The Human Side of Business – Resources

March 20th, 2009

This week we’re looking at business beyond the number. Join us as we explore how an over-reliance on numerical formulas and data analysis has blinded many businesses to the importance of human interaction. We’ll look at how empathic connections build successful company cultures and the cost some businesses pay for ignoring the human side of their employees and clients.

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Dev Patnaik, Author, Wired to Care,

Founder & CEO, Jump Associates |

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Dev Patnaik is a founder and principal of Jump Associates, a consulting firm that helps companies innovate. Together with his teammates, he works with visionary business leaders to identify new markets, reinvent existing categories, and define new products and services. Dev is a trusted advisor to senior executives at some of America’s most admired companies, including General Electric, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Target and Hewlett-Packard.

When he’s not working at Jump, Dev moonlights down the road at Stanford University as an adjunct professor, where he teaches design-research methods to undergraduate and graduate students. Since 1999, he has taught a course called Needfinding. In the class, students draw upon methods from anthropology, design and business planning to discover insights about ordinary people and create new products. While the class is required for all Design majors, it’s become a favorite of students from the Business School, School of Education and even Computer Science. As apples don’t fall far from the tree, Dev has a Bachelor’s degree in Product Design from Stanford.

Prior to founding Jump, Dev was the Director of Design at Forbes Marshall, a manufacturer of industrial process controls based in India. Dev led the development of Forbes Marshall’s internal design capabilities, creating programs in product design, exhibit design and corporate identity. Dev also led the company’s product strategy initiative, which eventually led him to work in the crossover space between design and business planning. After a stint with a strategy firm in Chicago, Dev returned to California to help found Jump in 1997.

Shawn Boyer, Founder & CEO, SnagAJob.com

2008 National Small Business Person of the Year |

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bio_shawn1Shawn Boyer founded SnagAJob.com in 1999, and since then, he has taken the company from being a start-up to the nation’s largest part-time and hourly job-posting site. In 2008, Shawn was named the nation’s Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. That same year, he also saw one of his most ambitious goals for the company come true when SnagAJob.com was named a Best Small & Medium Company to Work for in America by the Great Places to Work Institute.

Prior to starting SnagAJob, this big thinker and passionate leader was actually a transactional attorney for Brown & Wood LLP (now Sidley Austin, LLP) and Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP. He holds a Master of Law in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary.

Aside from mowing lawns in middle school, Shawn’s first hourly job was in a retail store in his sophomore year in high school. “From day one, that job taught me that the customer is absolutely the organization’s lifeblood, that they drive the business, and that you need to bend over backwards to wow them.” That same philosophy is embraced throughout SnagAJob.com today.

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