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General Motors CEO Mary Barra apologized for the auto maker’s slow response to faulty ignition switches at a hearing in Washington.

JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson says a corporate apology must have three elements: It must convey compassion; it must be coherent, its parts adding up to a meaningful, informative, rational statement; and it must be credible. Few apologies hit all three notes. AthenaHealth.com

LEADERSHIP

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Ditch the office, know your staff

Michelle Peluso, CEO of the Gilt Groupe online shopping site, avoids getting fenced off in an ivory tower, like many corporate chieftains, by not having an office. She roams around sitting with different teams for a week at a time, even attending their meetings to understand their work. The New York Times

DESIGN

Use labels to guide Web customers

Research shows that the description inside an online field, such as "password must be at least 10 characters," does not work as well as a descriptive label above the field. When users type something inside the field, the instructions disappear, making it difficult to remember what's required. Nielsen Norman Group

PRESENTATIONS

Dive right in to grab attention

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TV shows used to start with credits but these days begin with a scene that immediately involves you in the story. Mississauga-based presentations expert Dave Paradi recommends the same approach for your pitches and talks: Hook the audience at the outset, showing why they need to pay attention. ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com

TECH TIP

Turn your profile into a résumé

Resume Builder takes your LinkedIn information and turns it into a solid first draft of a résumé. Lifehack.org

Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter

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