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Should you give a holiday gift to employees or make it a bonus geared to performance? Incentives expert Paul Hebert suggests opting for giving a gift to everyone, sending a message that you're happy they're on staff. "Maybe gift giving is a corporate value," he muses. "Simple. Heartfelt. Without strings." 2i-align.com

Do you really need to know speakers in advance?

What if your industry had a conference and didn't announce the schedule or the speakers until the people showed up on site? That question is posed by trend analyst Eric Garland, who believes business conferences need to be spiced up. What if the keynote speech were given by your industry's most vociferous critic, with a Q&A allowing ample time to fight out differing views? What if people elected speakers once they were at the conference? Harvard Business Review Blogs

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Go as far as you can, and then keep going

While working out with his trainer recently, careers coach Robin Sharma managed about 40 push-ups before his chest and arms froze and he prepared to stop. "Now go for 15 more," his trainer ordered, and to Mr. Sharma's surprise, he managed it. The message is that we can push beyond our mental limits, if we try. Wisdom Newsletter

Free iPad app helps get you unstuck

Unstuck is a free, playful iPad app that explores the emotions involved when you're stuck on an effort; according to innovation blogger Chuck Frey, they might help creative people through moments when they don't seem to be progressing. InnovationTools.com

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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