• Are you a global citizen?

    Most of us agree that corporations should be socially responsible. But, what about the managers? What about the employees? Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Gates Trust – one of the largest philanthropic organizations -- put out a call for global citizens in his annual letter. (See attached.)  In the letter, global citizens are defined as "informed, passionate individuals working together to form effective movements for change. People who care about helping those in the world’s poorest places improve their lives."

    Are you a global citizen?

    Do you take a few minutes once in a while to learn about the lives of people who are worse off than you are?

    Are you willing to act on your compassion, whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering your time, or giving a little money?

  • January is National Mentoring Month

    Most of us need others to help us become successful. In Greek mythology, when Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed Mentor in charge of his son Telemachus. Thus, a mentor is "someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague."

    MENTOR reports the following benefits of mentoring in the workplace.

    • Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them.
    • Mentors can use their personal contacts to help young people meet industry professionals, find internships and locate job possibilities.
    • Mentors introduce young people to professional resources and organizations they may not know.
    • Mentors can help their mentees learn how to seek and keep jobs.

    Who is your mentor? Be sure to thank your mentor. "Thank Your Mentor Day" took place on January 15. But, you can thank your mentor at any time. The attached file is a "Thank You" card for your mentor.

    Download MENTOR's The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Third Edition at http://www.mentoring.org/program_resources/elements_and_toolkits?eeptoolkit

    If a formal mentoring program is not available at your company, how will you find a mentor at work?

    Explain why you should become a mentor.

  • In An Internet Minute – 2013 VS 2014

    More people are using the Internet this year than last year. According to Tech Spartan, Internet users have increased by 11.6% over one year. Tech Spartan prepared the above infographic to help us see what happens in an Internet minute, comparing 2013 to 2014.

    Explain why managers should or should not be concerned with employee's usage of email and social media during the work day.

  • The Internet of Everything

    The Internet of everything or the Internet of things (IoT) means that the Internet connects people, processes, data, and things. Things include cars, homes, and devices that communicate and share information with each other automatically. Cisco predicts there will be 60 billion internet-connected things by 2020.

    BI Intelligence has created a slideshow highlighting the most important ways the Internet of Everything market will develop, the benefits newly connected devices will offer consumers and businesses, and the potential barriers that could inhibit growth.

    Managers must design their processes to operate in this networked economy.

    Predict which businesses will disappear, appear, or reinvent themselves.

  • Ask Questions in an Interview

    Illustration: Thomas Kulenbeck, The Wall Street Journal

    Job seekers are encouraged to ask, not just answer, questions in a Wall Street Journal article (“It Pays to Ask Smart Questions at a Job Interview” by Dennis Nishi, January 18, 2015).

    For example, ask questions that show that you have a genuine personal interest in the company and its products. Also, ask the manager what his or her employees like best about working for him or her and what they like the least.

    Specific questions suggested in the article included those below.

    “Do you have any concerns about my ability to do this job? If you do, I’d like to address them right now.”

    “What’s the next step in the process?”

    As you plan for your next job interview, explain how will you research the company and its products.

  • How to Influence and Persuade

    The infographic above from Everreach gives us insight into six tactics of persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus. 

    Which of these six tactics would you use as a manager? How will you adjust your approach?

  • Climb the Career Ladder

    Once an employee is hired, the manager should let him or her know about the career path or advancement opportunities. In the attached file, Towers and Watson defines career management as "the process that helps employees understand career opportunities and chart a career path within their organization." Has the manager answered the questions: Where does the job lead? What and where are the career planning tools?

    In a recent survey of 32,000 workers and 1,600 employers, Towers and Watson found:

    • Both employers and employees value career advancement opportunities, but many organizations fall short in the delivery of career management programs.

    • More than half (57%) of employers believe employees and managers should have joint ownership of the career management process.

    • Less than half (46%) of employees say their organization provides useful career planning tools.

    In order to link a career management program to existing programs, Towers and Watson suggests that managers should consider the questions below.

    • How does your career management strategy enhance or support your employment deal?
    • How does your career management program support succession planning?
    • Have you clearly articulated how your career management program differs from and/or integrates with existing performance management and development planning programs?
    • Does your career management program support workforce planning, given the projected loss of knowledge due to employee exits, and projected knowledge requirements for sustaining and growing the business?
    • Are mentoring roles and responsibilities integrated into the expectations at various career levels to enhance employee development?

    What is your career plan?

    How can you use the information from this study to determine if a potential employer has a career plan?

  • The Social Stratosphere

    Mobile messaging has become more popular than email. In the past, to use email, most employees sat down at a computer at a designated time and typed their responses. Those using a BlackBerry could turn email into something like messaging. Then, smartphones with touch screens made communication real-time.

    According to the infographic below (based on eMarketer data), the major growth area for social networking is mobile.

    eMarketer predicts market share will change for different U.S. demographics for the top social networks over 2015 and 2016.

    Why should a manager use social networks to communicate with employees?

  • Blogging Checklist

    Are you ready to start blogging?  Web logs or blogs are Web sites, where authors (bloggers) journal their thoughts and post them. Managers, just like other bloggers, can share commentary, ideas, thoughts, news, information, discussions, and links to other Web sites. For example, a manager might discuss new products, give tips for using the products, and answer questions. Blogs help companies attract customers and focus their efforts.

    The Whole Brain Group's blogging checklist includes the steps below. (See attached file for more information.) 

    • Define your goals and audience
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Make sure your blog is user-friendly
    • Optimize your posts for search
    • Encourage engagement & content circulation

    What other information would a manager need to get started and achieve blogging success?

  • McDonald's New Vision for "I'm lovin' it"

    McDonald's CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Deborah Wahl unveiled its new brand vision. The company is keeping the tag line, "I'm loving it". Ad Age reports "The company said other changes in 2015 will include new uniforms on crew members, as well as new packaging and signs in restaurants."

    McDonald's Mission & Values

    McDonald's brand mission is to be our customers' favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers' experience.

    McDonald’s Values

    We place the customer experience at the core of all we do. Our customers are the reason for our existence. We demonstrate our appreciation by providing them with high quality food and superior service in a clean, welcoming environment, at a great value. Our goal is quality, service, cleanliness and value (QSC&V) for each and every customer, each and every time. We are committed to our people. We provide opportunity, nurture talent, develop leaders and reward achievement. We believe that a team of well-trained individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, working together in an environment that fosters respect and drives high levels of engagement, is essential to our continued success. We believe in the McDonald’s System. McDonald’s business model, depicted by our “three-legged stool” of owner/operators, suppliers, and company employees, is our foundation, and balancing the interests of all three groups is key. We operate our business ethically. Sound ethics is good business. At McDonald’s, we hold ourselves and conduct our business to high standards of fairness, honesty, and integrity. We are individually accountable and collectively responsible. We give back to our communities. We take seriously the responsibilities that come with being a leader. We help our customers build better communities, support Ronald McDonald House Charities, and leverage our size, scope and resources to help make the world a better place. We grow our business profitably. McDonald’s is a publicly traded company. As such, we work to provide sustained profitable growth for our shareholders. This requires a continuous focus on our customers and the health of our system. We strive continually to improve. We are a learning organization that aims to anticipate and respond to changing customer, employee and system needs through constant evolution and innovation.

    A tag line is a reminder of a brand. A brand represents everything positive about a company. It is a story and a set of emotions of what we think and believe and feel about a company. 

    Explain how the new brand vision relates to the sum total of what we think and believe and feel about McDonald's.

    Is this new brand vision a good management decision for McDonald's? Explain.

  • Innovation Happens Now

    View the video below.

    The MASIE Center looks for the connection between technology and innovation and learning. Innovation expert, Elliot Masie says, "Innovation happens and it happens now in ways that are almost instant in the marketplace." His examples include the 3D printer, a drone, and wearables. For example, the MASIE Center asks "can drones help an individual or a corporation with learning?" He answers, "They’re kind of fun to fly. I have three of them but if you worked at an insurance company and there was a fire imagine the ability to literally hours after the fire is under control to fly above not only for you the insurance company doing an audit but think about the peace of mind for the owner of that house." 

    How can 3D printers help an individual or a corporation?

    How can wearables  help an individual or a corporation?

  • Resolutions for the New Year

    The new year is the time when most Americans make resolutions. The graphic below is from FiveThirtyEight depicting the results of a Marist poll of American's most common resolutions.

    One of the poll's points stated, "Turning to New Year’s resolutions, 44% of Americans, identical to last year, are very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2015.  Similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to resolve to change (Trend).  56% of those younger than 45, compared with 33% of those 45 and older, plan to make a change to their lifestyle.  Similar proportions of men, 43%, and women, 44%, are, at least, somewhat likely to make a resolution." (See more at: http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1218-holiday-spending-status-quo-weight-loss-top-resolution-for-2015/#sthash.yQsTdxNy.dpuf.)

    Have you made resolutions for 2015?  If so, the way to accomplish them is to change. Replace bad habits with good habits. Research from social psychologist Roy Baumeister of Florida State University has shown that self-control and decision making actions involve conscious choices or avoidance, which deplete you and leave you with less mental energy for that day. Look for ways to make new habits easy and routine. Rearrange your environment so your old habits require more deliberate effort. Is there a new behavior that you can piggyback onto something you already do regularly? For example, you can't check email and text messages on your phone during dinner if you've left your phone in another room or in your car.

    The only constant in business is change, but change doesn't have to be so hard. 

    Explain how you can make a new habit routine.

  • A-Z Culture Glossary of 2015: The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant

    A-Z Culture Glossary of 2015: The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant from sparks & honey is a slide presentation. (See attached file.) 

    Managers scan the environment to make decisions. They want to keep their products and services relevant. Sparks & Honey assembled an A-Z glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay culturally relevant in 2015.

    "This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as you enter the new year." 

    How is your Cultural IQ?