Industry Market Trends

Worth a Look: Do You Work for a Dysfunctional Company?

Feb 15, 2012

Plus: The Science of Love, Meeting Customers' Needs, the Con of Quick and Easy Lean, Innovation Myths Debunked, Hearts Across the Cosmos and MORE.

Sometimes the Internet seems like it's gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, IMT continues its weekly Wednesday feature that spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks.

  • What Love Does to the Brain | If you went all out for your Valentine's Day celebration, it may be because your brain is wired to do so. According to LiveScience, studies show that from a neuroscience perspective, love produces emotional responses in the parts of the brain that are normally involved in motivation and reward. Moreover, intense passionate love activates the same brain mechanisms as when a person is addicted to drugs, explaining why we are sometimes willing to go to extremes for that special someone.

  • 7 Signs of a Dysfunctional Company | There are many red flags that indicate a company's employees aren't working optimally, and CBS MoneyWatch describes seven of the these key signs of corporate dysfunction. Among them: executives making decisions in a vacuum; minor data points dictating changes to the organization's overall direction; warring factions within the company; and the existence of pet projects that aren't actually useful. Any of these sound familiar?

  • The Con of Quick and Easy Lean | Lean initiatives that focus only on tools and techniques often stumble as excitement from initial achievements diminishes. A lean initiative is neither an easy solution nor a quick fix, but is an ongoing process of continuous improvement. "Quick and easy solution = quick and easy sell," according to Management Meditations' Lawrence M. Miller. "Unfortunately, more and more executives are being duped into what is essentially a scam." At, Miller writes about how to avoid "the con of quick and easy lean."

  • 5 Steps to Meet Customers' Needs | All online businesses, large and small, can prosper by understanding their customers' needs and coming up with creative ways to meet them, according to Paul Miller, VP of e-commerce at industrial supply company W.W. Grainger. At Internet Retailer, Miller recently outlined a five-step process for accomplishing that.

  • Introducing the Oldest Living Organism | Scientists recently discovered that a patch of seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea is likely the oldest living organism on Earth, estimated to be between 80,000 and 200,000 years old. BBC Nature reports that the plant, known as Posidonia oceanica, can reproduce both sexually and asexually, via cloning, creating a pattern of spread that allows it to avoid the accumulation of deleterious mutations and helps it achieve extreme longevity.

  • 4 Innovation Myths Debunked | Innovation is becoming the bellwether for success across industries. In the absence of a single "best practice" solution or proven blueprint to seed and cultivate it, however, there are many misconceptions about innovation. Based on an excerpt from innovation consultant Jeffrey Phillips' 2011 book Relentless Innovation, Fast Company's Co.Design recently sought to debunk four myths about how leading companies innovate.

  • Hearts Across the Cosmos | Valentine's Day may be over, but the universe is still filled with signs of love. Discover magazine's Bad Astronomy blog highlights some of the amazing heart-shaped phenomena across outer space, from the mesas and depressions on the surface of Mars, to the two Antennae galaxies colliding into one another, to the W5 star-forming region, pictured below.


    Image Credit: NASA