Tag Archives: business

Power of Words– Most Dangerous Words in Business– Toxic Phrases That Have No Place in the Workplace…

Words are powerful– they have a profound impact on business, on people who run business, on customers who buy from business, on stakeholders who support business; words are the ultimate  power in business… they create massively successful global corporations, and they are used with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, to heal and breathe life into a small struggling business…

It’s the awareness of the power that lies within words that makes them vital… To be sure, some words are more powerful than others and on their own they don’t really do much, but it’s how they are arranged and used that creates the impact…

According to Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson; we all grew up hearing and believing the awful lie that– sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you— but age and experience have shown us that words do indeed hurt… but they also, often times, contain the cure for what ails us… According to Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman; in their study they point to the damage of negative words… The words that send alarm signals through the brain that interfere with the decision-making process, and thus increases a person’s propensity to act irrationally… The words you say and write can change the mood of people with whom you are communicating– it can make them either; more or less productive… more or less attentive… more or less engaged…

You have the power of words, and how you choose them is enough to paint a picture of who you really are… but once used you cannot take them back… except possibly, the next best thing is just apologize for what you have said… The power of words  convey people’s– wishes, thoughts, desires, aspirations… words have the power to create and destroy… Your words whether you realize it or not, have a profound impact on people and their– emotions, aspirations, growth… Words are power; so be very careful about what you say, and how you say it… measure and weigh your words carefully… before you blurt them out…

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The power of words define the business– there are many ways you could describe what you do, who you are, why customers should choose you… But in a world where competition is fierce,  customers attention spans is short, thus you must know the key words that get people either; excited or turned-off– about you and your company… For most businesses, power words are part of a mission statement– it’s the reason for their being in business…

But there are also words that are very dangerous to well-being of a business– its employees, customers, stakeholders… for example; According to Warren Buffett; the five most dangerous words in business are: everybody else is doing it… It’s incredible how often businesses and their leaders get caught in this trap, especially the ones that are lagging behind their industry peers and they desperately try to duplicate competition to survive… Also, how often do you find conforming to a certain way of doing things just because it’s road most traveled? According to Emily Dickinson; I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word…

In the article 6+ Most Dangerous Words in Business by Torben Rick writes: How often do you hear the words: You just don’t understand how we do things around here. Or even worse: We tried it that way once and the person who suggested it is no longer here... If all this sounds overly familiar, it’s time to seriously examine the way in which your organization operates in today’s rapidly changing environment– no business has luxury of remaining at status-quo… Organizations must reinvent, innovate to survive…

There is no full proof sustainable formula for continuous success or even to survive in the marketplace. To move past a ‘event focused’ culture to a culture of ‘continuous innovation’, each individual must be aligned to the company’s vision and goals, and be equipped to act upon ideas to reach those goals… A culture of continuous innovation rests on exchange and execution of ideas (through words), which must be built into the core DNA of the company…

Creating a great company culture means being open to new ideas, new changes… few fear factors. The most important thing about culture is; it’s the only sustainable point of difference between organizations… Hence, anyone can duplicate strategy but no one can duplicate culture– and it begins with a use of specific very descriptive words… don’t leave it untended!

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In the article Most Frustrating, Confusing, Dangerous, Single Word in Business by Dan Erwin writes: It’s amazing how a single, ‘coordinating conjunction’ can impact human behavior and thinking… To a surprising degree, the majority of people don’t realize the power of this single word… I’m referring to that single damnable three-letter word; ‘but‘. I’m making too much out of a simple conjunction? Well maybe, here’s an exercise: Finish each sentence after the conjunction ‘but’ with your own experiences or ideas, and then analyze your emotions, e.g.:

You did a good job; but… or, I’d like to go out with you; but... or, It’s a possible strategy;but’… The conjunction is frustrating because it often catches you off guard, confusing because you have to handle multiple ideas simultaneously, dangerous because it’s a persuasive strategy designed to lead you astray… The conjunction ‘but’ belongs to the same category of language as the well understood phrase; by the way… They both signal something that must be watch carefully…

In the article Two Most Dangerous Words in Business by Vanessa Lanham-Day writes: The two most dangerous words for a business, which are real killers words are; I know… If for every time I have heard someone react to a piece of business information with the response; I know– I’d be rich. But the rub is although they may actually know, the point is they don’t; do

For example; Yes; I know– I must spend more time focused on business development… or, Yes; I know– growing a business needs many marketing pillars to keep it upright and stable… or, I know– reading business books, watching business videos can be very enlightening… or, I know– the company database is not very well-organized… or, I know– all that stuff about strategy, so I don’t need to learn anything from listening to business expert…

or, Oh; I know– social media is the big but I’m not interested… I know, I know… are often used but nothing ever gets done… whereas, most successful people are always looking to know about stuff… Don’t be a victim to your ego… Even if you think you know, there are always more ways to learn, grow, and to know

In the article Most Dangerous Words in Business by Michael Zipursky writes: Consider words like; sometime, someday, soon, thinking about it, planning to, this week, this month Although, you might not see anything wrong with these words, at first glance, but they are indeed dangerous. These words have ruined many businesses and destroyed many a career…  It’s not the words themselves; it’s how they are often used. More specifically, it’s what fails to accompany them… These are words of indecision. Words of a ‘talker’… and not a ‘doer’.

Let’s look at a few examples: Someday I’m going to join a gymthat’s great, but you are just ‘thinking’ about joining a gym– just the same way that you’re ‘thinking’ about a trip… it may happen or it may not…  Or, you might think that because you are planning something you are being productive, however, the problem with ‘planning’ is that people say that for everything– it’s meaningless unless you’re talking about it as a specific action you are doing at a specific time…

And, what about the word; soon– it does not show any sense of urgency… Then there is; I’m going to work on that– this month… this month is specific but it’s still too vague– be specific and identify the day and time of the month… If you are using these type of words; stop, and change behavior, change  from being indecisive and vague to decisive and specific… Then there is a much higher probability that you will actually do it, and get stuff done! The words we use– determines our actions and behavior…

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In the article Most Deadly Words in Business Writing by Gary Blake writes: Rarely do I see business communication that are completely avoids from what I call the ‘deadliest‘ words and phrases commonly found in business… Do a few stodgy phrases ruin a communication? Is it a big deal?  Well, when you consider how much communication is exchanged in business you realize how important it is, to be– clear, concise, relevant, engaging…

There are specific phrases that when changed can make a company’s communications significantly better… In fact, it will improve company’s image, productivity… and cut thousands of unnecessary, wasted words… consider the following:

  • Yours very truly (or, Sincerely yours, Very truly yours: Closings are antiquated. I find myself using– ‘Sincerely‘– almost all the time…
  • Respectfully: This closing has a solemn, almost hat-in-hand aspect that I dislike… ‘Sincerely’ works fine here too…
  • Kindly: ‘Please‘ works better than this old-fashioned word…
  • I Forwarded… I am forwarding: In an e-mail, ‘forwarding’ does have a specific meaning: sending materials from someone other than the writer to the reader…
  • Please do not hesitate to contact me: The prevalent ‘please do not hesitate’ was a light, bright phrase when it was coined almost a half-century ago, but now, like most clichés, it pays a price for its popularity. When you use a cliché, you subtly send a message to the reader that you think in clichés…  Use: ‘please call me‘, polite without the cliché connection…
  • Enclosed please find: This phrase, more than any other in business, epitomizes the lawyer-like way people… There’s nothing to; ‘find’… Use; ‘enclosed is...’ or, ‘I’ve enclosed‘…
  • ASAP (as soon as possible):The blandest, vaguest term in business.  It implies quickly but just how quickly is matter of interpretation. If you need a document request a specific date– name a date…
  • Dear Sir or Madam: If you are unable to find the correctly name and title of the person to whom you are writing, then you must settle for some generic rendering of the title: Dear Sales Manager… or, Dear Managing Attorney
  • To Whom It May Concern: Would you be eager to open a piece addressed this way?

The words you use really matter… According to admin; the two scariest words in business are; Trust me… People use these words far too freely, and when they cannot deliver they run the other way! I honestly hate when I am told; Trust me… It usually means that you are about to get screwed… However, there are other ‘danger’ words, e.g.,: According to Brad Hoover; when you contact a company to resolve an issue and hear the phrase; I’ll try… that’s probably not going to alleviate much frustration; as a matter of fact, it’s more likely to exacerbate the matter…

Likewise, when employees say they will; try to meet a deadline… or, try to close a deal... or, try to handle a customer issue… But unfortunately in business, the old college ‘try’ is not good enough– it must be more specific; either– do or don’t… While ‘try’ is one of the more dangerous word… there are other ‘danger’ words, as well that indicate– negativity, uncertainty… words such as; if, never, maybe, used to, can’t… Ultimately words are power to communicate effectively…

Words are first impression and they span the full range– from verbal discourse to emails to meetings to reports to engaging customers… they have a power to determine– reputation, competency, commitment… When you use words with power and impact… and also deliver on expectations, you are shaping image, bolstering potential, and giving business a shine… So; don’t try–do… don’t doubt–believe… don’t wonder–act…

Business Knowledge is Inspirational But Useless Without Action– Knowing-Doing Gap: Not Doing in Spite of Knowing…

Knowledge-Action Gap: Companies must develop an attitude of ‘action’; knowing is fine but ‘doing’ is what counts… According to David Star Jordan; wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it… once we have the knowledge base of how to do something, we must do it and know why… Many companies under-perform because they don’t turn knowledge into action… whereas smart, successful companies do…

According to Martha Beck; don’t substitute talk for action… talk, talk, talk… substituting talk for action is perhaps the most common way companies fall into the ‘knowing-doing’ gap. Many businesses spend so much time creating strategies, mission statements… but they don’t actually implement anything… They plan, analyze, discuss, debate… and then count this ‘word-spinning’ activity as ‘action’… In these exercises companies think they are working towards a ‘goal’ when in fact they are just spinning wheels…

Each year, companies spend billions of dollars for education, training, management consultants, seminars, research, books… management acknowledges that from these activities they are more enlightened, wiser… but in most cases, this knowledge is very seldom actually implemented… as a result there is very little tangible impact on the organization…Why does knowledge about what needs to be done– frequently fail to result in action or behavior consistent with that knowledge?

According to Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton in their classic business book, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action; point out that problem in most organizations is not knowing what to do, but just doing it… Companies need to develop an attitude of action; understanding, planning, deciding are just first step; actually ‘doing’ is what counts… The key to success in business is action, but in many companies, people are rewarded for talk — and the longer, louder, and more confusingly, apparently the better...

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Why Smart Companies Fail to Turn Knowledge into Action: According to Jeffrey Pfeffer and Bob Sutton’s book, The Knowing-Doing Gap; there are several reasons why companies fail to transform the accumulation of knowledge into actionable results. Knowing ‘what’ to do is simply not enough; when companies find that ‘talk’ substitutes for action, or when memory serves as a substitute for thinking, it’s likely that very little action is taking place…

Other inhibitors to action are found by taking a deep look into company culture, for example: Is fear prevalent? If so, fear may prevent individuals from stepping up, taking the actions that can lead to company growth and development… It’s true that ‘knowing what to do’ and ‘doing what one should do’ are in fact two different things…

One of the most important insights from research is that knowledge that is implemented is much more likely to have been acquired from ‘learning by doing’ rather than ‘learning by reading, listening, even thinking’… Most companies understand the issues, understand what needs to be done to effect performance, but they just don’t do the things they know should be done… 

People are always fascinated by successful companies. Many business books have a large dose of ‘what successful companies do’… and such information certainly can be helpful. But learning by reading, learning by training programs, and learning from university-based degree programs will get you only so far… There is a loose, imperfect relationship between knowing what to do, and ability to act on the knowledge: Competitive advantage comes from being able to do something others can’t do. Anyone can read a book, attend seminar… The trick is in turning the knowledge acquired into business action… Having an action orientation and actually taking appropriate and relevant actions are the basis for company success…

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This means companies must learn by doing, as well, as by reading, thinking… If people learn from their own actions, behavior… then there won’t be much of a knowing-doing gap because you will be ‘knowing’ on the basis of ‘doing’, and implementing that knowledge is substantially easier, more effective…

Acquiring knowledge through practice, performance, and even failure is indispensable for organizations of all sizes and types… Thus, at one level, the answer to the knowing-doing problem is deceptively simple: Embed more of acquiring new knowledge by actually doing the task, and less in formal training programs that are frequently ineffective.

As one comprehensive study for the development of executives, concluded: One learns to be a leader by serving-doing as a leader, but this practice is rarely followed– this reveals the philosophy of– ‘if you do it, then you know it’…

In the article Knowing-Doing Gap by A. V. Vedpuriswar and V. Pattabhi Ram write: The trouble is not lack of knowledge. The trouble is not about ‘not knowing’. The trouble is about ‘not doing’ in spite of knowing… According to Sumantra Ghoshal in his book, A Bias for Action; he explains how executives often found it very difficult to do purposeful action, and they kept postponing important initiatives… Managers often have a fair idea of what to do, when faced with a problem. They have their own rich experience plus insights of their colleagues.

They read lots of books published every year. They seek advice of management consultants armed with the latest tools and listen to gurus who constantly lecture on new concepts. But often, even with all that knowledge, nothing happens: There is little action… This ‘knowing-doing gap’ can be traced to a basic human propensity; the willingness to let talk substitute for actionWhen dealing with a problem, people act as if discussing it and preparing plans for action are the same as actually fixing it… Smart talk, as opposed to action, is prevalent in many companies… You may not like what I say; but the fact is that most B-school graduates remain talkers rather than doers, even after joining an employer…

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The daily life of an executive revolves around meetings, teams, consensus building… So the more a person talks, the more valuable he appears. People who talk confidently and freely are likely to be judged by others as influential and important… It’s hard enough to explain how to put a complex idea into practice when we understand the idea, but it’s impossible when we don’t, many managers don’t know what they are talking about… Whereas, in companies that avoided the ‘knowing-doing gap’, executives focus on a few key priorities that have clear implications for action…

These company leaders preferred plain language, simple concepts: They valued common sense… Plain talk, simple concepts are more likely to lead to action. You can disagree with a simple plan but you can’t claim confusion as your excuse to ignore it, or not do it… The successful companies don’t necessarily have the best strategy, brilliant ideas… but, they are good at implementation… Great companies believe that actual experience is the best teacher… And, they convert the ‘process of doing’ into opportunities for learning…

In the article Rule #18: Knowing Ain’t the Same as Doing by Tracy Betts writes: In the book ‘Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self ‘ by Alan M. Webber, he states: Rule #18: Knowing it Ain’t the Same as Doing’, and he asks the question; if we live in a knowledge economy then what kind of knowledge is most valuable? He goes on to discuss two ways of knowing, for example:

  • The kind of knowing that comes from reading and thinking: The kind of theorizing that experts excel at, or…
  • The kind of knowing that comes from doing: Unlike the first form of knowing, which starts in a person’s head and stays there, this form of knowing starts in the hands and moves up to the head and then back down again in a knowing-doing loop…

I believe that understanding the difference between the two ways of knowing is important to any organization… In my mind the ‘knowing-doing’ loop is key to success… When we are assessing an idea or evaluating a project within a company, simply ‘knowing’ is not enough, one should ask: How have we applied this knowledge before? What happened? How does it affect what we trying to accomplish? If we haven’t applied this knowledge before, who’s going to test it? Both kinds of knowing are important– if we are constantly ‘doing’ and not taking the time to– read, think, theorize… than we risk losing depth, new ideas… However, reading, thinking, theorizing… without ‘doing’ creates nothing but terrific thoughts, ideas… stuck in someone’s head…

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The more ‘action’ you take the more ‘progress’ you make! Knowing it and doing it are two different things! You’ve heard this saying– ‘knowing’ is half the battle… Well, ‘doing’  is the other half… According to jennyb; having the ‘knowledge’ to do well in business is important. Having the ‘courage’ and the ‘ambition’ to ‘execute’ what you ‘know’, and the momentum-commitment to continue– is what many people lack in business… Confucius says; the essence of knowledge is, having it, to use it… Archie Danielson says; intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings…

Just as we learned to talk and walk by taking ‘small steps’, we must learn to grow the business by taking small steps.  But, once we know how to do something we must keep doing it… It does no good just to study how people walk, if we don’t ever stand-up ourselves and put one foot in front of the other to get somewhere… Ralph Waldo Emerson says; without ambition one starts nothing and without work one finishes nothing... dreams are tied to action: When you ‘do’ what you know you should, you will create a change in the business…

There is no knowledge advantage unless a company also has an action advantage… The procrastinators need to understand that action counts more than elaborate plans and concepts… In a world where sounding smart has too often come to take the place of doing something smart, there is a tendency to let planning, meetings, and talk substitute for implementation… People like to say all of the smart stuff, to give the right answer… That’s often because some company cultures makes it dangerous to take action…

According to Oksana Tashakova; there’s a big difference between ‘knowing what to do’ and ‘doing it’… Business books fly off the shelves every year, research studies and training programs are purchased, yet few things really change within companies. Most of this knowledge isn’t really new. Most of this business knowledge is classic. Yet companies fail to implement these practices… What is important is not so much ‘what’ we do– the specific people management techniques and practices; but ‘why’ we do it– this underlying philosophy provides a firm foundation for good practices… So, do it and know why you do it…

Facing Naiveté in Business; Necessary for Success or Reason for Failure: Balancing Extremes of Naiveté and Cynicism…

Naiveté is necessary for success in business, so say some experts; while others say ‘no’, it’s the reason for business failure… In dictionaries, naiveté is defined as a state or quality of being naive; its lack of sophistication, worldliness… it’s synonymous with– deceivability, dupability, gullibility, innocence, weakness… hence, such a mindset will get anyone into big trouble at some point…

According to naivety.org; there are countless disappointments as a result of naiveté… it can be a best friend or a worst enemy… although, we can’t control it but maybe we can understand it… Business is a constant race to produce more… and now more than ever, innovative visions are needed to sustain the future… Naiveté is a bridge to optimism, trust, creative ideas… Never blame a person for suggesting things you find too ambitious, too optimistic or just impossible… as being naive. Blame those, who don’t have courage to be imaginative or explore the impossible…

The traditional business thinking is focused on incremental improvements, which is not only very boring, but also prevents– breakthroughs, creativity ideas… beyond the established paradigms. According to Sonia Simone; naiveté is about rejecting stupid definitions of maturity… It’s about brushing aside rules that no longer make any sense (if they ever did)… Naiveté is about seeing a bigger picture… it’s about being brave enough to ignore the conventional advice that does not apply… Naiveté is not willful ignorance, but it’s about– curiosity, learning… It makes lots of room for experimentation, thoughtful observation… But, it has no patience for being reckless or just jockeying for status… in the name of paper success. 

images41RW3TPZIn the article Too Much Caution Means Not Enough Risk by Henry Doss writes: Naiveté is a powerful state of being, especially for the entrepreneur– nothing is more precious and more at risk than a sense of wonder and sense of possibility, these are enriched by naiveté. The true entrepreneur (or the true intrapreneur, for that matter) is almost always characterized by an inability to see negatives, certain blindness to obstacles, disregard for barriers.  For them, it’s almost as if they are unaware of limitations. And, being blind to obstacles, they will tend to run straight at them,  and often right on through them; while calmer, more practical heads hold back…

Often times this is not so much a function of courage, or intent, but it’s simply naiveté about obstacles, consequences, and for example, often we might say; If only I had known then… A naïve state is what keeps the entrepreneur alive, optimistic, energized and in the game. Without naiveté, there is more caution and less  experimentation; more management, and less leadership.

Probably, there is also less real success. Naiveté is power behind risk, and without it, the entrepreneur is in danger of becoming the jaded manager… That’s because– time, experience, miles… tend to make even the most imaginative and visionary entrepreneur less naïve, and more aware of negative consequences…

When that happens; caution– the Kryptonite in the entrepreneur takes over: That’s the risk-taking, innovative visionary who started a business with little more than a napkin sketch, a notepad and a coffee shop is replaced by the cautious bean-counter, intent on nailing that second round of funding. That near-Quixotic adventurer is replaced by an office-inhabiting financier…

Naiveté is a powerful state, but it must be distinguished from a simple lack of self-awareness or simple ignorance. Naive is not the same as dumb. A naïve visionary is ambitious; an un-self-aware visionary is foolish.  A naïve leader brings others along on a mission; an un-self-aware leader takes lemmings to the cliff. A naïve entrepreneur will prevail; an un-self-aware entrepreneur will just consume resources…

The difference lies in intentionality, because it’s quite possible to intentionally cultivate and enrich naiveté… Naiveté is the lens through which possibility is magnified. It’s a healing balm for failure. It’s a source of energy; cultivated, enriched, treasured, understood… Naiveté powers up a sense of wonder and excitement: With it, the entrepreneur is always engaged, active, growing something; without it, the entrepreneur may be limited, afraid, holding back…

 

In the article Between Naiveté and Cynicism by Douglas E. Welch writes: Too many people, these days, are living at the extreme ends of the cynic/naïve scale… They have lost the ability to dream. Life has become an endless toil of protecting themselves from all the people out there who want to harm them in some way… While I can certainly understand these feelings, especially in people who have suffered greatly, the truth is, such cynicism only breeds a stale life, cut off from new ideas, new opportunities. By denying themselves the ability to dream, these people have doomed themselves to a drab and dreary life with nothing to look forward to, nothing to work towards. In an attempt to protect themselves from pain, they are actually making the problem worse…

Conversely, some people are so naïve as to beggar description. They deeply believe; every piece of advertising copy, every keynote speech, every glitzy business plan and then find themselves in a deep depression when the reality does not match the dream… Your goal should be to find some sense of balance between these extremes. You want to be cynical enough to weed out– bad, immoral or illegal opportunities while still remaining naïve enough to listen openly and honestly to the ideas being presented… You are being naïve enough to listen and dream a little, but cynical enough to do research before jumping into the deep end… Some where between extremes of cynicism and naiveté lies the true path; listen openly but evaluate critically…

In the article Brilliance Of Naiveté by Mike Myatt writes: Perhaps we should all be a bit more naïve… there is a certain brilliance to naiveté that leaders would be well served to embrace. In my work with the Gordian Institute I have found that most challenges exist due to a failure to explore different paths and perspectives. Many leaders display uncanny propensity to protect status quo, thinking rather than challenge it. Failing to exhaust the limitless potential of creative thinking is a sign of weak leadership…

Leaders who possess an open mind, who are driven by an insatiable curiosity, and who are more interested in ‘what’ is right than ‘who’ is right tend to be much better leaders than those leaders who enjoy being the smartest person in the room. I’ve always said, if you’re the smartest person in the room you’ve built the wrong team. The best leaders I know spend their time taking about, thinking about, and learning about what they don’t know.

They are open to new views, differing or even dissenting opinions, learning from anyone regardless of age, title, position… While leadership intelligence doesn’t have to be an oxymoron, it certainly can be. When a person begins to believe their own smoke, they have placed themselves on a very slippery slope. I believe there is truth in the statement; ‘a person can be too smart for their own good’…

It has been my observation that hyper-intelligent people can tend to think themselves into trouble, and out of opportunities with great ease. Whenever I find myself discussing issues of intellect, ego, leadership… it reminds me of a cartoon which reads: Rule #1: The boss is always right. Rule #2: When in doubt refer to Rule #1. When you find yourself justifying, rationalizing a position based solely on intellectual reasoning without regard to culture, practical realities… you may be too smart for your own good…

Just as a lack of belief in ‘gravity’ won’t prevent falling, simply believing a particular opinion or theory to be fact, does not mean it is… Often times the problem with intelligent people lies simply in the fact they have come to enjoy being right, and often fall into the trap of preferring to be right even if it’s based on delusion…

So how do you know when you’ve crossed over to the dark-side and can’t tell difference between fact and fiction? The bottom line is this… the gift of intellect is an asset to be thankful for, but only if put it to good and productive use… It’s not an excuse to be lazy, arrogant, mean-spirited, delusional… Don’t let your intellect stand in the way, but use it to support and develop other people, which will increase your chances for long-term success… Hence when in doubt have a little naiveté, it will serve you well…

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Some people have managed to hang onto what is called ‘beginner’s mind’ (i.e., Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind) in Zen practice, which says; in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities but in the expert’s there are few… By constraining what’s possible, we tend to just repeat the known possibilities, and those happy accidents that we experience from time-to-time are less likely to occur… So how can we stay in touch with this ‘beginner’s luck’ long after we have enough experience to know better and become cynical?

According to Emmanuel Ording; probably the hardest and most effective way is to give ourselves permission to fail, and fail often. If you have permission to fail, you have permission to try, and you learn more from the failures than from the successes. For example; think about all your failures on the way to learning– how to tie shoes as a child. When was the last time you failed that much at anything? And, look at you now; you are an expert at tying shoelaces, or are you?

According to Adrain Reed; being a business analyst creates the permission to call out the ‘elephants in the room’ and ask the deep, dark, naive questions that others avoid… and when done well, those naive questions can yield some extremely interesting outcomes and create useful debates that can help to clarify some very important business issues… There are many questions that could be asked, but here are just a few possible examples of relevant naive business questions; Why are you in business? What is the company’s mission? Who is the customer? Why do they buy from you? How are you different from the competition? How is your market changing? Why do you sell they way you do?…

Along with a lot of hard work many businesses, whether acknowledge it or not, must attribute a lot of their success to a surprising simple factor; naiveté… Great companies are not built on luck.. but perseverance in many areas that they don’t know very much about… simply put– they don’t know what they don’t know. So, sometimes, one of the biggest strengths of a business is just having a good dose of– Naiveté…

Debunk the Cliche– Government Should Run Like a Business: Ignorance About the True Missions of Both These Enterprises…

An often-repeated cliché–government should run like a business–reveals ignorance about what either government or business or both, really are… According to Seth Masket; business exist to turn profit… conversely, government exists to provide the public– goods and services– government is inherently an unprofitable enterprise… It’s totally different mission statement… Not only does government have a different mission, it’s accountable to far more people than just shareholders, employees, customers…

According to Charlie Kufs; government can employ many of the same tools as the private sector, such as– goal setting, process, analytics… but performance measures must be different… You can’t apply private sector benchmarks to government performance… According to Eric Zorn; business and government are not only two different professions, but they have opposite goals…

The proper goal of a business is to earn a profit. If it also does some social good or produces a socially useful product, that’s great, but it’s icing on the cake. Profit is the goal, and a business person is judged on the profits made… The goal of government, on the other hand, is to– deliver services, fight wars, stamp passports, pave streets, end recessions, collect taxes… If the government can do this efficiently and at a minimum cost, that’s great, but again, it’s icing on the cake… Government leaders are judged by whether they deliver the services, not by whether they make a profit doing it… Business leaders and political leaders do different things and success in one doesn’t qualify a leader to do the other…

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Government shouldn’t be run like a business– not even a good business– because it’s not a business… Government should be run like a good government… According to Brandon Jubar; business can stop providing an unprofitable service, but the government cannot stop providing its services… Governments must figure out how to make things work, regardless of unfavorable rules, onerous regulations, or non-existent budgets… At the most basic level, that means that if a service isn’t being effectively and efficiently provided to the citizens, than it needs to be fixed…

According to Jim Mintz; those who advocate that public sector managers should operate like their private-sector counterparts without understanding the context of how political and administrative institutions function are clearly misinformed. There is no question that there are opportunities for government to adopt business practices from time to time, but government is not a business and those who continually argue for government acting like a business are offering a misguided solution… According to John T. Harvey; does it make sense to run government like a business? Short answer is ‘no’…

Bottom line– the Constitution was designed to make the federal government less efficient through– separation of powers, partisan political system, need to serve everyone (not just profitable ones),  maintain- nurture public trust… All of these responsibilities work against operating government like a business… Here’s novel idea– let’s operate government like a good government…

In the article Government Should Run Like a Business–Not Way You Think by Eric Schnurer writes: Government is everywhere and it’s an enterprise in serious trouble… If governments were private businesses, they would be facing the prospect of either takeover to ‘rescue’ them, or death in highly competitive marketplace…

However, many businesses have qualities of de facto government, e.g.; top-down decisions, no consumer voice, little transparency, trampling of individual rights like privacy, and no viable means of escape… So it’s not too big a stretch to say that governments face pretty much the same challenges as many businesses… In order to sustain viability, all enterprises must– satisfy their customers by serving them well, improve and innovate their products and services, and most important develop and maintain a high-level of trust…

Any enterprise that ignores these realities will eventually ‘go out of business’ — whether or not it’s a government or business… In many ways there are strategic and operational overlaps and most enterprises require the same basic ‘business plan’, for example:

  • Resize the enterprise to current realities — stop the bleeding, cut fat, get existing operation on stable footing. Then, start thinking about the future — or, more accurately, the present that’s already arrived while the enterprise remained stuck in the past…
  • Redesign the enterprise, its products, services, and organization, to meet current and future demand — you wouldn’t keep selling buggy whips if people wanted cars…
  • Redefine and reposition the enterprise to compete effectively against new competitors, new markets, globally…

In the article Should Government Run Like a Business? by Jeff Neal writes: We have heard people for years arguing– government would be much better off if it could just get its act together and operate like a business. If they did, the government would be more efficient, customer (taxpayer) service would dramatically improve, the cost of government (and taxes) would be lower… and it would be a much better world… Yes, the government could adopt some business-like practices to improve how it operates, but the fundamentals of running a business are not the same as running government. Businesses exist to return value to its stakeholders…

Growth is one of the most powerful drivers for a business: It pushes the business to learn, innovate and become more efficient… to find new lines of business, new products, untapped markets and new goods and services and ways to deliver them, better… It’s a powerful force that drives the best (sometimes the worst) of business… The purpose of government is not to grow itself… The factors that drive business and those that drive government are fundamentally different, and it’s neither possible nor desirable for government to operate like a business…

Good businesses know how to squeeze costs and eliminate under-performing lines of business. They watch the bottom line and make the hard calls necessary to let the business thrive. Critics say government is too full of bureaucrats to do that… However, reality is that some parts of government do operate very much like a business, for example; some government agencies/departments operate on a fees earned basis, and they do– reduced costs, improved services, consolidate-eliminate underperforming or obsolete activities… but unfortunately, in most case, it’s not enough…

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In the article Should Government Run Like a Business? by Tom Egelhoff writes: Government is a lot like an octopus. Some arms work better than others. Due to the lack of competition, and the ability to spend what they don’t have, it makes government extremely inefficient, in most cases… You could try to run government like a business, but where is the incentive to improve? If you run the department under budget you won’t get as much next year, so the incentive is to spend every single dime before next budget... Whereas, business must watch every penny and run mean and lean. Business invests its surpluses; government spends it… Business conserves; government waste is undeniable…

Business rarely has overlapping policies and procedures… Whereas, government, for example, has 126 separate agencies that administer some type of poverty programs… Business investors tend to vote out boards of directors that send the company in the wrong direction. Voters, for some strange reason, keep sending the same board of directors back to Washington every 2, 4 years… The question is probably not; Should government be run like a business? The question should be; Can we ‘stop’ doing business as usual in government?

In the article Signs You’re Running Your Business Like Government by Andy Birol writes: Nothing irks private business more than the federal government, and the impact of taxes, regulations, and government shutdowns compounds the apparent waste, inaction and irresponsibility in how leaders run the country… Many businesses say; if I ran my business like the government, I would be out of business…

But, some business people ‘do’ run their companies far too much like government — and, far too often, they ‘are’ in danger of going out of business… When griping about government, just be sure you are not running your business the same way… Here are five signs that your business is looking too much like the federal government:

  • Leadership is paralyzed to make hard choices that require sacrifice by everyone and impacts pet projects and sacred cows. Rather than make token changes by terminating one underperforming employee or shaving 5% off of a training budget, is it time to outsource an entire department or shut down an unprofitable product line?
  • Leaders and employees have become self-entitled to benefits, perks and rewards they haven’t earned. Despite shrinking gross margins, is your company still buying season tickets, guaranteeing bonuses, or traveling first class when the business is running on empty?
  • Company has become unaccountable or oblivious to unhappy customers, employees or bankers whose satisfaction is critical to the company’s profitability. Is your firm walking away from those making new demands instead of meeting them?
  • Managers are in denial of shifts in customer tastes, increased costs of doing business, or whether vendors are responding to your firm’s needs. When your firm accepts that its business is changing, can it react and respond– or does it believe its future will mirror its past?
  • Company is too distracted by what is happening at home or in the community to get the job done. Is your leadership taking extended vacations, overly focused on social causes, or a fixture on the golf course?

The argument that businesses are necessarily more efficient is a sweeping generalization, and simply being in the private sector does not guarantee being– effective, efficient, competitive… According to Aubrey Bloomfield; government can often be dysfunctional, but so can business… making government operate more like a business is not the solution and it ignores the distinct priorities of government…

According to Tom Newell; routinely citizens decry the inefficiency of government. Why, they ask, can’t it be run more like a private sector company? Indeed, privatization– the decision to contract out government operations to private, profit-making firms– is the darling of many who have given up on government doing things right or just assume that private sector can do it faster, better, cheaper

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According to Mark Shields; if, in fact, the decision was made ‘to run government like a business’, then which particular business would be the best model? How about Merrill Lynch or Bank of America? How about JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs? Citigroup could be a possibility, and please give some consideration to General Motors… Enron is probably not the role model we’re looking for… Nor is Lehman Brothers or even WorldCom.  Or maybe one of those defense contractors that have piled up cost overruns on weapons programs of $billions…

According to Eric Schnurer; there is no sugar-coating facts that we need to make tough choices for more effective, efficient, fair… government. However, the answer lies neither in attempt to have– government should run like a business, or preserve government as we came to know it in the 20th century, nor trying to tear it down and roll it back to imagined 18th-century ideal…

But government must be more competitive in 21st century… To do that, we need to– reinvent, reposition… government for 21st-century’s challenges, opportunities… Abe Lincoln said it well: government must be… of the people, by the people, and for the people…

 

Business Restructuring– Clock is Ticking, Tic, Tic… Is It Your Time? Leaders Ultimate Challenge– Transformative Change…

Business restructuring is the process of redesigning, realigning, reorganizing… so as to position the business to be more competitive, survive adverse economic conditions, and also to move the business in an entirely new direction… No business can continue to function in the same way, forever. With changing times and changing business conditions, restructuring is one of the options for a business…

According to Charles Goldstein; for many businesses restructuring is the best option – and sometimes the only viable one – for a business that has taken too many hits from extended difficulties... But even in the best of times, it’s important to be proactive, to constantly monitor not just your company’s performance, but also the health of– workers, competitors, markets, customers, vendors, lenders…

But most important, business must have a recovery strategy ready even before it actually need one– it’s twice as tough to come up with viable alternatives when you are in the midst of crisis… According to Gary Rushin; distressed business symptoms often occur well before crisis hits… and before it’s known, the business is in a death spiral… but, the situation is not inevitable and, in many cases, it can be stopped, reversed… but, timely action is critical... It’s been learned that the best way to restructure a business is to study failures…

Often, companies that once dominated their markets later slide into distress… they lose their touch– the ‘mojo’— that once created their success… These company, often times, create an over-confidence bias– they become so self-assured that they think they don’t need to change anything…

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In the studyBest Practices in Corporate Restructuring’ the question was asked: How successful has business restructuring been in achieving stated goals? The responses from executives at 531 companies reported mixed results:

  • 90% said reducing cost was a goal, and only 61% felt they achieved the goal.
  • 85% stressed increased profitability, but only 46% reported increased profits.
  • 64% believed restructuring would increase their competitive advantage, but only 32% found this to be true.
  • 58% wanted to increase productivity, but only 34% saw it happen.
  • While 58% also wanted to see improved customer satisfaction, improvement occurred only 27% of the time.

Besides showing business restructuring has earned a spotty success, the study results also indicated that executives want to treat business restructuring as a panacea. Not only do a majority of executives expect business restructuring to reduce costs, increase profits, achieve competitive advantage… they also want it to increase productivity and improve customer satisfaction…

When a tool like business restructuring is treated as a panacea it’s because there is no clear understanding of– how, where, when, why– to use it. According to Robert J. Ellis; perhaps one of the important lessons from corporate restructuring is the need for clear picture of what the ‘end business’ will look like before the restructuring process begins… Failure to take this first essential step leads to many problems– not the least of which is asking workers, stakeholders… to set a journey without understanding the destination…

For decades, strategic thinking focused on answering three basic questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? But, Mr. Ellis suggests that corporate restructuring must be more strategic… Too often, corporate restructuring focus on– ‘how to do something’ more efficiently without determining– ‘what is most important to do’… and often too much of the restructured work is strategically unimportant…

According to Alfred Chandler; it’s critical that leadership answer the question: Why are we doing this? Leaders must articulate a clear business strategy, and educate their workplace on why changes are critical to the future success of the business… Moreover, before management can determine how to work better or how to organize to perform business processes more efficiently, they must first determine– what work needs to be done and what processes are critical to perform… choices can only be made when a clearly articulated business strategy exists…

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In the article Strategic Planning to Restructure Your Business by Lloyd Russell writes: Business restructuring usually accompanies negative connotations of inefficiencies or a need to cut the workforce to improve the bottom line… However it’s important to balance this with the premise that a business restructure is a process to renew the business and position it in a manner to exploit market opportunities…

History indicates that most restructures are poorly developed and implemented for three main reasons – (1) Cost cutting is the main focus… (2) There is a focus on people rather that positions and the strategic direction of the business… (3) There is no clear strategic purpose and a lack of communication… Here are some guiding principles that will help focus the restructuring process:

  • Strategic Planning Before Structure: Business must have a clear and realistic strategic direction to focus efforts of the workforce, management, stakeholders… Most will embrace the change if they can clearly see where the decision-makers are taking the business…
  • Reduction of Clutter and Complexity: Business must mitigate the negative impact of complex organization structures… Design business structure and strategic positioning before you concentrate on personnel… Simplify leadership roles through clear and efficient processes including; clear audit trails… Keep organizational structures flat…
  • Core Competencies and Activities: Prior to developing roles and responsibilities– gain a clear perspective on the core activities that defines the business– identify the core competencies that are main drivers of the business activities… It’s essential to reinforce these activities that add most value to the business… and other less important activities that don’t add value should be removed…
  • Feasibility of Positions and Roles: In the majority of business restructures cost cutting is the main objective, and for some positions, roles… they are unrealistically loaded with duties that are not aligned to the strategic direction of the business… While it’s essential to have all resources working close to capacity they must be working towards the same defined goals and objectives of the business… otherwise inefficiencies occur and performance measurement is impossible…
  • Balance Within Management Workloads: The management functions are a blend of management and leadership. If the people within these positions are overloaded they tend to focus on the urgent management tasks that are directly related to the visual desired outcomes… To assist in maintaining the correct management work balance, these elements are critical; numbers of employees under direct management, ability of employees to perform tasks without supervision, level of ‘functional’ work manager must perform– other than workplace supervision…
  • Effective Implementation: The critical time for the successful implementation of a restructure is within the first six weeks. If the workforce is confused about the direction of restructure, there will be an adverse impacted on the implementation. A successful implementation process starts with clarity of positions, roles and responsibilities, and clear identification of all functions within the business, including; activities, tasks and level of authority for decision-making… All employees must understand where they fit for the efficient operation of the business. Finally, everyone must understand what they are accountable for and how this will be measured…

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In the article Success Restructuring Follows Strategy by Lee Tom Perry writes: Business restructuring is becoming more common place– not only is it affecting more businesses, it’s affecting businesses in more ways… Restructuring promises to remove people and functions that don’t add value to the business… Businesses that begin restructuring with a clear strategic understanding are far more likely to attain desired results… An approach to strategy formulation that offers a useful guide for corporate restructuring is the business-focus approach, which is based on two assumptions about strategic direction:

  • There are basics ‘competitive necessities’ that every business must get right, just to keep up with industry competition. Strategies that focus on ‘competitive necessities’ can create temporary competitive advantage, but this strategy is better for catching-up with competitors than for staying ahead of them…
  • Businesses that aspire to become competitive leaders must do more than perform the basics, well– They must truly distinguish themselves are those that have a ‘business focus’, and that enables them to excel at ‘something’… Businesses are excellent only when all workers, stakeholders… know and understand– what business they are in, and everyone pulls together to make the business work…

A business focus defines how a business intends to use its unique capabilities to sustain competitive advantage. A business focus directs organizational efforts and development of individual and team capabilities, which facilitates the building distinctive competencies… Businesses that achieve strategic clarity have the advantage of not only being able to restructure strategically, but also communicate the actions that flow from the strategy in a way most people understand…

Generally, workforce is more committed to restructuring when they have a better understanding of the reasons behind it… Strategy clarification sets the stage for strategic restructuring by providing a logic for prioritizing organization work. When the business strategy is clear– it’s possible to answer questions, such as: What work must be the object of the most intense improvement efforts? What work activities must be improved? What work must be eliminated? What work must be outsource? What are the most useful drivers for improvement? Most businesses that are successful at restructuring are able to identify and protect the core work processes that create competitive advantage, or distinctiveness to their industry…

The essence of business restructuring is leadership, which means the communication of clear vision for where the organization wants to go… and commitment, persistence for getting there… while not destroying the spirit and values of the organization for which it stands. Leadership cannot abdicate the responsibility for defending strategic restructuring initiatives against the unrelenting waves of resistance to change…

According to Ilya Pozin; divisions, departments, management hierarchy.. they’ve all lost their purpose… it’s not important who’s doing the work, titles… All that really matters is that the work gets done. If you run a factory, hierarchy may still have a place but if you run a company that requires problem-solving skills, creativity, high level of motivation for workers, then consider flattening, flipping– the organization chart… Promote a culture where workers, customers… are the top priority.

LinkedIn– Real Value, Tangible Business Benefits– Or, Big Waste of Time: Craft LinkedIn Strategy That Yields Results…

Does LinkedIn provide– ‘real value’, ‘tangible business benefits’… or, is it just a ‘big waste of time’? As of June 2013, LinkedIn reported more than 238 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories. The LinkedIn site is available in 20 languages, estimated 65.6 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 178.4 million globally…

The membership grows by approximately two new members every second. About a third of the members are in the U.S. and 11 million are from Europe. With 20 million users, India has the fastest-growing network of users as of 2013. The Netherlands has the highest adoption rate per capita outside the U.S. at 30%. LinkedIn recently reached 4 million users in UK, 1 million in Spain, and nearly 1 million in Pakistan. In January 2013, countries with most LinkedIn users were: U.S. with 74 million members, India with 20 million members, UK with 11 million members, Brazil with 11 million members, Canada with 7 million members, Australia with 4 million members, UAE with 1.3 million members…

But, is LinkedIn a big waste of time; well maybe… According to Paul Lange; an early adopter of LinkedIn, says LinkedIn has become less relevant… it was a great way of finding people, it was like an online Rolodex but it has gradually become less effective and relevant in the business landscape… According to Jason Alba; don’t waste time on LinkedIn– don’t dabble, tinker, or wait for reward. Get in there, do it right, set up your ‘profile’, be proactive, make networking connections… Use the tool! 

According to Tara Alemany; No, LinkedIn is not a waste of time, when focus on the power parts of it! Although ‘endorsements’ are a joke; people are endorsing me for skills I don’t even have. But, ‘recommendations’ are gold! Also, ‘groups’ can be great if people use them properly, and ‘direct contacts’ when done tactfully are priceless…

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In the article Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time? by Kate Jones writes: Is LinkedIn anything more than a resource for recruiters and job seekers? Is LinkedIn really linking you in? With more than 238 million members, including 4 million in Australia, a ‘profile’ on LinkedIn is like the modern-day equivalent of a business card. But how many of those users have benefited from LinkedIn? A common complaint among LinkedIn members is the proliferation of spam, fake users, and untruthful credentials on profiles…

According to Tudor Marsden-Huggins; it’s becoming increasingly common for people to lie about or exaggerate their skills and experience on their ‘profile’… people are a bit more flexible with the truth… LinkedIn just doesn’t have the rigor… According to Danielle Di-Masi; my estimate is that 95% of Australian LinkedIn members are not using the networking site effectively… there’s a lot of set-and-forget…

There are two different camps of people using LinkedIn: The first group is people who will only connect with people they know, and the other group will connect with anyone, because they want to reach out, expand numbers… According to Tara Commerford; it’s still the best place for business people to build their professional brands, increase online visibility and grow their networks… Top five tips for using LinkedIn: Maximize your ‘profile’. Set up a company page. Grow your network. Find the right people. Be part of the conversation…

In the article Don’t Waste Your Time on LinkedIn by Alison Doyle writes: If you’re not going to do it right, there is no point wasting your time (and everyone else’s) on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is ‘the’ site for professional networking. Everyone, for example; must have a full LinkedIn ‘profile’, must connect with everyone they know, must join LinkedIn ‘groups’, and must use LinkedIn for job searching when they are in the market for a new job…

That said, LinkedIn is not going to work if you don’t identify yourself… I’ve received several invitations to connect, in the last week, from people who didn’t identify themselves (i.e., anonymous)… Now, asking me to connect with someone who has a LinkedIn ‘profile’ with ‘private’ or ‘human resources manager’ instead of their name– isn’t going to work. I have no clue who they are, and I wasn’t going to try to figure it out.

Most people, including; prospective employers, wouldn’t be interested in connecting either. LinkedIn is for ‘real’ people to connect with each other– that’s what makes it so successful and such a terrific networking tool… If confidentiality is a concern simply be careful: Connect with only people you know, well…

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In the article LinkedIn Is a Waste of a Sales Person’s Time! by Lee B. Salz writes: There are many misconceptions about LinkedIn. It’s not just for job searches or networking. It’s a unique lead generation platform… I continue to be amazed at the number of sales people who feel that LinkedIn doesn’t provide any value to them. Yet, these same people spend countless hours on Facebook telling people– what they ate for breakfast, when they are leaving for work…

LinkedIn provides sales people ‘unique’ lead generation opportunities; the operative word is unique, which means the approach must be geared to the business network… For starters, you must be positioned as thought leader in your industry, i.e., an expert that provides real value… So review your LinkedIn ‘profile’ and than ask: What message is being conveyed by your ‘profile’? This is where many sales people get stuck; they try to use the LinkedIn ‘profile’ for multiple purposes, for example; networking with friends, leaving the door open for a job search, business development…

The ‘profile’ has no clear message, and that approach doesn’t work. You must ask yourself: Why are you on LinkedIn and what are you seeking to accomplish? If your plan is to use LinkedIn for lead generation or business development, then your approach must be linear. Your ‘profile’ and ‘recommendations’ should clearly position your role in your industry… Remember, your ‘profile’ serves as the foundation for everything you do on LinkedIn: All roads lead back to this page… With your ‘profile’ developed then next join ‘groups’. Again, the goal is to be linear… Once you are accepted into a ‘group’ there is a number of things you can do. But remember, your mission is to provide real value first and not just seek to get buyers. Resist the temptation to hawk your product, service… Give real value first!

In the article Is Social Media a Complete Waste of Time? by Drew M Edwards writes: It’s no secret that social media has been one of the biggest developments in marketing for business over the past decade. Make no mistake about it if you want to dominate your market, then social media is just one of the tools you need to utilize and master… But if what you’re doing now isn’t generating any leads…then ‘stop’!

Then ask yourself; how do you make it work? The answer is a simple but critical, you must have a shift in mindset: You must ‘stop’ thinking of social media as a place to network and ‘start’ thinking of it as a marketing tool, first and foremost… It’s a subtle distinction but a huge difference… To generate leads from social media you must shift from talking about yourself– to asking and listening on how you can help your customers achieve results… In other words, as with all effective marketing you must focus on ‘benefits’ for the customer, rather than ‘benefits’ for you…

Now, don’t get me wrong– some prospects-customers are interested in what you do in your spare time, and what you’ve done in the past– so adding a human touch gives credibility and makes you more likeable. But, that must be a comparatively small percentage of what you ‘post’. So rather than talking about what you do in your spare time; talk about how you can help your customers get results… Talk about your experience and results that you have already delivered to your other customers…

Many people use LinkedIn the way the Vikings invaded Europe. The Vikings weren’t very interested in networking or building professional relationships. Their main prerogative was to loot-pillage until they got tired and went home. So how is that related? According to Paul Crompton; picture this: a recent graduate is looking for a job and sets up a LinkedIn account with a vague idea that it’ll help. They upload a picture, and copy-paste chunks of their CV into the boxes provided. They write their phone number-email address and wait for the calls to come flooding in. Except, they hardly ever do. Why? Because this approach just doesn’t work…

According to Anna DiTommaso writes: LinkedIn ‘group’ is an excellent tool, in theory. Active involvement with the right ‘group’ has lead to some of my largest and best relationships… However, like many things in theory, it doesn’t take much to ruin what could be a great networking tool. You probably have joined a LinkedIn ‘group’ and you have good reason, for example; you’re looking to connect with like-minded people who share your professional interests. Or, you want an impressive ‘group’ listed on your ‘profile’ for status. Or, you want to find channels for getting new worthwhile information…

However, once you’re in the seemingly promising ‘group’, it appears that other people join the LinkedIn ‘group’ for entirely different reasons, for example; shameless plugging-selling of their own products, services… Or, one more place to spam the world. Or, an impressive ‘group’ that’s listed on their ‘profile’ increases status! (i.e., not so different from you)… According to Mike Morrison; LinkedIn is a waste of time, if you are inconsistent, don’t have a marketing plan, and invest the wrong amount of time and effort…

The top proven strategies for ensuring that LinkedIn adds value to your business are: Relevancy– ad hoc just doesn’t work; relevancy is everything… Consistency– information that’s clear, concise; people know the subject that you are talking about and expect it… Transparency–being honest, if you are promoting your materials say so, and if it’s an affiliate say so… but, just promote things, ideas… which are of value to your group: The ‘wrong strategy’ can hurt you even more than ‘no strategy’.

Remember; if you are attracting people who are not interested in what you are doing, then this is worse than useless– you are just wasting time, energy, effort… not to mention opportunity! ‘Done right’ you can quickly double the effectiveness of your LinkedIn presence; it’s all about– regularity, relevancy, consistency, transparency. But most important, you must develop a well crafted and effective LinkedIn strategy, plan… with timely execution.

Office of the Future– Inside the Deskless, Paperless, Wallless Office Space: Starbucks Doesn’t Really Do It– Alternatives…

Office of the future: The main concept behind the office of the future is to make it as paperless as possible with a heavy reliance on digital technology… Technology is reshaping the workplace, changing how and where we conduct business… As a result, flexibility and adaptability is the sought-after attributes for employees at all levels…

According to Jason Lewis; technology allows companies to be more paperless and work from a single smart communicating-computing device… and with cloud-based systems… work, information is more accessed from anywhere, anytime… and it’s more easily shared– Workers no longer have to be tethered to an office to be productive. According to Stephen Siena; technology is very much at the heart of office transformation, although there is also a change in the business culture going on, as well– the desire for more collaboration…

According to Kay Sargent; to find the best office design, companies need to understand their end goal and what works best for their teams by thinking about the demographics of the majority of their staff, the culture implemented, whether collaboration or focus work is needed, and the power structure at their organizations... According to Edward Danyo; we found that only 35% of work activity… actually takes place in offices and cubes, yet we dedicate 85% of our space to those… It’s about creating environments so people can do their best work, and we’ve seen a 45% increase in the speed of decision-making… The forward-looking office design also saves money by saving space.

In the office of the future cubicles are a thing of the past, it’s an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows and features angled tables and shared workstations for collaboration. There are glass-walled rooms for ad hoc meetings, special no-talking zones and employees get lockers for personal possessions… According to Gareth Jones; business is changing– the way we do business is changing, the structure of the organization is changing, and the way we use office space is changing– we need more fluid space where employees can interact in whichever way suits them best…

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In the article What Is the Office of the Future? by Lana Bortolot  writes; Once upon a time, a person asked to envision the workspace of the future might have detailed the trappings of a space-age utopia: robots, flying pods and out-of-this-world architecture. But ask today’s architects about tomorrow’s office, and the conversation is more likely to include touch-points such as; communication, collaboration, integration…

Instead of being out of this world, the next wave of offices is down to earth, and designed around the employees’ needs and specific company cultures… According to Barry Svigals; office design is a great leveraging tools companies have at their behest– it’s not just furniture… Increasingly, there’s a branding aspect that’s important to innovative companies. It’s not only for the outside world but for them; it reminds them of who they are…

The formalities between customers and companies have relaxed, as have corporate hierarchies– the corner office is isolating, not coveted, cubicles are relics, and walls have come down. Instead of impressive conference room, the must-haves for new offices are communal multi-purpose spaces designed to stimulate conversation, cooperation, inspiration… So what will shape the office of the future? Unanimously, designers say transparency is the No. 1 driver of office design… Open space, experts say, cultivates open minds…

According to Brad Pease; the office is a collaboration room and that extends to the customer spaces such as; reception areas, conference rooms… Whereas they once telegraphed authority, such staid spaces convey detachment and concealment in the now and future office.  A formalized lobby with a reception desk is a space that is not generating any ideas… we consider those  dead spaces– what customers’ value is access to ideas… According to James G. Phillips; employees should not be hidden away behind a reception area… the corporate culture is right there, front and center, and it’s about people more than anything…

Increasingly, the office of the future communicates a company’s culture-values, and taking a page from the hospitality industry– from cafe spaces that host collaboration-conferencing to dedicated respite areas for employees. Everything that’s physical must support the company mission. According to Collins; more than a showcase, the office combines hospitality and branding in a space that displays not just what the company’s team does, but who they are… It’s a customer space, but it connects employees to what their customers are doing and connect to the brand… It’s a light-bulb moment that gives them context…

According to Thomas Bercy; people want two things; complete openness– no more of the ’70s or ’80s kind of office, and they want space for one-on-one meeting... Another clear trend in office design is creating an environment that will appeal to the up-and-coming ‘Gen Y’ work force.

The Pew Research Center describes the Millennial generation as ‘confident, connected and open to change’; companies are designing offices that accommodate this psychographic: Weaned on mobile technology, fluent in social media and networking and immersed in issues such as; climate change and sustainability, Millennials seek work environments that reflect their ideals…

According to Chris Bockstael; the younger generation gives a sense that they want to enjoy the work environment… It doesn’t have to be a stagnant series of rooms where you do one process and then another process, but an environment that promotes collaboration. When an employee walks into a space, they can tell a difference in the places that value people rather than finishes… And that tells you why we’re changing the offices from closed doors to open…

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In the article Office of the Future–2020 by OfficeTeam writes: The future office will be increasingly mobile with technology enabling employees to perform their job from virtually anywhere, anytime… But greater control over where and how people work won’t necessarily translate into more free time. Forty-two percent of executives polled said they believe employees will be working more hours in the next 10 to 15 years…

The trends that were identified are, in fact, a reality today, including; use of multifunctional, wireless technology to conduct business from anyplace at anytime… The OfficeTeam surveyed workers and executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies and found the following: Technology will continue to reshape the workplace, changing how and where we conduct business…

In the future office, there will be added pressure to adapt quickly to change, work smarter, increase productivity and perform duties outside of one’s job description… The good news is that emerging technological tools and educational opportunities will better enable professionals to meet these challenges. Among the other findings include:

  • Technology tools to provide even greater flexibility: Miniature wireless devices, WiFi, WiMax and mobile technology will continue to allow a company’s staff to work outside of the office with greater ease. Additionally, virtual environments and web-based conferencing services will provide off-site employees with real-time access to meetings, reducing the need to travel.
  • Telecommuting to rise: Improved wireless connectivity will allow for an increasingly flexible workforce. Eighty-seven percent of executives surveyed believe telecommuting will increase in the next 10 to 15 years. Telecommuting enables employees to work where it’s most convenient, but it also challenges their interpersonal skills. They must build relationships with coworkers while having fewer in-person interactions.
  • Staff to put in more time: Forty-two percent of executives surveyed think that employees will be working more hours in 10 to 15 years. Only 9% said they would be working fewer hours.
  • Workers will stay in touch while on vacation: With the proliferation of wireless technology, staff will be expected to remain in close contact with the office while they’re away. Eighty-six percent of executives surveyed said workers will be more connected to the office while on vacation in the future.
  • Companies/employees take a new view on work/life balance: People may put in more time, but they will do so using tools that provide more control over their schedules and enable them to better balance priorities. There will be an increasingly blurred line between work and other activities; people will need to multitask to meet all of their obligations efficiently.

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In the article Office of the Future by Jennifer LeClaire writes: Office designs can enhance productivity, accommodate collaboration, and help with issues like work-life balance– if they are designed with these objectives in mind… Alternate and adaptable environments are keys for the office of the future. Offices will feel almost club-like in their choice of environments in which employees can spend their day. Offices will be less static in terms of assigned desks– it will be more open, transparent and, of course, media rich, offering; Wi-Fi throughout, ample teleconferencing suites and other immediate access points to remote colleagues and customers around the world…

The office of the future will enhance productivity by fostering employee engagement and connection with brand, company, each other… A more transparent office, by the same token, will enhance productivity by allowing for more collaboration and socialization among employees– seeing is knowing– the better employees know each other the more likely they are to feel comfortable with each other, and work well together…

The office of the future will support a culture of convenience, that is, the office will be designed to foster collaborative experiences in a variety of settings, for example; an expansive and welcoming café style area for lunch, snacks, etc.; seating areas with couches, comfortable chairs-tables scattered throughout the office to encourage and accommodate informal meetings, and conference rooms appropriate for the space. The norm for offices of the future will be collaboration space…

The idea of an ‘extended workplace’ is key to enhancing work-life balance. Creating a workplace that extends employees’ options vis-à-vis time, tools and environment will be critical. What does this mean? The office of the future must include amenities such as; gym, rooms for nursing mothers, on-site cafes offering healthy foods…

Organizations that embrace amenities that give employees options to help them balance their lives will be demonstrating that the health of their workers is a key value. This will become increasingly important when considering rising insurance premiums and proactive health care, as well as, when thinking about employee retention and hiring…

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If you ask 20 different people what the office of the future will look like, you’ll probably get 20 different answers… According to Roger Kahn; technology is providing increased mobility, and increased mobility will result in less of a need for the traditional office. It used to be that you had to go to a bricks-and-sticks office to work– because this is where the files and communications are located, and where we collaborated with colleagues. The virtual office is more compatible with the mobile work style; and the traditional offices are diminishing…

This fundamentally changes the core concept of an office. We no longer will need to ‘go to work’– we just ‘connect to work’– the future is going to be about ‘connected productivity’… According to Adam Stark; I’m not sure that it will look that much different than it does today. Styles and technologies may change, but I believe that people will always be looking for a nice work environment, where they are surrounded by people with whom they interact…

According to Paul Morrell; synchronicity and co-location are being turned on their head by new generations and new technology… People no longer need to be in same place at the same time, every day… We still need the office, but the office will be different as technology and the way we works changes, however, even with hype around social media, cloud… the workplace of tomorrow is likely to be very similar to what it is today…