understood his brand of comedy as a young person. Now the stone face and the knowing eyes make me smile and, sometimes, laugh. (Michalko)



Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, how many libraries created local campaigns through the guidance of the Geek the Library program?

Get the answer.