• National Data Privacy Month

    Data Privacy Month began as National Data Privacy Day on January 28th four years ago. Legislation in 2009 declared every January 28th as the day for national data privacy awareness. Privacy is concerned with how data/information is managed, used, and disclosed. Security deals with the protection of data/information from being lost, stolen, or improperly accessed.

    SANS and EDUCAUSE developed this privacy awareness video used by colleges and universities.


    Managers train employees to incorporate the following work habits into their day-to-day activities.

    • Share information with authorized personnel. When in doubt, don't give it out.
    • Limit the amount of company information you carry.
    • Change your passwords periodically.
    • Position monitors so that bystanders cannot see internal or confidential information on your screen.
    • Lock information whenever you are away.
    • Lock your screen or workstation before leaving your workspace using any of or a combination of the three methods: Simultaneously press the Windows logo on your keyboard and the L key.Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys simultaneously.Set your computer to time out after a set time of idleness.
    • Lock file cabinets.
    • Lock office doors.

    What other tips can you share to insure privacy and security?

  • Cookies and Behavioral Tracking


     Privacy is the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance. Security is the degree of resistance to, or protection from, harm. It is the freedom from danger, risk, etc.

    The video below, "How Advertisers Use Internet Cookies to Track," explains how advertisers use cookies to track your online habits.

    Is it a coincidence when you see Web ads for products that match your interests? Do managers use your information to provide you with better products and services? If so, what is the problem with advertisers using cookies to track?

  • A Job is More Than a Description

    What is your job?

    Most of us would answer that question with the job title or a job description. You can find most jobs listed in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. It lists hundreds of occupations and describes" What They Do, Work Environment, How to Become One, Pay, and more." Also included is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment projections for the 2010–20 decade.

    But, Seth Godwin, writes, "Your job is to surprise and delight and to change the agenda. Your job is to escalate, reset expectations and make us delighted that you are part of the team."

    A job is much more than the skills you bring to it. When you join a work team, how will you suprise and delight the other members of your team? How will you escalate, reset expectations, and make the other members delighted?

  • 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?

  • CEO engagement through social media

    CEOs of the world's top 50 companies are evolving socially. Weber Shandwick’s 2010 study, Socializing Your CEO: From (Un)Social to Social, was refreshed in mid-2012 and revealed that sociability of world’s largest company CEOs has nearly doubled – from 36% in 2010 to 66% in 2012. Online engagement is defined by Weber Shandwick as presence on company websites and video usage.

    Source: Socializing Your CEO 2013

    What is it important for CEOs to use social media?

  • 50 Percent Pay Cut for JPMorgan Chase CEO

    A JPMorgan management task force just released a 129-page internal report about a trade on credit derivatives that cost JPMorgan Chase more than $6 billion. The report found that traders acted on their own, concealing losses while managers seemed in the dark.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that the board said in a statement that the chief executive officer (CEO) "bears ultimate responsibility for the failures that led to the losses." As a result, CEO James Dimon's pay was cut by 50 percent for 2012. It is $11.5 million, down from $23.1 million the year before. Javier Martin-Artajo, a manager who oversaw the trading strategy from the bank's London offices; Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale for placing the outsize bet; and Achilles Macris, the executive in charge of the international chief investment office are no longer with the company.

    Compensation issues stir up a great deal of controversy.  JPMorgan Chase had no risk management control in place. The traders were influenced by compensation - the promise of huge profits.

    Massive pay packages for CEOs are a corporate governance issue. For example, good corporate governance would be a straightforward compensation policy which is in line with a company's actual performance.

    How did profits hide all concerns? Could this happen again?

  • 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 Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-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?

  • The New American Airlines

    As it gets ready to come out of bankruptcy, American Airlines (AA) revealed its rebrand (a new logo and exterior for its planes) today.

    "Since placing our landmark aircraft order in July of 2011, we've been building anticipation toward a moment in time when the outside of our aircraft reflects the progress we've made to modernize our airline on the inside," said Tom Horton, American's Chairman and CEO. "While we complete the evaluation of whether a merger can build on American's strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take to renew our airline, a step we take with great respect for our name American. Today marks important progress in that journey as we unveil a new and updated look for the first time in more than 40 years."

    The last time AA updated its brand was 1968. The brushed aluminum exterior was abandoned because the new airplanes are made of composite material which must be painted. The exterior color remains silver in honor of American's silver bird legacy.

    "Our new logo and livery are designed to reflect the passion for progress and the soaring spirit, which is uniquely American," said Virasb Vahidi, American's Chief Commercial Officer. "Our core colors - red, white and blue have been updated to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit. The new tail, with stripes flying proudly, is a bold reflection of American's origin and name. And our new flight symbol, an updated eagle, incorporates the many icons that people have come to associate with American, including the 'A' and the star."

    The video below is one of the ads from AA's new advertising campaign designed to showcase the new look.

    In general, it is inefficient for the same company, selling the same product, to change its logo. What do you think of AA's rebranding?

  • Flu and Absence Management

    The flu is increasing the level of absenteeism in workplaces across America. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) "widespread influenza activity was reported by 47 states."

    Graphic from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S5

    The CDC advices, "If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care."  But, not all employers offer sick leave. Employee benefits the employer must provide by law include social security and workers' compensation. Thus, some employees go to work sick. Unfortunately, even more employees get the flu and call in sick.

    Employee absences affect an organization's finances and productivity. Washington Employers Association has developed a guide to calculate the rates and costs of absent employees. (See attached Absenteeism Calculator.)

    The SOHO Guidebook cites the following as notable hidden cost factors associated with absenteeism:

    • Lost productivity of the absent employee
    • Overtime for other employees to fill in
    • Decreased overall productivity of those employees
    • Costs incurred to secure temporary help
    • Possible loss of business or dissatisfied customers
    • Problems with employee morale

    Managers need absence management strategies. What should managers do about flu absence? How can flu absence be prevented?

  • Apple Maps: Biggest Product Flop of 2012

    Photo from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-8-biggest-product-flops-of-the-year-2012-12-28

    The editors of 24/7 Wall Street listed the top eight product flops of 2012, and Apple Maps was number one on the list.  The editors explained how they determined a product flop. "To be considered a flop, the company that rolled out the product must have invested significant resources in its development and marketing. Once the product was released, the failure had to have happened quickly. None of the products on our list were on the market much longer than a few months before they were regarded as a flop. Finally, once the products failed, the companies took a sizable hit to both their reputation and, in some cases, their bottom line." Read more: "The Worst Product Flops of 2012" 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/12/21/the-worst-product-flops-of-2012/2/

    When Apple upgraded its operating platform to the iOS6 in September 2012, managers decided to replace Google's Maps with Apple Maps. Mistakes in Apple Maps confused users. As a result, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an apology. "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better." Read more: "To Our Customers" http://www.apple.com/letter-from-tim-cook-on-maps 

    Some managers disagreed with the decision. The Wall Street Journal reported "executive Scott Forstall was asked to leave the company after he refused to sign his name to a letter apologizing for shortcomings in Apple's new mapping service." Read more: "An Apple Exit Over Maps" http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578087192497916304.html

    The day after Google Maps returned to iTunes store, it became the most downloaded app. Why would Apple want to replace Google Maps with its own map app? What lessons can managers learn from Apple's product failure?


  • Wendy's Training Video (1980)

    A fundamental part of every manager's job is to train employees. Training is an important element in any company's productivity. Better trained employees are more productive. They get results in less time than employees without training.

    But, managers can get bored saying and doing the same things over and over in training sessions. One way to overcome this is to use a video. Using video for training is nothing new. The Wendy's training video above is from the 1980s. This video is entertaining as well as informative.

    What is your favorite way to learn? What did you learn from this traiing video? What did you like about it? What would you change about it? How could you use this format in the future to train employees?

  • Target Matches Prices Year-Round

    Today, Target announced it will permanently match some competitor prices year-round. It originally offered price-matching as a holiday promotion.

    Target Price Match Guarantee - If you buy a qualifying item at a Target store then find the identical item for less in the following week’s Target weekly ad or within seven days at Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com or in a competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price. Price match may be requested at Guest Services prior to your purchase with proof of current lower price or by bringing in your original Target store receipt and proof of the current lower price.

    Price Match Guarantee: the details

    • The item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number.
    • Limit of one competitor online price match per identical item, per guest.
    • Price must be valid at the time the price match is requested.
    • Retail price must be shown on the website or print ad. Online prices will be validated by a Target team member.
    • Competitor online items must be in stock at the time a price match is requested.
    • Competitor catalogs can be matched as long as the catalog displays a current date, retail price and meets all other competitor ad match qualifications.
    • If item is not available in a Target store, a rain check will not be issued to match the online price or competitor’s print ad.
    • We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the item.

    How might Target's price matching decision combat “showrooming” — customers browse Target stores to check out products and then go online to buy?

    How does Target's price matching decision give consumers confidence that Target offers competitive prices?

    How easy is it for Target shoppers to get the price match?

    How might price-matching affect Target's profit?

  • KnowNOW! Management Headlines Year in Review

    Do you remember?

    1) RIM got a new CEO in January. Who was it?

    a) Carly Fiorina

    b) Meg Whitman

    c) Thorsten Heins

    d) Carol Bartz

    2) The failure of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger in February cost which CEO $2million cut in pay?

    a) T-Mobile CEO John Legere

    b) AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

    3) Which management job was ranked number three in CareerCast.com's list of best jobs?

    a) Human resources manager

    b) CEO

    c) COO

    d) CMO

    4) Which company's board took away the Chairman of the Board title from its CEO Aubrey McClendon?

    a) Exxon/Mobile

    b) Shell

    c) Dynergy

    d) Chesapeake Energy

    5) Who was named Yahoo's new CEO in July?

    a) Thorsten Heins

    b) Marissa Mayer

    c) Carol Bartz

    d) Meg Whitman

    6) Apple won a $1 billion award in a patent infringement case in August against which compeitor?

    a) Samsung

    b) RIM

    c) Nokia

    d) HTC

    7) What was the priority #1 for CEOs participating in PricewaterhouseCooper's 2012 Global CEO Study?

    a) Getting and keeping talent

    b) Training employees

    c) Borrowing money

    d) Making a profit

    8) What October storm limited business hours in the Northeast?

    a) Hurricane Ike

    b) Hurricane Sandy

    c) Hurricane Rita

    d) Hurricane Kyle

    9) What was happening to BestBuy when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price?

    a) Crowdsourcing

    b) Outsourcing

    c) Overpricing

    d) Showrooming

    10) What was the most overused profile buzzword on LinkedIn in 2012?

    a) Awesome

    b) Educated

    c) Creative

    d) Resourceful

    ANSWERS:  1. c, 2. b, 3. a, 4. d, 5. b, 6. a, 7. a, 8. b, 9. d, 10. c

  • No Excuses

    Most people won't become an entrepreneur or even a manager because of their fear of failure. But, everyone has self-doubt - even successful entrepreneurs and managers. If you have ever struggled to accomplish a goal, Kyle Maynard's story will encourage you. Most of the problems you have faced do not come anywhere near the problems he has faced. Watching this video and reading his book, No Excuses, will inspire you.  

    Kyle faces challenges without "excuses." What goal have you been putting off because of self-doubt? How has Kyle's story motivated you to want to accomplish the goal?


  • I made this!

    Seth Godin's new book is The Icarus Deception. He says that it is hard for someone to say, "Here, I made this."

    It is hard to be an entrepreneur. You might fail. People might laugh at you and your creations. But, it is wonderful when you succeed!

    What have you created?

  • Employee Resolutions for 2013

    Happy New Year! What are your New Year's resolutions for 2013? Will you make better grades? Will you lose weight? Will you increase your exercise? Those are some of the most popular resolutions made by people every year.

    The annual Glassdoor survey looks at feedback from more than 2,000 U.S. based employees and job seekers. From this research, a list of employees' work-related resolutions is developed. For 2013, almost one in three (32%) want to get a raise, one in four (24%) want to develop their leadership skills, and another one in four (23%) plan to look for a new job.

    Other top priorities among employees for 2013 are below:

    What are your 2013 work-related resolutions? (If you don't work, ask several workers for their top work-related resolutions for 2013.)