Older workers: great job performance

Fact: older workers easily outperform the youngsters

Older workers are mentally slow, technologically backward, burned out, etc. Right? Wrong, wrong, wrong, researchers say. Hire one today, because in fact, they rock on every front.

Optimistic in Bhutan

Half empty or half full? Optimism can be learned

In these times, optimism can be as difficult as it is necessary—and more difficult for some people than others. Researchers are learning how the negativists among us can train to be more optimistic.

Stress management: tai chi

Ready for anything: how to build personal resilience

In work and life, there will be setbacks. There may be outright tragedy. Change will shake you and the world. Here’s the research on what you can do now to make sure you snap back.

How do we get people to care about the future?

Societal transformation depends on communicating and embracing the long view. But the human impulse toward instant gratification is a powerful foe. Here are some potential workarounds.

Organizational health trumps everything else

And the best way to build organizational health? Create clarity. Overcommunicate clarity. Reinforce clarity. Here’s a must-read book for leaders committed to emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Recovering from mistakes: how Churchill did it

In addition to being a rock star statesman, Winston Churchill was a gifted and prolific painter. He used his relationship with art to reconnect with himself after failure—and move on to great things.

Billboards are made for visual puns

It’s nice to see billboards used well. This campaign says it all: who they are and what they want me to know, at a 65-mph glance. And the sponsor has a very cool 19th-century origin story.

Inspiring nonprofits to be better than businesses

When so many businesses are uninspired and undistinguished at best, says author Jim Collins, why would we want to import practices of mediocrity into the social sectors?

A soaring campaign for public education

A brilliant campaign empowers kids with wings spray-painted by street artists. The objective is to attract struggling kids to a new state-funded, student-centered school system.

Web design circa 2013: eight trends

From Design Blitz, a survey of how web design is changing in response to new ways of learning, sharing, and doing business. Responsive design is just one of eight clear trends.

Believe in a kid, and she’ll give the world a symphony

Favio Chavez knows that music is powerful. And that believing in people is too. He made instruments out of trash, then taught kids others had given up on how to play. Talk about community building.

Urban mental health depends on community

City dwellers are more at risk for anxiety, depression, and even full-blown schizophrenia. But brain research suggests that among the preventive measures is a good circle of friends.

10 life lessons I learned on a mountain bike

Flip yourself over on a stone wall a few times, and you begin to ask why it’s happening. The answers start to look like life lessons. Here’s 10 worth sharing. Number one? Let go over the bumps.

What do you want? Reset your intentions, fast

Here’s a powerful three-step exercise in self-discovery that can effect change in both your personal life and your work life. It’s powerful because it starts with gratitude.

Write office emails that get read: 7 tips

It’s a given that we all get too much email. Do the ones you write get read? To the end? Do people act on them? Here are seven ways to increase the odds—and just maybe get more stuff done faster.

You can do anything. But you can’t do everything

An idea is only as good as your ability to bring it to life. Jocelyn K. Glei’s new book is an inviting, encouraging, and practical collection of tools and practices for turning ideas into reality.

Stress harms problem solving too. What to do?

Stress compromises your problem-solving performance. But new research from Carnegie Mellon indicates that self-affirmation—in the form of focusing on your values—can protect it.

How to create a social learning environment

A “social learning environment” is an online destination where people can co-create, share, and learn from each other. Jane Hart has a good series on how to build these digital places.

We need a new language for the collaborative age

“Language encodes our thinking,” says Nilofer Merchant in Wired/UK. “To write a new future, we need to use a new language.” For example, what are we doing calling customers “users”?

Your brain is plastic. It’s designed to change

When readers of the Sharp Brains newsletter ask questions about neuroplasticity, the editors answer by linking to previously posted articles. Brilliant content marketing.

‘Fantastic Mistakes’: Advice from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s advice to the University of the Arts graduating class of 2012 was simple: the old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own.

We are one species on one finite planet

Seeing the whole earth rotating in space tends to tweak your consciousness. A film by the Planetary Collective compiles images of our planet and interviews with the astronauts who shot them.

Textbooks on sim cards boost learning

SMART Communications is filling surplus SIM cards with textbook content and giving them to kids who can’t afford a tablet or e-reader for use on their old analog cell phones.

A healthy company balances five elements

When integrity is woven into your organizational fabric, your company is true at every touchpoint—it’s “branded to the bone,” and the organizational ecosystem is in balance.