Gemmy S. Allen is Management Coordinator and Faculty at North Lake College, Irving, TX of the Dallas County Community College District. She is the co-author of the textbook Management: Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectations, published by Cengage. Her awards include being named Outstanding Mountain View College Faculty Member and receiving the Golden Oak Award, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce; the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence in Teaching Award; and the award for Mountain View College Innovator of the Year. She served as a member of Microsoft Mentors, the Microsoft/Compaq College Advisory Council and the St. Philip’s College Model Electronic Commerce Curriculum Advisory Committee and is founding teacher, Virtual College of Texas — “Internet Teachers at Every College.” In addition, she has co-authored several discipline-specific, Internet-related books, developed several online classes, made numerous presentations to industry, and has led workshops in the United States, Australia and Mexico.
The National Employment Law Project released a report, "Tracking the Recovery after the Great Recession." It found that lower wage occupations are growing faster than higher wage occupations and middle wage occupations are decreasing.
During the recession (2008 Q1 to 2010 Q1), employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery (2010 Q1 to 2012 Q1), employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. Specifically:
Nir Jaimovich, Henry E. Siu discuss how job polarization and jobless recoveries are related in their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, "The Trend is the Cycle: Job Polarization and Jobless Recoveries." They define job polarization as the recent disappearance of employment in occupations in the middle of the skill distribution and jobless recoveries as the slow rebound in aggregate employment following recent recessions, despite recoveries in aggregate output. They found, "job polarization is not a gradual process; essentially all of the job loss in middle-skill occupations occurs in economic downturns. Second, jobless recoveries in the aggregate are accounted for by jobless recoveries in the middle-skill occupations that are disappearing."
Economic conditions influence management decisions. Some companies reorganize in response to financial pressures by automating jobs or by sending jobs offshore. Thus, managers know that many of the jobs that disappeared during the recession are not coming back. How can managers influence their external environments, especially the economy?
Monitoring social media provides managers with contextual information and shared knowledge that can be used to improve business. Negative conversations need to be addressed and positive conversations need to be leveraged in order to build better products and improve services.
Some of the tools managers used for managing and analyzing social media are listed below.
1. Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is used to monitor what's being said about the product brand in real-time. Managers keep it running in the background on their computers and check it periodically throughout the day to see if there is anything that needs to be addressed.
2. Hootsuite: HootSuite is used to schedule posts. For example, tweets can be scheduled to post on Twitter on the weekends when other companies aren't posting at all.
3. Facebook Insights: Facebook Insights help managers understand their Facebook audience so that content can be targeted to the correct demographic.
4. Google Alerts: Google Alerts keep managers up to date on what people are saying about their products and companies on news sites and blogs.
5. VenueLabs VenueLabs keeps tab on social media mentions across a variety of local business pages. The analytical data and message notification system helps managers respond to messages on platforms like Google+ Local in a more timely matter.
On social media, if a discussion is positive, the manager might post something showing appreciation or provide additional information. If it is a negative conversation, the manager may resolve a customer problem and develop a better image. Customers know that problems might happen, but it is how the manager resolves the problem that matters.
Have you provided feedback on a product to Yelp or to your Twitter followers or Facebook friends? Have you rated a product on a site, such as Amazon? Did you get a response? What if you were the manager? How would you respond?
A wave of a cellphone replaces the swipe of a credit card in a program involving MasterCard PayPass. A phone is used to pay for items. Account information can be embedded in the phone.
Google is looking to make Google Wallet more than an mobile-payment system, turning it into a catchall for gift cards, tickets, credentials and the like. "We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device," Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet, says in a video for developers. Watch the Google wallet demonstration on YouTube at http://youtu.be/6tBAB5ls5vM. The video updating Google Wallet is below.
A number of other firms, including Apple, are planning similar offerings
What do you think? If you could pay with your cell phone, would you do it? Why or why not?
If you know PowerPoint, you can make an infographic with a free tool from HubSpot. (It is attached.) The template gives you three choices: a step-by-step infographic, an informational infographic, and a data-packed infographic.
You can see some of my favorite infographics at http://www.pinterest.com/management.
Choose a topic in management and explain it with an infographic.
Intellectual property is an important part of an overall company's net worth. It must be protected. We saw an example of this Friday when a nine-person jury sided with Apple on a majority of its patent infringement claims against Samsung Electronics, awarding Apple more than $1 billion in damages.
The jury reached the verdict after reviewing internal documents from both companies including emails between managers and reports to managers.
After the verdict was delivered Samsung released the following statement:
Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
After the verdict was delivered, Apple released the following statement:
We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.
What do you think Apple and Samsung will do now? Will Samsung appeal? Will the companies find a business solution, such as licensing? Or, will Apple decide to dominate the market?
Amended Verdict Apple Samsung
Microsoft's updated corporate logo was revealed yesterday. The last update was 25 years ago (1987). The old logo is below.
Choosing a logo is part of the product planning process. An effective logo projects the personality of a product, service, or company. Customers use the logo to identify the product, service, or company. (Try the Logo Quiz at http://www.logoquiz.net/.)
The new logo precedes Microsoft's new software products -- Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox services, the next version of Office. Here's how Jeff Hansen, General Manager, Brand Strategy, Microsoft, explained the new logo. "The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications. The symbol is important in a world of digital motion (as demonstrated in the video above.) The symbol's squares of color are intended to express the company's diverse portfolio of products."
Many companies have wasted a lot of money on their new logos. Consumers don't recognize them or remember them. It is inefficient for the same company, selling the same product, to change their logo. But, what about Microsoft? Was it time to change the logo? How will the new logo inspire the quality and integrity of the new software products?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but some people accomplish a lot more than others. Successful managers control their time by using the skill of delegation. They define objectives by answering, "What results does the company want?" Then, they get out of the way and let employees achieve those objectives. They trust employees to do the job.
But, some employees know how to delegate. They manage the boss by using upward delegation. "Who's Got the Monkey" by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass is a classic management article using the metaphor of a "monkey on the back" to illustrate upward delegation.
Read the attached article. How can managers avoid taking responsibility for a monkey that belongs on the employee's back?
In this CBS video, leadership coach and author Liz Cornish discusses how to conduct more productive meetings. At the start of the meeting she suggests:
Watch the video at this site http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7413008n&tag=mncol;lst<img alt=;1. What does she suggest to do during the meeting to make it more productive?
In 1954, Eli Broad's wife gave him a paperweight with the following quote from George Bernard Shaw. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man." Since receiving that paperweight, Broad founded two Fortune 500 companies (KB Home and SunAmerica) and became a billionaire. He shares his "unreasonable" success principles in his new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking.
Broad operates in the "Why not?" mode. He looks for ways to "reframe the facts in a way no one considered before." In most cases, he doesn't he look for the why behind what is. Why not?
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) surveyed 38 agencies across the United States about complaints they received in 2011.
Top Ten Complaints
The report offers general tips for consumers about how to avoid scams and rip-offs at www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/Consumer_Complaint_Consumer_Tips2011.pdf. In general, to avoid problems, consumers should check the backgrounds of service providers and review the ratings of products.
Choose one of the top ten complaints, and read the CFA suggestions on how to avoid scams and rip-offs in that area. If you were the manager in one of those businesses, what could you do to lessen complaints?
Last April, I wrote about "Gross National Happiness" as a measurement, instead of gross national product, of Bhutan's progress. (Bhutan is a tiny Himalayan country east of India.) In a speech on Monday, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, said, "We should seek better and more-direct measurements of economic well-being."
What contributes to happiness? Surveys have found the following consistent answers: health, family and community, control over one's life, and opportunities for leisure. Bernanke wants to know answers to the following questions. How secure do Americans feel in their jobs? How confident are Americans in their future job prospects? How prepared are families for financial shocks?
Since "happiness" is a subjective emotion, most managers want to measure "satisfaction." They may not be able to make you happy, but they can influence your satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is measured using the Net Promoter ultimate question (How likely are you to recommend this product or company to your friends and family?). This results in a Net Promoter score (essentially the number of survey respondents with positive outlooks on a brand minus those with negative outlooks.)
Interview several of your employed friends and family members. Ask them Bernanke's questions-How secure do you feel in your job? How confident are you in your future job prospects? How prepared are you for financial shocks? Then, ask them a version of the Net Promoter question-How likely are you to recommend working at this company to your friends and family? What did you find? Happiness or satisfaction?
Yesterday, I received the email below from J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson. It was a letter to Penney's customers giving them information about the company and asking them for their ideas and opinions. A link in the email makes it easy for customers to reply.
Johnson joined Penney from Apple last November, and added marketing to his CEO responsibilities in June. Since he joined the company, Penney's sales have declined. Will this new attempt be effective in increasing sales? Explain.
Richard St. John conducted ten years of research and 500 face-to-face-interviews to collect eight common traits in successful leaders around the world. He shares his research in his book, The 8 Traits Successful People Have In Common - 8 To Be Great.
Complete the exercise below. How do you score on the 8 traits? Are you down around number one where you slack off a lot, or are you closer to seven where you work really hard? Where you think you score now? Where you want to be?
Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco for 14 years, was voted "Britain's Most Admired leader" by Management Today for five years in a row. Tesco, one of the world's three largest retailers, is a multinational supermarket chain headquartered in the United Kingdom. Leahy offers the following ten words in his book, MANAGEMENT In 10 Words published by Random House Business Books 2012.
Which word do you think is most important for managers? Why?
"Getting and keeping talent!" is priority #1 for CEOs participating in PricewaterhouseCooper's 2012 Global CEO Study. More than 1250 company leaders from 60 countries were interviewed. Skills gaps are seen as a threat to business expansion. Thus, CEOs are changing talent management strategies. Of those CEOs surveyed, 79% already have or will have their human resources directors as one of their direct reports. See the attached infographic.
How can HR managers become more strategic?