• Jeff Bezos Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in the video above. As of August 26, the campaign has accumulated $88.5 million dollars total from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors. The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is a very successful fundraising campaign for the illness more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. "The social explosion  began when former college baseball player Pete Frates, whose career in sports ended when he was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, posted a video to Facebook on July 31st calling on friends and public figures to take the Ice Bucket Challenge in an effort raise awareness and donations toward research for the disease" (CommPRO.biz). The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness.  People can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS Charity of their choice, or do both.

    Many CEOs have taken part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For example, Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, accepted Mark Zuckerberg’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. How many of your friends have taken the challenge? What makes this fundraiser so popular?

    Why do people want to look like a winning coach along the sidelines?

    This year's fundraiser has been very successful! Last year, ALS raised $2.6 million from July 29 to August 26, according to the Associated Press. The Ice Bucket Challenge has far exceeded the fundraising goals of ALS. Management at ALS has a social responsibility to spend the money wisely. What are some of the problems that managers might face when their funds far exceed their budgets?

  • 10 Tips For a Successful Group Brainstorm

    Working as a member of a team is expected in business by management. Brainstorming is a creative problem solving technique used by teams to get more ideas. It is much easier to tame a wild idea than it is to invigorate an unsuccessful solution.

    View the brainstorming tips in the slides above.

    Tell us about a time that you were involved with a group where a meeting did not use the brainstorming guidelines. How much time was wasted? What would you do differently next time?

  • Five Ways to Listen Better

    Managers should spend most of their time  listening, but we aren't taught listening in school. Julian Treasure, sound expert, says, "We are losing our listening." In the video above, he shares five ways to listen better.

    Which of the five ways will you use to re-tune your ears for conscious listening?

  • Quiz: What kind of Networker are you?

    Have you heard the expression, "It's not what you know, it's who you know"? The way to know people is to network. Networking provides you with many opportunities. 
    Take the quiz found in the slides above. What kind of networker are you?
    Read the slide's suggested article to improve your networking type. What will you do to improve your networking?
  • 8 Ways to Hook Your Audience

    How do you start your presentation? If you want people to listen to you, it is important to start your presentation with a "hook" to get your audience's attention. The eight most popular presentation hooks from the top 100 most-viewed TED talks, are discussed in the slide show above and listed below.

    1. Tell a story. 
    2. Show a story with a graphic or video.
    3. Share your controversial opinion.
    4. Map out where your presentation is headed.
    5. Tell a joke.
    6. Ask a question.
    7. Start with a provocative statement.
    8. Start with a surprising comment.

    Think about the next presentation you will make. Which of the eight hooks will you use? Why is that?

  • Inflation Impacts Management Decisions

    In order to make decisions, managers scan the business environment which consists of factors that the manager cannot control. They do so because the environment affects business success. The economy is a key element in the business environment, and inflation has a negative impact on the economy. Inflation causes consumer spending to decrease since the purchasing power of the dollar drops as prices increase.

    Use this calculator to compare what a dollar will buy today compared to any time in the past.

    See the attached file to compare the rate of inflation to the wage gains of the average worker.

    Is inflation increasing?

    To find out, the manager can look at the Consumer Price Index. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the change in the Consumer Price Index. The index has been increasing.

    Have you noticed any prices rising? If so, which ones?

    Have you noticed any prices falling? If so, which ones?

    Which industries should be most concerned about inflation? Why is this?

  • Warren Bennis (1925-2014)

    Warren Bennis, leadership expert and USC professor, died July 31. He helped us to understand the difference in management and leadership. "There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. He contrasts management and leadership in his book, Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader, pg. 9. Perseus Books / Addison Wesley, 1997.

    MANAGER

    LEADER

    Administers

    Innovates

    Maintains

    Develops

    Accepts reality

    Investigates  reality

    Focuses on systems and structures

    Focuses on people

    Relies on control

    Inspires trust

    Has short-range view

    Has long-range perspective

    Asks how and when

    Asks what and why

    Has eye on the bottom line

    Has eye on horizon

    Imitates

    Originates

    Accepts the status quo

    Challenges the status quo

    Is the classic good soldier

    Is his/her own person

    In his Forbes (8/02/2014) "A Tribute to Warren Bennis, a Leader of Leaders", Steve Denning wrote the following. "Warren’s life and writings epitomized Peter Drucker’s view of management as one of the liberal arts. “‘Liberal’ because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership; ‘art’ because it is practice and application… management will increasingly be the discipline and the practice through and in which the ‘humanities’ will again acquire recognition, impact, and relevance.”

    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.)

  • Procter & Gamble Decides to Eliminate 100 Brands

    Chief Executive Officer, A. G. Lafley, announced today that Procter & Gamble (P&G) will cut up to 100 brands from its product line. In an interview with the Enquirer, Lafley said, "Some of our big brands are in industries that are not very attractive: they're not growing or low margin or commodities. If it's not a core brand – I don't care whether it's a $2 billion brand, it will be divested."

    Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj provides the P&G brand listing below.

    Bernstein - P&G Brand List

    If you were a P&G manager, which brands would you say "don't fit into the company's core beauty, fabric care and other businesses"?