By Jonathan Kirschner, Psy.D. • December 28, 2012

AIIR Consulting’s Best of 2012

As we look forward to celebrating another year of achievement and growth, AIIR Consulting would like to give you our top resources from 2012 to bring into the new year. We hope this short guide will equip you with the knowledge, inspiration, and apps to keep your executive engines running smoothly through 2013. Enjoy!

Our Favorite Executive Education Article from 2012

  • The Executive's Guide to Better Listening (Ferrari, 2012) explores a topic we so often overlook: Listening. This article, published in Mckinsey Quarterly,  breaks down the real impact listening has on the other. Be sure not to miss Bernard Ferrari's "Field Guide to Identifying Bad Listeners." This short guide, embedded in the article, delineates 6 ineffective listening styles that are highly relevant to some of today's trends in communication. 

Our Favorite TED Talk in 2012

  • Shawn Achor - The Happy Secret to Better Work: Don't get us wrong...we don't believe positive psychology is the panacea for our ills that many set out to preach. With that said, Shawn Achor's talk, in under 13 minutes, covers all we need to know about positive psychology in a pithy, scientific and hilarious way. He presents a compelling argument based in research that illuminates the correlation between positivity and productivity. Then, in under two minutes, he cites the three most important actionable findings from the positive psychology literature. To dive deeper, check out his 2012 HBR article, Positive Intelligence.

[ted id=1344 width=560 height=315]

Best Business Blog of 2012

  • Ben Horowitz: Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreesen Horowitz - a venture capital firm known for its investments in names such as Skype, Facebook, and Twitter. We nominate Ben’s Blog as the 2012 business blog of the year because of Ben’s incredibely honest views on management and leadership, his experiential wisdom, and his humor. We also feel that to survive in today's business environment, organizations must learn how to think and behave like entrepreneurs. For this, we feel there is no place better place to turn than to Ben's Blog.

Top Business and Productivity Apps for iOS and Android devices

  1. Signeasy: This is the perfect app for signing, dating, and filling in basic text to a document. With Signeasy, you no longer need to print, sign, fax, remove paper jam, fax again....or With Signeasy, contracts can be signed, converted to PDF and emailed all within an app.
  2. Clear: There are many to-do list apps, but this one takes the cake because of its simplicity and elegant user-interface. With a desktop-based app and icloud integration, updates to your to-do list are reflected in real-time on all devices.
  3. Google Maps: You can finally throw away your GPS. This is the arguably the best turn-by-turn GPS in the app store...oh, and it’s free!

Top Collaboration Tool for Virtual Teams 

  • Uberconference: Uberconference has revolutionized conference calling through their elegant web-based conference calling solution that enables up to 40 callers at one time. We love Uberconference because it makes conference calling simple, convenient, and fun from start to finish. We also like its call recording feature, which is great when you need to go back and review something you may have missed.

Top Resource for Road Warriors

  • Tripit: Tripit is an online resource loaded with many features for the frequent traveler. We like it for one feature in particular which saves tremendous time and headache: the itinerary. Once you create an account, you can email any plane reservation, car rental, or hotel reservation to [email protected], and it will automatically create an personal itinerary. Tripit's technology recognizes the email you send the travel information from, converts the data into an organized format, and then sends you back your itinerary in seconds. Finally, Tripit can synch to your Outlook or iCal so that all your pertinent travel information is automatically reflected on your calendar.

AIIR’s Favorite 2012 Movie about Development 

  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Though we don’t recommend becoming a workaholic or perfectionist, there is much wisdom to be gleaned from Jiro, a Japanese master sushi chef who is known to make the world's best sushi. The documentary beautifully portrays how peak performance and self-actualization is not a static place that is 'reached,' but rather a state of constant learning, growth, and meaning-making.

The Dance you must master for 2013

  • Gangnam Style: 2012 saw the emergence of a new dance called Gagnam style which is currently the #1 viewed youtube video ever with over one billion views. This South Korean hit takes the Macarena to a whole new level.

Our favorite 2012 technology

  • iPad mini. The ipad has and will continue to revolutionize computing. The iPad mini takes the ipad and makes it nimbler, lighter, and improves the videoconferencing experience. We love the iPad mini, and our conviction in it is so strong that all AIIR clients will be getting one in 2013 to support their coaching engagements.

Top Innovation of the Year

  • Up by Jawbone: This ingenious little bracelet speaks to a mobile app and essentially records all of your sleep patterns and daily movement. It also has functionality to record food intake. Up takes health/wellness monitoring to a whole new level.

Most inspiring image from 2012

Oscar Pistorius. The greatest photo of the Olympics