The secret ingredient that makes some teams better than others

Culture defines any business, but it’s one of the hardest things to manage. In this extract from her new TED Book, Margaret Heffernan lays out the often-overlooked element necessary to build an effective, efficient organization: social capital.

Running a software company in Boston, I recognized — and my board told me — that we needed to reposition the business. Our product was too bland, too generic to stimulate excitement or loyalty. I needed a team to help me, and I ended up working through the problem with a motley crew: a young web developer, a seasoned and eccentric media executive, a visual artist, and me. We spent a week in the private room of a burger joint, exploring options, rejecting easy answers, pushing one another to find something none of us could see. Looking back, I recall that intense period as one of the most thought-provoking learning experiences I’ve ever had. The team was outstanding — and…

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2013 USA Senate and Congress Environmental Scorecard

2013 USA Senate and Congress Environmental Scorecard

I do not watch CPAN or CPAN2, but I’m concerned, like other citizens, about how our elected officials are voting to protect the environment for my children’s children. Thank you to League of Conservation Voters for releasing their annual report card on our elective officials. 

Not surprisingly, the Republican party officials have a terrible track record of supporting pro-environment legislation, especially with the Republican leadership. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2013 did give the slightest consideration of support for  pieces of legislation that would promote fossil fuel dependency, or protect USA’s stock of clean water, air and healthy biodiversity. 

We have problem. Within our political system the “arguments” against environmental protection and conservation are being shouted at a much higher level than those arguments for environmental protection and conservation.