• Corporate MOOCs

    eLearning Trends to Follow in 2015
    Courtesy of: TalentLMS

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are predicted by John Laskaris to be a trend to follow in 2015. He suggests that companies will use MOOCs for training employees.

    Explain how companies might use MOOCs to train employees.

  • Happy Holidays from T-Mobile CEO John Legere

    In this video, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, wishes everyone "Happy Holidays."  The music, "The Night Before Christmas," plays in the background. He talks about T-Mobile's strengths. Then, he insults the competition.

    What do you think about his insulting the competition?

    Do insults fit with what you've learned about the Management Environment?

    Is this the best way to compete? Explain.

  • Merry Christmas!

    I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There’s just one thing I need. I don’t care about presents underneath the tree.

    It’s a wonderful life working to make a difference by finding stories that help you learn management. Showing you how to plan, organize, staff, influence, and control is the thing I need.

    A gift for you is attached -- 2014 *Holiday* Gift! (the Task Management System) -- from The Coaching Tool Company. Plus they share how to use it!

    The Task Management System contains:

    • A Weekly Task Planner (as the name suggests) to use once a week. Identify your top 3-5 priorities, track upcoming actions and ideas, remember personal actions (eg. birthday reminders, pay bills, exercise class) and identify what to delegate/get help with.

    • A Daily Task Planner (as the name suggests) to use once a day. Identify your “Big Project” task/s, “Filler” tasks and personal tasks for that day. List your Top 3 Priorities that week at the top of the form to keep you focused when planning your day. - See more at: http://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/how-to-use-the-new-to-do-list-task-management-system/?awt_l=BTQz2&awt_m=JyA0aiLNbykgJW#sthash.c7To9vMC.dpuf

    Will you take time to plan everyday? If so, you'll have more time because you will be more focused.

    What are your top 3 priorities for 2015?

  • U.S. and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Relations

    I was in Puerto Rico when President Barack Obama announced that for the first time in 54 years the U.S. will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba. President Obama stated, "This is fundamentally about freedom and openness, and also expresses my belief in the power of people-to-people engagement. With the changes I’m announcing today, it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use American credit and debit cards on the island. Nobody represents America’s values better than the American people, and I believe this contact will ultimately do more to empower the Cuban people."

    While paying for my products at a retail store in Puerto Rico, the woman helping me said that she was very upset about the announcement. I asked her why and she said that tourists would go to Cuba instead of Puerto Rico. But, as I proceeded to other stores and museums, the employees were very excited. They felt that new opportunities would be created, and that travel would increase Cuban engagement with the rest of the world.

    Since the Cuban government owns the buildings and land, it will be difficult for foreign companies to introduce their products and services to this new market. Managers must convince the Cuban government that selling their company's products will help the economy of Cuba. Also, if the product would compete with a Cuban brand it will be difficult to gain acceptance. Furthermore, most Cubans have little disposable income, but Cubans are known for being creative with their resources. For example, they have kept classic cars from the 1950s running.

    Which American companies should expand to Cuba?

    Which American products and services might benefit Cubans?

    How might managers of U.S. companies convince Cuba that their product will benefit Cuba?

  • Sony's Email Hack and Executive Communication Skills

    In an article for Forbes, Jeffrey Pfeffer, gives us "3 Critical Lessons from Sony's Email Hack." Sony Pictures email was hacked and some of the executive emails were shared on the Internet. The incident is a warning to all of us that email is not private.

    Professor Pfeffer states the following.

    Having observed better and worse executives for decades, I find one of the most important leadership skills to be completely missing among all of the participants in this fiasco. That skill is thinking and behaving strategically at all moments and in all interactions. Yes, senior leaders have huge egos and maybe tempers to match. And, as research consistently demonstrates, the possession of great power often brings out the worst in people. People in power feel free to pay less attention to those with less power and are emboldened to ignore all sorts of rules, including norms for polite behavior. But the best, smartest, savviest leaders understand that with great power and prestige inevitably comes great visibility. Subordinates watch senior executives more closely than they do people of lower rank, as they seek to learn how to behave in a particular workplace. And as all the executives who have written books can attest, the public at large also watches those in power, and the more power someone has, the greater the public attention they receive. Therefore, there are no “offhand” or off-the-record remarks. Everything is public, or may be. Consequently, the smart thing for leaders is to put a filter between their brains and their mouths—or fingers, in the case of emails—and ask, “Is this communication going to help me achieve my goals?” If the answer is no, rethink what you were about to say or write.

    What are your goals? How can you stay focused on those goals by asking before you communicate, “Is this communication going to help me achieve my goals?” 

  • Creativity and Problem Solving

    In his book, Creativity & Problem Solving (The Brian Tracy Success Library), Brian Tracy identifies three ways to stimulate your creativity.

    1. Clear goals. "The more you want something, the more likely it is you'll find creative ways to accomplish it." Write down your goals. Review them each day. Visualize them. Develop action steps to meet your goals. Achieve your goals.

    2. Pressing problems. "The more determined you are to solve a pressing problem, the more resourceful you will be in coming up with different solutions."

    3. Focused questions. "The more focused and specific the questions that you ask yourself, or that others ask you, the more innovative you will be in developing answers."

      • "What are we trying to do?" 
      • "How are we trying to do it?"
      • "What result or outcome is desired?"
      • "Are there other ways to achieve or goals or desired outcomes?"

    Can you articulate each answer in 25 words or less? If not, you run the risk of losing focus.

    What are your goals? What are your pressing problems? 

  • Connect Strategy and Execution

    Source: Bain Brief at http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/winning-operating-models-that-convert-strategy-to-results.aspx

    From time to time, managers must revisit the operating model to ensure that strategy is being executed. Marcia Blenko, an advisory partner with Bain & Company’s Organization practice, Eric Garton, a partner and the global leader of the practice, Ludovica Mottura,  the director of the practice, and Oliver Wright, a partner, offer the questions below to serve as leading indicators that a partial or full redesign may be in order.

    • Do you persistently see execution gaps between your strategic ambitions and business results?
    • Are you set up to capture your biggest growth opportunities?
    • Are you able to consistently meet the needs and priorities of target customers, or does your organization get in the way?
    • Have complexity or costs grown faster than you can mitigate them within the current model?
    • Do you make decisions at the pace required by the market, or are you held back by a constant swirl of revision?
    • Do you have the key capabilities, including talent, that you need for future success, and will your model help deepen the capabilities that matter most?
    • Do your leaders commit the right focus and time to the top strategic priorities?
    • Do you have a culture of accountability and collaboration to enable you to execute effectively?

    Which companies don't understand the needs and priorities of their target customers? Using the operating model above, and reading the article, identify a company and determine the best organizational setup to address the needs of their customers.

  • Crowd Management Guidelines

    Sometimes, a business might be too successful at attracting customers. In those cases, the National Retail Federation has released "Effective Crowd Management Guidelines." (See attached file.)

    While NRF’s guidelines are a more strategic approach to crowd management, below are general considerations to help plan and curtail any potential crowd control issues:

    • Remind and retrain all employees about your store’s emergency protocols to address potential risks facing employees and customers.
    • Dedicate knowledgeable employees to communicate and manage crowds, from arrival to departure, and resolve any potential conflicts that may arise.
    • Strategically place sale items throughout the store to help disperse crowds and manage traffic flow.
    • Request the assistance of local law enforcement if large crowds are expected and arrange for additional security services.
    • Educate employees about relevant policies and procedures and advise them who to contact in the event of a situation.

    Why is it important to train all employees in risk management protocols that protect customers, associates, and stores?

  • The Sonic Culinary Innovation Center

    The Sonic Culinary Innovation Center opened this month in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Claes Petersson, Sonic’s vice president of research, development and packaging innovation, told Restaurant News, “The whole idea of the culinary center is to make sure we are prepared for the future. Our goal is to have a pipeline of products that’s one to two years or more ahead. . . . We’ve been able to build a kitchen that is functional for everybody at the same time, and we can work together in a much better way. . . . My most important mission is to make sure that we’re prepared for what’s next, what’s around the corner.”

    View the video. How does Sonic make sure that they have the best possible products in each segment?

  • Generation Z Enters the Workforce

    Millennials are the most researched generation in history. But Generation Z (born 1995 to present) is entering the workforce. A report by sparks & honey tells us more about Generation Z. 

    Leonid Bershidsky compares the two generations at BloombergView.

    Source: "Here Comes Generation Z" at http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-18/nailing-generation-z

    Hayley Peterson of Business Insider prepared the checklist below for connecting with Generation Z.
    Source: "Millennials Are Old News — Here’s Everything You Should Know About Generation Z" at http://www.businessinsider.com/generation-z-spending-habits-2014-6
    What might be most important for managers to know about Generation Z? 
  • 4 Tips to Remember When Negotiating

    Anthonia Akitunde, Editor, Federated Media Publishing, Inc., shares the above tips to help you be a better negotiator.

    Think of a situation when a manager might need negotiation skills. Explain how the manager could use the 4 tips.

  • A Sample Plan for an Event

    Whether you're a manager, or an industry association planning an annual conference, a sample plan reminds you of all the ways you can communicate with others about your event. The infographic above from Marketo is a Sample Social Media Plan for Events. It includes ideas for pre-event planning, social media marketing, what to do while the event is under way, and post-event marketing. 

    The attached file includes worksheets, templates, and checklists. It covers:

    • The top 4 reasons to include events as part of your strategy
    • Key strategies to promote your event through email, social, and Public Relations
    • How to run a flawless webinar or virtual event
    • How to rock out a huge conference or tradeshow step-by-step
    • Effective follow-up techniques that convert your attendees, and "no shows"
    • The ins and outs of calculating event return on investment (ROI)

    Why might a manager need to use a social marketing plan to run a webinar for employees?

    Why is a checklist substituted for a plan?

  • The Internet is After Your Job

    New technology, such as the Internet, can destroy jobs. The Guardian reports that, "In the past, this has mainly affected unskilled jobs, but now it's hitting the middle classes – cutting a swathe across the creative industries and 'professions'. Within a generation we may find that there are no such things as a 'career' or 'job security'."

    What can you do to keep the Internet from taking your job?