Mills Scofield

Critique, Don't Criticize!

Mills Scofield

NYC Guggenheim Museum’s Oculus ? Guggenheim Foundation. In my first year of college, I took an upper level course on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, filled with philosophy majors. I was totally over my head. But, I still love Critique !

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Temper ~ Paradox in the COVID Era

Mills Scofield

TY Chuck Annable for the photo. I love paradoxes and oxymorons; they get us to extend our comfort zone. So, I started thinking about the word “temper” – not sure why, just did.

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How to “Manage” A Blue Lobster

Mills Scofield

As we think ahead to the surreality of these times, many of us are trying to figure out how to support, encourage, understand our employees, in particular, how to find, nurture and develop our blue lobsters. So, I adapted this ‘ oldie ’ to remind us how, before I even knew about blue lobsters.

What Happens if You Try Taking Risk & Dealing With Uncertainty?

Mills Scofield

Yuna Hur & Elaine Cheung - Versions of a Retail Pop-Up, Spring 2018. I’m honored to host a blog by one of my amazing mentees, Yuna Hur ‘18. Last year, as a senior, it was time to push academic limits 1 last time before graduating. This is her story about why it’s so important to take risk … because you never know what can happen! Thank you, Yuna!! *. Top: Elaine Cheung, Yuna Hur, students & Critiquers for ENGN 1971.

Benefits in a Pandemic: What HR Leaders Need to Know

Building a benefits program for a diverse workforce has always been a top priority, but now it’s become both more important and complex with so much change and uncertainty. Download our latest guide that features emerging benefits employees expect in 2021 and beyond.

Are Our Souls on Treadmills??

Mills Scofield

This academic year the cost of putting kids on treadmills from Pre-K onward is slapping me in the face through the students I mentor. I’ve seen students’ stress, anxiety and depression increasing over the past few years but not with the exponential leap I’ve seen this year. The current revelation of college admissions scandals and the plethora of recent articles on student’s anxiety and pressure over academic & social success reinforce what so many of us know and see every day.

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Trade Hubris for Humility

Mills Scofield

Salko ‘21, Kyra ‘20, Jake ‘20, me, Matt ‘18.5, Nate ‘19, John ‘21, Samanee ‘19. One of the reasons I love mentoring students is because it keeps me learning, exploring , questioning and challenging my beliefs – keeping me relevant and useful to the world (I hope!).

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Atoms vs. Bits - Making Matters

Mills Scofield

Students working on projects in the Brown Design Workshop. We live in a world infatuated with bits (tech). We value, encourage, praise bit-making over atom-making. Creating with atoms doesn’t have the cache or import it once did, and we’ve lost something precious by doing so. Our hands * were not made (just) for typing, they were made to be sources of input to our brains to learn about our world – and learn by creating.

Reflections ~ One Month Post-BIF

Mills Scofield

Saul Kaplan Starting Day 2 of BIF - Photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens. Every year, the crew at BIF lets me bring a bunch of my Brown University students to BIF. My students are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, years and concentrations - #STEAM. This year, I asked the kids to share their reflections. Profound, personal, hopeful, cautious. Here are their thoughts.

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Why Does a Door Need Instructions? Seriously!

Mills Scofield

If you’re willing, the next time you get to a door, stop. What’s your initial reaction? Push it? Pull it? Doors are one of my favorite examples of lousy design. Shouldn’t opening a door be intuitive? We really need instructions to go through a door? Really?? Our world is filled with poorly designed products we use every day without thinking twice. We’ve come to accept that this is the way it is. We learn how to work around the non-intuitive design and just use the easy-to-figure-out features.

What do Blue Lobsters Have to do With Innovation? Everything!

Mills Scofield

Blue Lobster at the South Bristol Coop , 2004. What’s with blue lobsters? Well, a blue lobster is rare, about 1 in 2 million , and very beautiful. To me, a blue lobster is a person who views and organizes the world differently, who rejects the status quo, who loves to try stuff, learn, fail and try again, who is interesting because they are interested and who has impact. When you get enough of them together, you create a blue lobster organization – one that creates positive disruption.

How Businesses are Managing the New Reality of Work: A Paycor Survey

We wanted to know how COVID-19 impacted businesses and their workforces. Did they need government funds? How many workers did they layoff or furlough? Are employees working from home now? How’s team morale? And perhaps most importantly, what are their plans for the future? This guide offers a pretty good idea of how business leaders are feeling, what keeps them up at night, and what approaches they’re taking to solve problems. Download the guide to see all the survey results and where your organization might stand comparatively.

It’s Not Just Semantics: Managing Outcomes Vs. Outputs

Mills Scofield

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit at the Arsenal Contemporary Museum, Montreal. This post was originally published in Harvard Business Review (ages ago, but still relevant). It has been getting a lot of re-reading lately so I thought I’d repost it here. The difference between outcomes & outputs is still critical! ~~~~~~~~~~~ What’s the difference between outputs and outcomes? Some think the question is merely semantics, or that the difference is simple: outputs are extrinsic and outcomes intrinsic.

It Isn't Home Runs! More At Bats = More RBIs

Mills Scofield

Hank Aaron ~ All time MLB RBI Hitter (2,297) Picture Credit USBData. Opening day is March 28th. The media, fans, and managers will be focused on key stats like on-base and slugging percentages, defensive runs saved, walks/hits per inning pitched and ERA … and of course Grand Slams and Home-Runs! Guess what, companies love those big sexy stats too - especially for innovation. I like RBIs - Runs Batted In. It’s not sexy but it’s a great leading indicator of success (or not).

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Net Neutrality & Failing Business Models

Mills Scofield

The current fight over Net Neutrality is critical to the openness of the Internet, long supported by some of us that helped make the Internet an every-day utility. It is also the dying gasps of a very old business model - one between networks and end points/content providers. Quick History Lesson : Circa 1990s - a fight was breaking out between the networks (e.g, AT&T) and end-points (e.g, Microsoft) over control of information and intelligence.

I Don't Know

Mills Scofield

Mike Cohea / Brown University. The freedom to ask questions and admit when you don't know is one we take for granted and our society tends to shun as a sign of weakness, yet it is how we learn, grow, create and have impact. Michelle Bailhe 's commencement address is one we need to read, re-read and live. Please read this and be grateful for her generation that will help make this world better. Thank you, Michelle. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

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"It's so Cute You're Doing a Startup!"

Mills Scofield

Photo Credit: Hank Randall, Brown University; L to R: Me, Sadie Kurzban, Morra Aarons-Mele, Vibha Pinglé, Sarah Carson. Is it hard being a woman entrepreneur? Is it hard getting funding? Is your venture really a ‘business’ or is it ‘just’ a lifestyle business? Given the stories finally coming out from the VC and tech worlds on what women have had to put up with, we know the answers to these questions.

COVID & the Future of Work: Insights from Paycor’s C-Suite

In Paycor’s newest report, our Chief Executive and Group Leaders consider how your clients will recruit, manage their workforce, optimize benefits, and foster employee experience in the new normal of 2020 and beyond. For actionable insights and tips download and share our guide with your clients!


Mills Scofield

Had such a blast doing my 2nd DisrupTV * episode with my wonderful friend, Vala Afshar , and Alan Lepofsky (sitting in for Ray Wang ). Talked about mentoring, innovation, thinking & doing! See the full episode with Jim Cathcart & Bruce Kasanoff here. Please follow DisrupTV - it's the best grad school for all things relevant to our world today!!! Subscribe to the podcast so you can listen when you can't watch! 1st DisrupTV here. Culture Education Innovation Networking Strategy Leadership

Digital TMI: The Killer of Your Second First Impression

Mills Scofield

This is a guest post by Mark Babbitt, who I just spent 3 days with at #BIF10 , who also founded YouTern , one of THE best sites for career info. Read, enjoy and apply!!!! And get his book (with Ted Coiné ) " A World Gone Social ". ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. You are a Social Age job seeker. A digital native. Your value proposition is clear. Your resume is immaculate; the LinkedIn Profile: perfect.

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When Shoveling Sh&t is Easier

Mills Scofield

Sometimes, shoveling sh&t is easier than shoveling caviar. It's the path of least resistance. It makes sense. No one argues with you. It's usually the right thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the sh&t and shovel the caviar? what if the best thing for your business, your organization, is to shovel the caviar, not the sh&t? That's crazy!!! You've spent years investing in that rare and unique caviar. It's a valuable niche!

#Whatif We Valued Trying?

Mills Scofield

We humans love to divide the world: yes, no; either, or; black, white; true, false; winners, losers; successes, Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder Huffington Post (designed by failures. Yet little in life is really that nice and tidy, despite how much we want it to be. And our world is not going in that direction anymore.

Why HR Technology Matters Now More Than Ever

When a crisis hits, HR technology gives business leaders the data, tools, and support to make important business decisions quickly. In this report, Josh Bersin breaks down the 4 key benefits of HR tech and demonstrates through case studies how business leaders can leverage it to solve problems and grow. Download this report to learn more!

15 Hours: A Common Sense Action Blueprint for Congress

Mills Scofield

What if our youth started to take government back? Well, it''s happening. Sam Gilman and Andrew Kaplan , college juniors started Common Sense Action in 2012 with one chapter. Now they have over 20 chapters in 15 states with AGE, The Agenda for Generational Equity to get their voice impacting policy. Read on, be proud of our next generation and get on board ! See why I love learning from these guys? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

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To Move the World, Show, Don't Tell

Mills Scofield

Rexy Josh Dorado is changing the world by living stories, and then telling them. Here''s his story - with lessons for the C-Suite to the street. Please read, listen and do - and tell that story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. As a child, all I wanted to do was build things: Lego buildings, clay monsters, web forums, video games. At the core was a hunger for new possibilities that came alive with each new thing I dreamt up. In middle school, this drive manifested in writing.

5 Lessons from an Office on the Edge

Mills Scofield

Kris Ansin is the executive director of Mali Health Organizing Proje ct - an amazing company increasing access to primary maternal and child healthcare in Mali. This past year, Mali repelled an Islamic coup and had it''s first case of Ebola, hopefully contained. To say Kris lives in a complex and complicated world is an understatement. This is his story of what he''s learned living and working at the edge. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

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I'm Standing Up, Not Leaning!

Mills Scofield

I don’t lean in, lean out, lean sideways, lean back…I stand up straight. As a kid, my parents kept telling me to stand up straight and strong. It created an aura of confidence, self-assurance, and supposedly, it was better for your back. In fact, we now know that standing strong can actually change your mood and confidence. Perhaps because I’m short (5’ 1” on my driver’s license), I’ve always stood straight, because I had to.

Workplace Mask Policy & Return to Work Templates

Paycor’s comprehensive checklist and customizable letters will help you re-start your business and welcome your team back to a new normal.

Light the Fire and Clear the Path

Mills Scofield

In Jon Mertz’s new book, Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders , Jon talks about Soul Sparks: “Soul sparks are those small ignitions of inspiration that fan into big changes, new directions, or fresh works. They come from deep down inside. Make your body and mind shake with excitement. These are soul sparks.” ” I am blessed to have had bosses who saw soul sparks in me and gave me opportunities to develop and spread them.

Will You Leave a Mrk?

Mills Scofield

I love my iPhone case! Do you? How many cases have you gone through? Me, a few.but this one is it. My nice blue Mrked case is the brainchild of 3 kids - yup, kids. Just your average college kids yet again deciding it''s their right to change the world. 15% of the revenues from Mrked goes to teach young girls in emerging markets how to read. Beauty & Benificence in one. Shahneel shares their story - read it and go get a case! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

The Time is Now to Become an Entrepreneur

Mills Scofield

I met Ilan Saks through my education entrepreneur guru Aron Solomon who has never steered me wrong. Ilan , Founder of The Founder Project , is no exception and I can''t wait for The Founder Project to come stateside! This is the type of engagement we need to get economies growing, build trust and a sense of ownership for our Millennials as they grow into leadership positions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. Time is a scarce commodity.

Why CEOs have Liberal Arts Degrees

Mills Scofield

Some of today's top CEOs were history, political science, sociology, chinese and music majors in college. They are leading global airline, chemical, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and financial companies, among others. There are very practical reasons for a Liberal Arts degree, and Samanee Mahbub (Brown '18) thinks the reasons are crystal clear. Let's hear it from her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. A “Practical” Liberal Arts Degree.

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9 Ways to Manage Costs and Prepare for Future Growth

SMB leaders are working day and night to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Successfully managing it requires the CFO and HR leader to make complex decisions quickly, without rushing into an uncoordinated response. Foremost among these decisions will be cost containment. The way organizations manage costs now will determine how well they perform during and after COVID-19. Download our guide and start preparing for the future today.

Changing One Thing Changes Everything

Mills Scofield

Many of you are now familiar with the wisdom of my friend Jessica Esch. Her posts on this blog always get a ton of hits. I thought it was time you learned more about her, and how that could impact your, learn, and answer her question. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. In 2011, I pitched a new job at my old job and became a full-time illustrator and storyteller for a non-profit.

Every Business Is (Or Should Be) a Social Business

Mills Scofield

Mali Health Clinic. I believe the distinction between social and non-social business is a false dichotomy. And yet, it’s one we continually want to make. We talk about “social businesses” — those that are mission-led and focused on creating positive social change — and “non-social businesses” — those that focus on revenue and profit. Social entrepreneurs launching ventures may ask themselves if their business models need to be different.

It's Not A Gap Year! It's An Education.

Mills Scofield

Education is learning languages: the languages of words, music, math, art, chemistry, biology, etc. Education is learning paradoxes … and oxymorons. So let me highlight an oxymoron that is damaging our kids’ education: Lifelong Learning and Gap Year. If we truly believe in Lifelong Learning , then we have to believe that Gap Years are not Gaps…and we have to use a different word.

The Transformative Power of Positive Leadership

Mills Scofield

General John Michel of the U.S. Air Force has graciously written this post for my blog. To say I''m honored is an understatement. Michel is finishing his assignment as Commanding General (CEO) at NATO Air Training Command in Kabul, Afghanistan in a few weeks.

HR Benchmark Report: How to Recruit, Coach & Develop Teams

Do you really want a team of all-stars? Instead of trying to hire all Type A high performers, research shows it’s much more effective to hire a mix of personalities. In this report, Paycor will explain why and how to go about assembling, coaching, and developing effective teams at work.

When Did Accountability Become Passé?

Mills Scofield

From customers’ and suppliers’ viewpoint, Company X is fast growing, exciting, and high-energy. Inside, though, Diamantini & Domeniconi and designed by Tak Cheung it’s a tornado. Fighting fires, arguing over who committed to what, why it didn’t happen, and noticing things that fell through the cracks in just enough time is normal. How can this happen when they have weekly departmental meetings, keep track of action items, and post projects and timelines everywhere?

5 Reasons these 3 Steps Will Get You Those Top 4 Results

Mills Scofield

The Wizard of Oz © Turner Entertainment Co. We love lists. If we do these 3 things, everything will be alright: our customers will shower us with accolades, our employees will ooze engagement and innovation and we will be profitable beyond belief. It doesn't work that way. The path is not linear. It's not a set of prescribed turns to get to your destination. It's circuitous, it's emergent, and it requires thought. So stop with the lists and start with the thinking.

January's Top 5 Posts

Mills Scofield

The top 5 posts for January includes 1 from 4 months ago! Yes, Hanna McPhee'' s post on Design & Science is still a top post - as it should be!! Here are the top 5: Thank You for Your Service by Lt. Matthew Fritz ~ read, reread, be grateful! The Slippery Slope of Not Asking Why (me). Let Them Fail by Robin Pendoley ~ we need to accept & learn from failure in all sectors, including non-profits -- Yes! For Whom Do We Innovate? by Anish Sarma ~ Technology & Innovation for true "Good".

If You Haven’t Gone Social, You Should Be Very Very Worried

Mills Scofield

Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné have written a book you MUST read, A World Gone Social , if you don’t want to fall prey to Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Mark and Ted make it clear, with concrete examples, that the Social World’s implications for 21 st Century business are enormous: Customers have more power than they’ve had before; Settling for mediocre won’t work! Employees have more power than they’ve had before; Their ideas and insights matter!

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3 Reasons to Invest in a Learning Culture: RECRUIT, RETAIN, ENGAGE

One of the least explored and most effective ways to drive recruiting, retention, and overall employee engagement is to establish a learning culture. If this is an area where you need help (or if you could just use a refresher) let Paycor walk you through actionable tips and insights on how you can develop the learning culture that works best for your business.