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Want smart employees? Treat them like smart dogs

Want smart employees? Treat them like smart dogs

Seth Casteel/Associated Press/Seth Casteel/Associated Press

Train your staff to be like guide dogs, says consultant S. Chris Edmonds. Guide dogs obey commands – but only if those commands make sense; they refuse to lead their owners into trouble.

Similarly, cultivate intelligent disobedience in your staff. Make clear your purpose and values as you delegate authority to them, and create mechanisms to learn from their experiences as they react to reality.

Breaking the habit of saying "I can't"

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The worst four-letter word is "can't," says productivity expert Jason Womack. He suggests thinking of something recently where you may have said you can't, then write down three or more ways you could move closer to saying "I can do that." Then see how far you get. The Womack Report

Keeping in touch with video podcasts

When she joined Microsoft Services Asia as marketing communications director, Jovina Ang was faced with leading 5,000 employees in 17 countries. How best to communicate with them?

She began a series of five-minute video podcasts that are delivered to employees' e-mail boxes at 9 a.m. on Friday morning, covering various themes over time. The videos are simple and concise, and take her and her assistant less than two hours a week to put together.

Easy way to convert PDF to spreadsheet

If you need to convert a PDF of a spreadsheet to Excel so you can work on it, try PDFtoExcelConverter, a free Internet service.

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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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