Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Owl Themed Baby Shower

Hey there! Long time no see:o) You would not believe how busy I have been these past few weeks. Ever since school let out, we have literally had almost every day filled with something to do or somewhere to go. I am exhausted just thinking about it:o) That has left little to no time to do any crafting...I have been so busy that I haven't even desired to do anything crafty...crazy, right?
So anyway, some of you know that I am in the local homemakers club, and we had our monthly meeting at our house last night. One of our members is expecting a baby in August, so we also had a baby shower..you know me..I jumped at the chance to have a special party:o)
The mommy-to-be is decorating her nursery in owls, and as we all know, owls are VERY popular right now, so there were a slew of ideas online to choose from.
Below is a picture of our food table.
The grandmother-to-be made this whimsical center piece...I LOVE hydrangeas:o)
 She also made this cute little fruit baby buggy..she said she found it on Pinterest.
I had some large old blue mason jars, and I filled them as full as I could with flowers. 
 This was one of my favorites of the shower...owl cupcakes:o) They were super easy to make, and would be great for any time of year. I used chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. The eyes are made from 2 Oreo cookies & Reese's pieces for the pupils and beak. The platters are just slices of a walnut tree trunk that I borrowed from a good friend.
 The gift table
 My first attempt at a diaper cake...not too shabby..;o)
When the ladies left, they got to take home one of these goody bags filled with chocolate and mints.


We had a wonderful time and the mommy-to-be left with tons of great gifts:o)

Where I found my goodies:
Large White paper lanterns: Oriental Trading Company
Flowers: Costco
Owl on Diaper Cake: Hobby Lobby
How to make a Diaper Cake: Instruction Video on YouTube
Owl Images: Prettiful Designs
White Favor boxes: Dollar Tree in wedding section

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Business June 20th 2012, "Are You There God, It's Me The Business" Edition


The Business welcomes Young Adult author AMY REED reading from her new book, CRAZY. Amy also wrote BEAUTIFUL and CLEAN.

Supporting Amy will be Caitlin Gill, Chris Garcia, Chris Thayer, Sean Keane, and Bucky Sinister.

There's nothing funny about what happened to you in high school, although what happened to other people is HILARIOUS.

Some people say that comedy is tragedy plus time, but we're going to show you comedy is high school plus time plus therapy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Translation Fallacy

If you have ever been unlucky enough to attend a large gathering of strategy academics – as I have, many times – it may have struck you that at some point during such a feast (euphemistically called “conference”), the subject matter would turn to talks of “relevance”. It is likely that the speakers were a variety of senior and grey – in multiple ways – interchanged with aspiring Young Turks. A peculiar meeting of minds, where the feeling might have dawned on you that the senior professors were displaying a growing fear of bowing out of the profession (or life in general) without ever having had any impact on the world they spent a lifetime studying, while the young assistant professors showed an endearing naivety believing they were not going to grow up like their academic parents.

And the conclusion of this uncomfortable alliance – under the glazing eyes of some mid-career, associate professors, who could no longer and not yet care about relevance – will likely have been that “we need to be better at translating our research for managers”; that is, if we’d just write up our research findings in more accessible language, without elaborating on the research methodology and theoretical terminology, managers would immediately spot the relevance in our research and eagerly suck up its wisdom.

And I think that’s bollocks.

I don’t think it is bollocks that we – academics – should try to write something that practicing managers are eager to read and learn about; I think it is bollocks that all it needs is a bit of translation in layman’s terms and the job is done.

Don’t kid yourself – I am inclined to say – it ain’t that easy. In fact, I think there are three reasons why I never see such a translation exercise work.

1. Ignorance

I believe it is an underestimation of the intricacies of the underlying structure of a good managerial article, and the subtleties of how to convincingly write for practicing managers. If you’re an academic, you might remember that in your first year as a PhD student you had the feeling it wasn’t too difficult to write an academic article such as the ones you had been reading for your first course, only to figure out, after a year or two of training, that you had been a bit na├»ve: you had been (blissfully) unaware of the subtleties of writing for an academic journal; how to structure the arguments; which prior studies to cite and where; which terminology to use and what to avoid; and so on. Well, good managerial articles are no different; if you haven’t developed the skill yet to write one, you likely don’t quite realise what it takes.

2. False assumptions

It also seems that academics, wanting to write their first managerial piece, immediately assume they have to be explicitly prescriptive, and tell managers what to do. And the draft article – invariably based on “the five lessons coming out of my research” – would indeed be fiercely normative. Yet, those messages often seem impractically precise and not simple enough (“take up a central position in a network with structural holes”) or too simple to have any real use (“choose the right location”). You need to capture a busy executive’s attention and interest, giving them the feeling that they have gained a new insight into their own world by reading your work. If that is prescriptive: fine. But often precise advice is precisely wrong.

3. Lack of content

And, of course, more often than not, there is not much worth translating… Because people have been doing their research with solely an academic audience in mind – and the desire to also tell the real world about it only came later – it has produced no insight relevant for practice. I believe that publishing your research in a good academic journal is a necessary condition for it to be relevant; crappy research – no matter how intriguing its conclusions – can never be considered useful. But rigour alone, unfortunately, is not a sufficient condition for it to be relevant and important in terms of its implications for the world of business.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baby Gift

I'm still here, but I have been extremely busy. School has been out for two weeks, so there has been something planned for almost every single day. That doesn't leave much room for blogging unfortunately. 
So, anywhoodles, I have a quick gift I wanted to share with you all today.
I have a baby shower to attend, and this is what I came up with for the gift. I needed something inexpensive & quick. I had all of the materials on hand....doubly awesome:o)
 I love this little hair bow. I'm not sure if the baby will have hair when she gets here, but if she does, she will definitely be able to coordinate with this little bit of sweetness. 
 I hope to get back into crafting mode very soon. 
I sat down in front of my sewing machine for the first time in 2 months yesterday. I have the sewing itch, and I'm dying to scratch:o)
Have a great rest of the day!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Letting go: Making sense of social magazines and news readers

Applications that aggregate articles based on what others in one’s social network are reading and reformat them into an attractive magazine and presentation formats are growing in popularity, but they are raising concern among some publishers.

The processes build upon the referral and curating functions of colleagues and friends in social networks and reduce the need for users to go to multiple sites for content on their own. Some of the best known social magazines are Flipboard, Newsmix, Currents, and Pulse. Some publishers are starting their own social reading apps, such as New York Times that has a Facebook app pulling together stories that friends have read in NYT.
Many publishers are fearful of these developments, however, because they represent another step away from publishers controlling when, where, and how readers use their content, reduce the impact of the publishers’ brand strategies, and diminish control over the presentation and marketing of their content.

But publishers really don’t have a choice whether or not social magazines and readers grow in importance. That ship has sailed. The real choices is whether publishers use them for best effect and whether they are willing to accept the benefits of having more readers driven to their content and reaching persons who haven’t used their content before.
In coping with this and other disaggregation of content, however, many publishers need to adjust their own ways of presenting digital content. Because readers from social magazines, other aggregators, and search engine are directed to individual articles, it becomes more important to think about how that material appears to these new readers and what can be done in its layout to attract the new readers to stay on the site and sample more content. They are not entering through the home page so greater thought needs to be given to what appears on article pages.

Social magazines provide another mechanism by which deliver content to new readers and to existing readers in new ways.  They are not the ‘silver bullet’ for solving publishers’ digital challenges, but they are another means by which benefits can be obtained and pursued. 
Focusing on what control social magazines transfer to users and their branding downsides is a distraction for publishers who are beginning to learn the value of letting go of the control in the digital environment. Digital media are now bringing 15-20 percent of the traffic to many publishers’ digital content and they are feeling the benefits of letting readers decide the means and uses of that content.

The Business, June 7th 2012, "Oh The Places We'll Go!" Edition

Congratulations, Business fans! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!

The Business regulars want to congratulate our guest Sam Davidoff on his graduation. No longer will he have to eat his meat to get his pudding! This young man is not just a stellar student, he has been racking up the extra credit in his extracurriculars and is taking over top clubs before he can even open up a bar tab. He also co-produces his own tour, The Young Guns of Comedy. He is not aware of my plan to eat his heart and steal his youthful powers.

He'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. He’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as he goes. Like the rest of our guests!

Utah born, Seattle based comedian Emmett Montgomery found the comedy stage in late 2004 and has been failing beautifully ever since. Emmett has been involved in a lot of things including critically acclaimed comedy collectives, post apocalyptic variety shows, underground wrestling leagues and family friendly comedy nights in pizza restaurants. Mr. Montgomery has been featured at the Bumbershoot, Bridgetown Comedy and Sasquatch festivals. Emmett tells jokes from his heart. His heart is usually full of hope but sometimes it is full of spiders.

We also welcome Jeff Kreisler, Winner of the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, radio host on PRN, regular on Showbiz Tonight & MSNBC, writer for Comedy Central, IFC, TheFinalEdition.com & TheStreet.com, cast member of Shoot The Messenger, author of the bestselling "Get Rich Cheating," exec editor of "My Wall Street Journal," and star of hit international festival shows, Jeff Kreisler explores politics, business, culture, and life with passion, absurdity, and hope. Jeff now lives in New York City where he enjoys his newborn son, naps, commas and run on sentences.

Your Business regulars will also be in the house, with the exception of our favorite curly fry Alex Koll, who will be back in our arms again soon.

GANG, WE'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea or Blue Ivy, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your burrito is waiting. So...get on your way...and bring $5!

Monday, June 4, 2012

“Can’t Believe It" 2

My earlier post – “can’t believe it” – triggered some bipolar comments (and further denials); also to what extent this behaviour can be observed among academics studying strategy. And, regarding the latter, I think: yes.
The denial of research findings obviously relates to confirmation bias (although it is not the same thing). Confirmation bias is a tricky thing: we – largely without realising it – are much more prone to notice things that confirm our prior beliefs. Things that go counter to them often escape our attention.

Things get particularly nasty – I agree – when we do notice the facts that defy our beliefs but we still don’t like them. Even if they are generated by solid research, we’d still like to find a reason to deny them, and therefore see people start to question the research itself vehemently (if not aggressively and emotionally).

It becomes yet more worrying to me – on a personal level – if even academic researchers themselves display such tendencies – and they do. What do you think a researcher in corporate social responsibility will be most critical of: a study showing it increases firm performance, or a study showing that it does not? Whose methodology do you think a researcher on gender biases will be more inclined to challenge: a research project showing no pay differences or a study showing that women are underpaid relative to men?

It’s only human and – slightly unfortunately – researchers are also human. And researchers are also reviewers and gate-keepers of the papers of other academics that are submitted for possible publication in academic journals. They bring their biases with them when determining what gets published and what doesn’t.

And there is some evidence of that: studies showing weak relationships between social performance and financial performance are less likely to make it into a management journal as compared to a finance journal (where more researchers are inclined to believe that social performance is not what a firm should care about), and perhaps vice versa.

No research is perfect, but the bar is often much higher for research generating uncomfortable findings. I have little doubt that reviewers and readers are much more forgiving when it comes to the methods of research that generates nicely belief-confirming results. Results we don’t like are much less likely to find their way into an academic journal. Which means that, in the end, research may end up being biased and misleading.