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A family is a delicate edifice with a natural tendency to fragment, split, and move in different directions over generations. New people enter as spouses and children with their own interests, preferences and life styles. But when a family shares ownership, oversight, and dependence on shared investments, they challenge this tide. Such connected, “enterprising” families must work continually to head off and manage conflict between an ever-enlarging pool of family members, who share blood but know each other less and less. They...
I have three teenage daughters. Needless to say, we pay for the unlimited text-messaging feature on our family mobile phone contract. I used to worry about the impact of sending abbreviated bursts of words and symbols on the future of communication, but I’ve been won over by how responsive my daughters are when I send them a text message. The other day, I caught my wife sending a text message to my daughter, who was in the next room, to tell her that dinner was on the table. Come to think of it, between updates, comments on updates,...
Last year, opportunity came knocking at our door in the form of a dynamic young Chinese woman who expressed interest in taking our organizational systems Ph.D. program to China as an offering to Chinese business and government executives. Having done my dissertation research in China, taught in another American university program in Beijing, and interfaced with the Chinese government while adopting my daughter in 1996, I saw this as both an opportunity and challenge. My research focused on understanding cultural differences related to...
Most people know that a majority of corporations outsource their call centers to India. They don't necessarily learn this fact in business school. They learn it by simply dialing the customer service line and hearing a voice on the other end speak with an accent that hails from the outskirts of New Delhi. What most customers living in the first world fail to see is how these Indian call centers really work. Last night, CNBC offered a glimpse of this world when the cable channel premiered its documentary, Customer (Dis)Service. During...
How many peak experiences have you had today? Let me rephrase this question: how many instances have you had today where you were fully immersed in what you were doing to the point that nothing else mattered? If you do not know the answer, you are not alone. Most of us go about our day without consciously attempting to experience moments that require our undivided attention. I am certain that you have had peak experiences as you skied down a slope, competed in a race, played the violin in a recital, gave your best presentation, read the most...

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