• Video is Engaging

    Most of us like to watch video. We see it, we hear it, and it has movement. In other words, video content is engaging. It can be informative. You can record video on your smart phone and then upload it to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for free. 

    What types of video could a manager use to engage employees?

  • Employees Are Not Engaged

    Gallop's State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders report reveals the trend in U.S. employee engagement, the impact of engagement on organizational and individual performance, information about how companies can accelerate employee engagement, and insights into engagement across different segments of the U.S. working population. The report found that "the vast majority of U.S. workers, 70%, are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplace and are less likely to be productive. Actively disengaged employees alone cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity, and are more likely than engaged employees to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away."

    Key findings from the report include:

    • Work units in the top 25% of Gallup’s employee engagement database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%. 
    • Managers who focus on their employees’ strengths can practically eliminate active disengagement and double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide. 
    • The generations at the beginning and approaching the end of their careers tend to be more engaged than those in the middle of their careers.
    • Although certain policies such as hours worked, flextime, and vacation time do relate to employee wellbeing, engagement levels in the work environment eclipse corporate policies. 
    • Despite not having a manager nearby to monitor their productivity, remote workers actually log more hours at their primary job than do their on-site counterparts. 
    • Only 41% of employees felt that they know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from its competitors’ brands. 
    • Engagement levels among service employees -- those workers who are often on the front line serving customers -- are among the lowest of any occupation Gallup measured and have declined in recent years, while engagement for every other job category increased. 

    The following 12 statements emerged from Gallups pioneering research as those that best predict employee and workgroup performance.

    The 12 Elements of Great Managing 


    1.  I know what is expected of me at work.
    2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. 
    3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
    4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
    5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
    6. There is someone at work who encourages my development. 
    7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
    8. The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important. 
    9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
    10. I have a best friend at work.
    11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
    12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.


    Interview someone who has a job and ask the above 12 questions. Report your findings.

  • Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week

    Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), November 18-24, encourages and inspires entrepreneurs to collaborate, innovate, and explore entrepreneurship opportunities globally. The video below gives more information about GEW and resources available from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

    Why should an entrepreneur contact the Small Business Administration?

  • JFK and Consumer Bill of Rights

    Today, November 22, 2013, the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with memorial ceremonies and moments of silence.

    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said in a message to Congress, "Consumers, by definition, include us all. If consumers are offered inferior products, if prices are exorbitant, if drugs are unsafe or worthless, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis, then his dollar is wasted, his health and safety may by threatened, and the national interest suffers." Furthermore, he announced his consumer bill of rights.

    Consumer Bill of Rights

  • The right to safety: to be protected against the marketing of products and services that are hazardous to health or to life.
  • The right to be informed: to be protected against fraudulent, deceitful, or grossly misleading information, advertising, labeling, or other practices, and to be given the facts needed to make informed choices.
  • The right to choose: to have available a variety of products and services at competitive prices.
  • The right to be heard: to be assured that consumer interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in making government policy, both through the laws passed by legislatures and through regulations passed by administrative bodies.
  • The right to education: to have access to programs and information that help consumers make better marketplace decisions.
  • The right to redress: to work with established mechanisms to have problems corrected and to receive compensation for poor service or for products which do not function properly.
  • Since the 1960's, increasing consumer rights have been added by statute and by proclamation. You can see a list of laws in food and drug law history at the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of the federal agencies charged primarily with protecting consumer rights. The USA.gov provides information for filing a complaint, being a smart shopper, understanding credit, and more.

    Managers need to know the laws. But, managers need to serve the customer. Would consumer protection laws be needed if businesses served the customer?

  • Using David McClelland's Human Motivation Theory

    The three motivators identified by David McClelland in his Human Motivation Theory (Learned Needs Theory) are achievement, affiliation, and power. Every person has a dominant motivating driver, and the manager must determine the dominant motivator of each person on the work team. This information can be used to set goals, reward behavior, and provide feedback.

    A person with a high Achievement Motive has a strong need to set and accomplish challenging goals. He or she takes calculated risks to accomplish goals, and likes to receive regular feedback on his or her progress. So, the manager needs to let achievers know what they're doing right – and wrong – so that they can improve.

    Are you a self-motivated achiever? How can you use this theory to motivate employees? Give an example.

  • The Evolution of Online Education

    Evolution of online education
    Courtesy of: OnlineSchools.com

    How many online classes have you taken? 

    Participating in an online course is fine, but the nonverbal dimension of the learning experience (where people sit in the classroom, what they wear, whether the teacher stays at a desk or table, stands at a lectern or walks around the room) is completely absent.

    What do you think is lost by taking a course online, and what is gained? Is the trade-off worth it?

  • Benchmarks of Online Higher Education


    Download the “Online Learning at Public Universities: Building a New Path to a College Degree” report, conducted in conjunction with AASCU member institutions.

    Download the “Online Learning at Private Universities: A Survey of Chief Academic Officers” report, conducted in conjunction with CIC member institutions.

    Surveys of Chief Academic Officers at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) reveal how public and private institutions are navigating the world of online higher education.

    Notice that Business is the top undergraduate and graduate field of study.

    What is your school’s online education GPA? How important is this? Do employers look at this?

  • Smartphones to Dominate Market

    Erik Qualman shares this Mobile Stats Video Infographic.

    Sweden's Ericsson AB, the world's largest maker of telecommunications networks, reports that smartphone traffic is expected to grow tenfold in the next six years, with mobile subscriptions predicted to reach 9.3 billion by 2019.

    Mobile is the preferred connection mechanism, whether at home or away. Are managers and employees always connected? How does this affect work life and private life?

    What does this mean for managers and employees? How do smartphones change the way managers and employees communicate?

  • The Leadership Challenge

    The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner offers these practices and commitments.

     The Five Practices 

    • Model the Way
    • Inspire a Shared Vision
    • Challenge the Process
    • Enable Others to Act
    • Encourage the Heart

    The Five Practices are the ways leaders mobilize others to get extraordinary things done in their organizations.  They are the practices leaders use to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards.  The Five Practices are what leaders do to create the climate in which people turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.

    The Ten Commitments

    •  Find your voice by clarifying your personal values.
    • Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.
    • Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
    • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.
    • Search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve.
    • Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes.
    • Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.
    • Strengthen others by sharing power and discretion.
    • Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.
    • Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. 

    Do you consider yourself to be a leader?

  • Non-verbal Tips for Your Next Presentation

    All managers make presentations. Body language is non-verbal communication. It has been said that , “We learn… 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, and 30 percent of what we see.” So, employees pick up more from non-verbal body language than they do from what the manager says. Yet, managers may be unaware of the non-verbal behavior that they use when speaking to others.

    Read the tips in the infographic above. How can a basic awareness of body language improve communications and interaction with others?


  • Wolf of Wall Street Trailer Named the Best of the Year


    Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer

    Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer #2

    The Wolf of Wall Street won 2013's Grand Key Art Award for audio/visual as  the best trailer of the year. This is the highest honor in the Hollywood Reporter's Key Art Awards. 

    The film by Martin Scorsese's is based on the book by Jordan Belfort. The book is a memoir. His web site says the following about him. 

    "In the 1990s, Jordan Belfort built one of the most dynamic and successful sales organizations in Wall Street history. During that time, he soared to the highest financial heights, earning over $50 million a year, a feat that coined him the name “The Wolf of Wall Street.” As the owner of Stratton Oakmont, Belfort employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and raised over $1.5 billion and started more than 30 million-dollar-companies from scratch. . . . Along the way, he succumbed to some of the traps of the high-flying Wall Street lifestyle, going through a spectacular—and well-publicized—fall from grace. Taking invaluable lessons from the mistakes he made and the prices he paid, he has re-emerged as a globally recognized potent force behind extraordinary business success."

    As a manager, what would you say if your company wanted to hire Jordan Belfort to train your employees or consult with your company on business strategies, sales training, ethics in business, or how to raise venture capital?

  • The Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses of the Millennial Generation in the Workplace

    Express Employment Professionals reported in “America Employed" that Millennials–those born approximately between 1980–2000–bring exceptional technological savvy to the workplace. By far, this is considered their greatest strength. On the other hand, their weaknesses include a lack of commitment and an over–inflated sense of self. 

    “Our research shows that younger workers excel at the obvious–technology. After all, many of them basically grew up with devices in their hands,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “However, they fall short of older workers when it comes to commitment to a job.

    “Younger workers always change the way employers do business. Millennials are a strong, free–thinking group whose attitude toward their employers is often ‘easy come and easy go.’ To create a strong workforce, employers need to be more willing to provide guidance to young people and help them settle into their careers, and Millennials need to be more willing to accept guidance.”

    Respondents were asked to name the “greatest strength the millennial generation has to offer in the marketplace.” The responses included:


    1. Technologically savvy - 63%
    2. Innovation - 9%
    3. Networking - 7%
    4. Resourcefulness - 7%
    5. Diversity - 5%
    6. Ambition - 3%
    7. Entrepreneurialism - 3%
    8. Productivity - 3%


    Respondents were also asked to name “the greatest weakness” of the millennial generation. The responses included:


    1. Lack of commitment - 29%
    2. Over–inflated sense of self - 27%
    3. Face–to–face communication - 14%
    4. Impatience - 14%
    5. Inexperience - 9%
    6. Inability to receive criticism - 4%
    7. Need for supervision - 3%


    Generations at work include Millennials and Baby Boomers. The biggest gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials is technology. How does this fact influence Baby Boomers' perception of Millennials' weaknesses in the workplace?

    What can Millennials do to overcome these weaknesses?

  • McDonald's Drops Heinz Ketchup

    The fast food industry is very competitive. Two major competitors are McDonald's and Burger King. Duane Stanford, Bloomberg reporter, says that McDonald's plans to stop using Heinz ketchup. The new CEO of.Heinz is Bernardo Hees, former CEO of Burger King. This decision makes sense, because companies don't want to depend too much on any one vendor

    Can McDonald's decision to drop Heinz ketchup be explained by game theory? (See the attached presentation on Game Theory by Barry Nalebuff, Yale School of Management.)

    Game theory analyzes the interplay between competition and cooperation. It is explained by the Value Net.

    What part does Heinz play in McDonald's Value Net? Is Heinz a complementor or a competitor?

  • Peter McGuinness, Chief Marketing and Brand Officer of Chobani, Expands the Yogurt Market

    Peter McGuinness, Chief marketing and brand officer of Chobani, discusses the decisions Chobani managers made to expand their yogurt market.. They are increasing items on the menu, inspiring people to eat yogurt beyond breakfast, and encouraging people to use yogurt as an ingredient in recipes.

    Do you eat yogurt? What about Greek yogurt?

    What would you suggest to Chobani managers to penetrate the market (strategy to sell more yogurt to present customers)?


  • Jamie Dimon Is No Longer Chairman Of JPMorgan Chase Banking Unit

    Jamie Dimon CEO, JPMorgan Chase (Source: Wikipedia)

    Jamie Dimon just lost his job as Chairman Of JPMorgan Chase Banking Unit, the nation’s largest bank.

    According to Mark T.Williams, a former Federal Reserve Bank examiner who teaches risk-management at Boston University School of Management, and author of Uncontrolled Risk about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers, since Dimon became Chairman and CEO in 2005, JPMorgan Chase has had the following problems.


    • Questionable mortgage practices
    • $6 billion “London Whale” trading scandal
    • Bribery of Chinese officials
    • Shoddy debt collection practices
    • Libor-fixing probe
    • Violations of the federal mortgage insurance program
    • Charging credit-card customers for services never received
    • Manipulation of western electricity markets
    • Compliance weaknesses in money laundering controls
    • Settlement relating to client money taken by MF Global
    • Potential damaging link to financial criminal Bernie Madoff


    Ben Heineman,a senior fellow at Harvard's Law and Kennedy Schools, in his blog post states, "at the end of the day, it is bank leaders and employees who must take the right business, legal and ethical actions under existing law." He then goes on to ask,  "Are these huge major financial institutions not just too big to fail, their leaders  “too big to jail” (as some critics charge), but also “too  big to manage”?

    Why haven't the bank managers made the right ethical decisions?

    Are big banks, like JPMorgan Chase, unmanageable?

    What might happen to the economy the next time a big bank crashes?