The subscription-box industry has expanded beyond meal kits to puppy packages, baby items and many other products, but the model has peaked, argues Sarah Halzack. "[S]ubscription boxes, at best, are destined to be a relatively small niche of the booming e-commerce world -- and, at worst, could go bust like some buzzy online models of the recent past," she writes.
Food scientists with the International Space Station, who are used to preparing meals for people eating in microgravity, are working on how to keep food chemically and nutritionally viable for the long journey to Mars, writes Marina Koren. "When we go to create a new item, it often takes multiple attempts, multiple adjustments, to end up with something that actually works," says Vickie Kloeris, head of the space station's food-systems laboratory.
Informational interviews offer an opportunity to inquire about the characteristics needed to succeed in a certain position. Interviewers should also consider asking an interviewee about previous experiences that were helpful in the current role, writes Kat Boogaard.
Workplaces where dissent isn't welcome are less likely to make proper decisions, to innovate or to have engaged employees, writes Adriano Pianesi. Look to encourage dissent through structured settings, such as devil's advocate meetings, rather than simply talking about wanting contrary opinions.
If your organization resists change, consider making innovation a more visible area by creating an autonomous internal team and giving it a budget to explore, Jon Lokhorst writes. Separately, have employees look at a situation as if they were a competitor, as that "will prompt your team to think critically about things that need to change," he writes.
Imitating success is not a good idea if your competition is seeking short-term gains or you don't know how lucky your competitors were in pursuing their strategy, writes Freek Vermeulen. "[W]hen you engage in benchmarking, do not only focus on the practices of top-performing companies but also force yourself to analyse what the industry's bottom performers are doing; if they are doing the same things, they might not represent good advice after all," he writes.
CEOs must master vision and its implementation while gathering as much input from people around them before making the tough decisions, writes Geoffrey Garrett from his conversations with CEOs and university leaders. "When you are the leader, anything you say -- even if it's only thinking out loud or consciously designed to stimulate conversation -- will be taken as gospel and given far more power than you intended," he writes.
Losing a job during the holidays is very difficult, so avoid dwelling on the negative by taking time to exercise and making the most out of time spent with loved ones, writes Jane Burnett. By adopting a positive mindset, the next job hunt will be less stressful and more successful.
Professionals with emotional intelligence respond to potential conflicts with co-workers by displaying empathy, which can defuse most problems before they progress. Those who can manage their emotions and contribute to a drama-free work environment are highly valued by hiring managers, writes Marcel Schwantes.
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