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An interview question I’m glad I never had to face:

Solve 31x+30y+29z=366 where variables x, y and z are non-zero integers.

There are no other equations given to you that x, y and z satisfy.

How much time you get? Well, you know, guys are quite impatient on the other side of the table. Needless to add no computing devices may be accessed.

Get going, all the best!

When you see the solution here in the ‘Comments’ you’re going to make the leap of the year out of your chair and kick yourself!

Hint? It’s already in there!

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Source: Quora and image from LinkedIn

 

 

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Employers want you to ask this question. Here’s why

A tip from J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It Daily, a site dedicated to helping people solve their own career problems.

(Lightly edited, interspersed with occasional amplifying comments in italics)

Anyone who has been on an interview knows there usually comes a point at the end of the meeting where the interviewer says to the interviewee, “Do you have any questions?” You may be wondering whether it’s OK to ask some. Or if you should just say, “I’m good,” so as to not take up any more of their time. Having been a hiring manager myself and working with thousands of them on a regular basis, I can tell you failing to ask questions can hurt your chances of getting the job

You can increase the chances of getting the job when you prove you can solve their problems and alleviate their pain. Therefore, the best question <in fact he recommends a longer list if situation permits> to ask in the interview is:

“What’s the company’s biggest threat to success this year, and how will I be able to help overcome it in this role?”

By asking this, you’re giving the employer the opportunity to articulate how this position (and the person it it!) can offer the biggest impact. They’re literally telling you how you can meet and exceed their expectations! Once they answer this question, you’ll then have an opportunity to respond and even share some of your past experience that relates to what they said. This is how to reinforce the fact you understand what’s important to them. This gives the hiring manager greater confidence that you’re the candidate who will do the best job… it also helps you decide if you will survive and thrive as an employee there. That’s why you should always have a list of questions ready to ask before you leave!

Don’t Forget, Interviewing Is a Two-Way Street

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Source: inc.com/jt-odonnell/managers-say-asking-this-1-question-in-a-job-interview-increases-chances-you-get-hired.html

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Well, you might say nothing really new here – it’s ancient wisdom.  You’re right. But we all need to be reminded from time to time. Also the words suddenly leap to life in today’s context when Seth Godin says it in his own inimitable way:

…Pleasure is short-term, addictive and selfish. It’s taken, not given. It works on dopamine.

Happiness is long-term, additive and generous. It’s giving, not taking. It works on serotonin.

This is not merely simple semantics. It’s a fundamental difference in our brain wiring. Pleasure and happiness feel like they are substitutes for each other, different ways of getting the same thing. But they’re not. Instead, they are things that are possible to get confused about in the short run, but in the long run, they couldn’t be more different.

Both are cultural constructs. Both respond not only to direct, physical inputs (chemicals, illness) but more and more, to cultural ones, to the noise of comparisons and narratives.

Marketers usually sell pleasure. That’s a shortcut to easy, repeated revenue. Getting someone hooked on the hit that comes from caffeine, tobacco, video or sugar is a business model. Lately, social media is using dopamine hits around fear and anger and short-term connection to build a new sort of addiction.

On the other hand, happiness is something that’s difficult to purchase. It requires more patience, more planning and more confidence. It’s possible to find happiness in the unhurried child’s view of the world, but we’re more likely to find it with a mature, mindful series of choices, most of which have to do with seeking out connection and generosity and avoiding the short-term dopamine hits of marketed pleasure.

More than ever before, we control our brains by controlling what we put into them. Choosing the media, the interactions, the stories and the substances we ingest changes what we experience. These inputs could lead us to have a narrative, one that’s supported by our craving for dopamine…

 

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From an article by Jessica Stillman, available here:

getty_631080340_20001332181884391434_318666The founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, knows something about what it takes to succeed despite long odds. He grew up poor, failed his university entrance exams (twice), and was turned away from dozens of jobs. Now he’s worth something like $29 billion.

What does he credit for his success?

In a recent talk at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, he explained that while IQ is certainly helpful, and EQ is also beneficial for getting ahead, his rags to riches story was possible only because he possessed another extremely valuable quality — LQ. “If you want to be respected, you need LQ,” he told the assembled bigwigs.

Our secret weapon to beat the machines: LQ

What’s LQ? It’s “the quotient of love, which machines never have,” Ma explained. In a world of rising technology, what will allow you to succeed isn’t sheer mental horsepower — computers will always be faster and more accurate, after all — nor is it just basic EQ, like regulating your own emotions and recognizing others’. What sets humans apart is love, i.e. our feeling for justice, our creativity in the face of challenges, our ability to empathize deeply and respond wisely.

“A machine does not have a heart, [a] machine does not have soul, and [a] machine does not have a belief. Human being have the souls, have the belief, have the value; we are creative, we are showing that we can control the machines,” he insisted.

The problem, according to Ma, is that we’re training young people to try to outdo machines in areas where we’ll never beat them. Instead, we should be nurturing children’s LQ. “We have to teach our kids to be very, very innovative, very creative,” Ma said. “In this way, we can create jobs for our own kids.

Perhaps the post What Philosophy can teach children Google can’t  is in a way directed at a part of the problem Ma leaves us with.

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Dilbert

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A significant new asset class is now named that may one day appear on Balance Sheets!!! What more, organizations already have these assets! No new acquisition costs to be incurred!

However, this asset is a double-edged sword, could make or mar. Some organizations have leveraged it to great advantage for their brands and business while for some it has turned out to be the cause for their hara-kiri.

An edited extract of a well-articulated article on this kind of asset taken from here  appears below

Take a moment to think about what a brand is. It’s the emotional and associational touch points that consumers have with your business. It’s what they see of you, and what that makes them feel about you.

Back when a business was a black box, the brand was limited to what was painted on the outside. The leaders of the business had a high degree of control over that. But now that a business is a glass box, the brand is everything that’s visible. Every person. Every process. Every value. Everything that happens, ever.

Glass Box

In 2017 your corporate culture is becoming your brand

You can sum up in a single word what people see when they look deep inside your organization. They see your culture. Once, your internal corporate culture was just that: internal. But now that a business is a glass box, there’s no such thing as an ‘internal’ culture.

The opportunity here? In 2017, your internal culture could become the most powerful brand and marketing asset you have.

Think about the power of stories such as those told by Starbucks: how they have a program to help staff in London raise a deposit on a home, or how they opened a store in Kuala Lumpur dedicated to hiring deaf people. Or that told by US-based yoghurt brand Chobani, which instituted paid parental leave for all staff after the birth of CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s first child.

The danger? Internal culture could also become your most powerful brand liability.

The founder of Uber resigns after a culture of sexism and bullying is exposed. The CEO of HSBC in Taiwan walks a gay employee down the aisle after her father refuses to attend her wedding. A smartphone video of United Airlines staff forcibly dragging a passenger off a plane goes viral.

What to do about it?

Read more here.

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George Buckley

These words come in at a time when reality perceived to be very complex and no one claims to have all answers. Today organizations are said to prefer smart and empowered individuals homed in flatter structures to command-driven ‘tools’ embedded in deep hierarchies.

Reality is better served, one would think, by a middle ‘gray’ with a place, time and degree for either approaches..

Perhaps Buckley made the observation in a context that wasn’t included.

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Source: managementtoday.co.uk

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