• We Live in a Visual World

    The infographic below, created by ETHOS3, shows that we truly live in a visual world..

     Video connections that use chat and workplace collaboration tools are changing the way work teams meet, inform, and learn. Since visuals work better than text for engagement and increasing overall interest, employees are increasingly turning to video to access updated knowledge, develop skills, and collaborate with team members.

    When you want to know how to fix something or learn about a process, is your first choice to watch a short video segment?

    What are the business forces that are driving the growth of video at work?

    How can video be used for orientation, hiring, and customer support?

    How could a manager use video for coaching and mentoring employees?

  • Chick-fil-A Customers Help Recycle Millions of Foam Cups

    The video above highlights the efforts of Chick-fil-A customers recycling foam cups. Chick-fil-A researched other types of cups, but customers want the foam cups. Thus, a goal of Chick-fil-A is that "all packaging a guest uses can be recycled, composted or reused – with nothing going to landfill." The Metro Atlanta Chamber created a "sustainability snapshot" of businesses in their area (see attached). They reported that "Chick-Fil-A is the first restaurant chain in the industry to institute a sustainable solution via a large-scale foam cup recycling program. Recycling restaurants receive multiple new dual-opening recycling and waste receptacles as well as blue bags and separate, labeled covered containers for their dumpster pad. A major part of the recycling initiative includes training team members and customers to help educate them on this new recycling and waste process."

    How important is sustainability in corporate responsibility?

    How important is it for companies to recycle, compost, or reuse?

    What, if anything, should go to a landfill?

  • CEOs Overcome Obstacles to Success

    Most of us think that top managers or CEOs come from privileged backgrounds. That may be true for some CEOs, but some have overcome obstacles, such as dyslexia, lack of college degree, and working for only one company. 

    Basically, these stories show us that the road to CEO is different for different people.

    But, why do you think that most CEOs get a college degree and have work experience from several companies?

  • Google+ Best Practices

    The infographic above presents Google+ best practices for business. But, Google+ can be used by managers to connect with employees. Circles could be used to to divide work teams into different groups. Links could be  posted to the company's content. Hashtags, pictures, video, and text could be posted.  

    How could a manager use Google+ to communicate and connect with work teams?

  • Delta and Southwest Reinterpret Safety Instructions

    Flying can be a tedious experience for many airline customers. The safety instruction speeches are especially boring. But, a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines added a lot of jokes into her safety speech, as seen below in the video. It has gone viral and received many views in just a couple of days.

    Delta Airlines, also, has made its safety speech funny. The video shown below goes back in time to the 1980s. 

    Many companies, including airlines, have had problems using social media. But, Southwest Airlines exceeds at using social media. What makes Southwest's organizational culture so receptive to positive social media?

    What are Southwest and Delta doing to get positive attention? How can this be used by other companies?

  • Texas Instruments CEO Rich Templeton Talks about Innovation

    Rich Templeton, CEO of Texas Instruments (TI), talks about innovation in the above video. He says that innovation is "doing something differently." In addition, he says that it is better to focus on fewer things and do those better.

    It has been said that "change is the only constant in business today." But, most of us do not like change. How does TI foster a culture of change?

    Do you have a willingness to change? If not, how can you develop a willingness to change?

    How can managers help employees be willing to change?

  • Arianna Huffington on Success

    Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, redefined success after suffering from exhaustion. She has written a new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.

    How do you measure success? Huffington says that measurement of success should go beyond money and power. In the video above, she says the third metric “includes our well-being, our wisdom, our capacity to wonder and bring joy into our lives and our capacity to give. Without these four pillars, life is really reduced to our to-do list.” Changes at The Huffington  Post include "two nap rooms, meditation classes, yoga classes, breathing classes and healthy free snacks. Furthermore, no employee is expected to be on work e-mail after hours."

    How much sleep do you get each night?

    Do you take a few minutes each day just for yourself?

    How much exercise do you get each day?

    Do you "unplug" each day?

    Most of us know that we should eat right, get exercise, and get enough sleep. Why don't we do those things to manage our stress?

  • Apple Earth Day

    April 22 is Earth Day. Apple CEO Time Cook did the voice-over in the above video shot on location at Apple Facilities. Apple is striving to reduce their impact on climate change, find ways to use greener materials, and conserve resources for future generations. Lisa Jackson, Apple Vice President of  Environmental Initiatives, wrote, "every Apple Retail Store will now take back Apple products for free and recycle them responsibly. We believe we must be accountable for every Apple product at every stage of its use."

    What is the significance of Cook's decision to perform the voice-over himself? 

    Does this make the company better?

  • Protect Yourself Online While on the Go

    Protect yourself while on the go. The above video is brought to you by Microsoft and the STOP.THINK.CONNECT. Visit www.stopthinkconnect.org for more information.

    Last week, a security vulnerability in the technology that powers encryption across much of the Internet, named Heartbleed, was identified. What’s unique about the Heartbleed security flaw is that the web sites you thought were secure -- https:// -- may have contained the vulnerability.

    Question: Should I change my password and if so, when should I change it?

    Answer: If a web site has identified the security flaw and installed the patch, you should change your password.  If a web site has the vulnerability and not installed the fix, wait until the vulnerability is fixed before changing your password.  

    CNet compiled a list of the top 100 sites and checked to see if the Heartbleed bug was patched.  See the list at http://www.cnet.com/news/which-sites-have-patched-the-heartbleed-bug/.

    Your online security should be a top priority. If you work, did your manager encourage you to change your passwords?

     

    Did you receive an email from companies encouraging you to change your password and telling you how to do it? How is that good customer service?

     .

  • Cookies: A Guide To Understanding Data-Driven Morsels

    Cookies: A Guide To Understanding Data-Driven Morsels #infographic @verticalmeasures
    Infographic by Vertical Measures

    Are you concerned with your online privacy? 

    When are cookies ("little bits of morsel data stored on your computer from a website") good?

    When are cookies  ("little bits of morsel data stored on your computer from a website")  bad?

  • TRUSTe's 2014 US Customer Confidence Privacy Report

    According to TRUSTe's 2014 US Customer Confidence Privacy Report, 92 percent of American Internet users say they worry about their privacy online.  Surprisingly, they're far more concerned about how businesses handle their personal information than with the government spying on citizens.

    In this survey, 89 percent said they avoid companies they do not trust to protect their privacy.

    Besides having strong data protection measures and privacy policies in place, how can managers insure that the business comes across as more trustworthy?

    How can businesses and employees show respect in other areas?


    [The TRUSTe survey:  http://www.truste.com/us-consumer-confidence-index-2014/ ]

  • Taco Bell Breakfast Menu Competes with McDonald’s

    Every business plan includes a competitive analysis. When evaluating competitors, companies may identify their competitors, name their products and services, determine market share, and analyze the promotion mix.

    It seems that Taco Bell compared its breakfast products with those of its largest competitor, McDonald’s. Popular breakfast items offered by McDonald’s include the Egg McMuffin, biscuits, pancakes, oatmeal, and the option to substitute egg whites in breakfast sandwiches. Taco Bell offers the A.M. Crunchwrap (burrito), Cinnabon Delights, a grilled taco, and the waffle taco.

    “We’re just getting started with breakfast,” said Chris Brandt, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer. “The overarching strategy here is to break up the routine. We saw out there a sea of sameness in terms of breakfast. We think we have some truly unique items. … We feel like we offer a great alternative for people to try something new.” 

    Taco Bell has developed two ads to directly compete with McDonald’s. In the first ad, several men named Ronald McDonald say that they prefer breakfast at Taco Bell. In response, McDonald’s tweeted an image of its clown, Ronald McDonald, petting a Chihuahua with the comment, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” (The Chihuahua is Taco Bell’s retired mascot.)

    The second ad, below, is set to the tune Old McDonald Had a Farm and shows a man stuck in the past eating Egg McMuffins. But, after eating Taco Bell’s breakfast, he trims his hair (mullet style), changes to tighter pants, gets a smartphone, and takes down his poster. In response, McDonald’s tweeted that Mayor McCheese had declared that Ronald prefers McDonald’s.

    Do you think of Taco Bell as a place to get breakfast?

    What are the risks for Taco Bell directly attacking McDonald's?

    What do you think about the Twitter responses from McDonald's?

  • How Women and Men Use Social Media and Mobile

    The inforgraphic above gives us insight into gender differences in the use of social media and mobile.

    How has using your smartphone changed you? What do you differently now than you did before owning a smartphone? Could you give up your smartphone? Explain.

    How can knowledge of social media and mobile use give managers insights about customers and employees?

  • Jeff Bezos on Regret Minimization

    When Jeff Bezos was trying to decide whether to start Amazon or to stay with his Wall Street job, he created his "Regret Minimization Framework" to use for making the decision. Basically, he decided to start now to avoid regret later.

    The fear of regret helped Bezos to decide to start Amazon. What might you regret when you look back on your life at age 80? How might the "Regret Minimization Framework" help you to make management decisions?

  • Blog More, Facebook Less

    Derek Muller, author the science video blog Veritasium, has 118,000 Facebook fans, but his posts go to a small fraction of them. His video below, called The Problem with Facebook, has gotten more than 9,000 comments, many from angry Facebook users. 

    Many small business managers think that they only need a Facebook page. But, Mr. Muller does not agree. Another blogger, Ryan Hanley writes"You don't own the media unless you own the property. It's that simple. Everything else you create everywhere else can be taken away from you."

    Does every business need a Website to communicate with customers? If not, how will they share their story, answer questions, and be a resource for customers, potential customers, clients, and employees?

    If you go to work for a small business and it only has a Facebook page, what would you recommend?

     

  • Lufthansa CEO Dr. Christoph Franz Apologizes for Strike

    Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz offered an apology to customers affected by a strike called by the airline's pilots. “You’re Lufthansa customers – you rely on the excellent, safe, customer-oriented service of Lufthansa every day, 365 days a year. The next three days unfortunately, Lufthansa will not be able to provide you the service you are used to because our pilots will be on strike,” said Mr. Franz. Chase Gummer of The Wall Street Journal reported, “This is the first time that the CEO of a big German corporate has gone before the cameras himself,” said social media consultant Thomas Knüwer. “It’s certainly a sign that German industry is beginning to understand the Internet.”

    If you were a frustrated customer of Lufthansa, would the video help Lufthansa's relationship with you?

    If you were a manager, would you post an apology to customers? Is this the right way to communicate with customers? Explain.

  • Food Service Executives Share Best Career Advice

    At the Women's Foodservice Forum's (WFF) 2014 Annual Leadership Development Conference, National Restaurant News (NRN) asked three foodservice executives to share the best career advice they've received.

    The leaders shared "be an authentic leader," have self confidence, do your best, build competence, "take care of the people around you and focus on the business, then the people in the business will take care of you."

    What goals do you have for yourself?

    How do you plan to accomplish those goals?