By Jonathan Kirschner, Psy.D. • December 31, 2013

2013: A year in Reflection

At AIIR we believe that thoughtful reflection of the past paves the road for future growth and innovation. In this spirit, we would like to continue our tradition of sharing with our customers, trusted colleagues, and friends the events, resources, and tidbits that most impacted us in 2013. But first...a brief plug for AIIR! In 2014 we will be sharing our thought leadership on coaching and leadership development through our social platforms in a different way than we have ever before. Our first article of the year will feature some great internal research we have conducted on future trends in executive coaching. If you wish to be a part of the conversation, we ask that you please subscribe to your preferred social medium below.

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And now...the best of 2013!


Best Business Book: Give and Take (Adam Grant):  Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at Wharton and single-highest-rated teacher, reminds us that success is fueled by much more than effort, strategy, management, learning agility, and innate talent. Success is also contingent on our capacity to give smartly. This book helps illuminate a critical competency for success in our increasingly social world- To give smartly in a way that not only benefits the recipient but ultimately the giver as well. [youtube=]

Our favorite Talent Management Article How Netlix Reinvented HR: When a non-startup company's stock soars 300% based on rocket growth, and they are actually making money, we pay attention and want to know what the secret sauce is. Is it leadership, strategy, luck, industry, geography? In the case of Netflix, it seems that their bold approach to talent management is core. The philosophy at Netflix is that every employee knows how to add value in the organization so well, that this in and of itself becomes the yardstick upon which they are measured and the organizing principle behind all corporate policy (or the lack thereof). To be sure, this performance - driven culture is only one way to get it done, though when we see a chart like the one below, we take pause, print this article, and figure out how we can incorporate elements of Netflix's approach into our own organizational culture. Netlix

Who we'll miss the most: Nelson Mandela

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Our Favorite Technology: Nest Protect 

At AIIR we don't just seek out the latest cool gadget or a technology product that can do things we never imagined. If this was our criteria, we would have selected Google Glass (an incredible technological feat, but something we wouldn't feel comfortable wearing to work). Rather, we seek a product that has the potential to disrupt a category by adding practical value to its end user. For 2013, we love Nest Protect, a $130 smoke and carbon-monoxide detector. Rather than blaring a shattering squeal, Nest Protect alerts you to hazards in a calm voice which says helpful things like “There’s carbon monoxide in the den.” If it mistakes your cooking for a fire, you can simply let it know to stop by waving your arm!


Our Favorite Apps in 2013:

urlWunderlist: At AIIR we use Wunderlist to keep track of all our tasks and ToDos. It's elegant user interface and seamless cross-platform syncing makes Wunderlist our favorite app of the year.

url-1Kicksend: Send photos to your local photo printer (i.e. Target, Walgreens, etc). This has saved several of us at AIIR who needed to have pictures ASAP for a gift. You simply open the app, select photos from your album, and then you go pick them up. Extremely easy and user friendly!


HeyDay: This app records a journal of your daily activity and you don't have to do anything other than download it. Leveraging tracking technology, geotracking, and your photos, you basically have a gorgeous running journal of your life at your fingertips without having to make any entries.

Our favorite disruptive brand in 2013: Sodastream   [youtube=]

Our favorite Commercial of the year (thanks to the wise guidance of our very own, Geetu Bharwaney)