• What Small Businesses Look Like on LinkedIn

    LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, hosted 100 small business entrepreneurs in their Mountain View, CA. and New York, NY offices with the "goal of learning more about their unique business goals and challenges." The infographic below is a snapshot of what small business looks like on LinkedIn.

    Businesses are using LinkedIn to recruit and hire employees. Are you a member of LinkedIn? If not, why not?

    The group referenced in the infographic is Succeed: Small Business Network Powered by Staples. Being a member of an industry group can help you distinguish yourself as an expert in your field. If you are a member of LinkedIn, have you joined groups relevant to your desired industry and job? Which groups are of interest to you?

    Do you want to own and manage a business? What type of business would you like to own?

    Richard Branson, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates influence small business owners. If you are a member of LinkedIn, which managers do you follow? Are they in the industry in which you'd like to work?

  • The Art of Strategy

    In this video, McKinsey principal Chris Bradley and director Angus Dawson explain how strategies are created, implemented, and executed. 

    How has strategic thinking evolved?

    What's next for strategy?

  • State of the American Workplace

    The manager is a key person in the organization. Gallup's State of the American Workplace, states, "The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all of the rest — is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits — nothing."

    In other words, the leading factor influencing employee engagement is an employee’s relationship with his or her own direct manager. What do you think about this statement?

  • How to Find a Job Using Twitter

    One of the best ways to get a job is through personal contacts and networking.  A way to build your network is to join Twitter, where you can learn from others in your discipline. You can follow the industry you are interested in, and participate in communities you care about. In this way, you will find out about job openings. When you share content that is valuable, others will want to follow you. Recruiters and employers, routinely performing Internet searches, can find out about you.

    How can your Twitter presence enhance your resume? 

    How do you utilize Twitter as a job search resource?

  • 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?

  • Leadership Quotes

    Not all leaders are managers, but all managers should be leaders. Leading is a major portion of a manager's job. Following are some leadership quotes.

    “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill 

    “All mankind is divided into three classes:  those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” ~ Benjamin Franklin 

    “For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him, he must regard himself greater than he is.” ~ Goethe 

    “The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.” ~ Elaine Agather 

    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein 

    “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 

    “It’s always fun to do the impossible.” ~ Walt Disney

     “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard 

    “The future never just happens; it is created.” ~ Will and Ariel Durant 

    “The leader leads, and the boss drives.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt 

    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti 

    “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier 

    “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” ~ Harold S. Geneen

     How well does the following quote describe the managers that you know?

    Leaders articulate and define what has previously remained implicit or unsaid; then they invent images, metaphors, and models that provide a focus for new attention. By so doing, they consolidate or challenge prevailing wisdom. In short, an essential factor in leadership is the capacity to influence and organize meaning for the members of the organization . (Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, Leaders, Harper & Row, 1985, p. 33)

  • How Google Glass Works

    Graphic designer Martin Missfeldt created an infographic that explains how Google Glass works. The eye glasses connect to the wearer’s smartphone and display information in the line of sight.

    More and more people are using their smartphones at work to keep connected to colleagues and customers. The phones might be supplied by the company or allowed by the company as a way to save money.

    Do you think Google Glass will replace smartphones at work?

    How can managers use Google Glass with their work teams?

  • A-B InBev Drives Results from Social Media

    In this video, Lucas Herscovici, Vice President Digital of A-B InBev, talks about measuring results in social media.

    "You can't manage what you can't measure." Managers need information to make decisions. In control, they measure actual performance against the plan and if necessary, take action.

    How does A-B InBev measure results in social media?

  • Community Support Good for the Bottom Line

    Supporting the community aids a retailer’s bottom line, according to research co-authored by Timothy Landry, a University of Alabama in Huntsville associate professor. The lead article in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 21, No. 3, Summer 2013 demonstrates how retailers benefit from employment of four social functions associated with development of community.

     

    • Socialization - Dr. Landry said, “In these types of studies we can show that as much as 40 percent of retailers’ support is due to these sociological factors.  You’re willing to pay more at a retailer if they are actively supporting the community.”
    • Mutual support - Dr. Landry said, “If you want to be a retailer that people feel really attached to, then your retail stores should reach out to the community through socialization. It tremendously affects your bottom line." 
    • Social participation -  Dr. Landry said,"The more of these you can do, the better off you are." Examples include a Little League team or a community-wide event, where the retailer facilitates interactions or gatherings between community members.
    • Social control - "An example of social control would be a larger retailer requiring censorship of certain musical lyrics on compact discs it sells." Note:  This did not result in greater loyalty or willingness to pay more.

     

    Dr. Landry says, “My research is headed toward answering the question, how do businesses play a role in supporting and bettering a community?”

    How do managers support a community?

    How can managers better a community?

  • 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.

  • Stand Out During Your Entry-Level Job Search

     

    The infographic above was compiled by InternMatch, an online platform connecting the ntern candidates and employers.

    Which job search tactics should you be taking to land your entry-level job?

    What do you think is the best way to impress employers?

  • Make Statistics Interesting

    Quality management gurus, such as  W. Edwards Deming, have taught managers to use statistical control methods – not physical inspections alone – to prove that a process is working. Managers are encouraged to make visual pictures or charts of the statistics because employees have a hard time visualizing and understanding anything beyond simple distributions.

    The point of sharing the video below is not whether you agree or disagree with the information quoted in the video, but to see the way the statistics are presented. This presentation makes boring statistics more interesting.

     

    Presenting information in a way that allows employees to hear and see and think is a powerful tool available to managers who'd like to make changes. When presenting statistics, remember that there is always a story behind the statistics. It is far more powerful to show and tell the story than to tell people what to do.

    As a manager, how will you present information to your employees?

  • How To Pitch To Investors In Under 2 Minutes

    Nathan Gold is the Demo Coach. I've seen him work with entrepreneurs developing their Elevator Pitch on the Wall Street Journal Start Up, a competition for new businesses.

    In this video, he tells us how to pitch to investors in under 2 minutes. He says to write a script. Memorize it.

    In your opening, use a story. That will set you apart from everyone else. Use analogies, similes, and metaphors.

    In the middle, answer the following questions. What is your product or service? Who is your market? How will you make money? Who is behind the company? Who are your competitors? What is your competitive advantage?

    In the close or conclusion, ask for what you want. In conclusion, I'd like to leave you with one thought, and that thought is . . .

    When you present your 2 minutes to investors, let your enthusiasm come across to your audience.

    1. Make a list of of the stories, analogies, similes, and metaphors.
    2. Answer the 6 questions in the middle with 2 sentences.
    3. Figure out your "Colombo" close.
    4. Memorize and Rehearse (2-3  hours of rehearsal over a week or two)
    5. Record it and play it back over and over again.
    6. Get some coaching to help you get better.

  • Handle Failure, Rejection, and Loss

    How do you treat day-to-day emotional injuries such as failure, rejection, and loss? In Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt And Other Everyday Psychological Injuries, Guy Winch explains that when we try to understand what went wrong, we end up over-personalizing the emotional injury and become too self-critical. But, we should practice self-kindness. "To win this internal debate," notes Winch,"we need talking points, arguments we can use to formulate a more balanced understanding of why the rejection occurred." Instead of negative self-talk when you're down, replace it with positive self-talk.

    One way to replace negative self-talk is to list any negative or self-critical thoughts. Then, list positive counterarguments for each self-critical thought. 

    What else does Dr. Winch recommend to aid in recovery?

    Which one of these techniques will you use? Why do you think it will work?

  • Will a robot take your job?

    Technology, computers, and robots are doing the jobs of secretaries, administrative workers, repairmen, and manufacturing workers.  

    In "Dancing with Robots" (see attached) "economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane point out that computers replace human workers only when machines meet two key conditions.First, the information necessary to carry out the task must be put in a form that computers can understand, and second, the job must be routine enough that it can be expressed in a series of rules" (Farhad Manjoo, "Humans 1, Robots 0," The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2013).

    View the video above. How do real-life robots differ from robots in TV and movies?

    Farhad Manjoo reports that software developer Martin Ford said that in the future, "all but the most non-routine-type jobs" will cease to exist.

    Read the attached article. What can you do to keep robots from taking your job?

  • Elements of Disruptive Innovation

    Entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft, have brought us products that reduce costs and improve quality. Yet, even though the United States leads the world in health care innovation, no entrepreneur has appeared. Why not?

    Disruptive innovation, also known as cost-cutting innovation, is described in The Innovator's Prescription by Clayton Christensen, Jerome Grossman, and Jason Hwang. The professors explain that cost-cutting innovation comes from the supply side, not the demand side. The elements of disruptive innovation can be seen in the graphic below. The entrepreneur understands what consumers want. But, many times, consumers can't describe these wants. Who among us visualized using a personal computer, smart phone, or tablet computer?

    In the video below, Jason Hwang talks about disruptive innovation in health care. He is co-author with Clayton Christensen and Jerome Grossman, of The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care.

    In the regulation of healthcare, Robert F. Graboyes, senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center and professor at George Mason University writes, "Medicare's reimbursement formula muffles prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect private insurance. Tax laws effectively bind employees to their employers' health plans. State regulations protect insiders through scope-of-practice regulations, protectionist licensing, and certificate-of-need requirements" (Robert F. Graboyes, "Where are the health care innovators?").

    How can managers influence the external environment of political/legal/regulations?

    How can managers drive costs down while increasing quality?

  • Managers Need Video

    Why your brand needs video

     

    Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

     

    Study the above infographic. It shows that customers want video from companies. The inforgraphic recommends videos which include a documentary, how-to, expert, promotional, and/or product demo.

    Employees are customers. What do you think about employees making videos about their jobs and uploading them to YouTube?

    How is video a good way to communicate?

    If you were a manager, would you encourage employees to make or at least help make videos? Explain.