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  • Failed New Product Launches

    In this video, Joan Schneider, the president, and Julie Hall the executive vice president, of Schneider Associates, discuss lessons learned from new product launches . Managers must understand the customer in order to develop products that will sell. How does a new product launch relate to management planning? What does Apple "do right" in product launches, such as with the iPad? Pick a failed product (Microsoft Windows Vista, Coca-Cola C2, Fabreze Scentstories, or Segway) and try to identify the reasons why they failed If you worked for the guilty company, what changes would you suggest to make sure similar incidents did not happen again?
  • 2013 The Year of Social Media

    The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion The notable social media moments of 2013, month by month, are noted in the infographic above. Most important for managers is to note that people preferred their mobile devices (such as smart phones and tablets) over their computers. How should managers plan for this change in behavior? Would you agree that 2013 was the year of social media? What do you think was the most notable social media moment in 2013?
  • Google's Maps Engine Pro

    Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Maps, said that Google's new Maps Engine Pro "will be the new document type, and Google's adding it to the arsenal. Every user can and should be a cartographer." Heather Folsom, the Maps Engine Pro product manager, explained, "Anything that has an address or physical place of being is not helped by spreadsheets. Maps Engine Pro uploads that info and places it on a map. She added that companies can use public data sheets as well, such as building development plans for a growing area or an area that's being rebuilt" (Source: Seth Rosenblatt, "Google Maps charts new territory into businesses," CNET, October 21, 2013). In the video above, Pure Fix Cycles demonstrates how they're using Google Apps and Maps to manage their operations as efficiently as possible. Map pins can be based on units and maps and drawing boundaries can be annotated. Seth Rosenblatt reports, "Google hopes that businesses will use Maps Engine Pro to help them chart and plan strategies, as it can be used for plotting not just client or customer addresses, but different price regions, locations where business is weak or nonexistent, and potential new locations." Think of a business situation using a spreadsheet. Could that information be placed on a map? How could that map help employees visualize a situation and then, its progress? How can managers use Maps Engine Pro?
  • The 10 Skills Employers Want

    Can you work in a team? How good are you at making decisions and solving problems? Can you plan, organize, and prioritize work? Those are all skills taught in management classes. Those are the skills employers want most, according to results of a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The Job Outlook 2014 report will be released in the fall. Employers rated “ability to work in a team structure,” “ability to make decisions and solve problems,” “ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work,” and “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” as the most important candidate skills/qualities. (See Figure 1.) These are followed by candidates’ “ability to obtain and process information” and “ability to analyze quantitative data.” Choose some class projects where you have been a team member and/or leader and when you have planned and prioritized. Describe those skills. Add them to your résumé and cover letter. Be ready to talk about them in your interviews. In this way, you will demonstrate that you have the top five skills most employers want in employees.
  • McDonald's and Visa Help Employees Manage Money

    McDonald's partnered with Visa to develop a " practical money skills for life " web site to help employees manage their money. A Budget Journal (attached) is offered "to help you make financial goals, build budgets and track your spending." That sounds very similar to the functions of management of planning and controlling. A budget is a plan for spending money. Tracking is control because it determines what was spent and compares it to the financial goals. In addition, guidelines are given for writing goals . In management class, we refer to these as "objectives," because "you cannot do a goal." Semantics aside, the guidelines below can help you write objectives. A realistic goal is SMART (in more ways than one) S pecific M easurable A ttainable R elevant T ime-related Specific - Smart goals are specific enough to suggest action. "Example: Save enough money to get a refrigerator, not just save money. Measurable - You need to know when you've achieved your goal, or how close you are. Example: A refrigerator costs $600, and you have $300 already saved. Goals which aren't measurable, like "I'd like to have more money," are much harder to achieve - and you don't even know when you get there. Attainable - The steps toward reaching your goal need to be reasonable and possible. Example: I know I can save enough money each week to arrive at my goal within one year. Relevant - The goal needs to make common sense. You don't want to struggle or work toward a goal that doesn't fit your need. Example: You don't need to save money for 18 pairs of shoes. Time-related - Set a definite target date. Example: The repairman says my refrigerator won't last another year. I need a new fridge in the next six months. McDonald's has been criticized for the sample budget journal . Annie-Rose Strasser of Think Progess wrote , "Not only does the budget leave a spot open for 'second job,' it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees' costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing." A McDonalds spokesperson provided this statement to ThinkProgress : "In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald's first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008. As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information. The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like. " -- How important is it for employees to develop 'practical money skills for life"? What do you think about the Budget Journal? Does it help employees develop practical money skills? How could you improve the sample? rite a management objective that a first-line supervisor at a McDonald's restaurant could use to encourage employees to develop money skills for life.
  • Goal Setting: Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson

    Lululemon , a company known for its $100 yoga pants, had problems with public relations in March. Customers complained the yoga pants Lululemon was selling were too sheer, and the company eventually removed the pants from store shelves. Thus, the current CEO, Christine Day, plans to leave when a new CEO is named. The company posted a want ad for a CEO . The fun ad states the following job description, "You report to no one, you are the CEO (duh). You are passionate about doing chief executive officer type stuff like making decisions, having a vision and being the head boss person." The importance of vision can be seen in goal setting video by Lululemon's founder, Chip Wilson. Attached is his vision and goals worksheet. How did goal setting improve Chip Wilson's life? How can using the attached worksheet help you?
  • The Business of Father’s Day

    Today is Father's Day! Managers profit on the holiday by shifting focus and content to dads. For example, restaurants make Father's Day special to maximize traffic and loyalty. Father’s Day is the third most popular holiday on which to dine, after Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. The National Restaurant Association found that the most important factor in choosing the restaurant for Father's Day was choosing his favorite restaurant, regardless of specials. How did you celebrate Father's Day with your Dad? How can managers use their loyalty programs to increase traffic on Father's Day?
  • Working for Love

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of businesses having an office-dating policy? What problems arise from managers dating employees? Please Include Attribution to OnlineBusinessDegree.org with this Graphic
  • SHARK Acronym

    I received an email from Mari Smith , Leading Social Media Strategist. She reported on Shark Tank's Daymond John' s session at the annual conference , InfusionCon . Daymond John's acronym for SHARK is: S = set goals H = do your homework (research) A = amore (if you love what you do, you'll never have to work a day in your life) R = remember, you are the brand, and must have a 2-5 word brand mantra (like Nike's "Just Do It!" and Daymond's brand FUBU is "For Us, By Us.") K = keep swimming! What is your 2-5 word brand mantra?
  • Philosophy of a Successful Restaruant Entrepreneur

    In this video, entrepreneur Joe Johnston of Joe's Farm Grill, Joe's Real BBQ and Liberty Market (Gilbert, AZ) talks about the "two creations" of planning a restaurant, and how to minimize the risk of starting a restaurant. The video is by Schedulefly , a company that provides Web-based restaurant employee scheduling and communication software for independent restaurants. It is a spin-off project from the book , Restaurant Owners Uncorked: Twenty Owners Share Their Recipes for Success . Do you or someone you know want to start a restaurant? What practical advice for aspiring restaurant owners does Mr. Johnston offer?
  • Business Roundtable CEOs are Optimistic about Sales, but not Hiring

    Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers (CEOs) of the 200 largest corporations in the United States. The CEOs are surveyed about sales, capital spending, and hiring. The results are reported as a composite index used to gauge their economic outlook. The long run average of the index is 79. The current index is 81. According to the latest quarterly survey of Business Roundtable members, 72 percent of the CEOs expect sales to increase in the next six months. While the group is more optimistic about sales than in the past, they are not as optimistic about hiring. Only 29 percent of the CEOs expect to increase hiring in the next six months. (See attached press release.) Why does hiring not increase when sales increase? The BRT video at http://businessroundtable.org/corporations-101 explains how corporations work and the value they provide to the U.S. economy.
  • Create a Life with Purpose

    Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of How Will You Measure Your Life , discusses the daily decisions that define our lives. Managers are driven to succeed, and careers provide evidence of achievement. Investments in relationships with family don't pay off for a very long time, but families bring us the most happiness in life. As a consequence, managers who plan to have a happy life, find that the way they invest their time, energy, and talents causes them to implement a strategy that they wouldn't at all plan to pursue. Successful companies fail because they invest in things that provide the most immediate and tangible evidence of achievement. They are run by mangers who apply that very same thinking process in their personal lives with sad results. Professor Christensen warns us to be careful about how we measure success in our companies, as well as in our lives. Instead of money or job titles, he encourages us to measure how many people you have helped to become better people. This video reminded me of what I teach in my management class. "Good managers are determined by how many of their employees they have helped to get promoted to management." Professor Christensen encourages all of us to think about what is truly important. What is most important in your life? How will you measure your life?
  • Managers Provide Online Content

    Managers are in the best position to provide information online because they are the company experts. The slide below lists many of the ways that managers can create effective content. Basically, managers are answering the questions, "Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and How?". Of course the first step to creating online content is to plan for it. Source: The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing from Barry Feldman Interviews, case studies, and photos are potential content for customers. What else might customers find of interest on a company's Web site? How can managers make time to add creating online content to their job descriptions?
  • Failed New Year Resolutions

    Most of us want to start the New Year with new goals. But a recent YouGov Omnibus survey found that many have already broken their resolutiions. But, if you take a look at the most popular resolutions below, you will see that they are not SMART. To be SMART or successful, an an objective must be S pecific, M easurable, A ttainable, R esults-oriented, and T ime-limited. Most goals fail because people don't give themselves enough time to accomplish the goal. Take the most popular goal, "to lose weight." To be measurable, the goal would have to include the number of pounds to be lost. To lose 10 pounds in one year is reasonable and attainable. To lose 10 pounds in a week is not. Graphic from YouGov - "Resolutions Gone Bad" http://today.yougov.com/news/2013/01/14/resolutions-gone-bad/ Did you set New Year's resolutions? Have you broken them? Or, are you keeping them? Did you write your resolutions as SMART objectives? If not, rewrite them to be SMART, using the following check list. » S = Exactly what is my objective? » M = What would a good job look like? » A = Is my objective feasible? » R = Is my objective meaningful? » T = Is my objective traceable?
  • How to Break Habits

    Everyone makes decisions every day. But, many of our actions aren't decisions. They are habits. Charles Duhigg , author of "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business," says a habit has three parts: cue, routine, and reward. "You can change to a better routine by planning for the cue, and choosing a behavior that delivers the reward you are craving. What you need is a plan." (See attached "Guide for Changing Habits" for more explanation.) What are the cues, routines, and rewards in your life? Identify a habit you'd like to modify. What reward are you actually craving? How to Change a Habit (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg)