1.SHEER GENIUS - OR A WASTE OF TIME?
Encourage your original thinkers and live with their strange habits, says Alan Worthin
If one of your research staff announced that he had worked out a way to propel a vehicle on a cushion of air, would you tell him to concentrate on something practical, or suggest taking it further? If a member of your development team asked if she could come in late because she had her best ideas at 3 am would you insist that she is in the office at 9 am like everyone else?
Current business wisdom is that companies need creative, innovative people to beat competitors. The reality is that companies have always needed new ideas to survive and progress, but in the past they weren't particularly good at encouraging the people who produced them.
Original thinkers don't always fit easily into the framework of an organisation. However, the advice from managing director, John Serrano is, 'Get rid of the dull people and encourage the unusual ones'. Essentially, he believes that companies need to learn how to manage their original thinkers in order to ensure that the business profits from their contribution. He also says, 'Original thinkers often find it difficult to drive change within the organisation, so they resign, feeling angry and disappointed. It is essential to avoid this.'
'You can't recognise original thinkers by the way they look,' says Ian Freeman. An apparently ordinary exterior can conceal a very creative thinker.' His consultancy, IBT Personnel, has devised a structured way to identify original thinkers. 'We define employees as champions, free-wheelers, bystanders and weak links, and most original thinkers come into the category of free-wheelers. They may miss deadlines if they become involved in something more interesting. They are passionate and highly motivated but have li ttle or no understanding of business directions and systems.'
Headhunter George Solomon also thinks original thinkers have their disadvantages. 'They may have a bad influence within an organisation, especially given the current management trend for working in teams. The original thinkers themselves may be unaware of any problem, but having them around can be disruptive to colleagues. who have to be allowed to point out when they are being driven crazy by the original thinkers' behaviour.' Yet, in his opinion, the 'dream team' in any creative organisation consists of a balanced mixture of original thinkers and more practical, realistic people.
So, having identified your original thinkers, how do you handle them? One well-known computer games company has a very inventive approach. 'We encourage our games designers by creating an informal working environment,' says director Lorna Marsh. 'A company cannot punish risk-takers if it wants to encourage creativity. Management has to provide support, coaching and advice - and take the risk that new ideas may not work. Our people have flexible working hours and often make no clear distinction between their jobs and their home lives.'
Original thinkers may fit into the culture of 21st century organisations, but more traditional organisations may have to change their approach. Business psychologist Jean Row believes that the first step is to check that original thinkers are worth the effort. 'Are the benefits they bring worth the confusion they cause? If so, give them what they want, allow plenty of space, but set clear limits. Give them extremely demanding targets. If they fail to meet them, then the game is up. But if they succeed, your organisation stands only to gain.'
13 It is important for a company to encourage original thinkers because
A this allows it to promote innovative products.
B this enables it to stay ahead of its rivals.
C they are very flexible about their working hours.
D their talents are ideally suited to the market.
14 John Serrano thinks that original thinkers should be
A helped to develop better people management skills.
B asked to manage change within the organisation.
C supported so they can perform well for the company.
D encouraged to follow company procedures.
15 What does Ian Freeman say about original thinkers?
A They are unenthusiastic and poorly motivated.
B Their work standards are impossibly high.
C Their abilities are hard to recognise.
D They lack awareness of commercial processes.
16 What problems can be observed when there are original thinkers in the workforce?
A They may have a negative effect on other workers.
B They dislike the concept of teamwork.
C They rush tasks through to completion.
D They cannot work with less creative colleagues.
17 In what way is the games company's approach to original thinkers special?
A It allows them to work from home whenever they wish.
B It uses different forms of disciplinary action for them.
C It promotes a relaxed atmosphere in the workplace.
D It encourages them to reduce the risks that they take.
18 A traditional organisation wishing to employ original thinkers needs to
A provide them with projects they are interested in.
B assess whether their contribution makes up for any problems.
C have a flexible approach if goals are not always achieved.
D be prepared to handle any negative feedback from colleagues.
《Sheer genius—or a waste of time》，纯粹是天才，还是浪费时间?文章讲的是公司里的那些有创意的人(original thinkers)，他们对于公司的存在到底有什么价值，公司又该怎么利用他们?
13题，问对于公司来讲鼓励有创意的人很重要的原因是什么。答案是第二段的第一句，非常明显：Current business wisdom is that companies need creative, innovative people to beat competitors。现如今的商业智慧是公司需要有创造性的、创新型的人才来打败对手。也就是B选项说的：让他们能够超越对手。
14题，问John认为有创意的人应该怎么样。答案是第三段：He believes that companies need to learn how to manage their original thinkers in order to ensure that the business profits from their contribution公司应该学会怎样管理有创意的人，从而确保公司能够从他们的贡献中盈利。也就是应该努力使那些有创意的人的才华能够造福公司。选C：他们应该得到支持，从而为公司做的好。其他几个选项根本没有说到点子上，一看就可以pass掉。
15题，Ian关于有创意的人是怎么说的。答案是第四段的最后一句：他们有激情有动力但是却对商业方向和系统一无所知。选D：缺乏对商业过程的了解。Business direction and systems可以和commercial processes相对应。
16题，问当工作场所出现了有创意的人，会发生什么问题。答案是第五段的这么一句：The original thinkers themselves may be unaware of any problem, but having them around can be disruptive to colleagues。他们自己可能没有意识到，但是有这样的人在身边会对同事们造成麻烦。disruptive是disturbing的意思。
17题，问游戏公司对待有创意的人的方式特别在什么地方。答案是第六段，看公司总监的原话：We encourage our games designers by creating an informal working environment。创造一种非正式的工作环境，也就是C选项说的relaxed atmosphere。这题可能会有人误选A，那是错误的理解了最后一句。最后一句说工作和家庭生活没有明显的区别，是说工作时间是弹性的，不代表同意他们随时随意在家里工作。
18题，问传统的机构如果想要雇佣有创意的人需要什么。答案是最后一段的这么一句话：the first step is to check that original thinkers are worth the effort.。第一步是检测这些有创意的人是否值得所作的这些努力。后面紧接着问了，他们带来的好处是否值得他们造成的混乱?所以答案是B：评估他们的贡献能否弥补任何问题。
4.Setting up an appraisal scheme
Appraisals can be a wonderful opportunity for your staff to focus on their jobs and make plans to develop their unused potential. (0) ..........So, if you have decided that an appraisal scheme should be set up in your company, you need to establish some formal procedures and make some decisions before you begin. Even if your company already has a scheme, you need to consider what you want to achieve and how you are going to do this.
First of all, you need to decide on your key objectives and the real purpose of your scheme.(8).............A scheme should never be introduced at a time of redundancies, or simply for profit or competitive edge, because this will create fear and alienate staff. The next step is to decide how the scheme can most successfully be managed. It is essential that all senior staff are committed to the process and willing to make a positive contribution.
The person given responsibility for designing the scheme and the appraisal forms needs to have knowledge of all roles within the organisation. He or she must also be aware of employees' potential needs. (9).............It should be someone who is trusted and whom staff will turn to if they are concerned about their appointed appraiser or the appraisal interview. The design of the scheme should indicate who will be appraising whom. This needs great tact and sensitivity. First, remember that no manager can effectively appraise more than seven or eight people. It is equally important to remember that, if significant numbers of staff are appraised by someone they dislike, or by a person whose values they do not share, the success of your scheme may be threatened.(10) ............. So bear this in mind from the beginning and, if necessary, establish an appeals procedure.
Having decided on your policy and who will appraise which members of staff, you need to communicate this in the simplest possible way. Avoid lengthy documents - few people will read them. (11).............Most organisations choose a person's line manager to be the appraiser. This can be seen as an opportunity or a threat, so be ready to consider alternatives if necessary.
Once you have established the appraisal process, make sure that appraisal interviews take place at a convenient time, and ideally on neutral ground. It should be borne in mind that some appraisals may involve the disclosure of confidential information. (12) .............These will show the decisions that were taken during the interview and will also indicate any new performance targets that have been agreed.
A It is important to select a manager who can deal effectively with any suspicions staff may have about appraisals.
B Such a measure can also reduce insecurity and unite staff in recognising the positive elements of appraisal.
C Having even one staff member in such a position may affect how others respond to the process.
D Ideally, this should be to provide a supportive framework that aids staff development.
E Simply make sure that staff know who will appraise them and why, and what form the interview will take.
F It is therefore important to decide who will have access to written records of the appraisal.
G They can also be a means of getting the best out of staff, both as individuals, and as team members.
《Setting up an appraisal scheme》，制定评估计划。
第九题，这一段是讲选人的重要。空格前面说要挑选一个了解各个员工潜在需求的人，后面说这个人要能被大家信任，这样当员工有什么疑问时才会转向他。从上下文看，第九空仍然是和选人有关。A最符合这个特点，有两个关键地方。select a manager和deal with any suspicions，分别可以和上下文对应。Select a manager可以对应于前面的 the person given responsibility，deal with any suspicions可以对应于后文的staff will turn to if they are concerned.
第十题，前面说让员工被自己不喜欢的或者是价值观不认同的人来评估的话，评估计划的成功会打折扣。所以这个第十空的讲的还是关于选人的。C可以填在这里，C选项的in such a position是个暗示：让即使只有一个员工处在这样的位置上都会影响他人的反应。意思是不能让一个被大家不喜欢的人处在评估人的位置上。
第十二题，前面说评估可能会涉及到一些机密信息的披露。后面说这些会展现一些访谈的决定。关键要理解空格后面的these代表什么。能够show the decisions that were taken during the interview，一般是文字材料。空格12应该填入F，written records是个关键暗示：因此决定谁来接触这些文字材料是很重要的。