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Set employees free for a ‘genius hour’

PRODUCTIVITY

Set employees free for a 'genius hour'

If you can't free your employees for 20 per cent of their time to pursue innovation of their own inclination, such as using Google, how about a genius hour?

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Each week at Columbia Credit Union in Vancouver, Wash., each employee gets one hour, at a scheduled time, to work on new ideas or master new skills. While they do that, their boss pitches in to answer the ever-ringing phones on their behalf. DanPink.com

BEHAVIOUR

Four-to-one odds this will spur staff

Leadership trainer Dan Rockwell challenges you to join him in applying the four-to-one rule: Every negative comment you make must be followed by four positive ones.

"Words are rudders; they set and maintain the direction of life. Positive words take you where you want to go." It required some adjusting, he notes, with "You did that wrong" becoming "I'm confident you can do better." Leadership Freak blog

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

A microlesson from microlenders

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Blogger Kira Gould suggests following the lead of microlenders and offering small, no-interest loans to your employees. It's a benefit many would doubtless appreciate. BNET.com

TECH TIP

Free e-mail tool helps keep things attached

Ever send off an e-mail that was supposed to have an attachment, but without the attachment? Free help is at hand. CodeTwo Attachment Reminder is a Microsoft Outlook add-in that will alert you when you indicate in an Outlook message you intend to include an attachment but don't. It scans what you wrote and looks for key phrases that indicate there should be something more to your message. AddictiveTips.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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