2012 OCB Commencement

Alternatives to the traditional MBA degree

An MBA isn't necessarily the right graduate degree for everyone. I've met with many prospective students over the years who would be better served by pursuing a specialized master's degree in business.
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Jargon Genesis: Jump on the Bandwagon

Next time you feel particularly politically inspired, and you’re inclined to jump on the band wagon, just be grateful modern technology has allowed you to do so figuratively, without having to tour the town with a prattling politician.
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Trying to get a lot done? Take a break.

The way most of us work isn’t working. Study after study has shown that companies are experiencing a crisis in employee engagement. A 2007 Towers Perrin survey of nearly 90,000 employees worldwide, for instance, found that only 21% felt fully engaged at work and nearly 40% were disenchanted or disengaged.
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Heading for the top: considering CEO pay

It used to be that CEOs made something like 40 times their average worker's salary, in recent years that has jumped to three or four hundred times the average worker's salary. Many aspiring MBAs are really aspiring CEOs. Who wouldn't say they want a shot at that top spot and the big compensation packages that come along with it?
Tommie Power Illustrations

Finding balance between social media and "real life"

In an age where social media reigns and networking is continuous, it got me thinking about boundaries and to a greater extent how much balance people have in their lives. It’s one thing to own an iPhone or regularly check your wall on Facebook, but how much time and energy should one expend each day in order to remain connected?
OCB Marketing Conversation

Coupon clippers…a community engaged with the brand

Coupon and discount promotions have long been a staple of marketing strategy and as such deployed by communication professionals. We know that redemption rates are low, but for purveyors of toothpaste, breakfast cereal or any item at a big box retailer, the redemption rate can generally be predicted based on decades of data.
Graduate Commencement

Ten years of MBA grads show the power of their degree

The overall value of a graduate management degree remains high among alumni. About two-thirds (64%) of respondents rated the value of their degree as outstanding or excellent. Classmates, a relevant curriculum and committed faculty were the primary driving forces of value.
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A view from the classroom chair: Into Thin Air

To summarize a 24-page article in one sentence, it discusses the much-acclaimed May 1996 Everest Expedition and how the lessons of achievement and tragedy relate to the accomplishments and challenges that business leaders face on a day-to-day basis.
Jack Militello

Ask the expert: How to hire for growth

Our company is growing quickly and we are anticipating a hockey-stick growth curve within the next year. This growth will require us to hire people quickly, and I don't want to hire too many or too few. Is it better to start off with less or more human resources?
Engineering Ice Sculpture

Jargon Genesis: Break the Ice

The origin of this phrase is perhaps obvious. At times, nautical travel has required ships to break ice in order to cross rivers and oceans. This is no different today than it was hundreds of years ago, though the technology has evolved somewhat.
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Ways to address the work experience conundrum

frequently speak with recent college graduates and MBA students with limited work experience who tell me that they are unable to find an internship or full-time job due to their lack of experience--it appears to be a Catch-22. Young professionals need to think more creatively when it comes to gaining relevant experience.
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Jargon Genesis: Paradigm Shift

In Thomas Kuhn's 1962 book entitled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he explained that when there is a change in the basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science, it constitutes a "paradigm shift."
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Next Generation GMAT: Coming to a test center near you in 2012

GMAC has proposed adding a new section to the GMAT called "Integrated Reasoning," which will help assess prospective students' abilities to analyze data presented in a variety of formats (spreadsheets, charts, text) and come to reasonable conclusions.
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The Twin Cities metro area tops CNN Money’s Quality of Life list

CNN Money named Eden Prairie, a suburb southwest of Minneapolis, the best small city (population 50,000 to 300,000) in the United States for quality of life. Not only was Eden Prairie #1, four other Twin Cities suburbs (Plymouth, Woodbury, Eagan, and Apple Valley) were listed in the top 20.
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Pitching your fit

One of the biggest challenges in applying for a job, especially if you haven't got a strong networking connection to the position is "pitching your fit" or explaining how you are the right person for the job, in more ways than just meeting the listed qualifications on the job posting.
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As a manager, “Do You Have Their Backs?”

HBR's Conversation has a great post this week about management and covering people's backs. It helps, as an employee, to know that your boss supports you. "There are many nuances to how bosses protect their followers, but it's a useful simplification to say that the protection must be both tangible and emotional."
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Jargon Genesis: Drinking the Kool-Aid

Although we might innocuously state, “People are drinking the Kool-Aid from our last campaign, and sales are up,” the phrase in its original context is certainly not innocuous.
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Is BP’s spill a leak or a gusher?

Generally reporters use the term “leak” to describe the flow of crude oil into the once pristine waters of the gulf. It occurred to me that this minimizes the situation – like accidentally lopping off the garden hose with the mower and calling the free flow of water a leak.
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The iCollege

If Governor Pawlenty’s dream comes true, freshmen 20 years from now will just log on to iCollege, enter their credit card information and absorb all the insights, expertise and knowledge of several thousand years of human history.
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Jargon Genesis: Pushing the Envelope

When I previously considered the phrase, “pushing the envelope,” I assumed its origin had something to do with seeing how much one could fit into a paper envelope. I pictured an eager administrative assistant stuffing an envelope full and then adding one more piece of paper, really “pushing the envelope.”