What We’re Reading: November 4 Edition

Below is Raines Intel’s November 4 curation of interesting reads about business, careers, hiring and more. Send suggestions to Read last week’s edition.

1. At Harvard Business Review, Jeff Rodman reflected on his 25 years with Polycom and how important it is to focus on the small things when innovating.  Zeroing in on small innovations leads to big breakthroughs,” Rodman wrote. “After all, the hinge for innovation, as cliché as it might sound, is doing more with less.” As an example, he pointed to Polycom’s approach in simplifying and minimizing devices needed to produce loud audio — like the speakers in our phones.

Rodman suggested companies look at the details to revolutionize:

“Instead of becoming obsessed with big, ask yourself questions like, ‘What’s the smallest change we could make in our product, our delivery, our distribution, our organizational structure, or our communication?’ Even better are questions that force you to add by subtraction: ‘What could we take away from those same areas to make them better and simplify the process?’

Read “How I built a $2 billion company by thinking small.”

2. Leslie Miley, Director of Engineering at Slack, quit Twitter last year because of its lack of diversity and inclusion. Miley was the “only black engineer in a leadership position at Twitter.” Forbes’s Jessica Pliska highlighted seven tips from Miley to improve diversity and inclusion at larger companies, including putting jobs in more diverse areas, standing up for people of color in the workplace, and making sure the company will enforce diversity and inclusion. Read “Seven Things Slack’s Director of Engineering Leslie Miley Needs CEOs to Know about Diversity.”

3. Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ US Chairman and Senior Partner Tim Ryan discussed the recent TED Women conference he attended in San Francisco and what he learned about diversity and inclusion. Ryan listed four things for business leaders to consider when promoting diversity and inclusion:

  1. “Do you cast a wide net?” — Are you making sure diverse perspectives are being considered?
  2. “Have you thrown off your potential blinders?” — Be aware of unconscious bias.
  3. “Is everyone part of the effort?”
  4. “Changing the culture means changing our day-to-day microinteractions.”

Read Ryan’s post on Medium, “Walk the Walk While Talking the Talk.”

4. Ernst & Young looked at mergers, aquisitions and alliances with its latest reports. According to Ernst & Young’s study, “91% of companies are using data and analytics as part of their deal process.” Ernst & Young also posed five questions for executives:

  1. “Are you capitalizing on the breadth of deal structures to realize your strategic objectives?”
  2. “Will geopolitical challenges derail your growth strategies?”
  3. “Are you using analytics and big data to bring greater clarity to complex deals?”
  4. “Is an off-the-sheld approach to integration the best recipe for success?”
  5. “Are you enhancing or destroying the value of acquired innovation?”

Check out the insights in the full report: “Does seizing competitive advantage mean deals take center stage?” 

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