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Weekend Reads: Don’t derail staff productivity

Friday, 26 July 2013 | By Gavin Lower

The internet is a boundless resource for news and advice for entrepreneurs and business people. Here we share some of our top picks, which include how you might be derailing your employees' productivity, the impact of Australia's cigarette plain packaging laws on branding, lessons from hit TV show Mad Men and a video on a better way to run brainstorming sessions.


Warnings that Australia needs to lift its productivity to maintain its standard of living have been in the news recently. In this article from Entrepreneur, we learn how bosses and entrepreneurs might be hurting their workers' productivity and what they can do to stop it.


As much as the connection between cigarettes and irreverent cool has been hammered into our collective psyche, it turns out it can quickly be outdone: One year after Australia passed laws mandating that home-grown tobacco be packaged plainly with huge health warnings, researchers have found that smokers of the plain cigarettes are more likely to perceive the experience as less satisfying than those who smoke the branded kind.


Catch an episode of Mad Men, the award-winning TV drama about a Madison Avenue advertising agency in the 1960s, and you'll see dozens of lessons about what not to do in business today. Womanizing, heavy drinking, indoor smoking and lying about your identity aren't things to emulate. However, there are some business lessons from the program that are useful today.


Brainstorming sessions can provoke conflicting responses – depending on the personality types of those participating they are either loved or loathed. This article from Fast Company tells us about the inefficiencies of brainstorming and some better ways of getting the most out of these meetings.